Pocket Guides to Pegasus Bridge and Merville Battery

Pocket Guides to Pegasus Bridge and Merville Battery

Neil Barber
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
Sabrestorm Publishing, through Casemate UK have brought out two small. Pocket size books as guides to Pegasus Bridge and Merville Batteries. These really are pocket sized and aimed at the reader actually standing on the ground with a fair knowledge of the actions that took place on 6 June 1944. The book will easily slip into a shirt pocket.

The books are really neat and brings the story of these two actions through text, maps, and photographs both then and now. The maps are rough drawn but show where the viewer should be standing and in which direction to look then describes what happened in that particular place. For instance, at Stand 1 – the bust of Major Howard, there is a description of the landing of the three gliders and their approach to the landing. There are 10 stands, each with the description of the action and some background to how it fitted in to the whole plan. The guide stays on subject and does not move away on a tangent about all the other things taking place on that historical day. The guide covers just a few hundred yards from John Howard’s bust to the 7th Bn Parachute Regiment memorial.

The Merville Battery guide is exactly the same format but there is more text explaining that took place by 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment. This is more to do with what is there now as the Battery is just the emplacements. However the text takes the reader through the plan, the bombing prior to the drop, the problems with the drop and collecting together the Battalion which left only 150 men out of a full para battalion to make the actual assault. The guide takes the reader through the assault, including the very important reconnaissance prior to assault There are a couple of maps which explain what the Battalion did and against what,#

Both these books are concise and to the point, only 50 pages in length yet pack in the information required to let the reader understand exactly what went on that night. Interspersed are small vignettes from soldiers who were there and what they did on the night.

Each book ends with some extras on the state of the sites now, further reading to enable more detailed examination of the actions and especially in the case of Merville, more quotes from men who were there.

If you are going to do the tours then these light but very informative books would be ideal for you.

4/5 Mrs MRHs for these useful little guides.

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