The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
monkeynuts54
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by monkeynuts54 » 02 Mar 2008 14:20

Hi all I do not post very often just read with interest .The thing I cannot understand is all the bad feeling caused by the discovery of this fantastic site ,I visited it last summer and was amazed with how a complete bunker complex as large a this can go undiscovered for 60 years and also the size of the task to bring it back to how it was .
All I can say is keep up the good work and just a small comment not to offend .........but what would have happened if a French person had discovered the site ?

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kstdk
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by kstdk » 02 Mar 2008 15:29

Hello

I do not think much else would have happend if a Frenchman had "found" this site :)

The fact here is, that the site was NOT undiscovered for 60 years - we all knew it was there, we all mostly knew what was in it etc. an found it almost ordinary, but the fact is also that the site was overgrown and unaccessable for mostly 60 years and on private property.

That it has been unearthed and put on public display, does not make it any more (or less) attractive - its just another museum displaying the Atlantic Wall.

The interesting thing is the discussion about its importance and its use during the war and during the invasion on D-Day - and it is there most people disagree and has seperate opinions.

But let that aside, and as i have said earlier - visit the site and make your own desisions - I for one think it is great to have more informative and learning sites opened to enlighten us on the past and to write the history - not re-write it - but tell the facts about things.

Whats the motto of Axis History Group - "Information not shared are information lost"

Regards
Kurt
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moonraker
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by moonraker » 20 Oct 2009 10:28

hello all,


Here new photo of our friends AC.
brasilia battery .......
thank you it has

http://atlantikwall.superforum.fr/norma ... .htm#77013

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kstdk
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by kstdk » 21 Oct 2009 22:00

Hello Moon

This last post is regarding Stp. 84 la Martiniere - right?

Not Stp. 83 Perrogue - or am i wrong here??

Very nice original pictures - though 8O - brings new interest to the area, right!!

By the way - i was there this summer :) (do have pictures)

Regards
Kurt
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Bunkerfreak
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by Bunkerfreak » 21 Oct 2009 22:22

Hello All, recently i saw the documentary "Bloody Omaha" and soon i discovered MAJOR errors !! On the docu. they said the Maisy batterie is responsible for firing at Omaha Beach, and several deaths...

I've visited the battery several times and have more than 500 pictures of it.
now i'm working for it to place it on my website, without this bullshit that this small battery had fired on omaha.

Just did anyone see the range and stats of those medieval guns? with google earth i've made a range for this gun, this is the Maximum range for this 15,5 cm s.F.H.414 (f) gun. (the gun is a French "beutekanone" from 1917.)

The maximum range is 11300 metres. please look at this picture, with the mesuring tool of Google earth. The red line is the edge of the max. range, and you see, it is the left edge of Omaha Beach...
Image

also a picture from this medieval gun, (look at the support plate underneath, that you can find today on the HKB of Maisy)
Image
(source: another forum)

So this small battery has nothing to do with the killing on Omaha, and is nothing to compare with the modern 15.5cm of pointe du hoc...

Also the guns that are placed on the battery are Waaaaay wrong, it is nice to see the battery with modern WW2 guns, but that was not the fact on 6 - 6 -1944.

So sorry Gary if i hurt you or youre battery, but it is the hard truth. It is still a nice Heeres Battery you've got there, not many people dig up this kind of small battery's. (mostly they make museum from Large and important battery's, but not from a medieval battery ;))

Best regards,

Tom Oliviers, Bunkerfreaks Antwerpen.

Ps: soon you will find the pictures and explanation of this nice heeres battery on my website.
http://www.bunkerfreaks.be

gary-1944
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by gary-1944 » 11 Jul 2015 22:06

Just to clarify something. I am always being "quoted" by people on things and very often I have not actually said them. So remember - if you read it in the press or see it in a documentary (as yet) none of those things have been written or produced by me. So remember - it sells TV, it sells newspapers when people sensationalise things. Don't always assume that it is something that I have said.

Regarding the above post. If you notice… Omaha was a Sector in 1944… not just a beach… the "Sector" runs right in front of the Maisy guns. Irrespective of the the distance that Maisy is to Vierville. It could hit anything that floated along in front of its "medieval guns"… in that part of the Omaha Sector. It also fired at Pointe du Hoc and the infantry going towards it. (read the AAR's for the 116th Inf. Div. - Rangers, 743rd Tank Btn etc).

