Sainte-Mère Eglise and Utah Beach

The beach at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, which was given the codename “Utah Beach” for D-Day, stretches over 5 kilometres and was the first of two American landing sectors.


It was the English general Bernard Montgomery who decided on this beach, in order to establish a beachhead in Cotentin, and hasten the capture of Cherbourg and its deep-water port. A little further inland, was another landing zone: Sainte-Mère-Eglise, where the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were dropped. Allies suffered heavy losses there but Sainte-Mère-Eglise was the first French town to be liberated by the Allies.



The church of Sainte-Mère-Eglise


The church windows and the church tower pay tribute to 82nd Airborne Division. A mannequin hanging at the end of a parachute is a reconstitution of a scene which really happened on D-Day: Paratrooper John Steele hung there, seriously injured, for two hours before he could be rescued.

Mile marker 0 of the “Liberty Road” is situated near the townhall in Ste Mère-Eglise. It was inaugurated on 18th September 1947.


Church of Sainte-Mère-Eglise


Utah Beach Landings Museum in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont


Situated on the very site of the American landings on 6th June 1944, the museum celebrates the military and technical achievements, which rendered Madeleine beach famous.


Utah Beach Landings Museum in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont


The battery of Azeville


The battery was a part of the Atlantic wall.


Atlantic Wall by Marc Lerouge


Ferme-musée du Cotentin


The farm was still in activity at the beginning of the 20th Century. It has now been turned into a museum, where visitors will rediscover the atmosphere and activities of a farm of that era: visit the common room, the press-house, the bakery, and the stables. Outside, you will encounter local breeds such as the Cotentin donkey, the Bayeux pig etc.


Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère Eglise


Set in a 3000 m² park, near the church, this museum is a hymn to the extraordinary achievement of American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions who landed in Sainte-Mère-Eglise in the night of 5th to 6th June 1944.


Airborne museum



Sites linked with D-Day