Category Archives: How to find us

A user guide on how to find the Maisy Battery.

RANGERS Badge

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The Rangers Diamond Badge is a Trademark of the Normandy Ranger Veterans Association.

Use of this badge without written permission may result in prosecution under European Law.

If you are in any doubt – please contact us for more details.

RANGERS Morning Reports

For many years the original Rangers Morning Reports were only available to a select few – who were capable of going into the US Archives and copying each individual page of micro-fische.

For our extensive research, we have copied ALL of the Rangers Morning Report – for each company – for each battalion, including HQ companies, Medical and special detachments.

Giving us a unique glimpse into the real history of both historic units.

Starting at the day in which each Battalion arrived in England – up to the evening of the 10th of June 1944 – these morning reports list any interesting event. They list who was in and who was out… who was reported for insubordination, who was wounded, who was Killed in Action… who was transferred and when etc.  For D-day and after there are often multiple pages covering Company casualties etc.

They are a unique day by day analysis of what the Rangers were doing and when.  Each company movement from place to place is recorded – as well as how they moved and even at what time.

We are making these available to other historians and veteran family members for their research and study.

You can ask us for the name of a Ranger – or we can provide Company Reports for an individual company – or the whole Battalion – per month or even by day… whatever your research demands.

The cost is levied to cover our administrative costs in scanning the only the reports you need and emailing them directly to you.

We charge $1 per report and will normally send them to you within a couple of days.

NOWHERE ELSE are these reports available – unless of course you pay a “researcher” thousands of dollars to find them and copy them for you.  And you may well not get the ones you really want.

We spent many weeks copying the reports one by one and then more time cleaning up the few (mainly 5th Btn) that were in poor shape.

So – what are you waiting for – ask us for whatever you need and we will try and help provide it.

Email us on   gary@maisybattery.com   and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Here are a couple of examples of what you will receive.

2nd A Company January 10th 2nd HQ March 28th & 29th II 5th HQ December 20th II

 

 

How to find us

The site is hidden inside fields to the side of the D514.

The D514 is the main road which goes from Osmanville to Grandcamp-Maisy.  As you enter Grandcamp you will see a sign for the town and we are located 200 metres after that down the road on the left.  The road has a couple of different names… Routes des Perruques on some SatNav’s – and just “Les Perruques” on others.

If you are coming to the site from the direction of Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc – then simply follow the roadsigns for Isigny-sur-Mer. Go through Grandcamp – around the roundabout and straight up the  road away from the harbour.  About 600 metres later you will go through the small village square of Maisy.  There is a Church, Tabac and a restaurant – keep going along the main road.  The site is about 400 metres away just off the same road, at the top of the hill in the direction of Isigny.  There is a road sign at the end of the road and you turn right onto a small country road.

We had put up more roadsigns – but the French authorities have changed their policy on local roadsigns – and we have had to take them back down.  However, there is a good sign at the top of the hill on the main road indicating where to turn.

Once you are on the Routes des Perruques we are about 500 metres down the lane on your left.  You will see the site cabin with flags and the car park.  But you cannot see the site – it was designed by the Germans to be hidden from the road, so you need to go into the cabin to get a site map. Then you can walk around the trenches, bunkers and tunnels at your leisure using the map.

If you have any problem locating us – then just ask someone.  Everyone knows where the site is.

Here are a couple of aerial photos to help you.

Firstly showing Grandcamp-Maisy and the main coastal road to Pointe du Hoc. The site is on the bottom left of this picture.

Maisy Road Map 3

Next photo – the local roads around the site.  Note on Google this road is called “Les Perruques.”

Maisy Road mapAnd finally.. the car park and an aerial view of the site.

 

Maisy Road map 2It really is an easy place to find.

 

 

Units in Support of the Rangers

This is the 81st Chemical Weapons unit (Heavy Mortars) – who supported the Rangers advance inland from the Beach to Maisy.  The Batteries at Maisy took their toll on the men of D Company of this unit on their approach to Pointe du Hoc.

