D-Day Experience in Portsmouth

Discussion in 'WW2 Museums. Events, & places to see.' started by Chris C, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Is there anything in particular at the museum that I must not miss?

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    this might help

    What to see at The D-Day Story

    The focus of The D-Day Story is the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany occupation. It is told using the personal possessions and words of the people who took part.

    Stunning imagery, audio-visual presentations and hands-on interactives help to bring the story to life.

    Based on ordinary people working together to achieve the extraordinary, The D-Day Story features the experiences of men, women and children.

    The story is told in three parts, Preparation, D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, Legacy and the Overlord Embroidery.

  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The overlord tapestry. Very good.

    Museum recently revamped, so no idea what it's like now.

    They have, however, pissed me right off by moving 'our' Churchill Croc & Grizzly from their very popular & publicly accessible place.
    Told they're going to be in the LCT when it's installed, but I can't claim to be happy about it.
    Southsea's tone was raised by those old dears, and one of the last bastions of tanks the public can climb onto is apparently lost.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Oh, that is a real shame :( I guess I will pester them about where the tanks are if I don't see them then.

    I was hoping for personal opinions about what you lot like the most there.

    PS by Grizzly, you don't mean the Canadian M4 tank, do you?
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Sorry, doubtless lost in my irritation:
    I always found it a pretty moving & pleasing representation of events. In fabric form.
    The museum was essentially built around it.

    Yes, M4 Grizzly, with those German-looking tracks.

    Grizzly & Croc. Bad phone pics. Christmas Day 2005.
    [Sarcasm] Note piles of bodies from egregious disregard for public safety, and extensive damage to giant lumps of steel inspiring passing kids & public to engage with WW2. [/Sarcasm]

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    ozzy16, Dave55, CL1 and 1 other person like this.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Still think the best thing you can do there is walk along the coast westwards towards Old Portsmouth.
    Start at the naval memorial if no time to begin around Eastney (Eastern end history not quite so obvious without guidance), through the 'fun' fair, bombed-out Garrison church, gun positions, Square Tower, Sally Port etc. and finish around the Still & West. (Press on to The Hard if feeling particularly adventurous. HMS Warrior is a fine finish. Though you might get a glance at the New carrier if she's in too.)
    Centuries of significant naval/military history in plain sight.

    An acquaintance once said "Shame there's nothing to see around Pompey". So we took him for a stroll...

    Going to Fort Nelson? It's good, and free entry.
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Thanks VP, that's good to know. I wasn't planning to go to Fort Nelson... it might be possible but I don't know if it'll fit in.

    Thursday morning I leave Dorchester by train, plan to stop in Cosham to visit the used bookstore ;) Then take a bus. Don't know if I've made a mistake but I'm going to be staying at the Duke of Buckingham - I'm expecting to get there early and hope to leave my suitcase then go for a walk or find a coffee shop. I suppose I could stop first at Fort Nelson but that will make this day more complicated.

    Friday I'm meeting with someone and exploring the ships and hopefully the submarine museum.

    Saturday morning I'm going to the D-Day Experience, have a little unassigned time and then take a train to Hever some time in the afternoon.
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Can't deny I'm a little concerned at starting a South coast sojourn in Cosham, mate.
    It's a good little bookshop, but Cosham is not the nicest spot.
    Weirdly friendly (No thanks, bench man. I'll buy my own Thunderbird if I fancy some. Cheers wild-eyed 'I'M AUTISTIC' woman, hope your engagement goes well), but still not... well... nice.

    Think Ft. Nelson isn't really set for public transport. Not sure. But it does also offer the best view of the whole of Pompsmouth. Possibly one of the best views in England in my not terribly humble opinion (especially over a pint in the standard-but-superbly-located Churchillian's front garden.). The place is worth a trek/Uber if possible.
  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Heh well but as you say, good little bookshop :D I could visit it my way out I suppose.
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Fort Nelson is worth a visit in its own right
    von Poop likes this.
  11. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    To upset a few: almost three times as many Landing Ship Infantry* ( and many LCTs etc) sailed from the port of Southampton; so more than three times the number of troops went through Southampton; a list of ships is attached. Almost all the casualties, both Allied and German, were landed at Southampton. And the marine salvage work was run from a modest row of houses in, you've guessed it, Southampton. I mention this because Southampton is doing bugger all the commemorate the event!
    On 31 May Admiral Ramsay said to the Navy:
    Our task, in conjunction with the Merchant Navies of the United Nations, and supported by the Allied Air Forces, is to carry the Allied Expeditionary Force to the Continent, to establish it there in a secure bridgehead and to build it up and maintain it at a rate which will outmatch that of the enemy.

