After Dad and I had finished our look around the Pegasus Bridge Museum we headed east a few miles to the Merville Battery, our final visit before driving to Le Harve and catching the overnight ferry back to Portsmouth.
The battery is quite low key and somehow more sober as a result which is fitting given the bloody events of the early morning of 6th June 1944.. The four bunkers, housing 100mm guns originally, are spread out in a managed grassed area with only a Dakota and a couple of British artillery pieces standing over them. The some of the bunkers are open and have display boards or in one case a rather oversold audio/ visual display.
A Dakota was brought to the site and restored. The Paras would have been carried in aircraft such as these on the night of D Day.
You can always recognise the classic lines of a Dakota. The inside of the aircraft was open to the public.
The front of one of the casemates.
Information boards spread out around the site tell its story as you move around.
The rear of the casemate showing the door through which the gun could be removed and put into an open emplacement.
The now ubiquitous 5.5″ howitzer.
A 25pdr field gun.
Memorial to Lt. Col. Otway. OC of the assault.
One of the reasons that the 150 attacking paras suffered 50% casualties in the assault. The 150 were all that could be mustered from the 750 that had been dropped that night.
Hey, this post is pretty cool!
Cool photos too.
I’ve been writing about my experience in France too lately.
Check it out : thetravellothoner.wordpress.com
Thanks. I’m saving up for my next trip back to France already. Can’t wait to go exploring again.
When I’ve visited war memorials etc I always feel the heaviness of what the soldiers went through. I imagine you felt the same here. I think it’s important we visit such sites and have such feelings. Good post mate.
Couldn’t agree more with you. The sites have an atmosphere that weighs on you and it is a good thing that they do.
I’ve been to Normandy and the surrounding area many times but not been to several of the sites you have. I will refer to your articles next time I go, a great reference point.
Thanks- I’m glad you found it useful. There is so much to see there it would take many trips to see it all.