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Longues-sur-Mer Control Bunker Was Unfinished

Discussion in 'Longues-sur-Mer' started by Jim, Aug 20, 2010.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    In June 1944, the Longues-sur-Mer control bunker still showed some weaknesses which were felt during the battle. First of all, the bunker was unfinished and if the battery commander wished to look out to sea, he had to go upstairs to the observation deck as the range-finder room on the ground floor opened out onto the cliff face. The task of clearing the ground in front of the bunker had been left until last so as to conceal it from enemy spotters. The rock has, however, now been cleared away and the sea can be seen through the front lookout slit. This is thanks to the makers of the film "The Longest Day", who in a memorable scene brought this control bunker back to life. The second weakness lay in the difficulties encountered in transmitting information to the four casemates as each wave of bombing caused heavy damage to the network of telephone cables.

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    Despite being buried under 2 metres of earth, the cables were unable to withstand the 1000kg bombs which left in their wake craters seven metres deep and twenty metres across. So the control bunker was cut off from its guns after each bombing raid. Unlike St Marcouf, where the battery commander decided to leave the telephone cables running along the ground so as to be able to repair them quickly, a method which proved particularly effective on D-Day, Longues Sur-mer battery took no alternative measures. There were other possible solutions too, such as the optical method which involved painting figures on large boards. This method worked less well, and sometimes not at all, as the visibility of the gunners was marred by the smoke from their own guns and from enemy shells and bombs. On the morning of June 6th, the command centre was cut off from its guns and Longues was very soon cut off from its seafront commander in Cherbourg as well, because overhead wires were systematically cut throughout the battle zone, often by Resistance fighters.
     

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