The only Polish cemetery in France lies on the crossroad from Grainville-Langannerie to Urville, kilometres south of Caen. These fallen soldiers belong to Major-General Stanislaw Maczek and the Polish 1st Armoured Division and fought during the Battle of Normandy in August 1944.
The Polish 1st Division was stationed in Scotland and first saw action during Operation Totalize on 8 to 13 August 1944. Operation Totalize was an Allied offensive to break through the defensive lines south of Caen. The operation was part of Operation Tractable. The Division achieved victories against the Wehrmacht on Hill 262 in the Battle for Mont Ormel on 19 to 21 August 1944 and the town of Chambrois. Chambrois was the scene of some of the bitterest fighting of the Normandy campaign. Here the Polish 1st Division fought to close the Falaise Gap, and met up with the American 90th Infantry Division on the 19th of September in 1944, playing a crucial part in sealing of the gap and cutting off the escape of the German forces.
These soldiers fought side by side with the Allied forces during the European campaign. They fought alongside the Canadian, British and Americans troops in Europe and at its peak the 1st Armoured Division numbered 16.000 soldiers.
Free Polish forces who fell in other parts of France are all buried here. There are 696 graves on this Cemetery. They are arranged around a huge "V" shaped monument, with a sculpture on top. It resembles the Polish eagle.
Duration of the visit: As long as you wish
There a few spaces on the road outside.
The cemetery is wheelchair accessible.
No public toilets.
The cemetry is free.
SOUS LES ÈTOILES NORMANDIE is a family run campsite in the village of St Martin des Besaces, Calvados, offering camping and caravanning. Perfectly situated for exploring the undulating picturesque countryside, tasting renowned cheeses, sampling sparkling cider and of course, the famous Calvados.