I also quite agree Maisy is not the largest battery in the country - but how many batteries in Antwerp fired on D-day - none. That is what makes the difference - D-day - and thats what visitors and historians are interested in. How many people reading this can name ANY gun batteries in Belgium… or any famous Belgiums (other than Louis Paster and that Paedophile)… D-day is what people are really interested in - and I have dug up a complex which has caused a lot of problems for historians.

Regards size - the Maisy complex is considerably larger than a lot of other gun batteries in Normandy. But it has still been missed by the million selling books on D-day… if it was known to "everyone" - then why do the famous authors not know it exists ?

At the site the guns placed on the pits are period German weapons (then used by others post war). When original 155mm Schneiders can be found for the pits they will be swopped out.

I had nothing to do with the Bloody Omaha programme - other than they came and filmed for 2 hours one morning. It had already been produced by the BBC when they heard about Maisy they asked to include mention of it … so nothing really to do with me. Their technical advisor was a man from Sandhurst training college - so you would have to take up the accuracy with him.

Lastly… Pointe du Hoc was empty on D-day. So stating that it had powerful guns is a little silly. What was there on the day is the fact. Being empty does not make it dangerous and having guns over a mile away does not mean they are operational.

To the guy who said you "all" knew it was there… the ONLY reference I could find when I went looking - was a comment in Alain Chazettes book. Nothing else. Now everyone seems to know all about Maisy and what happened.

Its funny. Looking back over so many topics in which I was "wrong"… such as Maisy not having 88mm AA guns on d-day… no hospital, not a D-day target for the Rangers etc. etc. time has produced evidence that I may have been correct on many of these issues.

I don't mind being wrong - thats how we learn and I love it when others find out more info…. but sometimes I have information which I don't necessarily want to publicise (just yet).

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stril
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by stril » 11 Jul 2015 22:34

How many people reading this can name ANY gun batteries in Belgium… or any famous Belgiums (other than Louis Paster and that Paedophile)
after almost 6 years you are back in this tread and post this ?
Stril

JKernwerk
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by JKernwerk » 11 Jul 2015 22:50

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/abba/mon ... money.html

But now get back on topic!
Money money money lalala.....
JK

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Bunkerfreak
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by Bunkerfreak » 11 Jul 2015 23:53

Gary wrote: "and I have dug up a complex which has caused a lot of problems for historians."...

Wrong Gary, there is nothing strange to youre "complex", its just a plain heeres battery with old guns ;-) No treasury room in the 502, a radar base and all the other crap i heard over there... just a simple heeres battery. The historians all agree, but someone else loves his own story.

Anyway, you did well, digging up an 502, 622's and some VF-bunkers :thumbsup:

As for Antwerp, you really dont know?! read something about 1914 what happened there? It is thanks to Antwerp that allied forces could dig in on Flanders fields. The Germans had not planned to take Antwerp, but the Belgian army managed many raids on German supply-lines, as the German Army decided to stop this and assault Antwerp... Therefore they suffered a delay, where the allies could dig in and hold the line for the next four years...

Indeed, Antwerp have no major story's about WW2, exept the large scale V-weapon attacks, but hey, thats just "nothing" compared to the Maisy battery aight? 8-) 8O :thumbsup:

As for the Belgian coast, you don't know any batterys? there where many german battery's as well in WW1 as in WW2.

Jack, indeed, the History of Maisy is re-written in order for some more dollars :lol:
Last edited by Bunkerfreak on 12 Jul 2015 10:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by Bunkerfreak » 12 Jul 2015 00:03

By the way, is it in the meantime safe to walk over there? as during our last visit to the "Great HMS battery Maisy", we stumbled across some remaining ammo which lies next to the walking path where visitors came...
Open Bedding 02 26 05 2007 BFA (26).JPG
I hope it's all safe now, before some veteran gets KIA after visting the battery 70 years after his duty... :milsmile: :milsmile:
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kstdk
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by kstdk » 12 Jul 2015 09:56

Hello

Gary - that "guy" must be me. It is correct - you may not have been in possesion of the German maps and documents for the area at the time you started your project - all the strongpoints and positions of the Germans are in these documents and I for one have had those for almost 25 years by now.
gary-1944 wrote:To the guy who said you "all" knew it was there… the ONLY reference I could find when I went looking - was a comment in Alain Chazettes book. Nothing else. Now everyone seems to know all about Maisy and what happened.

I don't mind being wrong - thats how we learn and I love it when others find out more info…. but sometimes I have information which I don't necessarily want to publicise (just yet).
I have visited your site a couple of times now (sadly you were not in both times) but I am impressed by the effort and your Work there, top job and very interesting - and you will note that I also earlier have said that people schould go visit themselves before commenting and judging any conclusions.

