Situated on hill 262 “Maczuga” (the mace) which offers a unique view over the area, a monument commemorates the fights which went along the closing of the Falaise pocket.
Scenic and peaceful today, in 1944 the area was transformed for a few days into bloody killing field.
Maczuga, hill 262 North
This monument was built in 1965 for the 20th anniversary of the battle. It not only commemorates the sacrifice of the Polish soldiers fallen for our freedom, but also invites visitors to reflect on the evolution of tragic events which occurred on the site many years ago.
Attached to the wall of the monument and facing the Valley of the Divine Ones is a metal-torn plaque symbolizing the explosion of an artillery shell. A wrought iron arrow points to divisional badges of the following allied units, which shared the combat:
- 1st Polish Armoured Division
- 2nd French Armored Division
- 90th American Infantry Division
- 4th Canadian Armoured Division
Several tables of explanations describe the progress of the battle in its historical context.
Even after 60 years have passed since this battle, the expansive view of the Valley of the Dives allows one to fully understand the following words of a veteran of this battle which evoked German retreat: ” the plain was moving”.
Sherman Tank M4A1, 76 (W)
This Sherman tank, christened “Gen. Maczek” and “Maczuga”, belonged to the Polish Armoured Division. This model is a late version, more modern than those available during the Falaise pocket fights; it is fitted with the 76 mm gun that was intended to improve the efficiency of the Sherman when dealing with German heavy armour.
This armoured cavalry vehicle used for reconnaissance missions was supplied by the Americans and used by the French 2nd DB. It had a range of 640 km and a maximum speed of 90 kph, allowing for a quick lead and deep penetration behind enemy lines. It was only equipped with a 37 mm gun and a machine-gun, and was considered slightly armored. Its crew consisted of four men. The M8 Greyhound is located beside the Memorial