This a small amount of information relating to the site… but going forwards it is going to appear on our Facebook pages other sections of this website.
Please check out these areas as they will contain the bulk of new historical research as we post it.
Meanwhile…. For 70 years it was assumed that the Rangers orders were pretty clear, indeed “everyone knows” they were to do the following:-
They were to divide into two different units.
1. One unit would go and attack the gun battery at Pointe du Hoc.
2. The other unit would land on Omaha beach (subject to not being called in to help at PdH), then advance inland – attack a couple of targets along the way, and rejoin the other Rangers at the Pointe.
3. Then together they were to block the Grandcamp-Vierville Road to stop any enemy armour advancing along it from the direction of Grandcamp, until they were relieved.
That is more or less what the accepted mission of the Rangers was on D-day and this has been written down and repeated for 70 years in tens of thousands of books… and indeed Colonel Rudders own words state this to be the case in papers and recent books written in his name.
Indeed that set of orders might have been in place in his original D-day planning, but as Maisy expanded and became a more potent and obvious threat to the landings… so the orders changed accordingly – read on.….
As we have said many times, new evidence is coming out from the Washington Archives all the time now and in a lot of instances it renders the versions reported in other books (even recently printed ones) fairly inadequate – and in other books just wrong… It shows them to be unresearched repetition copied from other sources ?
In reality many authors have written down and repeated things that they thought to be the case – or is supposition on their part… which in reality can now be proved definitively.
Lets take the Rangers orders for D-day for example. There are instant holes in the description of the “perceived” orders as described above.
If you read the Cover Up at Omaha Beach book - you will see why the blocking of the Grandcamp-Vierville road was not going to stop the Germans from counterattacking anywhere on the coast. On D-day and the days that followed all the German counterattacks went in across the fields – not along the roads. That is an obvious response that US intelligence would have spotted well in advance. So they would not logically have expected the Germans to simply drive vehicles down winding roads towards the Allies.
No German officer would or did risk sending his men along open roads in view of the Allied airpower – it would be suicide and they would be seen in seconds. The German infantry would and did, attack through fields and when possible through wooded areas and down covered lanes. (See the book for the full description of where the German units counter-attacked Pointe du Hoc from, at what times and from where).
Next – the actual orders.
I am in the process of writing another book which will cover the Rangers period of training and their time in England, prior to D-day. This book will dovetail exactly with the Cover Up book.
As I have intimated above, to do this I have been researching from original documents and my own personal interviews with Ranger veterans. As was done with the Cover Up on Omaha Beach book, it will bring to light more period information – and more historically important documents than any other book has done so far on this subject.
To this end, rather than just repeating what everyone thinks were the Rangers mission on D-day. The original D-day orders from the US National Archives present a very interesting departure from what all other books (thus far) have said happened.
Why can I make that statement when millions of books have been written about D-day… well I have two big pieces of evidence which support that. One – I have uncovered and, for the first time in 70 years told the real story of the role played by the Maisy Batteries on D-day. Something which no other historian, writer, film maker or author has done before… despite many of these people being “experts” in their field.
Secondly, I actually went into the US Archives and found the Rangers orders for D-day – something nobody else has done it would seem … so rather than just repeating what other books have said – I got the originals.
So… here for the first time in the light of day, are the Rangers actual orders for D-day as given to Colonel Rudder.
Order No 2… The Rangers were to attack the battery at Pointe du Hoc.
Order No 3… They were to attack a newly built (or so it look on aerial photos) gun battery to the East of Pointe du Hoc. (this turned out to be empty).
Order No 4… They were to advance along the Grandcamp – St. Pierre du Mont road and report any enemy forces encountered or coming from that direction.
Order No 5… They were to advance towards Grandcamp across the flooded area to the East of the town
Order No 6… They were to report on any enemy activity in Grandcamp. (by entering the town) and then attack the gun Batteries (plural) in Maisy. Then they were to monitor any German troop movements along the Grandcamp-Isigny road.
So there you have it.. for the first time – you can see which books are copying what they thought happened, and which books actually show these orders for real in full. The actual answer to this is that no book so far – in the last 70 years has got this right.
Why? Well they didnt have the evidence which is now available and this is a real historical game changer. What we all thought happened is not the case… and yet we have encountered so much resistance to the idea that Maisy was significant on D-day… !