>>>>>

Marshalling and Embarkation

After a little more than six months of intensive preparation following its arrival in the United Kingdom, the battalion was alerted on May 12, 1944, for what proved to be the greatest event in modern times the invasion of Europe.

Together with elements of the 1st Infantry Division and attachments, the battalion moved into the marshalling area near Dorchester, Dorset, on May 15, 1944. The assault group of this battalion was composed of 437 officers and men and 35 vehicles. Once in the marshalling area, it was held incommunicado from the outside world. The residual elements were moved to Bournemouth, Hants at this time, to join other residual elements of the 1st Division. Later the lead echelon was moved to Falmouth for embarkation and the initial build-up (overstrength) was moved to Tiverton for shipment so as to arrive in France and join the forward echelon on D plus 5.

The entire assault echelon was moved to Camp D-11, where it remained as a battalion until Sunday, May 28.

During this time, everyone, from the battalion commander to the private of the line, was briefed on the operation. Complete and comprehensive relief maps, recent aerial photographs, and the latest intelligence reports were used, so that every detail of terrain, location of enemy installations and underwater obstacles, etc., was learned with painstaking accuracy. Col. James gave what later proved to be his last talk to us, expressing complete confidence in our ability to live up to the words “Equal to the Task.”

On this date, the assault echelon was broken up and attached to two combat teams the 16th and 116th. Companies A and C were attached to the 16th CT, made up of the 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division and attached units; B and D Companies to the 116th CT, made up of the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Division plus attachments; and battalion headquarters to the 1st Division Headquarters. Company A then moved to Camp D4 and D8, B to D1, C to D10, D to D1, and battalion headquarters to D5.

Beginning on June 1 and continuing through June 2, the entire assault echelon was moved to Weymouth harbor where it embarked on various craft, including APAs, an LSI, and LSTs. Company A was assigned to the SS Henrico, an APA; B Company to a British APA, the Empire Javelin; C Company to the Empire Anvil, a British LSI; D Company to the USS Charles Carrol; and Headquarters Company to the LST 83. The rear echelons of the various companies embarked at a later date in two Liberty ships, the Lucille Stone and Louis Kossuth. After leaving the marshaling areas, the battalion commander had no further contact with any of his companies until the lading on bloody Omaha Beach on D-Day. In all, the assault groups spent 96 hours on the choppy waters of the Channel.

After the assault groups had embarked, it was announced that D-Day would be June 5, but later an announcement was flashed that D-Day had been postponed 24 hours due to bad weather off the coast of Normandy. H-Hour was to be at 0630 hours, June 6, 1944. It was later learned that it had to be then or be postponed at least a month. What a decision to rest on the shoulders of one man! Yet a more capable man than our Supreme Commander, General “Ike”, would be difficult to find.

On the afternoon of June 5, one by one the craft slipped out from Weymouth harbor to assemble with similar groups somewhere in the Channel. The immensity of this mighty invasion fleet was awe-inspiring to everyone who participated in General Badley’s “greatest show on earth.” Here was the armed might of the “decadent democracies” spread out as far as the eye could see. The dry runs were over; this was the record shoot, testing whether a free people could hope to meet and vanquish the regimented power of a brutal dictatorship. It was truly to be a “battle of the giants.”

Invasion and the Beachhead

Just before dawn on June 6, as the armada approached the coast of Normandy, bright, lightning-like flashes could be seen illuminating the whole horizon. The arrival of the mightiest convoy that man had ever assembled for a single operation was heralded by a thunderous rumble directly to the front. This was the initial air and sea bombardment laid down on Omaha Beach early that day in an effort to neutralize or soften up the enemy’s prepared positions. Despite the immensity of this preparation and the gigantic losses inflicted on the enemy, the fighting forces were to learn soon enough that they would yet have to pay heavily to gain that little strip of France.

Approximately 15 miles from shore the larger craft hove to, and at 0430 all companies transferred their men and mortars to LCVPs. As the men clambered down the cargo nets in the murky, false dawn, the Navy wished them Godspeed, and the craft shoved off from the mother ships into a choppy sea for the rendezvous areas several hundred yards offshore. Here they circled, endlessly it seemed, causing the boat teams to be wet to the skin and, in many cases, violently seasick. All during this time the promised air support passed overhead, wave after wave, and faces lifted to see it were filled with gratitude.

