Batterie de Maisy

Parking

The site has it's own car park.

Toilets

There are no public toilets at this site.

Gift Shop

Inside the ticket office there are a number of relics on display, including some for sale.

We were somewhat uncertain about how to approach places like the Maisy Battery and its contemporaries at Azeville, Merville and Crisbecq along with the German radar facility at Douvres-la-Délivrande. These are all significant historic remains and we felt some unease at reviewing and rating them for that reason. However, as each of the locations is privately owned and an entrance fee required for visitation, we have excluded their individual histories from the review process and judged them as dispassionately as possible as if they were any other museum.

One of the things we like about the Batterie de Maisy is that for almost 60 years after the war it was completely forgotten - sitting beneath a farmer's field for many of those years. It was only in 2006 that British man Gary Sterne bought the land and began to excavate the site. It opened as a museum in 2007 and excavations are still uncovering things. If Gary should happen to be around when you visit make sure you ask him about his theory of the missing guns at nearby Pointe du Hoc - now the subject of a book called The Cover Up At Omaha Beach which he has written.

There is nothing flash or pretentious at Maisy. On arrival visitors are handed a laminated A4 sheet to guide them around the site, highlighting over 30 different points of interest ranging from defensive bunkers to the underground hospital. During our last visit we were also handed a torch to go along with our A4 map allowing us to explore some of the deeper and darker areas of Maisy.

It is relatively easy to walk around the Batterie de Maisy. It is more similar in layout to the Batterie de Crisbecq at Saint-Marcouf than to the Batterie d'Azeville, and there are no narrow, dark tunnels to navigate. The site has informative data panels with historic photos situated near the main points of interest. Several artillery pieces have now been added to some of the open emplacements which gives the battery a more authentic feel. It's by no means a criticism, but if visiting alone it can feel a bit eerie in some of the more remote parts of the site if there aren't any other visitors around.

In 2009 Gary's continued excavations at the site uncovered the remains of one of the original German occupiers. Found lying in a trench, he was buried with equipment including a belt, water bottle and ammunition. Identity tags found with the body state that he was an officer in the 716th Artillery, although his exact identity is unknown. The remains were buried with full military honours in the nearby German cemetery at La Cambe.

More than a decade since our first visit in 2007, new buildings and artefacts are still being uncovered.


Updated: July 2014


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