Immerse yourself in the story of D-Day!
In the days following D-Day, the American troops must press on to liberate Cherbourg by fighting across the Cotentin Peninsula. They face countless hedgerows, small roads, and narrow paths that each become a new battlefield to conquer. Violent battles erupt as German forces block the American advance in this “Battle of the Hedgerows.”
The number of deaths and injuries increase. First aid stations are set up to treat and evacuate the wounded. Extraordinary efforts are made to bring the latest medical technology to the battlefield. The logistics deployed to care for wounded soldiers are extraordinary.
Temporary cemeteries are also established: the fallen must be buried with dignity.
June 12, 1944: after heavy fighting against the German 6th Parachute Regiment of Colonel Von der Heydte, the 101st Airborne Division liberates Carentan and links up with the 29th Infantry Division that had landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. On this day the German battery at Crisbecq is finally silenced.
June 18, 1944: after crossing the marshes and battling through the infamous hedgerows, the American troops arrive at Barneville, on the West coast of the Cotentin Peninsula: the German garrison of Cherbourg is isolated.
June 27, 1944: the Germans surrender Cherbourg, but not before completely sabotaging the port facilities. It will take over a month for the Allies to render the port operational.
The capture of “Fortress Cherbourg” is the first major victory for the Allied troops in Normandy.
During this hard-fought battle, many American soldiers will demonstrate an uncommon courage and unfailing determination. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for heroism in combat awarded by the United States. In the Cotentin, seven Medals of Honor will be awarded. One of them, awarded posthumously to Lieutenant Butts for his bravery at Sainte Sauveur le Vicomte, is exhibited in the Museum. Despite having been wounded multiple times, his brave attack in the face of enemy fire helped his squad take a heavily-defended enemy position.