Merville Battery and Museum

British gun in front of german at Merville battery


Close to the coast, this German battery with four big gun emplacements, was thought to be a threat to Sword Beach. It was decided to attack this defensive position during the night before D-day by British paratroopers of the 9th Battalion under the command of Lt Col. Otway. Well protected behind barbed wire, anti-tank ditch and land mines, the battery was to be bombarded first, then attacked by a diversion, before the main assault would start at 04.30 a.m with 700 men.

But nothing really happened the way it had been planned … Nevertheless, these men went above and beyond the call of duty, with only about 150 troopers (the others had fallen too far away due to bad weather). Well preserved since, the battery is a real museum where bunkers are opened and houses several exhibits as well as a sound-and-light show and a C-47 airplane is presented.