Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image

Information

Wn40 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

1 x R677 (under construction).
2 x s.Gr.W.

image

s.Gr.W. 34 mortar.

image

R677 casemate.

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Google

Information

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
4th June 1944

Information

Wn40, 40a & 40b Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

Air photo dated 4th June 1944 just two days before D-Day, the three Wn's of the Wn40 group.
Wn40 is the main defence.

image

Photo Reconnaissance Spitfire.

image

Camera being fitted.

image

Medmenham photo interpreters.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
German Defence Map

Information

Wn40, 40a,40b & 41 Arromanches

Details

The German plan of Wn's in the area, Wn40 is on the plan but the smaller a & b were being made by the new 352nd Inf. Div. that had moved into the area just before D-Day and were frantically digging in.

image

 

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
400/197 4th June 1944

Information

Wn40, 40a & 40b Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

The group of Wn's and the white lines their field telephone cables.

image

 

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
400/197 4th June 1944

Information

Wn40a Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

Wn40a a section position Time Team found an M.g.34 position several trenches, dugouts and a field position for a 7.5cm Pak.


image

Feldtelefon II Weltkrieg 1943.

image

They would also have had a radio but relied more on field telephone as it was more secure but was liable too the cables being broken.

image

A piece of armoured cable I liberated from a French field.

image

Signals Lines men repairing cables.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
BBC Time Team screen grab

Information

Wn40a Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

This is a plan from Time Team Special 17 (2004) dig of the area and they found field bunkers, trenches and a field position for a 7.5cm Pak.

'A' Company Dorset's attacked across an open field unknown to them that there was a hastily built defence by the new 352nd Inf. Div. just brought into the area to boost the 917th Div.
'D' company, in fact two very brave men ran up the track and using fire and manoeuvre tactics and a few hand grenades took out the position. Several Germans were killed and two officers and 15 soldiers taken prisoner.

image

M.g.34.

image

7.5 Pak 38.

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
BBC Time Team screen grab

Information

Wn40a Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

"Stone the Crow's That is a mean bit of wire. That don’t look agricultural to me" Phil Harding, bless his socks. Found at Point 54 Wn40a.

image

 

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
400/197 4th June 1944

Information

Wn40b Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

This is Wn40b It was possibly was only a section position and may have had a couple of machine guns and infantry.
A small buried extra cable looks as though it was added later than the main cable trenches. Time Team found trenches and dugouts here.

image

 

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
4th June 1944

Information

Wn40, Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

A close up of Wn40 showing where the R677 (Bw.Nr.484 building number) was being built. It was to be made in Bauform (Breeze block) and steel reinforcement. Filled in with concrete.
The foundations remain and time Team unearthed them.
The white strait lines are cables for the field telephone system connecting the area with an extra smaller cable to Wn40b due South.

image

Screen grab of the plan of a bunker Time Team found. They thought it could have been a command post but construction was halted due to D-Day.

image

R677 casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

image

8.8cm Pak 43/41 inside an R677. But here only the foundations had been started..

image

Bauform (Breeze block)

image

The inner and outer wall has been built at Wn32 Batterie Vera.


image

The steel reinforcement would have been added and then cement poured in the gap..

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
Google D65

Information

Wn40, Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

This is a screen grab from Google Maps on the D65 looking North East towards Gold Beach and the main defences on the beach. The 8.8cm Anti-Tank gun and mortars in Wn40 could with mortars drop them very accurately on any troops advancing and the 8.8cm A/T gun could take out any tanks attacking up this important valley running from L to R. and the advance inland.

image

Plate 10: Wessex Archaeology the foundations of the R611.

image

R677 with its 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

image

Sherman DD tanks of 'C' Squadron Sherwood Rangers gave the Dorsets support.

image

90th Field Regt. RA gave fire support with Sexton 25-pdr guns.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
Bundesarchiv, Bild 1011-705-0270-18 Foto; Baur-Aviter Sept Oct 1943 Russia

Information

Wn40, Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

This is an 8.8cm Pak 43/41 in Russia and shows haw it would have been placed here in Wn40.
We do not know if a gun was in the Wn on D-Day or if it was had the shelling and bombing may have damaged it beyond repair?? There is no mention of this gun being used in the books and Time Team report??

image

8.8cm ammunition.

