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    The Guns of Longues Sur Mer

    I mentioned the above place in another post, but was lucky to be over in Normandy last week, although some of my transport let me down the Citroen Berlingo carried on, so managed to get to a few places of interest to me.

    Before I left, two books I ordered arrived, D-Day Fortifications in Normandy OspreyPublishing and a very thick book The Atlantic wall (History and guide) by Pen and sword.

    (I can assure you, to go into a Library and ask for a book on Germanicon Bunkers you wont get much apart from some strange looks... )

    I was about 6 miles south form Arrowmanches, (Gold Beech) although every time I tried to visit there was something on, even the last day on Sunday I drove there only to find hundreds of cars going that way.
    But I managed to get to some other places, as I was following a map of the WW2 defences in that area, I'll come back to that in another post, but the best site so far was Longues Sur Mer.

    Its now a Preserved site, I've many pictures but will go through quickly each casemate and concentrate on No 1 ??






    The barrels are marked with a BxB code which is the Skoda Works......
    (Aktiengesellschaft vormals Skodawerke, Pilsen, Czechoslovakiaicon)







    No1 (which I thought was No4) is probably the best of them all, quite a few photos of this and of the rear, the entrance and looking through to the breech, the actual casemates were only for the Gun and ammo, outside at the rear was an ammo store,.......

    I've tried to recreate what it would be like for one of the lads shifting ammo from the rear into the casemate in the last few.







    So from the ammo store at the rear,










    Walking up to the command post I passed another ammo store, this one is far more accessible than the last, but included a pic of the entrance etc, at the corner were I turned to the command post there was a small gun emplacement and a tobruck, Similar builds had the turret from a Frenchicon Renault tank sitting on top, I'll find a pic and post that later.









    The last was the command firing post,






    I can only imagine the view on the 6th June 1944 would of caused occupiers some quick bowel movements....

    One thing I noticed and I would say only a matter of time that it becomes closed was the concrete cap supports are looking a bit tired...... didn't stay under here for long, no doubt it will be still be there in another 75 years, but its the Engineer in me.




    Had a Fantastic time, I just concentrated in one area, I intend to go back but I'd do it outside of the June celebrations, only for the fact its easier to get to certain places.

    I'll post another thread on the map and positions I was trying locate.
    Last edited by bigduke6; 06-12-2019 at 05:11 AM.


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    Geoff,
    Brilliant images there and confirms the Ship guns and all look Germanicon to me from your stamp pics!! Some close calls by the look of them to especially that side swipe on the ships gun

    Chatting to one of the constructors at Merville Battery yesterday, as a Trustee of the Airborne Forces Museum, and he was telling me, as they are constructing a massive car park as Mayor Paz goes all out to make it one of the main Normandy attractions. Dug down and found an underground command centre with bunks etc untouched. That will be a good one to look at in the near future when the site is cleared.
    Lots of stuff on that site which is non Britishicon, like the DAK in US colours but heyho, they have to make a living on what happened on the coast while they can!!!
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Thread Starter
    Gil, I've a few more pics to post but on a separate thread, its where I was looking for what was on a WW2 map, although some of the big structures are still there a few I guess were demolished etc.

    The camp site I was on must of been under a flight path as I was graced a few times by low level DC3 's (C47) one in D-Day colours the other looked like a commercial or a RAF ceremonial colours etc light grey/blue.

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    Geoff,
    Once they left us at Duxford on route to Normandy on the 5th they went in a gaggle for various drop zones and timings.
    There were seven silver coloured commercial DC3's from South Americaicon.
    As you know 40 were scheduled to arrive at Duxford on the 3rd but only 26 made it, leaving a trail of breakdowns across Greenland and Alaska!!

    D-DAY DOLL and the one beside her taking the shot pictured was full of Britishicon Paras who wanted to fly over Pegasus Bridge before their drop where they knew their mates were performing to the crowds ha ha!!
    Always a jump preferred to standing around in NO2 Dress!!!
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    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 06-12-2019 at 09:38 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Does anyone which ship/s or which class of ship these guns are off. I'm thinking that they have the look of, perhaps, the secondary armament rather than the main armament from a warship.

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    Certainly the secondary armament on a cruiser on port and starboard sides of WW1.

    From what relatives tell me ALL these gun implacements were called Bettungsschiessgerüst firing positions.
    These were all manual powered mounts rotated on a pivot at the front of the mount and the rear was supported by rollers resting on a semi-circular rail, and crewed by up to 9 Sailors.