I hope we all will learn and find more info - and that all will share it - also here in this forum - in a friendly discussion - about facts - so - keep up the good Work.

PS: Maybe people also can not mention any famous German sites in Denmark, but because they did not participate in D-Day - that does not make them less important, right......... :) (In fact, there were early plans of an invasion in Denmark).

Best regards
Kurt
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Bunkerfreak
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by Bunkerfreak » 12 Jul 2015 10:18

Gary also Wrote: "Lastly… Pointe du Hoc was empty on D-day. So stating that it had powerful guns is a little silly. What was there on the day is the fact. Being empty does not make it dangerous and having guns over a mile away does not mean they are operational."

Pointe du Hoc had guns, but where at the time of the landing withdrawn by the Germans for some unknown reasons... The are a lot of speculations the Germans where tired of the war and if you know something about German intelligence, you cannot say the Germans where suprised by the landing... By accident around D-Day, a "Kriegsspiel" with all high ranking officers in Nantes or Rennes (the exact location slips me), Pointe du Hoc her guns withdrawn for some weird reasons, the Führer who not may be awoken up after D-Day, so no back-up Pz-division could advance,... to much "small" speculations which can tell the German wehrmacht let the allies win (this is a huge speculation, i know, but that is the stuff i hear from the corners).

I've also heard that the Germans on the Atlantikwall where mostly troops which must switch position after x-months (exept for the large battery's and radar). I can imagine that a unit who fought allready at the front (Russia, Afrika,...) was not motivated anymore to get back to the front after some months of recovery on the Atlantikwall. There where plenty of reasons enough to make D-Day happen seen from - and in benefit for - German forces.

Maisy is a nice location, don't get me wrong Gary, but try to do not oversize the importance of that battery...

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der bunkermann
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by der bunkermann » 12 Jul 2015 21:40

Could it not be that the guns were temporarily removed because the schartenstande were being built?
Or were these all ready before d day?

gary-1944
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Maisy Battery

Post by gary-1944 » 14 Jul 2015 02:05

When Maisy was first "re-discovered" there were MANY people who did not know it was there. OK I guess there are probably 10 - maybe 20 - maybe even 500 people on this forum who knew all about it… but relatively speaking in the world - most people did not know that Maisy existed. That is why the press gave it the attention that they did.

People visit the site on a daily basis and they are looking for it in their books (multi-million selling books) and cannot find it. So some of you can pat yourselves on the back and show me a map or two - or a piece of archive material that says that everyone knew about Maisy… but for everyone else normal in the world who has an interest in the Atlantic Wall - Maisy is still new to them.

So - lets be sensible - when I have said that nobody knew about it… perhaps the people who sold me the land knew about it… perhaps the old people who were children in 1944 and played on the land after the battle knew about it… perhaps the Rangers who fought there knew about it and perhaps 1% of the forum members on here knew about it. That is not really many people is it ?

How many books does the average person in the street have on D-day that include information on Maisy … 99.9% of books do not say anything about Maisy. So I know it sounds good to rip me a new one for saying that you all knew about Maisy already… but the number of people on here who did know is probably 1% of the readers of this forum. How many is that… well some of these posts get 150 views per year. In context of the population who are interested in D-day - thats a pretty small number. In fact it is microscopic.

It is the same people continually on here and on other threads saying the same things all the time ...

So all the real "experts" get to tell me they knew about Maisy and they are right - I am sure you did - but you are not representative of anything other than a microbe of the people who buy WWII books.

But my question to those of you who knew about Maisy is this.. why didnt you ever discuss Maisy with anyone - before I dug it up?

So for the record… When I say nobody knew about Maisy it is a generalisation and as the other 99% of the readers of this forum will understand -- that is all it is.

The suggestion that I do this for money - is based on what ? … I have spent far more on Maisy than I will probably ever receive back. It might appear to be a good angle to get people on-side to suggest that I am motivated by money, but it is starting to come across simply as jealousy. Equally as none of the people saying that on here have ever met me - the 99.9% of people who read this will ignore comments about money. It is just not sensible.

Selling books… at my level (which is very low) I do not make money given the amount of time spent in writing one and the amount they sell. Ask anyone who has written a book how much they make from doing it .... What I did try to do was to write a book and tell a story which I could not find in any other book on the subject of the Atlantic Wall - nor was it told in the top selling Ranger books. If that is in doubt - go and look at those books.

