Basse-Normandie ( Lower Normandy ) is a region of France . It was created in 1956, when the Normandy region was divided into Basse-Normandie and Haute-Normandie . The region includes three départements, Calvados, Manche and Orne. It covers 10,857 square miles, 3.2 percent of the surface area of France (Northcutt, 1996, p. 181).
The region's economy is heavily agricultural, with livestock and dairy farming, textiles and fruit production among its major industries. Iron ore is mined near Caen. Tourism is also a major industry. The region has direct ferry links to England (via the port of Cherbourg ) and the beaches of Calvados were the site of the D-Day landings in June 1944. Basse-Normandie suffered badly during World War II , with many of the region's towns and villages being destroyed during the Battle of Normandy.