StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Port-en-Bessin is a lovely little town and I have spent a lot of time there. It was defended by the Germans with four defence positions that circled the small port, set into a cleft between high cliffs/hills either side. The port was very important in the early days of the war as the different German garrisons could be re supplied by coasters running up and down the channel. With Allied air superiority, it became very dangerous for slow moving, lightly armed boats to sail. So the Kriegsmarine designed a small ship/boat called a Siebel ferries & Flak Lighters. A superstructure containing as many anti-aircraft guns on it as possible and three remained in the port after capture. StP55 was the eastern cliff, not terribly well defended, but has a couple of heavy mortars, a few concrete Vf/FK bunkers. A 7.5cm Kannon and a lot of trenches.

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7.5cm F.K.235.

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8.14cm Gr.W278(f) mortar.

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Pz.T. FT17 MG 311(f) turret.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 march 2013

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 starts I think at the Vauban tower on the left, to the top of the cliff. A barbed wire defence ran around the defence and there and a mine field.

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Barbed wire defence.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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AIR 14/2904 05 April 1943

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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1., Grenadier-Regiment 726, [CP: Maisons, Château Wn54].
1 x R612 casemate due to start construction (Bw.Nr.486).
2 x Ringstands Gr.W mortars.
1 x Ringstand 5cm KwK.
1 x Vf58c Tobruk.
1 x Pz.T. FT17 MG 311(f) turret.
2 x SK bunkers/shelters.
1 x 7.5cm F.K.235(b).
1 x 5cm KwK L/60.
1 x 2cm Flak ?.

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5cm KwK L/60.

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2cm Flak ?.

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Vf58c Tobruk.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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German situation map.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Stuetzpünktgruppe Port-en-Bessin the amalgamation of the four defences. British Commandos were tasked with taking the port and assaulted the town and cliffs on D-Day, but attacked later on D+1 from the rear of the town and taking Wn58, Wn57, the town Wn56 and StP55 last..

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British Commandos.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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NARA 18 June 1945

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The view of the port a year after D-Day. I will cover the fuel tanks in Wn56.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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1943/4 air photo -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bigot map of the defence.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin
Bigot

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The word Bigot was the code word, if you had been informed about Bigot (the secrets of D-Day) you became a Bigoted person.

The Bigot map (bottom) was drawn from the air photos (top).

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StP55 Port-en-Bessinimage

10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The start of the walk. If you park in or near the Ibis car park and then walk up the hill along the original Zig Zag path. This is the path the Commandos advanced up.

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Start.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The water reservoir that was here at the time and may have been adapted as a bunker??. To its side is the plinth with the Commandos details. Probably an ex Compagnie Générale des Eaux.

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Compagnie Générale des Eaux

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Plinth in English and French.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Statement on the plinth --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commando training in Scotland

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Copied from the plinth.

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Captain Terence Frederick COUSINS.

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'A' -Troop Royal Marine Commando May 1944.

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Commandos moving up.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The Capture of Port-en-Bessin by 47 (RM) Commando

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The capture of Port-en-Bessin, 7th June 1944 by David Rowland ROWLAND DAVID is one of today's finest and most accurate military artists. His atmospheric oil paintings present a realistic record of the dramatic events of war, and have won him many commissions from the British Army and Royal favour.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The water reservoir.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Air 14/2904 Bayeux Electra

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Dreh-Elektra? = Sonne? Sonne ["Sun"]: long wave (several LF frequencies between 270 and 330 kHz vs 300 kHz nominal and 250-350 kHz), long-range system of the Kriegsmarine (navy). Lorenz. It was based on "Elektra", but rather than physically rotating a loop antenna, Sonne used three stationary antennas spaced about 1 km (about 3.86 wavelengths) and a single transmitter + goniometer, to electronically sweep the direction of the beams. Range over land 1200 km. Range over sea 2000 km. Transmitter power: 1.5 kW. Ref. 230A-230C, 230K, 230L, 230M, 164B (p. 8, 9)). Collapsed hyperbolic system (extreme case of hyperbolic). Became operational June 1942.

