The Maisy battery is located near Pointe du Hoc at a place called Les Perruques southwest
of the town Maisy. The site was buried after the war beneath a metre of top soil
and was uncovered again in 2006. The battery was a major complex during the war and
it was the headquarters for the coastal defence of Omaha Beach. The battery was built
in 1942 and was, besides its usual personnel, guarded by infantry of the 352nd and
716th Infantry Divisions. A Flak battalion commanded by Colonel Kistowski arrived
in early June, 1944 to help to defend it.
The Maisy battery was equipped with heavy field artillery which included four 105
mm guns, six 155mm howitzers, a Russian howitzer, two 50mm anti-tank cannons, two
Renault tank turret tops mounted onto casements and many machineguns and mortars.
Along with a fake wooden battery in the field next door the Maisy battery was guarded
by twelve 88mm Flak guns. The nearby Pointe du Hoc had tree 20mm anti-aircraft guns
guarding the Maisy battery’s position.
Because of the range of the battery’s heavy guns it presented a major threat to the
American troops that had to land on the Utah and Omaha Beach sector. It was therefore
bombed during the night of June 5th and 6th by over a hundred bombers dropping nearly
600 tonnes of bombs. Even so, it was still able to open fire. The Maisy battery kept
on firing for tree days on Omaha and Utah beach despite being bombed, shelled and
The Germans had designed and build the battery on the reverse slope of the fields
at Les Perruques. This protected the whole site and helped its long survival because
the Allied ships could not fire directly at the site. The battery’s guns were eventually
silenced by the guns of the British cruiser Hawkins and the site itself was captured
on the morning of June the 9th by US rangers of 2nd and 5th Rangers. The attack on
the complex lasted all morning until the Germans eventually surrendered.
Today you can walk through 2 and a half miles of original German trenches and enter
bunkers and shelters which have been cleaned out and lit up to allow you to see how
the Germans lived during the war. At the entrance you are provided with an electronic
guide, a site map and big flashlite. Go into the dark passages and bunkers where
once the rangers had to blow the doors to get inside. Stand inside the German machine
gun tobruks as the defenders did an stand beside ore walk around one of the sites
tree preserved German 105mm Howitzers.