Merville Battery & The Dives Bridges

British 6th Airborne Division Landings In Normandy D-Day 6th June 1944

Foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
By: Carl Shilleto

Publisher: Pen & Sword Books
ISBN: 978 1 84884 519 0
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages: inc. 25 + maps and illustrations, 150+ photographs
Dimensions: 216mm x 135mm
Pub Date: July 2011

Price: £12.99 (€15.99)

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This battlefield guide is the companion work to Pegasus Bridge & Horsa Bridge. Together, these two books form the fully revised and updated edition of the previous best selling Battleground Europe Series book Pegasus Bridge & Merville Battery (published in 1999, 2001 and 2004).

Describing and explaining the first British and Canadian operations and objectives on D-Day, 6th June 1944, by the 6th Airborne Division, this battlefield guide also explains the supporting role of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, commando units, Belgian, Dutch and French forces during the Normandy campaign.

The book also relates to the battlefield area as it is today and contains details of the museums, memorials, cemeteries and places of interest in the area. All of which will unravel the history of the battlefield to the visitor and armchair traveller alike.

A comprehensive glossary, bibliography, order of battle, list of associated organisations and index, also makes this book an indispensable reference source for historians and enthusiasts.

To further aid the battlefield tourist, GPS data is also provided for all the places of interest mentioned in the book for use with either satellite navigation by vehicle or for viewing on Google Earth.


Detailed Synopsis

This book examines, in great detail, the attack by 9 Para Bn of the British 6th Airborne Division on the German gun emplacement known as the Merville Battery on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The actions of 8 Para, 12 Para, Canadian 1 Para, attached engineer and support units, and commando raids in this area of Normandy are also told. In particular, the importance of destroying the five bridges, and a drainage culvert, in the Dives valley are explained along with the importance of taking and holding the high ground to the north-east of Caen. These combined operations resulted in the protection and securing of the left flank of the greatest combined military operation in history; Operation OVERLORD.

Battlefield Areas Covered

D-Day landings area, Merville, Bréville, Bois des Monts, Château St Côme, Herouvillette, River Dives, River Divette, Bures-sur-Dives, Robehomme, Sallenelles, Troarn and Varaville in Normandy, France.

Forces Deployed

Special Forces: Airborne and Commando.


The Parachute Regiment, The Glider Pilot Regiment, 6th Airborne Division, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, 8th Parachute Battalion, 9th Parachute Battalion, 12th Parachute Battalion, Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment, The Devonshire Regiment, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Royal Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps, No. 1 and No. 4 Special Service Brigade, 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, 13/18 Hussars, Belgian Piron Brigade, French BFM Commandos, Princess Irene Brigade.


HRH The Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief of The Parachute Regiment.

Personalities in Content

Lt Gen Richard Gale; Maj John Howard; Brig The Lord Lovat; Lt Col Terence Otway; Brig Nigel Poett.

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