Manche (mäNsh) [key], department (1990 pop. 480,900), NW France, in Normandy, on the English Channel. Manche is coextensive with the Cotentin peninsula and extends S into the Norman woods. Saint-Lô (the capital), Cherbourg, and Avranches are the chief towns, and Mont-Saint-Michel is off the coast. Manche is largely agricultural, with extensive animal breeding and raising. Although industry is secondary, there are textile, copper, tile, and food industries, and, at Cherbourg, shipbuilding. The name Manche derives from the French name for the English Channel.
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