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Around Etretat???

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Around Etretat???

We are hoping to take a trip to Etretat in April to visit a war memorial grave for a family member who was a POW. Whilst there we would love to see some of the 'larger' war memorials and wondered if anyone could offer some advise. We are also taking our 2 teenage boys, so will need something to keep them occupied?????

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Etretat
Etretat
Seine-Maritime, France
England, United...
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1. Re: Around Etretat???

I think you and your boys would find the Val Ygot V1 rocket site near Ardouval (north of St Saens) very interesting.

The site is large and includes all kinds of structures and implements that were used by Nazi Germany to establish a base from which to launch the V1 rockets targeted at London. You can see the hangar, the rocket and launch pad, the firing control bunker, the officers' mess, the railway engine and some tracks used to transport the rockets and materials, various storage buildings, etc. It's like an open-air museum.

It's also great that the site is free and you can just wander around at your leisure. There is no entry fee, no ticket office, no stalls selling postcards etc. - just the site itself. There are apparently guided tours (by volunteers) on some Sundays, but when we were there on a Wednesday last April we encountered just one other couple. There are plaques (in French, English and German) describing the various structures, so you can make good sense of it without a guide.

Here is a comprehensive website description. It's in French but it has many photos so you can get a basic impression of some of the things to see even if you don't speak French. The site is about 1H15M drive East from Etretat.

www.jean-maridor.org/francais/ardouval.htm

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Germany
Europe
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London
England, UK
Etretat
Etretat
Seine-Maritime, France
Newcastle-under-Lyme...
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2. Re: Around Etretat???

That sounds just the sort of thing we are after. Thanks a lot for your help and advise, its very much appreciated.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Around Etretat???

The major WWII sites (D-Day landing beaches) are about a 2 hour drive south from Etretat near Bayeux.

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Etretat
Etretat
Seine-Maritime, France
Bayeux
Bayeux
Calvados, France
Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Around Etretat???

And of course Etretat itself is wonderful for a day of hiking around the area.

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take a look at the Overlord Tours site and see what they visit on their day long tour; you could use that as the first step in constructing your own tour of the area since you have a car; let me particularly recommend a visit to Pointe du Hoc which was the most interesting of the landing 'beaches' -- cliffs with many of the fortifications still in place

Edited: 06 January 2014, 16:24
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Etretat
Etretat
Seine-Maritime, France
England, United...
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5. Re: Around Etretat???

About half-way between Etretat and Le Havre is the Bruneval memorial, erected in 2012. It has a striking appearance and and a dramatic outlook over the sea, as one can see from the pictures:

http://www.bruneval42.com/memorial

It was erected to commemorate the 1942 Bruneval Raid (Operation Biting) of which a film was also made. Briefly, a commando of British paratroopers was sent in a daring mission to disable German radar operations. It is said that without this operation the later 1944 D-Day beach landings might not have been possible or would have been much more dangerous.

To visit some of the D-Day sites further West is possible on a day-trip from Etretat but would involve a lot of driving and careful planning. I would also worry just a little that the teenage boys would become overwhelmed by too many war experiences, but only you know them. It also depends of course on how much time you will be spending in the area.

Have a good trip!

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Etretat
Etretat
Seine-Maritime, France
Le Havre
Le Havre
Seine-Maritime, France
6. Re: Around Etretat???

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