Merville Battery was a coastal fortification built by the Nazis in Merville-Franceville as part of the Atlantic Wall during World War II. Because this particular battery was much more better fortified than other similar installations, it was one of the first to be attacked by the Allies on D-Day.
Indeed, it was successfully captured by British paratroopers on June 6, 1944, because they mistakenly believed the battery contained heavy-caliber weapons that could threaten the nearby beach landings. They discovered, however, that what it contained, essentially, was inoffensive World War I vintage guns. The battery also comprised four six-foot-thick, steel-reinforced concrete gun casemates, designed to protect mountain guns, as well as a command bunker, dorms and ammunition magazines. After the British left the battery to liberate a nearby village, Merville was once again taken over by the Germans until they withdrew France in the following month of August.
There is a Merville Battery Museum in Merville-Franceville, which contains a reconstituted gun chamber, an educational trail as well as a sounds & lights show. Merville Battery is located at Place du 9ème Bataillon in Merville-Franceville, just 25 kilometers northwest of Caen via route N814, D515 and D514. The visit takes about half an hour. The Battery is open between 9:30am to 6:30pm between March 14 and September 30, and from 10am to 5pm between October 1 and November 14. Entry costs €6 per adult and €3.50 per child aged 6 to 16 years old.