Military Archive Research
by Dr. Stuart C Blank
Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS)
Member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (RAFHS)
Member of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association (NHCRA)
Member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Member of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS)
Member of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS)




Review of
The Cover Up at Omaha Beach
Maisy Battery and the US Rangers
By Gary Sterne
Pen and Sword ( )
ISBN 9781848844896
RRP GBP £25.00


The US Rangers are and were one of the USA’s most elite Special Forces. They played an important role in the Second World War and D-Day in particular. On D-Day they had a clear mission – to lead the assault on Omaha Beach and to breakout inland. Simultaneously other Ranger units had to scale the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and destroy the German gun battery there. This “huge” gun battery posed a significant threat to the D-Day armada and it was therefore necessary to protect the invasion fleet at all costs.

Ever since the invasion there have been questions raised as to why it was necessary for the Americans to attack Pointe du Hoc. The Allies planned and executed this attack on a gun battery yet they knew in advance that there were no field guns there. Also why did they ignore the situation at Maisy where there were heavy weapons?

This volume uses personal accounts from veterans who fought on the beach and at Pointe du Hoc. The author presents exceptionally detailed and fresh research and by doing so he takes the reader into the centre of the Rangers’ action. He has made a careful and painstaking study of what the Allies knew about the battery in advance of D-Day and why the Maisy battery was ignored. Gary has sourced data from UK, German and US archives and has collated a wealth of data such as maps, orders and assault plans. Many of these have not been released to the public before because they were highly classified. Notes of radio communications from the Rangers as they advanced inland towards Maisy have been located. Also, intelligence evaluations made by the RAF on their bombing campaign against the batteries has now been released into the public domain. These documents enable a fresh evaluation of the situation and that is exactly what this author has done.

Undoubtedly this is a new reference work on the subject and it is interesting to note the author’s personal involvement in the story of these batteries. He has been fascinated with D-Day and the “missing guns” of the Pointe du Hoc. His research lead him to discover the “unknown” German gun emplacement in the village of Maisy and he even went so far that he actually bought the land. Now he has now opened the huge site to the public. The “re-discovery” of the Maisy battery made headlines around the world and has since changed the history of the Omaha Beach assault. His site is now one of the major D-Day attractions.

The author has prepared an outstanding script and this volume is very interesting to read. Undoubtedly he is the leading expert on this part of the D-Day invasion plans.

February 2014