Normandy is a region in northwestern France. It lies along the English Channel. It was named after the Norsemen (Normans) who conquered the area in the 800′s. The people of Normandy are well known as sailors and farmers. The farmers specialize in dairy cattle and fruits, especially apples for cider and brandy. Tourism and the mining of iron ore are important industries in Normandy.
The Normans crossed the English Channel in 1066 and defeated the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings. The Norman king, William the Conqueror, then became the king of England as well. For centuries afterward, England and France struggled for control of Normandy. The French took it for good in 1449. Joan of Arc became famous as the leader of French troops in the fight for Normandy during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453).
Normandy was the scene of fierce fighting during World War II (1939-1945). The fighting began with the famous Allied D-Day landings there on June 6, 1944.