Musée de la batterie de Merville / Merville Battery Museum - SPOT044

Merville Battery Museum

Place du 9e Bataillon, Merville-Franceville, France
Keywords for this place of interest
Fighting Liberation
Liberation Route Europe

Merville Battery Museum

Just after midnight on 6 June 1944 a battalion of the 6th British Airborne Division was deployed to destroy the cannon of the German battery in Merville before they could harm the Allied forces landing on Sword Beach. The Franco-British museum located inside the battery highlights the merciless battle fought by the paratroopers.

On D-Day, one of the missions of the 6th British Airborne Division was to destroy the German gun battery located in Merville. Indeed, the Allied intelligence services saw these four strongholds, located a few miles inland and armed with heavy guns, as a clear danger to the progress of Allied forces on Sword Beach.

Lieutenant-colonel Terence Otway and his 9th Parachute Battalion were to carry out this daring and difficult mission. Indeed, the 9th Battalion would have to attack the four strongholds in an area surrounded with barbed wire, strewn with land mines and machine gun nests.

The attack knew many setbacks. The 750 paratroopers were dispersed and only 150 of them could gather up. They had to do nearly without their assault equipments. But, the assault was launched all the same. After half an hour of fierce fighting, the battery was taken. Nearly half of the British paratroopers were killed or wounded. Of the 130 German soldiers belonging to the 1716th Artillery Regiment, only one quarter survived. Once the strongholds were taken, it became clear that the intelligence services had overestimated the caliber of the cannon.

A Franco-British partnership resulted in the opening of the Merville museum in 1983. The museum is located on the very spot where the battle took place. One of the four strongholds shelters a 100 mm field howitzer identical to the one deployed in 1944. Inside the museum area, visitors can also admire a Dakota plane involved in the airborne assaults on 6 June 1944.

Tourist information

For your information the duration of the visit is about 1.30 hour.
Guided visits: only on demand and subject to the availability of volunteers.
Coach parking, handicapped access, WC.

Opening hours 15 February – 31 March: every days from 10:00 to 17:00 1 April – 30 September: every day from 09:30 to 18:30 1 October – 16 November: every day from 10:00 to 17:00 Museum opening during the winter on booking

Pricing Adults : 6.00 € (with Normandy Pass: 5.00 €) Children from 6 to 16 years : 3.50 € Children – 6 years : free Groups (starting from 10 people) Adults: 4.50 € School: 3.00 € Free for all coaches, guides and drivers.

Media gallery

Merville Battery Museum

On D-Day, one of the missions of the 6th British Airborne Division was to destroy the German gun battery located in Merville. Indeed, the Allied intelligence...

Place du 9e Bataillon, Merville-Franceville, France +33 (0)2.31.91.47.53 http://www.batterie-merville.com

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