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German coastal artillery batteries in range of the D-Day beaches

Discussion in 'Hitler's Atlantic Wall' started by Jim, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The coastal artillery along the Normandy coast was designed to provide interlocking fire. It should be noted that the only batteries illustrated here are the army and navy coastal artillery batteries in range of the D-Day beaches. There were additional coastal batteries on the Cotentin coast northwest of Utah Beach, but not within range. The army's divisional artillery batteries are not shown here for clarity.
    Nearly all of the batteries shown here were under army control, including two batteries that had been constructed and manned by the Kriegsmarine at Saint Marcouf/Crisbecq and Longues-sur-Mer.

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    The exception was 2/MAA.266 near Bleville-Ia-Corvee with its massive turreted 380mm gun from the cruiser Jean-Bart. Three of these guns were planned but only one was complete by D-Day. Although this gun could reach the D-Day staging areas and the beaches themselves, in reality the lack of fire control beyond the horizon limited its utility at such extreme ranges. The same was true of the 3/HKAA.1254 battery of three 170mm K 18 guns at C1os-des-Ronces, which were at the fringe of the D-Day beach staging areas.
    The most powerful of the batteries to the west was 3/HKM.1261 in Crisbecq near Saint Marcouf, with four casemated Skoda 210mm K39/40 guns, two of which were
    in H683 casemates. This battery engaged in a duel with Allied destroyers off Utah Beach. Within the more immediate area of the beaches, several of the batteries had taken such a pounding during the preliminary air and naval bombardments that their guns had been pulled back days before including the batteries at Riva Bella and Pointe-du-Hoc. I/HKM.1261 at St Martin-de-Varreville had four 122mm guns in open positions and were heavily shelled by HMS Hawkins on D-Day so never went into action. It was taken later in the day by troops of the 101st Airborne Division. The batteries that did engage Allied ships on D-Day included the Longues-sur-Mer battery between Omaha and Gold Beaches and the Houlgate battery of 3/HKM.1255, which was armed with three 155mm K420f guns. The Houlgate battery was initially silenced by fire from HMS Ramilles, but the battery subsequently engaged HMS Warspite and was again brought under heavy naval fire.

    HMS Warspite​


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  2. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    :thumb: The hornets nest made clear there Jim, nice one.

    At Longues Sur Mer last summer:

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    It was kind of busy and I was lucky to have tourists only vaguely visible. I stood by a tour guide inside one of these casements who was explaining that these half dozen or so guns were very modern for the time and extremely accurate. These I think also duelled with the Royal Navy on 6th June....
    [Pause to look it up....]:happy:

    Yep, they were put out of action :
    "...in a furious duel with the cruiser HMS Ajax....."
     
  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Excellent photo Dave, Longues is reaped in history, being one of only a few that actually did battle with the the Allies on D-Day, they were well pounded from the air leading up to the Invasion, but when the going got tough they were quick to surrender. All this and all four casemates still stood after the War, only when the Allies commandeered the place to make an airstrip did one of the casemates get destroyed, this was by accident caused by an explossion of shells used for AA Guns that was placed in side the bunker... :red:

    Do you have many more photo's of Longues Dave.. :ponder:
     
  4. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    :cheers:
    Ha ha yeah I remember the destroyed gun, the fragments are still stuck in the grass !

    I have a few more photos, will email them tonight or tomorrow. The light wasn't the best on the day and they don't stand much resizing, but they're not bad in full size.
     
  5. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Received them with thanks Dave, i hope someday that they will appear in these forums... :silly:
     

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