Even today no book exists other than mine which tell the story of the Rangers action at Maisy. Sure I have probably made mistakes. Especially when my profession is not that of author.

Why did I do it? I sat in a nursing home in the States about 10 years ago. I was interviewing a Ranger veteran who had been near fatally wounded by a mine at Maisy. He was sent home on the evening of the 9th of June 1944 and could not ever work again. On the same trip I met another Ranger who had a similar experience.

One was called Battice and the other Sullivan - both from A Company 5th Rangers. They were both wounded when a fellow Ranger called John Bellows stepped onto an S-mine at Maisy. The mine Bellows trod on bounced up in the air and did not go off and Bellows told me it was something he had never forgotten…. however, either side of him as they went across a swamp and into the minefield - Battice and Sullivan were hit by mines which were linked to the one Bellows had stood on.

A Company Medic Jack Burke was sent to give help to the men whilst under fire, he went down hill and tended to their wounds. I had met 3 of the men involved in that action and the fourth - John Bellows spoke to me on the phone. He was thankful that the mine did not get him.

Jack Burke is still alive and has visited the Maisy site on 3 occasions. Most notably he came to visit when we opened the site and he remembers that incident perfectly. So I have that story from the 4 people involved.

I did not fly to the states to interview Battice and Sullivan based on making money out of a book and using them to do it. It was as a result of meeting them that I wanted to tell their story. Nobody had ever patted them on the back for their service at Maisy - indeed nobody had EVER asked them about Maisy throughout their lives - and yet they gave away their most precious possession - their liberty - during the Maisy battle. For them Maisy was important.

It is for men like that that I wrote a book and that I continue to work at the site. I was asked to provide some information onto this forum by someone about Ranger DSC's and prisoner numbers - so that is the only reason I came back on here. Not because I needed to justify anything to the 1%.

Equally… I am not desperately trying to over-emphasise the role of Maisy. But the site did fire on the troops landing on both sectors on D-day and it did put up a more than adequate response to the Allies attempts to destroy it. For that it has an important place in the history of D-day and I am not going to apologise for saying that.

Why it does not feature in many D-day books, I do not know - I can only assume because the 1% of you that knew about Maisy have never told anyone else about it - and the 60 year Top Secrecy rules meant that much of the paperwork was hidden until recently to other authors.

To the guy in Belgium if you want to play "my battery is bigger than yours" then you win every time.

Maisy is significant enough to have attracted the attention of people whom I do respect. The British Army now study Maisy as a training TEWT for current officer training. They consider it important enough to have it on their training schedule and only last Friday and Saturday they completed an exercise for serving officers at the site.

The French St. Cyr Regiment in Paris and the French Foreign Legion have both conducted overnight attacks and full military operations at the site - and they are doing more in the future. They consider it interesting enough and it is their job to study such places - it is not their hobby.

….
Here is the information I was asked for. It is taken from the After Action Reports of the 743td Tank Battalion and the Citations for the two Distinguished Service Crosses awarded for participation in the Maisy battle and for prisoners captured. These are easily verified documents in the US National Archives.

Joe Urish - Sgt A Company 5th Rangers. DSC

(Sgt. A Co. 5th Btn.)  Sgt. Joseph W. Urish, Infantry of Pennsylvania. Sgt. Urish, while leading a patrol voluntarily on a signal given by the enemy moved into the battery alone to persuade them to surrender. After a quarter of a hour, the first of the enemy marched out to surrender. As they did the remainder of the patrol loaded their rifles and the enemy thinking they were to be shot in cold blood, scattered and returned to their post. Instead of attempting to escape and disregarding his own safety, Sgt. Urish continued to persuade them to surrender. One by one they laid down their arms, surrendered and marched out. A total of 167 prisoners were captured from a position that might have held out for days.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Joseph W. Urish (ASN: 33575265), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, in action against enemy forces on (or about) 10 June 1944, in France. Just before his company was about to launch an attack on an enemy shore battery [Maisy Battery], Sergeant Urish, who was leading a patrol, voluntarily, on a signal being given by the enemy, moved into the battery alone to persuade them to surrender. After about a quarter of an hour the first of the enemy marched out to surrender. As they did the remainder of Sergeant Urish's patrol loaded their rifles. The enemy, thinking they were to be shot in cold blood, scattered and returned to their post. Sergeant Urish faced by a now definitely hostile garrison, instead of attempting to escape in the confusion, remained in the battery completely disregarding his own safety in an attempt to further persuade the battery to surrender. Finally after much pleading and promising the enemy, one by one, laid down their arms, surrendered, and marched out. A total of one hundred sixty-seven prisoners were captured from a position that might have held out for days. Sergeant Urish's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 28 (June 20, 1944)   

