Oct. 29, 2015

Longues-sur-Mer Battery

Wednesday the 21st continued after a delightful lunch in a cafe on the shore, to the German gun battery between Gold and Omaha beaches. The site consisted of four 152-mm navy guns, each protected by a large concrete casemate, a command post, shelters for personnel and ammunition, and several defensive machine-gun emplacements.  Much of this is still there, allthough chilly and rainy we enjoyed the walk through the field around the guns. On the night before the landings, the battery was subjected to a barrage comprising approximately 1,500 tons of bombs.  The craters are still there, adding to the sense of what the engagement there was like. 

The site was shelled during the landings by a the French cruiser as well as the U.S. battleship Arkansas. The battery itself fired a total of 170 shots throughout the day.  Three of the four guns were eventually disabled by British cruisers, though a single gun continued to operate intermittently until 7:00 that evening.  This is well worth it, as all the gun casemates and damaged guns are still there along with the multiple level observation post.