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The Sinking of the USS Corry

Discussion in 'Crisbecq - St Marcouf battery' started by Jim, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Saint-Marcouf battery, located next to the village of Saint-Marcouf, is also known as the Crisbecq battery, since it is also situated just outside the hamlet of Crisbecq. The Americans tended to call it Crisbecq and the Europeans called it Saint-Marcouf. Located 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometres) inland from Utah Beach, the battery is credited with sinking an American destroyer on D-Day as troops were landing on Utah Beach. The Corry was the only U.S. destroyer sunk on D-Day and the U.S. Navy's only major loss that day.
    Initial reports and accounts of the sinking of the Corry stated that the loss of the ship was due to a salvo of heavy-calibre projectiles that hit the Corry amidships and broke the ship's keel at about H-Hour (6:30 a.m., when troops landed on Utah Beach). These early battle reports identify and detail what kind of projectiles detonated, and where they detonated, and what damage they caused.
    But the final official loss of ship report for the Corry credited major damage to a mine in the water that was said to have exploded in the exact same location and at the exact same instant ("simultaneously") as the heavy-calibre shells that hit the Corry. The multiple heavy-calibre 8.25-inch projectiles received were then officially attributed to having caused "merely incidental damage" in the final official report. These shells—8.25-inches in diameter—were bigger than ones fired from heavy cruisers. The fact that there was a strong concussion effect when the ship was hit was the sole basis for the mine speculation in the final report.

    USS Corry: 28th July 1941

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    Several of the Corry's crew have stated that the USS Corry was sunk by heavy enemy gunfire alone; that there was no mine involved in the sinking of the USS Corry. Input from officers and crew explained how shellfire had caused the sinking. A final report that detailed how enemy shellfire had sunk the Corry was about to be submitted as the official loss of ship report in mid-June 1944, however, that report was suddenly discarded and a different report was written stating that the ship had struck a mine. No officers or crew were consulted for input on the re-written mine report, which then became the official Corry loss of ship report.
    To note: When the Corry was hit, men and equipment on the bridge were thrown diagonally backwards, consistent with heavy-calibre shells entering the engineering spaces (behind the bridge, below the water level), and detonating downward, driving the middle of the ship downward like a "V", and pulling the bridge and everyone on it backward. However, a mine exploding under the engineering spaces as reported in the final official report would have caused the exact opposite of what happened: it would have driven the middle of the ship upward and would have thrown men and equipment on the bridge forward. Thus, as one Corry officer explained, it is physically impossible for a mine to have exploded under the engineering spaces as stated in the final official report. Unfortunately, the final official report is usually what is considered history.
    As to why the final official report stated there was a mine, some speculate that Allied Command may have wanted to discredit the marksmanship of the German gunners in the invasion.
    All in all, however, Corry survivors are not so much concerned with how the USS Corry was sunk. For them, the fact the USS Corry was sunk on the front lines on D-Day while blasting enemy positions in the invasion to break Adolf Hitler, is what is important.
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The plaque at the Saint-Marcouf (Crisbecq) battery.

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    SAINT-MARCOUF : THE CRISBECQ BATTERY
    GERMAN COASTAL DEFENSE​

    The only heavy battery on the eastern coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, the Crisbecq Battery, was located 2.5 kilometers from the shore on a crest overlooking all of Utah Beach. From Crisbecq, the Germans could see and defend the entire coastline from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue to Grandcamp.

    Although it was never completed, the Crisbecq battery was the keystone of this portion of the German Atlantic Wall with three, long-range 210 mm cannons and a garrison of 400 men. The Allies dropped over 800 bombs on Crisbecq between April 19 and June 6, 1944. This unrelenting aerial attack climaxed on the night of June 5 when 101 four-engine bombers unleashed 598 tons of explosives on the battery. On June 6, the surroundings were unrecognizable, but the guns were still intact.

    At 6 am on D-Day, as GI’s were landing on Utah Beach, Crisbecq opened fire, sinking an American destroyer.

    The battery held out for several days, despite shelling by U.S. battleships and attacks from the American Infantry in hand-to-hand trench combat.

    To repel the Allied assault, the German commander of Crisbecq radioed to the Azeville battery and requested that it fire on his position. Crisbecq was finally taken at 8:20 am on June 12, after the German commandment ordered its troops to evacuate to La Pernelle, between Quettehou and Barfleur. The fierce German resistance momentarily halted the Allied Advance to the north.
     

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