doubly historic site inscribed in the tourist circuit "American D day MEMORY tour"


The Museum is free on presentation of a proof for all military and all the veterans of the 4th ID of the various conflicts coming with their family visiting Normandy as well as for the inhabitants of Tonawanda.


Unique on the Landing Beaches : "MARCOUF 44 , the Historical site of Utah Beach".

 

 

Discover the true story of two films inspired by this place : "The Longest Day" and "Saving Private Ryan"

 

This site was visited by Rommel twice during inspection tour of the Atlantic Wall 

 

Alone, with your family or with your friends, visit in all tranquility and in exclusivity a Museum in the heart of the largest Atlantic wall bunker on Utah beach fully privatized for you !!!

 


Memorial Preston NILAND opened on June 7, 2019 for the 75th anniversary of D. Day - His mission was to capture Walter Ohmsen in his command post

Preston T. Niland was born in New York in 1915. He was drafted into the Army on March 31, 1941at Buffalo, New York. His home of residence was listed as Erie County, New York and his civilian occupation was listed as Clerks, General Office. He had completed two years of college at the University of Buffalo.

After serving in the Army as an enlisted man he graduated from Officer Candidate School and became an officer. He was commissioned an officer somewhere between December 1, 1942 and January 16, 1943.

The date of his assignment to the 22nd Infantry is unknown. He was with the Regiment at least by 1943  as he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal in General Orders No. 5 Headquarters 22nd Infantry on June 8, 1943 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. At the time of the award his rank was 2nd Lieutenant.

Second Lieutenant Niland was killed in action in Normandy, France, during 1st Battalion's attack against the German coastal batteries at Crisbecq on June 7, 1944.

In 1944, four brothers from the Niland family of Tonawanda, New York, were all serving in the Army overseas.
The family received a telegram stating that one of the brothers was shot down over Burma, and was missing in action, which at the time usually meant "presumed dead". Within a month, the family received telegrams that two other brothers were also missing in action.

This story (with a great deal of alteration) was the basis for the Hollywood movie "Saving Private Ryan".

Ultimately, two of the brothers were found to have been Killed In Action in Normandy, and the brother shot down over Burma was carried as missing until May 1945 when he was found to be alive, having been a prisoner of war of the Japanese since being shot down.


History of this scene from the movie "The longest day"

The arrival of the 4th Division on Utah Beach officially confirmed the landing in Berlin.
It is from the Crisbecq Battery Command Post that this information went directly by telephone to Cherbourg fortress, then Berlin, following the call of W. Ohmsen at 5:20 am.

Nothing to do with the history of Pluskat that existed well but was not positioned on the landing beaches ...


Utah beach seen from command post,                                        Inside view of the observation post  

6 june 2019 at 5:20 am, precise hour when

W. Ohmsen discovers the Allied fleet                              


Utah beach: cargo ships seen with the binoculars magnification 10


Formula 1 : guided tours (without appointment)

 

Visit of the command post of the Crisbecq Battery

 

Next opening days on december :  1, 3 and 6 and after reservation

 

 

between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm (4 pm for the last visit)

 

and every days for groups by reservation

 

Rates 2019 : guide included in English

 

 - Adult = 7 €

 - Family : Child less than 15 years = free

 

 - The Museum is free on presentation of a proof for all military and all the veterans of the 4th ID of the various conflicts coming with their family visiting Normandy as well as for the inhabitants of Tonawanda.

 

 Other services :

 - Refreshment stand, coffee

 - Souveniers shop / Militaria

 - Area of free picnic

 


Formula 2 : VIP private tours in the heart of the Atlantik Wall on Utah Beach
Privatization of the site for a private visit of the Museum in the Command Post with guide about the story of the Atlantik Wall on Utah Beach sector and the biggest german battery on the landings beaches located at Crisbecq - duration 1 hour.

Basic rate: total privatization for 1 to 3 people = 80 € per group.
Reduced price = 25 € per person from 4 entries (maximum 8 entries per group).


Every day, daily by appointment only - Contact for reservations : marcouf44@orange.fr

 

The privatization of the Museum will allow you to be directly in the heart of the bunker, without any showcase or marked path.

 

You will be in contact with collectibles that you can touch !


