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The Vf600-SK 50mm gun emplacement

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

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    One of the most common gun emplacements along the Normandy coast was the open gun platform for the 50mm pedestal-mounted gun. This type was variously called the OB 600 (Offene Bettung = open platform) or Vf600 (Verstarkfeldmassig = reinforced field position).
    In its basic Vf600v form, it was an octagonal concrete gun pit about 4.I5m wide generally with recesses for ammunition stowage in the four front and side walls. The basic Vf600 version of the series had two access ways at the rear of the platform while the modified Vf600e (E = ein, single) with a single access way as seen in this case.
    This basic configuration was modified on numerous occasions to adapt the platform to local conditions, sometimes called SK designs (Sonderkonstruktion = special design). One of the modifications notable on the D-Day beaches was this parapet style, which was designed to provide enfilade fire along the beach by exploiting the existing high seawalls. This particular type was seen in the British-Canadian sector of the D-Day beaches, especially on Juno Beach. It was found in modified form elsewhere along the Atlantic Wall in northern France and on the Breton coast.

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    The standard Yf600e design formed the core of the position, but a massive 3.5m-thick glacis was added in the direction of the sea to provide very durable protection against naval gunfire. A ferro-concrete roof was also added over the platform, a feature not found in the standard platform. A crude type of camouflage was created along the lip of the roof by placing wood planks inside the outer edge of the mould when pouring the concrete, resulting in zig-zag indentations to break up the regular shape of the surface. This type of improvised camouflage was widely used in bunker construction in Normandy, though its effectiveness was dubious.
    The position was designed as a parapet to stick out beyond the seawall to permit the gun to fire along the wall against any troops trying to seek shelter. However, some of these platforms were constructed on the corners of seawalls, offering even broader fields of fire against the beaches. This type of gun platform caused numerous casualties on D-Day and proved very difficult to knock out from the seaward side. Infantry or tank assaults from the more vulnerable landward side eventually overcame most of these bunkers
     

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