There were five landing sites for the allied troupes on D-Day, Tuesday June 6, 1944. The Normandy Beach landing sites were Tanks, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach. The German army fortified area at Pointe du Hoc was the highest point between the American sector landings at Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east and was the target of the US Rangers. They scaled the cliff using ropes, ladders, and grapples while under heavy enemy fire.
Through many causalities, they made it to the top, won the battle but found that the large guns that they were capturing had previously been moved.
Only 90 of the 225 survived the climb and the heavy fire to the beaches continued , being fired from elsewhere. Three days later the Rangers would make it to Maisy Battery 1.5 miles inland. Built in secrecy by the German Wehrmacht (the United Armed Forces of Nazi Germany) it consisted of three batteries,
Les Perruques, La Martiniere and Foucher Farm. The latter, Fouchers’ Farm was destroyed by naval shelling from the USS Shubrick (DD-639 a Gleaves-class destroyer, the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral William B. Shubrick) on 7 June 1944.
The other two sites remained operational until they were assaulted by the US 2nd Rangers and the US 5th Rangers on the 9th of June, 1944. There was a 5 hour battle… smoke, bullets and explosions and devastation everywhere.
Rangers were wounded but their bravery and the mission they undertook had never been discussed before – until the site was re-opened. After the battle, the site was completely buried only now to be found by accident.
Gary Sterne, a British military historian, found Maisy Battery after locating a hand drawn map in a US Army veteran’s uniform he had purchased. The map of the area had an area marked as “Area of high resistance” which he had excavated and found all the bunkers and gun positions.
It is now open for the public to explore near Grandcamp-Maisy, Normandy, France. Uncovered in 2006 many Veteran World War II Rangers have visited the site and told their stories for the first time.