Brécourt Manor

Slightly more than one kilometer north of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont is a French farming chateau called Brécourt Manor.  Across the curvy road from the stone barn is a pasture and on the southwest side of the hedgerow/tree line (diagonally pointing northwest towards the hamlet of Le Grand Chemin) is the site of a famous and impressive military undertaking.  The internet is replete with descriptions of this attack against a German gun battery shelling Utah Beach the early morning of June 6, but the short, short story is this: a near spontaneously planned assault was executed by just 13 soldiers of Easy Company led by Lt. Dick Winters against a platoon of about 50 German troops.  They were manning (4) trenched 105 mm Howitzers and guarded by an equal number of MG42 machine gun nests from across the west side of the field as they launched their shellfire onto Utah. Winter’s squad launched their attack and destroyed all of the Howitzers with TNT and German potato mashers, one after another down the trench line towards the Manor and then withdrew with two soldiers killed, having wounded and killed about twenty German soldiers.  First stop is Band of Brothers – Episode 2 for an authentic recreation of this operation.