D Day Tours Merville Battery Malcolm Clough

There were four concrete casemates at the battery which housed the guns. The guns were found to be smaller than intelligence reports suggested. However the 100mm Czech guns could still inflict serious casualties to troops landing on SWORD Beach,.

 Parachute Regiment’s heroic D-Day attack on Merville Battery

The battle fought by 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment to silence the German artillery battery at Merville during the early hours of D-Day was a triumph of leadership, determination and raw courage in the face of harsh adversity. Upon arriving at his rendezvous point close to the battery before launching his attack, Colonel Terrance Ottway leading 9th Battalion found his complicated plan was in ruins. Many of his 650 paratroops had failed to arrive. Their aircraft had been unable to find the drop zone or they had been scattered by the winds landing too far away to play a role in the assault. Sadly many of them drowned in fields deliberately flooded by the Germans to deter a parachute landing.

Incredible bravery

With little equipment and only 150 soldiers. Ottway decided upon a desperate charge under machine gun fire across fields he knew to be mined or strewn with barbed wire. That Ottway’s attack succeeded was a testament to him and his Battalion. Only 75 fit men survived. Nevertheless the attack silenced the German guns at the Merville Battery which were unable to interfere with the Allied landings on SWORD Beach on D-Day.

D Day Tours malcolm Clough Merville

Each casemate now contains a display to help the visitor understand the importance of the battery.

Merville Battery 3

The Command Bunker, from here directions from the forward observation bunker were received and relayed to the casemates.

Terrance Ottway Bust Merville

Ottway’s bust at Merville. Behind him is the 100yd field which he and his men charged across to attack the battery.

Ottway Plan Merville Battery

Ottway’s original plan was ruined. He decided upon an all or nothing charge to the rear of the battery while a small party made a diversionary attack. His men ran across a mine field knowing that each step could be their last.