M4A1 Sherman Duplex Drive, M7 Priest, M4 Dozer & M5A1 Stuart
Musee des Epaves Sous-Marines du Debarquement, Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
Location and info
Musee des Epaves Sous-Marines du Debarquement, Route de Bayeux, 14520 Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
On the D6 road linking the port town of Port-en-Bessin and Bayeux. There's a car park on site.
One of the most amazing and unique WW2 museums in Normandy - the Musee des Epaves Sous-Marines du Debarquement is a collection of tanks, vehicles, and guns recovered from the seabed off the coast of Omaha Beach.
They were all salvaged by Jacques Lemonchois and who created this amazing museum which is still run by his family.
There are many stand out tanks and vehicles, each with a unique story to tell. The M4A1 DD (Duplex Drive) Sherman retains the propellors and skirts which would have enabled it to float and swim to shore, had it not succumbed to the stormy conditions on D-Day.
Up close you can see the twin propellers and the duplex drive system which switched off the tracks and put power to the props, plus the extra elements which supported the screen which was raised to help displace water and allow this 31 ton tank to float.
This DD tank was found four miles from Omaha Beach in 27m of water. On the morning of June 6, 1944 at 6.30am, 32 amphibious DD tanks from the 741st Battalion were launched - 27 of them sink in the rough seas, two make it to the beach, and three others are beached by their LCT whose ramp was jammed.
The US M7 Priest was another vehicle which didn’t make it to shore on D-Day and was salvaged three miles off Omaha Beach. What makes this vehicle even more remarkable is what was found inside. Under the driver’s seat were a set of perfectly preserved maps and other documents belonging to crew member John H Glass which charted his journey from North Africa to Normandy. These items are now on display inside this brilliant museum.
Also on display is a M5A1 Stuart light tank, a M4 Sherman Dozer tank, and several British ship guns while inside the museum you can see lots more salvaged material and an incredible WW2 German torpedo still in its firing tube.