Bayeux in World War II was the gateway to the Normandy landing beaches, close to Arromanches. The great hero of the Normandy Landings, General Eisenhower, is commemorated in Bayeux in a statue on the Eisenhower Roundabout. He had become Supreme commander of the Allied Europe Forces in 1943, given the enormous, but ultimately successful task of managing the Normandy Landings.
In the Gold beach sector in Normandy, Bayeux was the main objective of the British troops on June 6th, 1944. Patrols were sent to Bayeux via the north eastern suburbs. British troops entered Bayeux, handed out cigarettes and promised to return the next day. When they did, Bayeux and Saint-Vigor-le-Grand were liberated without fighting. Bayeux suffered no damage and became the first French town to be liberated in World War II. 7 days later, on June 14th, General de Gaulle made his first speech on liberated French soil.