    *Half of all the LSIs were British Merchant Ships, manned by civilian crews, sailing under the Red Ensign.

    Attached Files:

  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Oh, and I'm told the Henrican fort of Southsea Castle by the DDay museum is not
    Artillerist in liking Royal Armouries' large exhibits collection shocker!

    There are some crackers there, Seroster.
    Smith Gun, Airborne 6pdr, massive lumps of steel scarred by shot, many archaic 'decorative' pieces (the actual ones that appear in every Artillery History book, including some titles from childhood), 88, 25, Victorian Moncreiff sort of stuff, and a quite magnificent Railway gun. All accessible for a proper look.

    I'd choose it over Cosham for a slightly faffy public transport experience, despite bookshop.
    (Though I do recall their museum shop is above average.)
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Has anyone been to the DDay museum since its tarting up?
    It always felt a tad 'slender' once you'd seen the tapestry. Definitely needed some work/investment.
    I'm annoyed about the tanks, but once the LCT arrives I may have to grudgingly have a look again.

    We'd always have taken visitors to the Sub Museum & Nelson, taking in the public tanks in a military coast stroll.
    Dockyard if the visitor was paying!
  14. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    If you are in the area, you should visit Southwick Park. It is now the Defence School of Policing. Southwick House is where Eisenhower controlled the invasion from. In one of the large anterooms, a major toy maker installed an enormous wooden map showing the invasion area on immense detail. The map was not removed after the war. It is vast.

    You get in by going to the Guardroom.


  15. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    If no one else has, I'll be able to tell you about it in about two weeks. :)
  16. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Unfortunately you can't any more. There was a change of policy some three years ago and I have not heard of anyone outside HM Forces being allowed to visit. It may be a counter terrorism, matter, or just that those currently in role can't be bothered with visitors.
  17. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I take groups there regularly.

    The exhibition used to be focused on the preparations in the UK and ended with leaving a mocked up landing craft. Now it is is a UK based " D Day Museum" which uses a lot of interactive displays to tell the story of D Day itself. I personally find the audiovisuals annoying because like many moderrn museums they are structured as theme parks with exhibits reduced to the status of something to occupy the visitor before they see the next show.. They are also structured around a 90 minute visit - which is fine for an individual visitor but less than ideal for a group with less than that to visit. The acting in the audio visuals sets my teeth on edge and the politically correct portrayal of a black Canadian historical tokenism.

    I bring groups who have a limited time in the museum before heading onto a ferry. For that purpose I like. 1) the room explaining why Normandy and not the Pas de Calais. 2) The big model of cross section of the beach and defences. 3) The big map showing the landings. 4) The Tapestry. (Brilliant overview of the campaign as well as a tribute to c raft skills and a nod to 1066. 5) Status of Monty and the British soldier - with twins in Colleville and Crepon. A good opportunity to set the scene. .
    von Poop likes this.
  18. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Well, I should chip in after visiting the D Day Museum this morning. Didn't get to this other places but as I met two people yesterday I feel like I have two friends in Portsmouth now so maybe I will be back.

    I spent about an hour to go through the museum before having a cup of tea and then looking at the tapestry. I can't say that I learned things per se from the labels for items and I was a bit skeptical of the actors/writing that was showing on screens. However, there were enough items on display to look at that I did enjoy that hour, and I thought the tapestry was amazing - like a cinematic montage in embroidered form. In the tapestry area you can also learn about the creation of it and select videos of veterans speaking.

    (As an aside there was one interesting interactive screen in which there were 3 different military objectives with sub stages and at each stage you were supposed to choose between two options e.g. send in the infantry or tanks to take a village? I thought that was rather good.)

    Altogether I think it was a very good hour and a half or so!
    stolpi likes this.
  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I think you are being too kind with annoying. I find them loathsome. My most recent visits to the Infantry Museum in Georgia and the Army War Collage in Pennsylvania were pretty much ruined by multiple scratchy audio loops playing simultaneously in every exhibit hall. I felt bad for the people who work there and have to hear them over and over again for eight hours. Actually made me leave fairly quickly

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