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
Bundesarchiv, Bild 1011-316-1190-27 Foto; o.Ang. 1944

Information

Wn40, Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

2 x s.Gr.W. 8cm Mortar.
There were two mortars here in open pits like the one in the picture and may have had as many as six or seven men serving it. The Dorsets lost a lot of men almost a third due to casualties from shelling and mortaring..

image

Two s.Gr.W. 8cm Mortars and crew.

image

s.Gr.W. 8cm Mortars

image

Fire.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
Bigot May 1944

Information

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

Wn's 40, 40b, 40a & 41. This is all the information that intelligence had gathered by May 1944. They had not seen anything of Wn40a in the woods only a machine gun position out in the field. And as for Wn40b they do show some machine guns. The woodland had been gradually cut down to make anti landing posts on land and in the sea. A veteran said that the woods looked a bit thinner than today.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
400/197 4th June 1944

Information

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

A simplified plan of the Dorsets attack after landing to the East of Wn37. Consolidating at les Roquettes and continued in the attack on Asnelles with the Hampshires. Then moving South towards Buhot. On the way 'D' Company captured a company of Pioneers. 'C' Company (light blue arrows) advanced across the orchard but came under heavy fire and 'A' Company (dark blue) came around the flank and up a track that was covered by an M.g.34. Two Dorsets advanced using 'Fire and Manoeuvre' tactics and overcame the machine gun and crew with a few grenades. 'A' Company then continued its advance on Wn40 with 'D' Company in support. They crossed open ground but came under fire from Wn40a. 'D' Company attacked the wood and killed and captured the defenders. The advance on Wn40 continued and captured at least 40 men. Only then could the advance continue on to Wn41 to the West.

image

 

image

 

image

 

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
Bigot 1944

Information

Wn41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Details

Wn41 Ryes - le Petit Fontaine a battery of four Field Howitzers which were horse drawn artillery.

Batterie Frankiska.
4 x 10cm le.F.H.14/19(t).

image

10cm le.F.H.14/19(t).

image

10cm le.F.H.14/19(t) were a horse drawn batterie.

image

10cm powder bags.

image

10cm shells.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
BBC Time Team screen grab

Information

Wn41 Ryes - le Petit Fontaine.

Details

A concrete base for a 10cm le.F.H. 14/19(t). There may have been four of these another in the open and two in the woods. Needs investigating.
The Dorsets put in another attack later on D-Day here but found it empty of troops (does not say about guns) and all the ammunition had been fired off.
Artillery are given a 'Load' of shells meaning a certain amount. That is the amount they can fire off before they need re-supply. I believe in Normandy they had 'Two Loads' per Batterie but one load may have been removed for safety and held back away from the gun position as the Allied bombing had increased. Re supply would have been easy either lorried transport or horse drawn could have brought up plenty of shells but due to the constant fighter and fighter bombers, no ammunition got through to any of the forward batteries on D-Day.

image

10cm le.F.H.14/19(t).

image

Boys will be boys.

image

Ringstand from the air.


image

Typhoons attacking ground targets with rockets..


image

German artillery map.
Wn45 and 41 with the cross roads in between is target number 305.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

image
Google Earth

Information

Wn41 Ryes - le Petit Fontaine.

Details

le Petit Fontaine.

Wn40, 40a, 40b & 41 Arromanches - le Puits d´Herode

Time Team

Information

Time Team Special 17 (2004).

Details

Also: -
Wessex Archaeology St Côme de Fresné, Arromanches, France. pdf
Three Assault Landings, Lt-Gen. Bredin. The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester.
The D-Day Landing on Gold Beach. Andrew Holborn. ISBN: 978-1-4411-8326-6
The 56th Infantry Brigade and D-Day. Andrew Holborn. ISBN: 978-1-4411-1908-7 (hard back) 978-1-4411-1908-1 (Paper back).