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Merville battery

Discussion in 'Merville Battery' started by Jim, Sep 25, 2006.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Impossible mission for the British parachutists

    The 9th Parachutist Battalion dropped in Normandy on 6 June 1944 under the cover of darkness. Lieutenant-colonel Otway trained his troops for months to take the Merville battery. The parachutists knew every detail of the German defences. On D-day the operation began in a tragic way : many parachutists drowned in the marshes, the wind scattered the men on a wide area and the main part of the heavy equipment was lost. However the Red Devils launched the attack, they conquered the blockhouses of the battery one after the other. At 5:00 am all was finished, the parachutists took a layback position in Le Plain and Le Hauger. In this area the 6th Airborne Division renewed with the Operation Paddle on 17 August. The Belgian Brigade under Colonel Piron captured the strongpoint of le Moulin du Buisson and reached Merville and Franceville, cleared of enemy. In the evening the Belgian stopped in front of Le Home still occupied by the German troops. Le Home is liberated the next day on 18 August.
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The battery commander was Leutnant (2nd Lt) Raimund Steiner, who spent much of his time at an observation post on the coast; his second-in-command was Oberfeldwebel (Sgt-Maj) Hans Buskotte. Casemate No I was a Type 611 and consisted of the gun housing, access corridor and two ammunition stores (one for shells and one for cartridges), a shelter for 9 artillerymen, a gas extraction chamber and a machine-gun embrasure covering the rear. It was 15.5 m long and required over 1,330 cubic metres of concrete, and 65 tons of steel rods in its construction. It could house a I50-mm gun. It took two years to complete, and then the command bunker and other installations followed. The other casemates were Type 669s and used less material - 450 cubic metres of concrete and only 20 tons of steel.
     

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