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The Merville Battery and Museum

Listed under Forts and Fortifications in Normandy, France.

  • Photo of The Merville Battery and Museum
  • Photo of The Merville Battery and Museum
  • Photo of The Merville Battery and Museum
Photo of The Merville Battery and Museum
Photo by flickr user charlo.be
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In June 1944, Merville-Francville was the marker at the edge of the beaches planned for the Normandy invasion, and the German gun fortress there posed a problem for the Allies in that it had the range to hamper the forces as they attempted to land on the beaches, so, as well as a few bridges, this inland position became a target for the 6th Airborne Division.  Men of the 9th Battalion stormed this position in the early hours of June 6th.  The target was won, but many men were lost in the process after some glider crews landed some distance from the battery and men were dropped in flooded fields out of the drop zone and had difficulty making it to the rendezvous points.  

These days three casemates remain, one which has been turned into a museum and holds artefacts, recollections and a time line of the events that took place here. From the top of another you get the view over the channel, proving the strategic importance of this position.  Flat, groomed grass covers the flooded fields that caused so many problems.  

 

Written by  Toby Bright.

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