Merville Batterie & Museum
Location and info
Merville Batterie & Museum, 2 Place du 9eme Bataillon, 14810 Merville-Franceville-Plage
Signposted from the Merville-Franceville to Cabourg D514 road, the batterie stands just to the south of the holiday beach area.
The largest gun batterie in the area - and now a superb museum site - Merville was a D-Day objective for British paratroopers. The site features four large casemates - a R611, a R669, and two R612 types - along with three open emplacements, anti-aircraft gun positions, two large ammunition bunkers, and two personnel shelters linked by a series of trenches.
All four of the well preserved casemates all face to the North west direction where their guns were trained to cover the mouth of the River Orne and nearby Caen Canal - routes which gave access to the port and city of Caen.
The largest of the four casemates is the R611, a multi-room building for a Czech-built, 10cm Skoda cannon. Inside today you can find several rooms packed with original German items and displays which show what life would have been like for the occupying forces manning the batterie.
Merville's R669 casemate gives the story from the Allied point of view with tributes to the British paras who dropped into the site on the morning of June 6 and suffered heavy casualties in their bid to capture this strategic location.
The Merville site is a great visitor experience and also features a Dakota aircraft and several poignant memorials - a must visit.