Battleships and cruisers fired salvos into the Nazi defenses, destroyers steamed offshore battling 88s emplaced solidly in the bluff, while smaller vessels sprayed the beach defenses with rockets.

Finally, the craft straightened out into waves and headed for Omaha Beach with all the speed and power they could muster. All the companies were in either the fourth or fifth wave of the assault echelon. Soon empty LCVPs passed, returning to the APA. Seeing the empty craft relieved the strain a bit, for then it was known that the first wave had managed at least to disembark. The din of the battle came closer and closer, and to the sides and rear could be seen spouts of water where enemy shells were landing. Looking through the slit in the ramp one could see the smoke, wreckage, and carnage of the beach rapidly coming closer. The staccato rattling was soon recognized as machine gun bullets impacting as the craft threaded their way through the various lanes cleared by the shore engineers, but which were often lined with underwater obstacles and mines. Finally, with a last surge of power and a lurch that sent the unprepared hitting against the bulwarks, the craft grounded, and the ramps flew down spilling men, guns, and equipment on to the hell that was the shore of France. Many say now that it was a good thing most were “green” troops, for many a veteran “froze” that day. The constant drilling at the ATC resulted in doing automatically what was supposed to be done, without stopping to think of what was being faced. Heavy seas and the fact that some craft hung up on underwater obstacles made it impossible to make a dry landing.

The companies landed in the following order:

Companies A & D: H plus 50 minutes
Company B: H plus 90 minutes
Company C: H plus 9 hours

The LCT of the forward battalion command group was heavily shelled as it approached the shore. Enemy artillery pierced the starboard side of the craft amidship, killing T/Sgt. Cook of Headquarters Detachment and seriously wounding Col. James. The engine room was flooded and the rudder hit, leaving the craft with its dead and wounded adrift and floating out to sea. Aided by the current, the boat drifted toward shore and finally at about 1030 hours, beached itself under the protection of a steep cliff, where, under covering fire from the craft, the wounded were transferred to shore. Col. James was evacuated to England later that day in a hospital ship. Major Johnson (then Captain), being the senior officer ashore, took command of the assault echelon until the rear echelon arrived.

Company A, in support of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Division, landed at Easy Red Beach. Several mortars and carts were carried away by the heavy seas. After a hard struggle, the equipment was rescued and the company remained on the beach the entire morning, subjected to devastating machine gun fire which made it impossible to move. The company commander, Captain Moundres, was severely wounded while making his way through the surf to the beach. First Lt James P. Panas, who had already rescued a wounded doughboy from the water, ran back across the beach and, under heavy enemy machine gun, artillery and mortar fire, carried his wounded company commander ashore. Captain Moundres died as a result of his wounds, so Lt Panas, being now the senior officer, took command of the company, reorganized the platoons, and got them safely off the beach into firing positions along the slope of the bluff. For his leadership and gallantry in action, Lt Panas was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The only enlisted man lost by A Company on the beach was Pvt George Baumgartner who was killed when an enemy artillery shell exploded near him. Pvt Kidwell distinguished himself by retrieving several men being carried away by the rising water, giving them first aid in complete disregard for his personal safety, and in spite of a wound he himself had suffered. Kidwell was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his gallantry and self-sacrifice.

After the infantry had broken through the beach defenses, the platoons took up positions by a tank trap in a field about 500 yards in from the beach. The enemy had direct observation on these positions and subjected the company to a severe shelling.

B Company’s mission was to land on Dog Green Beach and provide direct support for the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry. Because the water obstacles had not been cleared and the beach was under heavy mortar, small arms, and artillery fire, the control boat ordered the wave to land instead on Easy Green, the left flank of Omaha Beach. As the boats were running along parallel to the beach, about 1,000 yards offshore, two of the LCVPs were hit and disabled by artillery. Despite an extremely heavy sea and the continual harassing fire from enemy machine guns and other direct-fire weapons, all personnel and equipment were safely transferred to an empty LCT. At approximately 0930 hours the entire wave was safely beached. Here the company was reorganized and moved inland about 100 yards.

