Thursday, August 04, 2011

D Day Today: 3. Longues Battery

The battery at Lonques comprises 4 casements for 155mm naval guns plus associated support bunkers all set in an arc about 300m back from the top of the cliffs west of Arromanches. 

About 6000 tones of bombs were dropped on it before D-day with no perceptable effect. 

On D-day it was engaged by ships of the French & British navies and put out of action. It did manage to force one ship to retire hurt, but the episode demontrates the superiorty of naval guns relative to air bombardment for bunker busting. The battery with just 4 guns was no match for several ships.   Even so, the bunkers show remarkably little sign of damage.  The eastern one is a shambles, but this is said to be due to an explosion of collected left-over ammo stored there after the battle.

All 4 of the original guns are still in their bunkers.   The other 3 have various degrees of damage but are basically intact, though they have been patched up a bit.

Ammo storage bunker.

There are small machine gun bunkers around to protect the battery and observation post from infantry attack.

The observation bunker on the cliff top.

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