    All were equipped with a gun shield and capable of all-around fire as seen on Geoffs images.
    Every gun position along the Normandy coastline was manned by sailors from the Naval Artillery Regiment called the Matrosen Artillerie Regiment. They were deemed as experts.

    The reason apparently was, firstly their expertise which could not be surpassed, but secondly as Rommel wanted so much doing on the orders of the Fuehrer in such a short time to repel an invasion from Englandicon, they used every spare cannon they could find which had not been scuppered at Scapa Flow and after.

    These involved a lot of captured Frenchicon and Belgium cannons as they took the countries.

    As an aside, Merville Battery was always a misnoma. It was believed by British Intelligence that each of the casements there, overlooked all the landing beaches and were ready for action and capable of reaching ALL the beaches and causing devastating results.

    This was so far from the truth when the 9th Battalion The Parachute Regiment attacked it in the early hours of the 5/6th June and lost a lot of good men, only to find postions empty and what cannon was there was only capable of a 1000 metres at best and old stock.

    Point du Hoc was the same. Intelligence said one thing, but once the Rangers had finally achieved their aim from the sea, and lost a lot of good U.S. soldiers climbing the sheer wall of the cliff, the implacements were empty, or had been recently vacated!!

    Tragic if you start looking at each of these locations and the stories surrounding them. So much unecessary death on all sides through very bad intelligence.

    So in short, the ship guns were there to basically have a barrel pointing out to sea, in the belief that only serving soldiers and sailors would know what was really inside the casements. I am sure some historian will tell us what they were and where they initially came from when Rommel waved his magic stick!!
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    The casemates in post one were actually only just completed before The 6th June, a handy publication called "The Germanicon Battery at Longues-Sur-Mer" by Orep editions, OREP Éditions
    has a few arial photos of march 1944 and May 1944...... other good pics in there and for €5.70 well worth it, if your into your concrete.
    Last edited by bigduke6; 06-12-2019 at 06:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    Geoff,
    Once they left us at Duxford on route to Normandy on the 5th they went in a gaggle for various drop zones and timings.
    There were seven silver coloured commercial DC3's from South Americaicon.
    As you know 40 were scheduled to arrive at Duxford on the 3rd but only 26 made it, leaving a trail of breakdowns across Greenland and Alaska!!

    D-DAY DOLL and the one beside her taking the shot pictured was full of Britishicon Paras who wanted to fly over Pegasus Bridge before their drop where they knew their mates were performing to the crowds ha ha!!
    Always a jump preferred to standing around in NO2 Dress!!!
    What is interesting in that excellent shot is that BOTH Pegasus Bridges are in the shot. The original that was removed to make way for expansion is now on shore can be seen right under the nose of D Day Doll with a glider pointed at it.


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    Well spotted Bob, Not many know there are indeed two bridges, the original is part of the Museum.

    When I was traveling on the Wednesday I was about an hour from my camp site, I took a break and was talking to a few Bikers who were on their way to Drop Zone K IIRC, as there was going to be a drop nearby but believe it was delayed due to the weather, ( Gil, Do you know anything about it?) seems History does repeat itself, as it was chucking it down, in fact it was pretty wet throughout the week......... two old boys who were on the next pitch to me with BSA M20's had gone but returned due to the delays, they looked a bit damp too....

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    Bob,
    Yes I did identify that on a couple of other sites I put the photo up on, and commented that we were there in 1993 as the Frenchicon contractors were busy with their blow torches cutting up the original bridge.
    We got that stopped immediately through the local Mayors office and bought the bridge on behalf of The Parachute Regiment and he sold it to us realising the hostorical value for 1 Franc. Caused a bit of a stir at the time and hit national newspapers all round the world especially in the UK and the USAicon.
    It was duly moved to where it sits now and we built a museum around it, talk about "timings"and in 2000 His Royal Highness The Prince Charles officially opened the museum as our Colonel in Chief.
    Proud moment all round. Mark Worthington is the Britishicon Curator on site. Most of the artefacts in all the Normandy museums were gifted by us at Duxford, and we have a very strong relationship with all concerned over there, howver, some Mayors do their own thing................ie D-DAY marked DAK at Merville on show!!!

    Geoff,
    A couple of "local" aircraft drops were cancelled in the morning due to 18 knot winds on the DZ like we had at Duxford, but most jumped in the afternoon on the 5th! In short they loaded up at Duxford and went straight to the DZ's and umped successfully. The photo is from one of the two Brit PARA loads going to the DZ.
    Just wanted a good pic for historical reasons!
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 06-13-2019 at 04:07 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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