Route the encirclement
L’Encerclement (the encircling movement) is the route to explore. Starting in Alençon and ending in L'Aigle.
Eight itineraries in chronological sequence clearly signposted “Normandie Terre – Liberté” through whole Normandy. See an example at the beginning of this small video.
It enables the visitor to discover these history-packed places and follow the unfolding of this huge battle in the first 80 days of the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe.
Leclerc Museum. This history museum evokes life in Allençon during the German Occupation and its subsequent Liberation. It deals with all the main events, pays tribute to local members of the Resistance, the soldiers who freed the town, and General Leclerc and the epic of his 2nd Armoured Division.
Address: 31/33 Rue du pont Neuf 61000 Alençon
Liberation of Seés: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLn7UHKPxcs
Liberation of Ecouché: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVx3FJHYmhM (Free French Forces, 501st Combat, Ecouche, France (Aug. 15, 1944)
During World War II, the city was almost totally destroyed. On 5 June 1944, on the eve of the Allied D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy, the city suffered an important air raid in which the train station was destroyed. The city suffered further damage when it was bombed on 6 and 7 June by B-17 and B-24 bombers of the U.S. Eighth Air Force.
The greatest part of the city was, however, left in ruins two and half months later, at the end of August, during the battle of the Argentan-Falaise Pocket. The U.S. Third Army, under the command of general George S. Patton liberated Argentan after eight days of violent combat against the German 9th Panzer Division and the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. The U.S. 80th Infantry Division liberated the city in the morning of 20 August. The city was burning.
The Battle of Chambois was a battle during World War II in August 1944. During the battle, the German 7th Army and several other battered units withdrew to the city, where they were entrapped in a 6-mile (9.7 km) gap by the forces of the Americans, Canadians and the Polish Armoured Division in the west. They faced a battle of annihilation, as the Allied troops closed in and forced the Germans to surrender. The Germans in the battle were killed, wounded or captured by the Allied forces and this fight closed the Falaise Pocket.
United States 90th Infantry Division troops patrol in streets of Chambois https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXk23lq3rEo
Montmormel Memorial. Exhibition telling the story of the Falaise Chambois Pocket (August 18th-22nd 1944). Information in English, Polish, German and French.
Address: Memorial de Montormel Les hayettes 61160 MONTORMEL
General Maczek formulated a plan for cutting off the German retreat routes. First, a task force, consisting of two armored regiments and three infantry battalions from his division’s eastern group, was to capture and hold Mont-Ormel, a complex consisting of Hills 262 North and 262 South, which the Poles referred to as the Maczuga (mace) because the hills’ map contours resembled that weapon.
June 44 Museum. Life-sized waxworks of people who played a prominent role during the period 1940-45, along with recordings of their voices (Marshal Pétain, General de Gaulle, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, General Leclerc, General Eisenhower, Hitler and even Jean Hérold Paqui, the French Lord Haw-Haw). 13 scenes and a 36 m2 strategic map illustrating the Battle of Normandy.
Address: Mairie de L’Aigle Place Fulbert de Beina - BP 117 61303 L’AIGLE Cedex