It was here that the soldiers of Général Leclerc's 2nd armored division landed on French soil.
For many of the men and women of the 2nd armored division, the beach at Saint Martin de Varreville was to become the symbol of their return to French soil. After years of exile, resistance and fighting to liberate Africa, they were finally returning home.
Offshore on this day of August 1, 1944, the huge boats of the American army deposited men, weapons and equipment. That day and the days that followed, joy was their companion; as they passed, the crowds were jubilant, they were Frenchmen arriving.
Certainly, on June 6 they were 177 of the Kieffer commando to have taken part in the landings, but this was the arrival of an entire division! La France Libre was also taking part in the liberation of France.
Soon the fury of battle would be heard, not everyone would see the tricolor flag flying from the spire of Strasbourg cathedral, but their comrades would too.
Every year, here on these grounds, the commune of Saint Martin de Varreville commemorates the spirit of the 2nd DB, that of its leader General Leclerc and those men and women who also paid a heavy price for our freedom.
Here begins the path of the 2nd D.B. it will take you all the way to Alsace.
Leclerc Foundation Paris