Action Date: 10-Jun-44
Service: Army
Rank: Sergeant

………

PRESS RELEASE US ARMY July 1944

(5th Btn). HQ  Major Richard P. Sullivan, Infantry, from Massachusetts, was presented the award for extraordinary heroism in action from 6th June 1944 to 10th June 1944 near Vierville-sur-Mer and Isigny, France, when he personally directed a successful landing operation and led his men across the beach under heavy machine gun, artillery and rocket fire.
….

ACTUAL CERTIFICATE

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major Richard P. Sullivan (ASN: 0-399856), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, in action against enemy forces during the period 6 to 10 June 1944, in France. Completely disregarding his own safety, Major Sullivan personally directed a successful landing operation and lead his men across the beach covered with machine gun, artillery and rocket fire. After reorganizing his men he immediately resumed his duties as Battalion Executive Officer and was placed in command of two Ranger companies which fought their way inland against fierce opposition to join and relieve the Ranger detachment on *******. [ Pointe du Hoc ]  After laying communications through the enemy lines under cover of darkness, Major Sullivan directed the Rangers' progress across country to ******* [ Grandcamp ] and *******. [  Maisy ] In cooperation with United States Infantry an attack was begun on the *******  [ Maisy ] battery. When certain elements were temporarily halted by artillery fire Major Sullivan, who had been wounded at *******, [ Maisy ] calmly and courageously rallied his officers and men, ordered a renewal of the attack, and instead of bypassing the resistance, advanced over heavily mined terrain to capture the ******* [ Maisy ] battery with a loss of only fifteen men. Eighty-six prisoners and several large caliber artillery pieces in concrete bunkers were taken. Attacks by Major Sullivan's command contributed greatly to the success of the entire Corps operations. By his intrepid direction, heroic leadership and superior professional ability, Major Sullivan set an inspiring example to his command. His gallant leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 28 (June 20, 1944)

Action Date: June 6 - 10, 1944
Service: Army
Rank: Major
Company: Executive Officer
Battalion: 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion

>>>>>>>>

743rd Tank Battalion. After Action Reports for each Tank company. Taken from the S-3 Inteligence Journals HQ Section July 1944. Source: US National Archives.

A COMPANY
8th June 1944.
Moved toward west in assault on Pointe du Hoc at 0600. Were not fired on until in vicinity of Pointe du Hoc where mortar fire started dropping. Were in support of 3rd Battalion 116th in assault. Took objective at 1200. Lt. Ondre injured by mortar fire and evacuated. Moved on towards Maisy and because of mines on bridge reversed column and moved to Grandcamp les Bains (5593) moved to Maisy via Cricqueville en Bessin. Entered Maisy under mortar fire and machine gun fire, passed south out of Maisy on Isigny road. Enemy artillery and mortar fire was falling on the town and only one platoon was taken through. Two enemy pill boxes in strong point at 532915  [Maisy] were knocked out. Company returned to (562924) to bivouac. Were attached to 115th Infantry during this period. Strength 78 EM and 5 officers.
 
9th June 1944.
Stayed in bivouac area all day for maintenance. Captured 40 prisoners that evening near strong point Maisy (532915).
 
B COMPANY
7th June 1944 -  "B" Company.
Moved out at 0530 in support of 116th Infantry towards Maisy. Machine gun and sniper fire was very heavy. At 0900 encountered heavy artillery fire (155mm probable). Two tanks hit but no injuries sustained. One 57mm AT gun destroyed, 4 prisoners taken, several MG nests destroyed. Withdrew due to added enemy heavy fire, returned to bivouac Vierville sur Mer for fuel and ammunition. Returned to bivouac with 116th Inf. 21/2 miles west of Vierville sur Mer. Strength.  86 EM and 1 officer.
 
8th June 1944
Bivouacced in vicinity of Vierville sur Mer (645912) for maintenance and repair. Relieved from assignment with 116th Inf. and assigned to 115th Inf. to give support. Strength. 86 EM and 1 officer.
 
9th June 1944.
Moved to Maisy (537923) where received orders to move South of Maisy. Encountered several pill boxes south of Maisy which were destroyed.  5th Rangers asked for support on these pill boxes, 125 prisoners taken. No casualties sustained by our unit. Ordered back to Maisy to bivouac at 1800.
 
