French 2nd Armored Division Leclerc Monument
Location and info
The French 2nd Armoured Division are remembered at this special site on Utah Beach - the location of their landing in August 1944, led General Philippe Leclerc to help in the liberation of their homeland from occupying forces. They were the Division which were attributed with the liberation of Paris and continued into Germany in April 1945 and were first into Hitler's Eagale's Nest, in Berchtesgaden.
There are three vehicles here, all with the 2nd Armoured Division and Free French forces badges.
Perhaps the standout of the three is the M4A2 Sherman tank with its 75mm gun. This tank had a crew of five and was armed with additional weapons including two .30cal and one .50cal machine guns.
The second is a Ford-built M8 light armoured car. The M8, nicknamed the ‘Greyhound’, could reach 55mph and had a range of over 300 miles over good terrain. It was equipped with a 37mm gun with telescopic gunsight and usually .30 calibre and .50 calibre machine guns too.
A crew of four consisted of a driver, co-driver, gunner, and commander/radio operator.
Over 8,500 were built between 1943 and 1945, with France employing nearly 700 of them.
The third vehicle is a M3 half-track armoured personnel carrier variant. M3s were capable of transporting up to 12 men and their equipment up to a 200-mile range at a maximum speed of 45mph. It was normally fitted with a .30 calibre or .50 calibre machine gun for protection.
Over 53,000 were built and the M3 was the basis for dozens of different variants including ones fitted with anti-aircraft guns, howitzers, and a platform for mortars.