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MG nest on Omaha Beach

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by jofly, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. jofly

    jofly recruit

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    Hello! 2 years ago I went to normandy to discover Operation overlord. When I
    stod on Omaha Beach at the Dog Green sector I read in a book called Bloody Omaha
    about that the Dog Green sector was the worst and bloodiest of all sectors. Was
    The Dog Green sector the bloodiest? or was any of ther other even worse. Im also
    curious about how the machinegun nests were constructed? I have seen many
    different constructions of the nests. Everything from the big bunkers on Saving
    Private Ryan to a flat plateau with sand sacks to cover. I scaned in a picture from the book. Anyone have a clue how the mg nests on the cliff that I have pointed out might look like?
    I have also trying to find info about how Heinrich Severlohs mg nest looked like.
    The book is really good and shows most bunkers but this is mainly for cannons/PAK etc.
    Anyone got some facts/pictures or anything that could help me with these two questions that I've
    been struggling with for over 2 years now. Best regards Johan
     

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  2. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Hard to say for sure, but the drawing seems to be showing positions at the ends of a trench system. MG crews would have sheltered in concrete dugouts during heavy bombardments and manned the sandbagged MG emplacements when ordered out.

    This site:

    Omaha Beach-Vierville

    has this photo (but slightly larger):
    View attachment 18140
     

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  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    I'm not sure if this helps, but this article, while it has no pictures, gives a mental image of Severloh's position.
    Heinrich Severloh
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    According to 'Fortress Third Reich' by Kaufmann & Kauffmann, the Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach was overlooked by a number of Tobruks ( pp 310-312 ).
     
  5. jofly

    jofly recruit

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    thanks alot for your replies guys :) Really nice info here, I can believe that Hein Severloh and the ones at WN71 looks quite similare to your pic Earthican
     
  6. jofly

    jofly recruit

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    Found this picture, circled a interesting thing I saw. Looks like some small bunker, any idea what it is and what it's used for?
     

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  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    It's difficult to tell from the photo, but it is a possibility that what can be seen is the roof of a Type 134 ammunition bunker ( Munitionsunterstand 1) which was very common on the Atlantic Wall.
     
  8. arthur45

    arthur45 Member

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    Dog Green and Charlie Green are believed to have suffered the largest number of casualties,
    although calling Omaha Beach "Bloody" is certainly an exaggeration. It was bloodier than any of the
    other D-Day beaches, but that's not saying much : assaults on those other beaches were practically
    unopposed. For the 24 hours of D-Day, casualties for the Omaha assault divisions (and supporting
    personnel) was around 2000. Probably less than 1400 were suffered on the beaches, and probably
    fewer than 400 were killed there. The similar two division amphibious invasion of Roi-Namur and Kwajalein
    in the Pacific suffered almost identical casualty rates as Omaha Beach, yet was praised for the
    "light casualties" suffered. "Bloody Omaha" wasn't all that bloody, despite Spielberg's propaganda in
    Saving Pvt Ryan that it represented huge sacrifices.
     
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  9. Fargo

    Fargo Active Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I heard that more casualties were sustained in the immediate breakout from the beachhead then the actual landings.
     
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    It is hard to work out exactly what the "most bloody" sector was. Is this the place were most casualties were suffered? Or where the highest proportion of casualties were suffered?

    The first wave to land on Dog Green, Company A of 116th Infantry suffered disproportionately high casualties. Several factors conspired to make to this company losing C 60-80% casualties. Co A was taken to the correct beach. Their flanking companies were landed further East, carried by the wind and tide. No armour landed at H Hour as the weather was too bad for the DD tanks for this sector to be launched. Instead they landed some time later.. As a consequence the five landing craft carrying this company suffered the concentrated fire of at least two machine gunners per LCA. Stand on the little pier at Vierville, about level with the LCAs of Co A with a map of the defences.

    Because of the weather, landing craft drifted East and a disproportionate number of troops landed on Easy Red, Fox Green and Fox Red. I suspect that the true beast of Omaha was not Hein Serverloh, but his boss Lt Ferking, the artillery observer who brought down fire on US troops pinned down behind the gravel sea wall. Serveloh's trench is the slit in the open at the rear of Ferking's OP on WN62. He was the driver and brew bitch and outside the concrete OP because there was no room. The position has a good view diagonally across Fox Green. It is behind the earth bank on the side of the OP and could not be engaged from seaward. This may account for his survival..
     
  11. ww2photo

    ww2photo New Member

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    Check my photo books, there are about 20 pictures on the normandy beaches taken in 1941 on my site.
     
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I appreciate your desire to promote your photo site, but I must ask you not to scatter posts like the above all over the forum.
     
  13. jonnyb192

    jonnyb192 Member

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    The majority of the killing on the Dog Green stretch of beach was carried out probably by no more than 2 or 3 well sited enfilading bunkers located on top of the bluffs. These bunkers were part of the WN71 and WN72 defensive positions. The first waves would have suffered at the hands of a few more mgs, trench and tobruk sited small arms as well as at least one MG position connected to the 50mm bunker (the forward most bunker in the D-1 draw), but after the tank and naval fire managed to suppress these the 29th division and Rangers were still left with at least: one MG bunker around the WN73 complex which was later taken out by Capt Goranson and his 2nd Rangers; one double embrasure MG nest looking east from a fold in the D-1 draw's western bluff (this position I believe was mostly destroyed by naval artillery but is still partly there) and a western enflidaing bunker on top of the bluffs at WN71. Not a great deal is known about how the WN71 bunker system looked like as that position took extensive fire from the USS Texas, but the bunkers looked nothing like out of Saving Private Ryan, those types of bunkers would've taken 20mm fire instantly and been suppressed.
     

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