C COMPANY
7th June 1944  -  "C" Company.
Moved out with 166th Inf. towards Formigny (647866). Knocked out MG nest. Advanced guard knocked out Mark IV and crew. Were met and fired on by friendly troops (113th Inf) who failed to recognise DD's as Shermans. Biviouacced near 607903. Sent out tanks by sections and platoons to support 115th Inf. against MG and sniper fire. Artillery fire thought to be friendly falling all around us. Moved (on orders) at 2400 to previous nights bivouac area in preparation for advance on Pointe du Hoe with 116th Inf. Strength: 86 EM, 5 Officers.
 
8th June 1944. 
Moved out 0600 hrs. Co. "A" in lead. Attacked towards Pointe du Hoc (586937) at 1015 hrs. Five tanks dropped out here. 5 tanks hit mines and developed engine trouble. Four tanks were repairable. Advanced on Grandcamp les Bains (545931) at 1230 hrs. One more tank disabled due to mines. Position was taken at 1800 hrs and 116th Inf. made crossing. Company was unable to continue on account of mines. Bivouaced at (567931) until 1130 following day, reorganised. Knocked out pill box near road. Strength 86 ME and 4 officers.
 
9th June 1944
Moved out 1130 hrs for new bivouac area near Maisy. (502918). Stayed in bivouac to complete maintenance. Strength 86 EM and 5 officers.
 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As I am often asked about the Rangers After Action Report for the 5th Btn.

Below is a copy of a letter written to me by John Raaen (ret) - Captain HQ company 5th Btn on D-day - he wrote this in 2008.

I remember writing the After Action Reports for the D-Day operation to show what happened to the 5th Battalion on 9 June 1944. The truth of the matter was that it was the first After Action Report we were asked for and we didn’t even know there was to be one. Corps called down and asked for our Action After Report. After Action Report? I didn’t understand it and I said, ‘What do we put in it?’

I asked Heffelfinger and he said there was an army regulation for it ... it may have been a corps reg or a 1st Army reg. I do remember seeing it and being baffled by it. There wasn’t enough information in what was required, so it was just an effort to produce the first such After Action Report. There were no examples, no precedents, no coordinates no nothing.

No real instructions, just to describe the actions of the elements of the battalion and include a list of casualties during the day. The whole thing was rather silly because the morning report was more sensible as it had a list of all the people who were wounded and killed ... We just did the best we could with the first one and the company clerk had a typewriter and did the first thing – and we would type it and see how it worked – how it read and then took it up to Heffelfinger and he would comment ... and then he submitted it.

There were so many things we didn’t do right, but for our first effort we didn’t do too bad. By the time we reached Brest we were given feedback from above about our first effort.

I would be much more specific about two sites that we were attacking with two companies coming from the north and west with one company coming from the south and I would have identified the companies that participated. Neither Schneider or Heffelfinger were involved in Maisy and neither were interested. They have both been involved in other actions and not Maisy – so their lack of interest would have meant that they were happy with whatever I had written.

Your map is very interesting and useful. Based on it and your text, I have rewritten a part of the story to reflect your findings, since they fit well with my memories and other sources. The way I originally wrote it (the official After Action Report) I had to stretch a few points to make it fit with other sources, but the new version fits much better.

On the morning of D+3, 9 June 1944, A, C and F of the 5th Rangers, still under Major Sullivan, were detached from the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry. In its advance to the south, the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry had encountered severe resistance from a German strongpoint at La Martiniere, 3⁄4 mile, SSW of Maisy [52679151], and Les Perruques [53349188], 3⁄4 mile ssw of Maisy. Together, these two connected positions were called the Maisy Battery. The 116th’s objective was Isigny not Maisy, so the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry bypassed the German position. Major Sullivan had three Ranger Companies, two halftracks from the 2nd Ranger Battalion, and Company B, 81st Chemical Weapons Battalion. The latter unit was armed with 4.2in mortars.

During the approach march, I was at the rear end of the column with a small headquarters’ element. Crossing through the hedgerows and fields we were taken under long-range machine- gun fire from our right several times. However, we were beyond tracer burn-out and the Germans were never able to reach us. Because of the extensive mine fields protecting the German strongpoint, Major Sullivan decided to attack in a column of companies with A Company in the lead followed by C Company with F Company in reserve. The 58th Armoured Field Artillery Battalion bombarded the Maisy positions in preparation for the 5th Ranger attack.

