Year-end closing hours

During the year-end, the Memorial will be close on Saturday 24th, Monday 25th, Saturday 31th December 2023 and Monday 1st January 2024.

The team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

New oppening hours

From november 1st to march 31th, the Memorial will be open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 am. to 5.30 pm (last visit starts at 4.30 pm. 1h duration).

The Memorial will be close on Monday 6th November 2023.

Guided tours of the battlefield site

The Pocket of Falaise-Chambois, the “row of death”

  • Thursday, July 20, 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 17, 2:30 p.m.

The “death row” is the name given by the German soldiers to an axis six kilometers long, starting from the Dives river and ending at the foot of Hill 262 North.

This narrow corridor, with small dirt roads, is the only way of salvation for the nearly 100,000 soldiers surrounded in the pocket. Beaten by artillery, strafed by air force, encumbered with destroyed vehicles and the corpses of men and horses, around 50,000 men managed to get out of the “kessel” (the cauldron), another name for the Falaise- Chambois.

78e anniversaire de la Bataille de Normandie ©CD61

Emotion and remembrance for the 78th anniversary of the battle of Falaise-Chambois

This weekend of 20-21 August 2022, the commemorative ceremonies of the Battle of Falaise-Chambois took place. The year is remarkable, as it also marks the 75th anniversary of the creation of the ANS 1re DB, an association that has been cultivating the tradition of General Maczek’s Polish armour in France ever since.

This 78th edition began on Friday 19 August, when a tribute was paid to the soldiers of the Podhale brigade who felt for France in June 1940 while defending the “Breton Redoubt”. More than a hundred inhabitants of Val-Couesnon joined the soldiers of the 21st Podhale Brigade, the vice-consul Anna Majda, the mayor of Val-Couesnon Emmanuel Houdus and the departmental councillor Aymar de Gouvion Saint Cyr for the remembrance of this battle, one of the last confrontations of the Battle of France.

The commemorations of the closing of the Falaise-Chambois gap then began on Saturday 20 August in Chambois with a mass for peace, followed by the solemn tribute in Montormel. This time of remembrance was an opportunity for Christophe de Balorre, president of the Orne departmental council, to salute the bravery of the Poles who had to confront the terrifying SS “Das Reich” armoured division.

The speeches of the various speakers had a very special significance even though the war is still raging in Ukraine. The Ukrainian embassy had sent its first secretary especially for the occasion. The ceremonies on the heights overlooking the Dives ended with a more intimate tribute at the church of Coudehard, where the Podhale battalion of the 1st Polish armoured division fought intensely on 19 and 20 August 1944.

They continued in the department of Calvados, where the communes of Soignolles and Saint Sylvain are organising commemorations on an increasing scale. This year, the presence of several children should be noted, who, as Patricia Fieffé, mayor of Soignolles, pointed out, will one day be called upon to take on the role of transmitters of memory.

The commemorations continued on Sunday at the Polish military cemetery of Urville-Langannerie, where the grave of Corporal Szymanski, who felt on 8 August 1944, was identified. In his speech, the head of the Polish Office for Veterans and Persecuted Persons, Jan Jozef Kasprzyk, also stressed the importance of the Battle of Falaise-Chambois, which was a real revenge for the Poles, whose country had been handed over to the most barbaric of occupations.

The three days of remembrance ended in Potigny, with a shorter but equally solemn ceremony, anchored in the tradition of Franco-Polish friendship. Many thanks to all the organisers – military, civil and religious authorities, flag bearers, and participants, who gave their time to contribute to the success of these commemorations.

Text: Jacques Wiacek

Photos: ©CD61

78th Anniversary of the Battle of Falaise – Chambois

We are pleased to share the programme of the annual commemorations of the closure of the Falaise-Chambois gap, organised by the Orne department and the National Association of the Remembrance of the 1st Polish Armoured Division.

The participation is expected to be large, as the Polish delegations will include more than 80 soldiers from the Polish Armed Forces Command, the 11th Armoured Cavalry Division Lubuska, the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade and the 21st Podhale Rifle Brigade.

In addition to the times of homage planned as each year in the Orne and Calvados, a ceremony is planned in Val-Couesnon, where soldiers of the independant brigade of Podhale rifles fell on 18 June 1940, defending the “Bretany redoubt”.

Finally, this 2022 edition has a particularly symbolic aspect, as it marks the 75th anniversary of the “ANS 1re DB”. It was in 1947 that General Maczek’s veterans who had settled in France after the war founded this association with the aim of helping each other and passing on the memory of their unit, as well as to honor comrades who had fallen on French soil.

Friday 19th August

Villemontaine (La Fontenelle, Val-Couesnon)

  • 11.00 am: tribute to the Podhale soldiers who felt on 18 June 1940 while defending the “Bretany redoubt” against the XV. Panzerkorps.

Saturday 20th August


  • 9am: mass in the church of Saint-Martin
  • 10.15 am : wreath laying at the crossroads of victory

Montormel (Memorial will be closed to visits until 2 PM)

  • 11.00am : tribute to General Maczek, wreath laying
  • 13h00 : cocktail, wreath laying at the church of Coudehard by the delegation of the 21. BSP


  • 17h00 : ceremony in memory of the soldiers of the 10. PSK fallen during the liberation of the village


  • 18h00 : ceremony in memory of the soldiers of the Podhale battalion of the 1st polish armoured division killed for the liberation of the commune
  • 7.00 pm: cocktail party

Sunday 21st August

Urville-Langannerie Polish military cemetery

  • 9.30 am: mass
  • 11.00 am: civil and military ceremony, wreath laying, rekindling of the flame of remembrance


  • 12:00 pm: ceremony on the place of the 1st Polish armoured division
  • 12:30 pm: glass of cider at the town hall

Notice on wreath laying

The organisers would like to point out that the possibility of laying a wreath is conditional on the prior receipt of a nominal invitation, and on the confirmation by the person concerned of the wish to lay. No undeclared associations shall disrupt protocol to lay flowers taken out of their car at the last minute.