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The Rangers mission was clear. They were to lead the assault on Omaha Beach and breakout inland. Simultaneously other Ranger units would scale the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc to destroy the "huge" gun battery there and thus protect the invasion fleet from being targeted. But was the Pointe du Hoc mission actually necessary? Why did the Allies plan and execute an attack on a gun battery which they knew in advance contained no field guns? And more importantly, why did they ignore the position at Maisy that did? Using personal interviews with the surviving Rangers who fought on the beach and at Pointe du Hoc - this is a work of exceptionally detailed and fresh research which takes the reader into the centre of the action alongside the Rangers. Gary Sterne has made a painstaking study of what the Allies actually knew in advance of D-day and about the Maisy Battery. Maps, orders and assualt plans have been found in the UK, German and US archives, many of which were not released from the Top Secrecy Act for 60+ years. Radio communications have been found from the Rangers as they advanced inland towards Maisy and intelligence evaluations made by the RAF of bombing missions directed at the site have now been released. All these combine to make this one of the most up-to-date references on the subject.
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Gary Sterne is a keen collector of militaria and was a co-founder of The Armourer and Skirmish Magazines. He has always been fascinated with the D-day landings and in particular was intrigued by the lack of precise information relating the mystery of the "missing guns" of Pointe du Hoc. His research led to the finding of a map which indicated the position of an "unknown" German gun position buried in the village of Maisy. After buying the land and some years of struggling with the French authorities, he was able to open the huge site to the public. The re-discovery of the Maisy Battery made headline news around the world and has subsequently changed the history of the Omaha Sector forever. The site is now one of the major Normandy D-day attractions. www.maisybattery.com
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