Support during the attack was provided by the 81st’s 4.2in mortars, the two 75mm cannon mounted on the 2nd Rangers’ halftracks and the four 81mm mortars. Companies A and F moved down the dirt road just north of gridline 92. This area is quite swampy, and in this swampy area, they came across some dead American paratroopers who had been dropped miles from their intended drop zones. Some had drowned, some had been caught up in trees and gunned down by the German defenders. When opposite (north of) La Martiniere and Les Perruques, the companies wheeled to the left with A Company attacking La Martiniere and F Company, Les Perruques.

Meanwhile, C Company with the cannon platoon from the 2nd Rangers proceeded directly south from Maisy, wheeled right, attacking Les Perruques from the south-east. Major Sullivan controlled the battle from one of the halftracks accompanying C and D Companies. The attack progressed well with some of the German defenders laying down their weapons and surrendering.

However, some German officers, possibly SS, began shouting threats and shooting some of their own men in the back. Despite the mine fields and stubborn resistance, the strongpoint was successfully captured. It contained three 10cm howitzers, large stocks of ammunition and other supplies and about ninety defenders who became POWs. The POWs and the position were turned over to elements of the 29th division.

Ace Parker, the A Company Commander, later told me that, as far as he was concerned, the fight at Maisy was far worse than the Omaha Beach landings of four days before.

After capturing the Maisy Battery, Sullivan’s Ranger force marched to a bivouac area west of Osmanville where, at 2000hr, it re-joined the rest of the battalion and turned in for the night in the hedgerows and ditches. The 2nd Ranger Battalion also spent the night in the same area. All was not quiet in Osmanville. Bed Check Charley, a German airplane pilot, paid nightly visits to the battalion area, occasionally dropping bombs.

Several headquarters company men were there.
I hope this helps and that you have no objections to the above rewrite of my story. John Raaen.

>>>>

On the point about money being held at the Maisy site…

This is the explanation as it appears in my book about the money - it is from men in their own words.

John Raaen: I didn’t send any money home, but my recollection is that if you took the money to any Finance Office it would be converted into dollars. You were then given a money order for the amount and then all you had to do was mail it home. From there we heard that four new millionaires were created through the money orders home!
The Maisy complex had the payroll for the surrounding area as the German payday was 6 June 44. The invasion prevented the money from being disbursed. Sullivan’s task force captured the whole payroll. Small amounts were taken by some of the Rangers, more as souvenirs than anything else, thinking that the money was no good. I remember seeing some of it later and pointing out it WAS THE SAME CURRENCY found in our escape and evasion kits. Suddenly it had value. Anybody that had ‘liberated’ some of the money could go to the local Finance Office and get a money order to send home the money. In the 5th Battalion the holders used it to chase us out of poker games since in real no limit poker the man with the most cash on the table inevitably wins. I had to quit playing poker with those benefitting from the Maisy find.

John Raaen:
The money was stacked in 14in square bundles and the Rangers did indeed literally throw it all around. I heard that there 3 or 4 million francs or dollars total value. The story I heard at the time was that it was the payroll for the entire area from the Vire East to Bayeau. We were told that the Germans paid their troops on the 6th of the month, but the invasion precluded that and the 5th captured the payroll before the Germans had an opportunity to move it. The Germans thought they were mad as the Rangers lit their cigarettes and cigars with the notes.

Jack Burke:
Kalish from A Company took a pile of the Maisy money!

This is the personal account the money incident by Ranger "Ace" Parker - as told during interviews with his nieces Marcia Moen and Margo Heinen. Their book was Published in 1976. It is an excellent first hand account of Parker's time in the Rangers during WWII.
He writes about Maisy as follows:-

