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Top 5 WW2 Historical Sites to Visit in France

World War II was a global conflict that had a significant impact on France’s history, leaving its mark in many of the country’s locations. France has become a popular destination for history buffs and travelers alike, with various sites to visit from the Maginot Line to the Canadian National Memorial Park. 

In this article, we’ll explore the top WW2 historical sites to visit in France.

Musée de l’Armée

The Musée de l’Armée is a quality travel destination in Paris. It is a military museum that traces the history of the French army, from the Middle Ages to modern times, including WW2. The museum holds an exciting collection of weapons, uniforms, and other military artifacts from the war. 

Some of the most notable collections include Marshal Pétain’s carriage, which he used to flee from German occupation and General de Gaulle’s sword.

Tunnel at the Maginot Line
Tunnel at the Maginot Line

The Maginot Line

The Maginot Line is a defensive fortification built along France’s border with Germany in the interwar period. It was intended to prevent another German invasion after WWI. However, the Maginot Line failed to stop the German army in WW2. 

The line is available for visitors, with many of the bunkers and fortifications still standing, making it an excellent spot for history enthusiasts.

Normandy Beaches D-Day Landings

The Normandy Beaches connected to D-Day Landings are the site of one of WW2’s most pivotal battles that you can see as a part of a WW2 Europe tour. The beaches were where the Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, to begin the liberation of France from Nazi occupation. 

Visitors can view the remains of the fortified bunkers, memorials, and cemeteries, including the Normandy American Cemetery, which covers 172 acres and serves as the final resting place of over 9,000 American soldiers.

The Somme Battlefield & Memorial Museum

The Somme Battlefield is a World War I site, though it is also relevant to WW2. It is the setting where the infamous Battle of the Somme took place, which was one of the bloodiest battles in history. 

The memorial museum is interactive and houses a vast collection of artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, and personal belongings of soldiers who fought on the battlefield.

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Normandy landing
Old bunkers on Omaha Beach landing site

Vimy Ridge Canadian National Memorial Park

The Vimy Ridge Canadian National Memorial Park stands in honor of the Canadian soldiers who died during WWI and WWII. The park has preserved a portion of the battlefield as a memorial to those who lost their lives. 

Visitors can see many well-preserved trenches and tunnels used during the fighting and view the memorials dedicated to the soldiers who served.

Final Thoughts

Those interested in WW2 history will not be disappointed with a visit to France. France’s memorial museums and parks offer visitors a chance to learn more about the men and women who fought bravely and lost their lives in the war. 

A visit to these locations will give you the opportunity to experience the history and reflect on the events that shaped the world we live in today.

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