At this time only a small section of the beach was held by American troops, and enemy fire was still inflicting heavy casualties. It was not until late in the afternoon that part of the company was able to move to a bluff overlooking the beach and fire its first mission. The first round was fired by Sgt Florio’s squad at 1700 hours at a machine gun nest in the woods near St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Later in the evening it was found that nine men and two officers were missing; otherwise the company was intact. It was larned later that Lt Walton, Cpl Grob, and Pvt Skaleski died of wounds received on the beach.

In order to accomplish its mission, the company was forced to advance through one of the uncleared mine fields found everywhere about the beach. During this move, PFC Rone was injured by an anti-personnel mine and later died.

The wave containing C Company’s LCVPs bore in towards the beach on schedule, but since the infantry was still pinned down within a few yards of water, the control boat moved them back to sea where they rendezvoused. Another attempt was made at 1000 hours, and still another at 1200 hours, the latter being met by machine gun fire as it reached the beach. As a last measure the wave moved down the beach to the mortar fire. The platoons, separately attached to battalions of the 16th Infantry, 1st Division, moved along the beach to their sector and initially set up 200 yards inland. Mines and sniper fire were ever-present dangers and again the medics distinguished themselves when Sgt Linnea Freda worked for hours treating and evacuating wounded with complete disregard for his own safety. He was later awarded the Silver Star.

At 0720, D Company’s craft beached on Easy Green in support of the 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry, under an incessant hail of machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire. Of necessity the boat teams were landed in water up to their waists, and the precaution that had been taken to attach inflated life belts to the carts proved a wise one. Machine gun bullets ripped into the belts on several of the carts, however, deflating them and causing the carts to sink. Sgt Raymond Nicoli, T/R Felice Savino, Pvt McLaren, and Pvt Benton L. Porter were wounded while rescuing this equipment and refused medical aid until this was accomplished. These men were justly awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for their bravery. The preceding wave of infantry was lying only a few yards from the water, pinned down by the fire raking the beach. Lt Mohrfeld, platoon leader, 2nd platoon, was hit within a few minutes by machine gun fire and died shortly thereafter. Lt Costello assumed command of the platoon and, knowing that too much longer on the beach was certain death, reorganized the squads and infiltrated them off the beach amidst the heavy fire impacting there. Lt Costello later received the Silver Star for his gallantry. Captain Gaffney, company commander, was instantly killed when the craft in which he was riding struck a mine. Lt Marshall, platoon leader, 1st platoon, took over command. The bravery of the medics in taking care of the wounded under fire was again proven by T/5s White and Marrin.

Number four mortar of the 1st platoon, Sgt Miller’s squad, fired two rounds of HE, from the initial landing place, at a machine gun emplacement 500 yards away. Lt Sabbione directed the fire from the mortar position. Although the target was at too close a range to hit, it is believed that these were the first rounds the battalion fired on the continent of Europe.

C Company changed positions three times after the initial landing on Easy Green. One of these movements involved a hand-carry of all equipment across a waist-deep, muddy marsh under fire. At 2200 hours the company moved northwest along a sea wall 800 yards inland through les Moulins to St. Laurent-sur-Mer, arriving at 2400 hours. Here the company dug in for the night and concealed its equipment.

All the assault vehicles of A Company were landed safely later that day, and those of C and D Companies were also landed with the loss of only one jeep apiece. B Company was unfortunate enough to have one of the vehicle personnel killed and two others and an officer wounded. Only one B Company jeep was landed, although another was later salvaged; all other vehicles were lost.

The next day A Company passed through Colleville-sur-Mer and made slow but certain gains, supporting the infantry whenever called upon. On D plus 3 the company was detached from the 16th Infantry, 1st Division, and attached to the 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2nd Division.

The nights were still cold, strange, and restless; the tension was felt by everyone. The sight of new units passing on the road gave everyone a sense of exhilaration.