The most historically interesting order here was the order to attack the Maisy Batteries (Order no 6).
Obviously, there is more paperwork now available than just the above orders and these will become part of the next book.
Remember, in all the interviews with Ranger veterans, none of them have ever said they were told about Maisy in advance of the assault. All the attention was given to Pointe du Hoc – which as we know now, this proved to be the wrong decision on the day.
Had Maisy been attacked instead of Pointe du Hoc then the deaths in the Omaha approaches, on the beach and on land could have been reduced significantly. (just see some of the unit After Action Reports on our website blog (www.maisybattery.com). If that still sounds outlandish – then just read the Cover Up at Omaha Beach book – the evidence is in there in full.
But for now… consider these points.
Someone ordered the US Engineers to bury the Maisy site after the battle. Why?
Rest assured there is a ton of more interesting documents that we can share with you in the future. This is the tip of a historical iceberg.
To quote a recent interview with a US news reporter… ”this is an unbelievable story, it needs to be told, not only does it correct history – but it would make a real blockbuster of a film – on a scale not seen since Saving Private Ryan… and it is a true story”…
Recently we have been bombarded questions from Americans since the release of the D-day programmes covering the Maisy battle … they are all asking “could the guns at Maisy really hit Omaha Beach” and how was this battle covered up.
Could the site hit the beach… the very simple answer is yes.
There was a group of 4 x 150mm German Krupps Cannons positioned at Target No 16A and their range was approximately 1.5 miles beyond Vierville and right along the Omaha Beach. Thus one of the 3 x Maisy Batteries was well and truly capable of firing on the beach during the landings. So that ends all speculation on that question.
Their range is marked on all the July 1944 (post battle) intelligence maps which were Top Secret for 60 years – and they have only recently been released in Washington. These papers and many more have come out – well after many people have written their books on D-day. So these papers fill an important gap in our knowledge of Omaha Beach and D-day.
How many books do you have which say “The guns at Pointe du Hoc were removed a few days before D-day”… or they say “A German officer decided to remove his guns before D-day to protect them” – or the common one … “The guns were removed from Pointe du Hoc after the bombings of April to protect them”… all of which are wrong.
There are lots of fantastic books covering the Rangers in Normandy… but if those books do not cover the assault on the Maisy Batteries then they are lacking the full story. Until they are updated – they will remain out of touch with their readers desire to read the full story.
The common argument we also hear is that Maisy could not fire on the beaches… and often these comments come from academics who have written books and are playing catch up … the story is always the same… their book does not include any mention of Maisy at all – but they are happy to tell us that we are wrong and Maisy was not operational – or had duff guns etc. In other words – they are making excuses to keep their books relevant to new readers.
We often here that they are still “not sure about the role of Maisy on D-day” – you can take that as meaning that these authors don’t have a clue and are struggling to justify why all the evidence about Maisy was there and they missed it.
So here is the challenge… we all know Maisy exists, we know the Rangers took the site on the 9th of June 1944 and we have a vast history of the place available now. Go and look at all the D-day or Rangers books you have – written by the best authors in the business and by authors you trust and like… and see if you can find any mention of Maisy.
If they do not mention Maisy then you can simply work out that it is quite possible that the information contained in those books about Pointe du Hoc – the Rangers and the D-day landings also might not be as up-to-date as you the reader would like.
Over time more and more evidence has come out of the US Archives and the “old” books have stayed still with their old ideas.
For example we are always being told by visitors that the guns at Pointe du Hoc were “removed a few days before D-day”… which is proved to be nonsense. But how many books do you have that say that ?
We are also coming under fire from US authors who suggest that Maisy is a “myth” and was not important. Or that the site is being over promoted to sell books… if you believe that is the case then why is there all this fuss about an insignificant site or the book ? Ask yourself are these people are protesting too much ?
So we are used to the controversy the finding of the site has caused. But in a way that is good because it has drawn attention of the activities of the Rangers in Normandy.
It is not really about proving the role of Pointe du Hoc – or the causes of the deaths on Omaha Beach… whilst important as they are, in the history of the landings. It is about adding another battle to the history of the US Army Rangers and letting people know more of what those men went through.
Even after the hardships and bravery of Pointe du Hoc and the terror of Omaha Beach – these men still had another large obstacle on the Atlantic Wall to beat. The reason we have told this story is so that the memory of these men can live on beyond their years.