"We, Companies A, C and F were assigned to advance down the road towards Maisy. The German pillboxes in this area were built like man holes – concrete fortresses underground. They had trenches that led into them and were built facing the sea. Now from here they could fire mortars. On the concrete wall in front of them they had marked the settings, the distances to places they wanted to shell to land, so they didn't have to guess.
They had done this in the past, fired the shell and knew what it took to hit this spot or that spot. It was all there for them.
They had been there for four years so they had lots of time to build up this thing.
At Maisy, we walked into the pill boxes from the trenches, there was gun-to-gun combat. They gave up fairly rapidly. We were shouting at them and we had them coming out real good.
They were putting down their weapons, putting their hands behind their heads and coming out. However, there were some SS officers in there who were screaming at their soldiers to continue to fight. They started shooting their own men in the back.
Then nobody dared to surrender. So we had to do the whole thing all over again. I came upon one officer, who was lying there dead, that I had to step across. He had held a hand grenade to the side of his head and blown the whole side of his head off in order not to surrender. He was an SS fanatic.
It would have been a lot easier for both sides if those SS men had not been there - much fewer casualties would have occurred on both sides.
I imagine that the invasion disrupted everything of the Germans at Normandy, including payroll distribution.
At Maisy, one man from C Company found their payroll in a suitcase. There it was, about 50,000 dollars in French Francs, wrapped in nice packets. Everybody started grabbing it.
Jack Snyder, one of my best friends, was the C Company Commander. It was his runner that I came upon, stuffing the money inside his fatigue jacket. I'm going to use this to buy steaks and fresh eggs and real luxuries".
Some of the guys were lighting their cigarettes with it. Some of them were using it for toilet paper.
For a month or more, if you go that stuff down to the beach, where the government now had set up a post office, you could buy a money order with it and send the money order home, so for a while there was heavy traffic trying to get down to the beach. Then finally, the government got smart. They said we could only send home what we had left out of our allotted pay.
That stopped thousands of it from being sent home in money orders.
I got a lot of it myself. I used if for poker. I was playing poker and craps and I was winning. We had a few "Pigeons" that we just kept broke all the time. That means we plucked the money off them. George and I and Snyder were doing it. I got these extra winning home by having the guys that weren't going to send anything home that month send my money home to their folks with instructions to send it to my folks. And nearly everybody did.

Richard Hathaway Ranger A Company veteran. Interviewed on film about Maisy:
They folded up pretty fast initially. But the battle took about 5 hours to complete from the time we started out. Simply because of the size of the site. I wasn’t really scared. I was all hyped up. We were in a bayonet assault and there was no question we were taking the place. I had it on, but I didn’t have to stick anybody. We did use some concussion grenades. I threw a couple. I was armed with an M1 rifle. I saw about six dead Germans I guess. The guys we came up against were German troops. I didn’t go into the hospital area – that was in another section, but I did see the 155mm howitzers. They were French. I saw five and all of the gun positions were tunnelled into concrete. They were really deep down in the rock or concrete. I didn’t see any horses or motorised transport of any type, but I did see a lot of 155 ammo, it was for the French guns. They had 155 howitzers in there and they could reach both Omaha and Utah Beaches. They did not fire to my knowledge any shots on Omaha Beach. They may have fired on Utah as you could see it. It took us I’d say about 5 hours of fighting to get the position. I think the only way we could get inside the place was on foot. When we took it we captured it complete and the Germans had a payroll for their men all in French currency. We were told the money was no good. I was a Tech Sergeant, T/5 and I moved over to HQ Company, but I was with A Company on the assault.

A Co. 5th Btn. Jack Burke:
I heard we hit a big payroll, but we were too tired to go looking for it. We hadn’t really slept or eaten and we had very little water. We were just numb.

Richard Hathaway:
After the battle we only stayed long enough to collect all of the prisoners and then move out. We didn’t stay too long. I did get some of the French money from the payroll though. I stuck a bunch of it in my shirt and many years later I finally donated it to the (Grandcamp) museum to display there. We even used some to heat up our rations at the time as we thought it was worthless. The Germans must have thought we were crazy burning the money and not caring, we were burning it to heat up our C- rations. It surprised everybody when we found out what it was and how big the site was. There was even another sector where they had a hospital, stores and barracks built way underground. They were really organised.

Jim Wilderson F Company:
Whenever we took prisoners we had a central stockade to take them to on the beach ... we would shake them down and take their money. I had a German sergeant and I found out that he was the paymaster for the company. I took this satchel it was full of money and an officer took it away from me. I know he sent it home. I was a corporal and stayed a corporal.

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Bunkerfreak
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Re: The incredible discovered one of a German site forgotten

Post by Bunkerfreak » 15 Jul 2015 13:54

i have to commit, you're verry dedicated into HKB Maisy.

I see everything from the German side. i have no interest in the battles of the americans, (nor the english in dieppe), i only see things from the German side. This is prob. the reason why we are such different from each other. From the German side seen, this battery was just another HKB, like many else (with some nice SK VF7b bunkers allthough), but there are many more interesting/important locations in the Normandie area then maisy.

From the side of the men who bled and died over there, i understand it was important, because it was their objective.

Maybe you can buy MKB Hamburg next time? i guess you get a lot of positive credits for thatone ;)

Anyway, good luck with Maisy

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