Formula 3 : STOP AND GO for Tour Operator

 

Visit of the interior of the command post and access to the panoramic viewpoint adapted to the rapid bus stop time on the Batteries de Crisbecq (flexible duration to be defined beforehand according to the tour operator program):
7 days on 7 by appointment

Price € 2 per person

 

Only on reservation

 


Guestbook of personalities visiting the command post

 

 

October 2017 and june 7, 2019 :

 

Douglas JOHNSON - Army veteran (Lieutenant Colonel, Field Artillery), and Department of the Army Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

June 19, 2019 :

 

John B. - Major General U.S.A.A.F (retired)

July 20, 2019 :

 

Major General Bruce HACKETT - Major General  Commanding General, 80th (US) Division during a private visit

September 3, 2019 :

 

Harold RADISH - veteran of the 90th (US) Division, having landed in June 44 on Utah Beach

September 3, 2019 :

 

Steve MELNIKOFF - veteran of the 29th (US) Division, having landed in June 44 on Omaha Beach


Guided visit

 

The guided tour will allow you to locate the batteries of Crisbecq among the set of German fortified points positioned facing the landing beaches and discover its history by being immersed directly in the heart of the Command Post, from its construction to its destruction, passing by the 6 days of fighting in June 44.

Upon entering the first level buried you will discover the impressive traces left by the American explosives in August 1944.
You will cross the main room, where Marshal Rommel came twice to set the objectives of building the batteries, equipped with 2 German phones of origin from 1942, still operational, in which you can converse 77 years after their manufacture!

Through a hollow wall you will then access a small room which housed one of the 2 machine guns protecting the rear of the Command Post.

Back in the heart of the bunker you can discover the room of the non-commissioned officers and the telephone switchboard (which connected Saint Marcouf to the Fortress of Cherbourg), where the telephone rang on the night of June 11, 1944 ; Admiral Hennecke personally calling Captain Ohmsen to order him to evacuate the battery for lack of reinforcements and ammunition. For those who wish you can test the "comfort" bunk beds of 1944.

Highlight of the visit, the climb into the observation post room from where official information about the arrival of allies at the dawn of June 6, the famous scene traced by the film "The longest Day " (via the telephone line connecting it to the Fortress of Cherbourg) with the direct view of the Saint Marcouf Islands around which the American fleet had positioned itself waiting for the H. hour of the landing on Utah Beach.

Back in the heart of the Command Post you will enter the well that housed the periscopic bell, before continuing the visit down into the second basement of the bunker where you will cross the chamber of the troop, with again the spectacular traces of one of the American explosions of the month of August 1944, rooms in which the last survivors of the battery had been left the morning of June 12 to wait for the capitulation of the battery (21 seriously wounded infansportable + 1 nurse).

You will have the opportunity to climb on the roof of the bunker to access the 4th level where the anti-aircraft turret was located, and then to the panoramic view of the battery of Crisbecq with a breathtaking view of the islands of Saint Marcouf, first land conquered by the Allies on the morning of June 6th, 1944.

Finally you will discover the memorial Preston Niland, one of the 4 brothers whose story inspired the film "Saving private Ryan".

 


The Command Post is the central point and the major work (10 pieces, 4 levels) Batteries Crisbecq originally formed about 34 buildings, part of which is still abandoned in the peerings nearby.


It falls into the category of large firing positions and observation of the German coastal batteries of the Atlantic Wall with the Large Bunker of Ouistréam, the Grand Blockhaus of Batz sur mer and that of Pointe St. Mathieu in Brest, today restored and visitable in France.

After 72 years of oblivion you can finally discover the inside of the Crisbecq Batteries Command Post whose story inspired one of the most famous scenes from the movie "The Longest Day", when their position as observation the Germans see the arrival of allied ships at dawn on June 6, but Hollywood had distorted the reality for the convenience of the film.

 

Learn about the history of the Utah Beach cannons during a guided tour of the interior of the Crisbecq Crisbecq Battery Burial Command Post, consisting of 10 pieces and a 4-level anti-aircraft turret, rare to have been equipped with 1943 of a periscopic armored dome.

Of the more than 12,000 blockhouses built on the entire Atlantic Wall to face a possible landing of the Allies, the command post of the battery "Marcouf" was the only one to have fulfilled its role on this wall of the impossible , held for 6 days by the battery commander, Walter Ohmsen.
He has twice been visited by Marshal Rommel during the construction of the Atlantic Wall.
He fought the first American paratroopers from 1:30 am on the 6.6.44, and faced multiple sea, air and land attacks during the 6 days of fighting.


Partially destroyed during the war, flooded over the years, he remained closed since 1944.

 

Two years of works were necessary to re-condition him and to open him for 2016.

 

It is the last opened again vestige of the Atlantic wall on landing beaches.