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Aerials.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Aerial tie down.

 

 

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Now the defences. This is an observation post.

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Plan.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Observation.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Observation.

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Plan.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trench position.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trench ammunition niche.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trenches running off east along the cliff.

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Plan.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trench running back west.

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Plan.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trench leading to an SK bunker I think now removed.

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Plan.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Look what flew over. Maybe a Mirage 2000 Fighter.

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Flight refuelling probe.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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About as far as the defence went.

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Plan.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Sorry but there are a lot of trenches left up here, more than most German defences in France.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Steps down into - Something?.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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2 x Ringstands Gr.W mortars. They look very much like the Vf69 ringstand for an 8cm mortar and a Tobruk for fire control and also machine gun defence.

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Plan.

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Vf69 a ringstand for a 8.14cm Gr.W278(f)

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8.14cm Gr.W278(f)

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vf69 a ringstand for a 8.14cm Gr.W278(f) the mortar ringstand.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Machine gun Tobruk.

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Vf69 a ringstand for a 8.14cm Gr.W278(f)

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Observation.

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Defence.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trench continuing on to the second Vf69.

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The two mortar Tobruks.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The second mortar Tobruk.

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details

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Looking out of the mortar pit.

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Pictures around the lip to show where targets were.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The entrance into the mortar Tobruk.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The entrance into the mortar Tobruk. You can see the raw concrete wall.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Site of the R612 casemate due to start construction (Bw.Nr.486) [Bw - Build number when this is shown it means it is ordered or under construction]. By the looks of it this position was started, but not finished. The gun a 7.5cm F.K.235(b). was there and used in an open position but ready to go inside when the casemate was finished.

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R612 casemate..

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Inside an R612 casemate.

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Construction of a casemate at Rue de Ouzeville Jim Swan.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vf58c Tobruk defence.

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Vf58c plan.

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Vf58c elevation.

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Construction.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vf58c Tobruk defence. Interesting that the door is in the rear, most Vf58c's have them on the side.

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Plan with the rear entrance.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vf58c Tobruk defence. The ringstand for a machine gun.

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Looking into a ringstand showing the ring and the rest for its machine gun.

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Inside a Tobruk.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vf58c Tobruk defence. The view from the Tobruk.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Port-en-Bessin.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Trench leading out to the cliff edge.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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A concrete square (for what use??).

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Machine gun position.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Open emplacement for a 7.5cm F.K.235(b).

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7.5cm F.K.235(b).

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7.5cm F.K.235(b).

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Ammunition.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Open emplacement for a 7.5cm F.K.235(b) centre..

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Earlier on in the war

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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2cm Flak 30 that was here previously and later the 7.5cm gun was located here.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The ringstand.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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The view to the Vauban tower & the port.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vauban tower to keep out the dreaded English.

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Vauban was in charge of a building agency rather than personally designing every fort with his name on it.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vauban tower inside. This must have been utilised as part of the defence.

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Ammunition powder magazine.

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Panzer Tobruk on the foundations of the Vauban tower.
Pz.T. FT17 MG 311(f) turret.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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00-00-00

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Pz.T. FT17 MG 311(f) turret. A two man crew, one to fire the gun and another to keep the machine gun in ammunition and to help change hot barrels.

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Turret.

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Mitrailleuse Mle SMG 331(f). A French pre war machine gun.

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Pz.T. FT 17 MG 311(f). variant KwK144(f) elevation.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Pz.T. FT17 MG 311(f) turret Tobruk.

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Turret fittings.

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The FT 17(f) tank that the turret came from.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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This is where I think StP55 ends and Wn56 starts.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Siebel type gunship Flak Lighter. There were around three of these in the port when captured. They caused a lot of trouble to the attackers..

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Flak Lighter 911.


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2 more Flak Lighters in the harbour.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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1944

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vauban after capture.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Later 1940's

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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Vauban post war.

StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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10 October 2018

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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00-00-00

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StP55 Port-en-Bessin

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