"The Maisy Battery" Maisy by ranger49

Maisy Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 23 photos

Modern Dig Uncovers WW2 History.

The village of Maisy is now part of Grandcamp-Maisy and until a few years ago did not appear to have played any significant part in the history of WW2.

Having said that I should say that ALL the inhabitants of occupied France were required to be players in the history of those dark years.

Some time ago we read of the discovery, by an Englishman, of a large Battery at Maisy and his efforts to unearth it, literally, so as to reveal the important part it played in the D-Day Landings and liberation of France.

Gary Sterne, a keen student of WW2, amateur historian, collector of WW2 memorabilia chanced upon a puchase for his collection that included a US serviceman's map.
He quickly realised its importance and began on a long term project to reveal and restore the Battery so that it could be take its place alongside all the other German installations which made up Th Atlantic Wall.

After engaging in a local battle with officialdom, planning and general bureaucracy Gary Sterne was able to open one third of the total site to the public in April 2007.

Gary Sterne has published articles about the work he has already carried out in The Armourer a Militaria Magazine, www.armourer.co.uk

Below is an extract from "The Uncovering of Battery Maisy" Part 1, by Gary Sterne.
Published in The Armourer, Issue No 74, March/April 2006.

"Known to the Germans as WN 83 & 84 , the Gun Battery and Coastal Artillery HQ for the 716th Infantry Division at Maisy had remained completely buried for the last 60 years . Many parts of the site were under more than a metre of soil, others only a thin layer, while the dense hegerows helped to obliterate almost all signs.

Built in 1942/3 the site has four main gun platfoms made of concrete and another two open emplacements in the fields.These, along with the support buildings, bunkers, tunnels and even an underground hospital are all now uncovered and have an interesting story to tell.
It is worth noting that the Germans normally built everything along the Atlantic Wall to a precise specification and style - this is where the Maisy Battery differs from almost all other complexes as it does not conform!

For example. as can be seen from the two gun platforms here, they are not the same. In fact all the platforms differ from each other which could indicate that they were made at different times or for different purposes, we will probably never know. What we do know is that they were all bult to hold a 155mm Howitzer. "
(With thanks to Gary Sterne and The Armourer)

Whilst visiting the site in October 2007 we had an opportunity to meet Gary Sterne, who was taking a coffee break from his on-going, hands-on work on the site. He took time out to describe the progress already made and to explain the work still to be done to uncover the remainder of this important site and to improve Visitor facilities.

  • Last visit to Maisy: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (4)

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Funny...I thought Id been by here before..anyhow..I just saw a short documentary last night about this artillery site and the impact it had on the shelling of "Omaha" Beach..wicked nasty effects these shells had on the guys landing on Omaha!

  • vichatherly's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2009 at 4:33 AM

    Excellent page. The Maisy Battery is a quite remarkable place, especially as it was hidden for 60 years.

  • Segolily's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2008 at 9:14 AM

    thanks for visiting my Basse-Normandie page. Grandcamp-Maisy was one of those places we had to leave for another time. I just read more about it yesterday and realized it was more than I thought it was. Unknown for 60 years, wow.

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2008 at 5:52 AM

    Quite fascinating. Would love to visit this.


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