OUISTREHAM Calvados - 14 km north of Caen
French Commando Kieffer liberated Ouistreham

In 1944 Ouistreham was a town situated just behind Riva Bella on the Norman coast. Close to the mouth of the River Orne and the Caen Canal the area was strongly defended. The 177 Frenchmen of the 1st Batallion of Fusiliers Marins Commandos landed there on 6 June 1944. The French under Commandant Kieffer were integrated to the N°4 British Commando. They were granted the honour to set foot on Normandy soil in the first wave. The Commandos left about fourty casualties on the beach and moved inland. Commandant Kieffer was wounded but went on with his troops. Troop 1 suffered losses in front of the casino strongpoint. They obtained support of a tank of the 13/18th Hussars of the 27th Armoured Brigade. The German blockhouse was neutralized Ouistreham was liberated at the end of the morning.
Atlantic Wall Museum
This museum is located in a 17 height meters bunker, it was a control firing casemate of the Atlantic Wall. It revives the atmosphere of the fightings through reconstitution of rooms with material and uniform suited dummies. On last of the five floor, one can look at the landscape through a German rangefinder, and some heavy material is exposed outside.
The present casino built at the place of the German stongpoint

N° 4 Commando Museum
In this museum one can see model scales, weapons, uniforms and objects reviving action of the Franco-British Commandos who landed on Sword Beach.

  Royal Navy et Royal Marines monument
Monument in memory of soldiers of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines who landed in Normandy on 6 June 1944, and had fought in Europe until 8 May 1945.

Situation : in front of the harbour station
  Free French monument - Kieffer monument
Monument symbolizing the sacrifice of the Free French combattants on 6 June 1944; several steles are dedicated to the French Commandos who died in the fighting, and a small monument is dedicated to Commander Kieffer. (work of Petrus).
Situation : on the sea front

Liberation monument - N°4 Commando plaque
Monument commemorating the landing of the Allied forces on 6 June 1944, and the liberation of Europe. A plaque on the monument is dedicated to French and British soldiers of N°4 Commando who fell for the liberation of France on 6 June 1944.

Situation : on D514 road, at the southern gate of Ouistreham

  1st Commando Brigade - 51st Highland division stained-glass windows
Two remarkable stained-glass windows can be seen. The first one is dedicated to the First Commando brigade (commandos N°3, N°4, N°6 and N°45). The second one is in memory of the 51st Highlanders, it was made by a veteran engineer.
Situation : in the church of Ouistreham
  13th/18th Royal Hussars monument
Monument in memory of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) of the 27th Armoured Brigade.
Situation : south of the city, at the crossroads of D514 and C1 roads, toward Saint-Aubin-d'Arquanay
Kieffer stele

Stele in memory of four soldiers of the Kieffer Commando killed there on 6 June 1944.
Situation : to number 40 Winston Churchill boulevard
  N°4 Commando and Commando Kieffer plaques
Two plaques are dedicated to the N°4 Commando. The second one honours three soldiers of the Kieffer Commando killed there on 6 June 1944.
Situation : to number 53 Pasteur street (street perpendicular to the casino)
Ouistreham city web site
Site internet du musée du Mur de l'Atlantique

Web page about the naval forces of D-day

Personal web site about the Atlantic Wall

Personal web site about Combined Operations Special Troops
Association web site about the 1er Bataillon de fusiliers-marins commandos français
All rights of photos, texts, maps and graphics design are reserved