The trek inland was slow and exhausting. C Company moved through Colleville-sur-Mer and St. Honorine des Pertes, still supporting the 1st Division. This company fired its first rounds on D plus 2 at enemy positions near Fosser Sancy. On D plus 3 the attachment was changed to the 2nd Division. At this time, Lt Robert Mann and his platoon accomplished a magnificent feat. Under enemy observation and sniper fire, Lt Mann led his platoon down a steep hill, over an open field, and across a creek, in order to furnish the infantry with the close support it so badly needed. It was necessary to wade the creek and hand-carry all equipment. The doughs were so happy to have the 4.2s that they lent a helping hand and later saw that the platoon was supplied with rations.

On June 9, B Company, seriously handicapped by the loss of its vehicles, acquired two 6 x 6 trucks from the field artillery. The acquisition of these vehicles solved the immediate transportation difficulties. At the time, B Company was supporting the 5th Ranger Battalion in an attack to clear out the coast fortifications. 

On the morning of June 7, D Company fired its second mission near St. Laurent-sur-Mer at a machine gun nest only 800 yards from the gun position. A concentration of HE completely neutralized the installation. The company then moved northwest, cross-country over difficult terrain, subject to intermittent sniper and machine gun fire, and arrived at Vierville-sur-Mer at 1600 hours, where the commanding officer of the 116th Infantry, 29th Division, assigned it the task of providing security fire.

It was here that the company was subjected to one of the heaviest shellings it ever experienced. Several batteries of enemy 150mm artillery, firing from the vicinity of Pointe du Hoc, pounded the center of town and the road leading to the beach. Heavy casualties were inflicted on the regimental OP group and on a field artillery battalion coming from the beach. An ammunition dump was blown up, scattering small arms ammunition in all directions. This action caused a withdrawal for the time along the highway.

At 0530 hours, on June 8, D Company aided in the bloody attack on Grand Champs les Bains and was credited with another enemy machine gun nest. On June 9 the company was relieved from attachment to the 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry, 29th Division, and attached to the 175th Infantry, 29th Division, making a long road march to join this latter organization at la Fotelaie, beyond Isigny.

In clearing the enemy from the beachhead, the companies expended a total of 6,807 rounds of ammunition. Casualties for this period were 11 killed (five officers and six enlisted men), 25 wounded, and one captured.

Studying the Pointe du Hoc Maps etc.

One of the biggest WWII mysteries is the fate of the missing guns at Pointe du Hoc… or so authors and historians would have you believe.

But now Maisy is known to exist… it puts all previous works to one side. They are incomplete and in most cases – they have based their theories and statements on what they knew about. Now that is all changed.

So – here is a little more meat on the bone of the Pointe du Hoc “missing guns mystery”.

The one overriding question which has always remained was why was nobody briefed to attack Maisy on D-day… and why did the battery at Pointe du Hoc have no guns – yet it was attacked in such a spectacular way.

The Washington US National Archives have recently released 2,700 new documents relating to D-day and perhaps now the mystery comes a little closer to being explained.

Visitors to Maisy cannot understand why such a huge site had remained undiscovered for 63 years and there are / were a number of factors to that.

Firstly, the Top Secrecy act which restricts the outflow of sensitive information for 60 years, had stopped D-day information being fully available. Therefore books on the subject of the invasion had to be written from veterans testimonies and period accounts to fill their pages. Much of the secret information could not be included, because it was not known to exist. This was the case with a lot of Maisy related information. The Naval shelling reports, the RAF and other airforces bombing missions to Maisy – as well as the Allied Intelligence maps and documents were included in the Secrecy Act.

In a sense I was fortunate that the site was found and dug up in the years surrounding the first batch of papers being released. There was a lot of debate with historians at the time, some of whom suggested that there was nothing there, no battle took place, it was insignificant etc. etc….beforehand – but once the papers came out and they saw the size of the place, it was obvious to all that Maisy was the battery protecting the western end of Omaha beach and the southern end of Utah Beach.

