Dead Man's Corner, in 1944, looking North from Carentan.
The left road leads to St.-Come-du-Mont,
the right road leads to Utah Beach.
Normandy, France - Beginning at 00:15, in the darkness of June 6th, 1944, General Maxwell D. Taylor's paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division became the first Allied soldiers to touch French soil, and for 33 successive days they carried the fight to the enemy. This was the beginning of the Allies' airborne trail through Nazi occupied Europe.
The 101st had been assigned the mission of capturing the key Norman city of Carentan. Before them lay Saint-Côme-du-Mont, defended by a well-entrenched, crack German unit - the Fallschirmjagers of the Luftwaffe - the famed German parachutists. Here, the troopers of the 101st were to be committed in the first large-scale attack launched by the Division during the invasion. The Germans had been issued orders to hold Carentan at all costs. For the Americans, it was vital to capture the city, so they waited for the supporting light tanks landing on Utah Beach to move inland. Only one road was open to the tankers. This one road led from the beach, passed through Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, and terminated at the Carentan / Saint-Côme-du-Mont road. This intersection later became known as "Dead Man's Corner". A single house located at this intersection served as both a Headquarters and, later, as an Aid Station for the German paras.
The Dead Man's Corner Museum is located in that house, on this highly historical ground between Carentan and Saint-Côme-du-Mont. The house and surrounding land (1 hectare) are property of the Carentan Historical Center. As the initial site of the Carentan Historical Center system, this historic building houses an impressive collection of authentic WWII German and American airborne artifacts concentrating on local activities of the 101st Airborne Division and the 6 Fallschirmjäger Rgt.
On June 8th, from hedgerow to hedgerow, through field after field, then onto the road and on into town, fierce fighting raged as the Eagle troopers swept into the streets of St. Come-du-Mont. As the first American tank reached this intersection and drove toward Carentan, it was struck in the turret by a German rocket. The tank was disabled and the commander was killed. For several days thereafter, the hull remained abandoned at the intersection, with the dead lieutenant hanging out of the turret. The paratroopers at first referred to 'the corner with the dead guy in the tank', but soon shortened it to 'Dead Man's Corner', by which name it will always be remembered.
This museum is the first stage of a large historical project in development at Carentan.
Dead Man's Corner Museum
2, Village de l'Amont
(get a map)
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday from 1 Sept. to 31 May
Closed from 23 Dec. to 2 Jan.
OFFICIALLY SPONSORED BY