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

Last modified: 2016-04-02 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Courseulles]

Flag of Courseulles - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 11 January 2004

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Presentation of Courseulles

The municipality of Courseulles-sur-Mer (4,169 inhabitants in 2008; 792 ha) is located on the Côte de Nacre (Mother-of-Pearl Coast) of the Channel. A popular sea resort with a marina, Courseulles is also renowned for its oyster parks.

Courseulles was part of the Juno Beach sector during the Normandy landing in June 1944. Stretching from Ver-sur-Mer to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, Juno Beach was the landing sector assigned to the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division, commanded by General Keller. Courseulles is built on the mouth of the river Seulles, which had been heavily fortified by the Germans.
On 6 June 1944, 7:45, the amphibious tanks of the 1st Hussars were put on sea, ca. 3 kilometers from the expected landing place. Several of them went down because of the heavy swell. Those who could reach the beach immediatly opened fire on the German positions, thus allowing the 7th Brigade to land and liberate Courseulles in a few hours.
On the evening of 6 June 1944, 21,500 men and 3,200 vehicles had landed on Juno Beach.
The western beach of Courseulles was secured and use for landing by Winston Churchill (12 June 1944), General de Gaulle on his way to Bayeux (14 June), and H.M. George VI visiting his troops (16 June).

The Canadian and Allied breakthrough is commemorated in Courseulles by several monuments, including:
- the Juno Beach Centre;
- an American Sherman tank, picked up from the sea in 1970, restored and shown on a square near the seafront. The insignia of the units which took part to the Juno Beach landing have been soldered on the tank;
- the Cross of Lorraine Monument, a big iron Cross of Lorraine erected on the western seafront, commemorating general de Gaulle's return to France;
- the Regina Rifle Stele, built near the beach, commemorating the sacrifice of 458 men from this regiment;
- the Liberation Monument, also built near the beach, commemorating the landing and the liberation of the town. A German cannon showing traces of the fighting has also been preserved and placed near the monument;
- the Combattante Stele.
[Normandy Memorial website]

Ivan Sache, 11 January 2004

Flag of Courseulles

The flag of Courseulles-sur-Mer is white with the greater municipal arms and the name of the town written in black above the shield.

The municipal coat of arms is "Or a chevron azure three scallops argent, chief per pale azure and"gules a star argent".
The shield is supported by a white anchor outlined in black, like on the municipal arms of the neighbouring towns of Trouville and Deauville, and two crossed branches surrounding the shield.
The scallops on the arms probably refer scallop fishing (see, for instance, the coat of arms of Sainte-Adresse) rather than to St. James.

Ivan Sache, 11 January 2004

Société des Régates de Courseulles

[SR Courseulles]

Burgee of SRC - Image by Ivan Sache, 12 May 2001

The burgee of Société des Régates de Courseulles (SRC, website), based on the chief of the municipal arms, is vertically divided blue-red with a large white star in the center.

Ivan Sache, 12 May 2001