We were fortunate enough to meet some of the surviving Ranger veterans and their own stories came out, that told more of the story. But at the beginning of this process – probably the biggest mystery surrounding the Maisy Batteries (plural) – was one of their actual role on the 6th of June 1944. And the fact that all of the surviving Rangers did not know about Maisy in advance. Before being ordered to attack the site on the morning of the 9th of June.

If you look at the Pointe du Hoc battery, the men of the 2nd and 5th Rangers trained to attack the cliff top site for many months before D-day. It was to be the equivalent of the British Merville Battery or Pegasus Bridge Raids. All pre-dawn attacks to stop the positions remaining operational or used during the invasion.

Pointe du Hoc was considered to be – as Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower said “the most important target in the whole invasion area”… so you would think that the intelligence information available at the time, which we can see now – would agree with that statement.

But 70 years later, with the release of more wartime papers the suggestion that Pointe du Hoc was a threat is looking more and more questionable.

The Pointe du Hoc site was certainly a big obstacle prior to its guns being moved away, but to suggest now that it was a threat on D-day is a real stretch given the new evidence…. unless of course the Rangers were sent to attack the observation post ?

So lets go back to the time. Anyone who watches the History Channel often enough will be familiar with the clips of Fieldmarshall Rommel walking around Pointe du Hoc with his generals prior to D-day, and you can see the camera pan its way around the area – showing the large 155mm French guns installed. No question they are there in February 1944.

However, a little while later when the cameras had been switched, the guns were ordered to be removed and casements – (bombproof blockhouses for 10.5cm guns) – were ordered to be built on the same site. That is the part of history which has had historians and authors puzzled over the years.   Indeed before Maisy was known to exist (for over 63 years) the site at Pointe du Hoc was logically thought – no, it was KNOWN – to have had big guns there….if it didn’t, then the Germans would have left a 20 mile long gap in their coastal defences… which would be inconceivable… and would make no sense to any author writing the history of D-day.

So the guns must be “around the area” somewhere – if they were missing on the day… which accounts for why in all the books written until recently, you will see that they say things like this….

1 • ”Pointe du Hoc’s guns were moved a few days before D-day to protect them”… or they say

2 • “the officer commanding Pointe du Hoc ordered his guns to be moved to protect them from bombing”

 

or the

3 • “German high command told them to move the guns because they were being bombed” etc. etc.

 

The list goes on and on with varying excuses – but not one of these suggested situations is actually correct.

 

 

The guns as we know, had already been moved prior to D-day to facilitate the building of a different type of weapons platform.

So what about those other arguments as to where the guns went…

To answer No 1..… we know that the guns were moved some months before D-day. Or the casements could not have been built on top of the emplacements the guns previously occupied.

No 2… There was no officer who ordered the removal of his guns to the rear.  Otherwise the high command would have strung him up on D-day for not manning his post and getting his guns operational. Also there is radio traffic for Longues sur Mer, Maisy and Crisbecq batteries on D-day – but nothing from the German HQ in St. Lo asking Pointe du Hoc’s gunner what was happening with their guns, what were they firing at etc. The reason.. they knew there were no operational guns there – and if there were – they would have been asking for them to fire at the invasion fleet and wanting answers.

No 3… There are no records in the German army orders or radio traffic that can be found ordering the removal of the PdH guns in the days prior to D-day – so it must have been done verbally some time before – one assumes by Rommel himself after his very public visit.

So all of these statements are basically untrue and just supposition by the writers at the time and still appear in many books today… but it was the world in which I too grew up with – and that was what was said in the books I was reading – if it had been said and not challenged before – then it must be true.

If I was to prove Maisy had a role in D-day in the early days, I had to seek a connection between the invasion and the operational use of Maisy – only 1 and half miles to the west of Pointe du Hoc.

As we know 7 years after it was first re-discovered Maisy was operational, it was attacked by the Rangers and did fire at the invasion fleet and beaches for 3 days… but lets start with the newly released evidence and firstly the intelligence maps. Here is a section of GSGS British Intelligence Map dated February 1944. At which time – correctly – Pointe du Hoc is marked as having 6 guns. (see the symbol and number above the battery).

