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Who was in control at The Longues-sur-Mer battery?

Discussion in 'Longues-sur-Mer' started by Jim, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
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    via War44
    The Longues-sur-Mer battery was the responsibility of the naval commander for the western sector of Normandy Rear-Admiral Walther Hennecke, who was based in Cherbourg and who in turn reported to Admiral Friedrich Rieve, in charge of the Channel coasts and whose H.Q. was in Rouen. This commander-in-chief of the Channel coasts operated under Admiral Krancke, Commander, Naval Group West. All the highest-ranking naval officers were, of course, under the control of the supreme command group for war at sea led by Admiral Doenitz from his H.Q. in Berlin. This chain of command at Longues-sur-Mer is proof, if proof were needed, that the battery was under German war navy command. As a result, Admiral Hennecke was responsible, not only for his system of naval defence, but also for naval minefields, and for long-range radar stations and navy batteries like those at St Marcouf and Longues-sur-Mer.

    Rear-Admiral Walther Hennecke​


    This command system meant that the naval battery was cut off from the German 716th and 352nd Infantry Divisions stationed nearby under the command respectively of Generals Richter and Krauss, then, working up the German organization chart on the morning of 6th June, General Dollman, Field-Marshal Rommel and finally the Commander-in-Chief, West, Field-Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt. Thus it can be seen that German coastal defences had been entrusted to both the navy and the army. This division of defensive resources was to have dire consequences, as the navy and army commanders did not see eye to eye. Whereas the army wished to group its coastal batteries inland around five kilometres from the coast in order to reduce the risks of naval bombardment, the naval commanders wanted their batteries to be situated as close as possible to the coast in order to fire on sight upon assault vessels, something the army batteries could not do. This desire to bring the batteries up to the coast could perhaps be put down to their feelings of frustration after their hopes had been dashed of playing a major role in the invasion of England, and their anger at seeing their combat fleet condemned to inaction following a decision taken by Hitler early in 1943.

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