Juno Beach was one of five beaches of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944 during the Second World War. The beach covered the area from Courseulles, Bernières and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. Juno is located between the British beaches of Gold and Sword.
The landings at Juno Beach were under Canadian leadership. Although there were no major defensive batteries along this stretch, the mines and obstacles set up by the Germans along the beaches, along with guns placed on the jetties in the ports, caused many fatalities. Through gritty determination, the Allied troops along this stretch managed to make important inroads on D-Day, reaching 16km inland, further than any other Allied forces that day.
The footage below was shot by Sergeant Bill Grant on Juno Beach. It shows Canadian troops from the North Shore Regiment.
Must See Sights
The Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer
The centre is contemporary museum that was built in the shape of a maple leaf in 2003. This reference to one of Canada’s national emblems indicates clearly how this place is largely dedicated to Canadian efforts on D-Day and throughout World War 2. The Centre pays homage to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the War, of which 5,500 were killed during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day. The permanent exhibition includes photos, films, memorabilia, maps and audio recordings. There are also activities for children to help them learn about the conflict. Visitors can watch a 12 minute film entitled ‘They Walk With You’ which gives an insight into the experiences of Canadian soldiers on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy. More information about the centre is available on the website.
The video below takes you on a tour of the museum.
Bény-sur-Mer Canadian war cemetery
Over 2000 soldiers are buried here. Many of them belonged to the 3rd Canadian Division.
At 34 rue des Français in Bernières-sur-Mer is La Maison des Canadiens. It’s located just near the Tourist Office. It is the first house to be liberated on Juno Beach. It is now a privately owned house.