GSGS-Pdh-Feb44

Below the GSGS Inteligence map for May 1944 – once again intelligence had been gathered by Aerial reconnaissance and from the French resistance. You will notice that on this map the gun numbers are marked as 4 guns U/C – (Under Construction). So this clearly shows that the 6 guns were known to have been removed by then and the 4 new casements for guns were being built. Which easily explains why there were no guns at PdH on D-day.  This was known about well before D-day as this map is dated May 1944… it was in the intelligence briefings from then on that the guns had been removed.

PdH 4 guns close up

So we can say without a shadow of a doubt the guns were known to have been removed. There are now not 6 individual guns marked on this map – but 4.

The fact that the four casements are marked as “under construction” ties in with the intelligence information available from other sources. In 1944 the mayor of Grandcamp was a man called Jean Marion. He was also the head of the resistance in the area. In a 1953 interview with writer Cornelius Ryan (The Longest Day) he stated that ‘The mystery of the Pointe du Hoc guns is this. They had never been mounted. Guns were immobile; had never been installed.’ In fact, this is information Marion also reported to London by radio on two occasions before D-Day.

This is borne out by the site at Pointe du Hoc today when you go. Take a look at the two casements near completion – but note they have not yet been fitted with the mounting rings for the deck mounted guns. And the other two casements – which would have made 4 in total – have not yet been built – only their foundations have been started.  There are two unfinished gun positions and two just started – exactly as the intelligence maps suggest.

Below…it shows 4 guns… under-construction – NOT 6 as is always reported.  The box around the letter H indicates that they are casements. Not gun pits.  The single guns have been removed from these intelligence maps – because these weapons were not there. The intelligence people have it 100% correct.

And, this is the thing which ALL books and internet sites get wrong. As Pointe du Hoc was EMPTY on D-day. Nobody can say it was a battery of 6 x 155mm guns – but bizarrely all books do ?  Why we have to ask. Well, simply because they repeat the mistakes of others.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 11.16.52

Next any study on the ground at Pointe du Hoc will confirm that the guns were not on the pits.  This photograph above, clearly shows one of the gun pits which is half buried under the unfinished casement. (note the outer concrete ring of the old gun pit).

As the casement took some months to build – then it is certain that no gun was operational on this pit anywhere near D-day – there would not have been room to have it there…. and it was certainly not just removed a “few days before D-day.”  You can see the gun pit running under the casement – again a common and very obvious mistake in most books.

Below a photograph taken of a US serviceman standing next to a pile of logs – used in an attempt to try and make the Allies think the guns were still on the remaining pits. But we know from the intelligence briefings and the intelligence GSGS maps - that they had dismissed these as being fake. Indeed they don’t even warrant a mention on the intelligence maps.

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Any many other authors have suggested  “the Allies had to attack the site because they didn’t know for sure”… thats just incorrect.  The Allies knew perfectly well the gun pits at PdH were empty – remember they had the French resistance telling them this regularly – and they could fly over and see for themselves that the pits were empty or built over. And thats what they put on their maps for the men who were going to attack the place.

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Inside of the casements… they are not finished nor yet fitted for the deck mounted guns.

 

If you study the gun pits…

One pit was completely destroyed by an air raid prior to D-day which left 5 pits operational.

Another as we have seen was being built over – which leaves 4 pits which could have been operational before D-day…

One of those remaining pits has the foundations of another casement started on top of it…leaving 3 pits which could have been operational…

Then you study the remaining 3 pits and one has a casement being built right in front of it – which restricts its field of fire…  thus leaving only two possible pits for the guns to have been positioned upon.    So were the Rangers sent to attack 2 guns which “might have been in open pits” – they were not obviously.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.34.42

Pointe du Hoc was not an operational gun battery on d-day and it had not been so for some time. The Allied Intelligence maps and briefings state clearly that it was a site under construction and therefore we have to question why the battery was targeted at all… and more to the point, why was Maisy not a target ?

In future posts – I will expand on this and produce the evidence to show who did know about Maisy and perhaps why they didn’t want it known about.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.35.13All photographs and information are © Maisy Battery and may not be reproduced or quoted without written consent.