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Sainte-Mère-Église French Church D-Day 1944 COBI 2299 - World War II

Building kit model of the Sainte-Mère-Église Catholic Church in Normandy, which is connected with the incredible story of the American paratrooper John Steele. The kit contains a complete and detailed church building including window frames and surrounding vegetation. The package also includes a figure of paratrooper J. Steele himself and his parachute. The kit was released on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy.
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3 320 Kč
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List Number: COBI-2299
EAN: 5902251022990
Warranty:24 months
Loyalty Points:27
Price excluding VAT:2 743,80 Kč
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You know that:

  • The French village of Sainte-Mère-Église was the first ever to be liberated by Allied troops on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and it was this village and its surroundings that was the setting for an interesting story.
  • The main character of the story is an American soldier of the 82nd Airborne Division, Illinois native John Steele.
  • The night before the Allied landings, J. Steele was sent with his unit to occupied France to deploy a position radio beacon and light for the subsequent dropping of Allied troops.
  • After being hit by an aerial bomb, a fire broke out on the east side of the square of the still occupied village. German soldiers forced the locals to form a human chain to transport water and extinguish the fire. Against this backdrop, at one o'clock after midnight, airplane engines roared over the village.
  • Through a navigational error, members of the American Airborne Division parachuted right into the middle of the German-occupied village.  Slowly descending in parachutes, the soldiers became easy targets, and many paratroopers were killed or wounded before their feet could touch solid ground.
  • Private John Steele, as it would later turn out, was much luckier than his comrades.
  • Wounded by a shrapnel to the leg, J. Steele was carried to the ground in the darkness. Instead of his rehearsed landing on the ground, his parachute caught on one of the church steeples, where he became hopelessly stuck. The straps of the parachute, based over the overhang of the roof, prevented any movement. The smooth walls of the church provided no support. Cutting the straps was not an option due to the height, so the injured John did the only thing he could. While a fierce firefight raged below him, John played dead.
  • The German troops managed to temporarily push the American paratroopers to the edge of the village. After two hours, John Steele was taken down by German soldiers and captured, but that didn't last long.
  • John certainly wasn't going to stay in German captivity and escaped under dramatic circumstances that night. With a great deal of luck, he sought out the rest of his unit and, along with the 505th Ground Battalion, attacked the village, which was finally liberated by the Allied soldiers.
  • For the landing at Sainte-Mère-Église, J. Steele was awarded the Purple Heart.
  • The villagers commemorate the event every year and the Catholic church has become a destination for tourists from all over the world. The local church community has even replaced one of the windows with a religious motif with the likeness of Private J. Steele, and his statue is suspended from the church tower behind a parachute.
  • A famous film called A Day Too Long was also based on true events.


Technical parameters:

  • location: Normandy, France
  • population 2 965
  • area 57 km²
  • altitude 1-41 m 
  • date of foundation of the church 1080
  • building material solid limestone, stone, wood


From the memoirs of John Steele:

"I was very scared before the jump, but I was determined to do what I had to do. When I left the plane, the situation was really bad. My first fight over French territory was with strong winds and rain so heavy that at times I couldn't see my feet. When I think back on it again and again, I feel proud that I was able to fight for freedom and help defeat the Nazis."


Minute review - CZ version


Assembly instructions
Version (series)05/2024
Number of figurines1 pcs
Recommended age11+
Number of pieces2280 pcs
Package weight3985 g
Box dimensions45 x 35,5 x 12 cm
Dimensions after assembly63 x 31 x 41 cm
Contains luminous blocksNe
CollectionWorld War II
Compatible with other brand of kitsYes
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