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Hermanville-sur-Mer (Municipality, Calvados, France)

Last modified: 2019-12-19 by ivan sache
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Flag of Hermanville - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 March 2019

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Presentation of Hermanville

The municipality of Hermanville-sur-Mer (3,019 inhabitants in 2015; 805 ha; municipal website) is located 15 km north of Caen.

Hermanville developed off the cost around the St. Peter church, erected in the 11th-13th centuries, surmounted by a characteristic Roman tower. In 1844, the banker Dubos, from Rouen, acquired the dunes and marshes of Hermanville from the Count of Blocqueville. The first estates were built on the dunes in 1866. A dyke was built in 1965 along the 1,800 m long sand beach to protect the houses erected on the seashore.
Estate La Bluette was designed in Hermanville in 1899 for the lawyer Prosper Gréville by the Art Nouveau architect Hector Guimard (1867-1942). One of the few Guimard's works preserved until now, the estate was partially registered as an historical monument on 15 December 2005.

Hermanville is located behind Sword Beach, one of the sites of the allied landing on 6 June 1944. The French destroyer Courbet was deliberately sunk off Hermanville to facilitate the landing. On 9 June 1944, her commander, Captain Roger Wietzel picked up a portion of French soil, which he offered to General de Gaulle; it is still kept in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.
The Seaman monument erected on Courbet Square is a tribute to the 34 Norwegian seamen killed during the approach of the beach; destroyer Svenner was torpedoed while protecting the vessels transporting troops. The monument, a copy of the statue erected by Per Palle Storme in Oslo, was inaugurated on 7 June 2004 by King Harald V and 150 Norwegian war veterans.

A marker in the Town Hall recalls that the British troops established there their headquarters and a field hospital on 6 June 1944. Other monuments commemorate the British troops that liberated Hermanville on 6 June 1944:
- the five artillery regiments of the 3rd Infantry Division;
- the South Lancashire Regiment;
- the 2nd and 5th battalions of the East Yorkshire Regiment.
David Cottrell, one of the few survivors from HMS Swift, blown off on a magnetic mine on 5 June 1944, obtained the erection of a monument commemorating all the seamen of the allied navies (civilians and soldiers); the monument was inaugurated on 6 June 2001, while Cottrell was awarded the title of Honor Citizen of Hermanville on 6 June 2004.
The Churchill tank Centaur is one of the 70 tanks that cleansed the beach on a width of 200 m before the landing of the troops.
The Harold Pickersgill Avenue, inaugurated on 6 June 2004, is a tribute to H. Pickersgill, from the Reconnaissance Corps, who was among the 30 men informed of the date and place of the landing as soon as 1943.
The British cemetery of Hermanville keeps the remains of 1,005 soldiers (966 Brits, 13 Canadians, 3 Australians and 3 French) killed during the landing and the early days of the march to Caen.

On 14 June 1944, the BBC recorded and broadcasted the two remaining bells, out of three, of the belfry. The mass celebrated on 18 June 1944 in the St. Peter church, the first celebrated on liberated territory, was broadcasted worldwide by the BBC.
The well of the St. Peter's Pond received Mention in Dispatches from the British army; from 6 June to 1 July 1944, the well supplied the allied troops with 7 million liter of freshwater.

Ivan Sache, 6 March 2019

Flag of Hermanville

The flag of Hermanville (photos) is white with the municipal emblem, portraying estates on the seaside, the beach, the sea and a red sail. is white with the municipal emblem, portraying estates on the seaside, the beach, the sea and a red sail.

Ivan Sache, 6 March 2019

Club de Voile et de Loisirs d'Hermanville


Burgee of CVLH - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 March 2019

The Club de Voile et de Loisirs d'Hermanville (CVLH; website) is involved in sea yachting, windsurfing, sand yachting, speed sail, kiting and hang-gliding.
The burgee of CVLH seems to be yellow with a red border and a blue star in the center.

Ivan Sache, 6 March 2019