Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Wn64 was quite a small defence above the valley of the le Ruquet River Valley. Originally it was a defence using trenches and earth bunkers, when later two Tobruk´s were added, two Feldmässig bunkers and a 7.62cm Infantry field gun was added. Later an R612 casemate was being built.

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Easy Red.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Geoportail plan

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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3./Gren.Reg.726.
1 x 7.62cm I.K.H.290(r) Infantry Howitzer.
1 x R612 casemate (under construction).
2 x 8.14cm Gr.W.278(f) Mortars.
2 x Feldmässing shelters.
2 x Vf58c Tobruk´s.

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Vf58c Tobruk´s.

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R612 casemate.

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Trenches.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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German defence plan

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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This is the German map of the defences around Wn64. To its left covering the road are two minefields MF11.

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Laying a minefield both sides of an anti-tank ditch.

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Bouncing Betty S-mine (Schrapnellmine)

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S mines ready to lay.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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11 October 2018

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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An R612 casemate under construction is about the middle of the photo, I did try to get up there in October but the undergrowth was way too thick. I will try before the spring.
This Wn is set quite a way back off the beach, it was planed before 1943 and before Rommel took over. He ordered that the defence had to move forward closer to the beach. The infantry position did stay up on the hill but the small Infantry Howitzer was placed well forward to control the valley (Draw) and then an R612 was being built either for the Infantry Howitzer or a larger Field Gun.

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7.62cm I.K.H.290(r).

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7.62cm I.K.H.290(r) as a horse drawn field gun.

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7.62cm ammunition.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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11 October 2018

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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An R612 casemate under construction upper right side.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Recon Photo

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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You can see the main defence on the hill and the R612 under construction or it may be the position of the 7.62cm F.H. covering the valley. The main defence is dated at 1943 and the date of this photo. The anti-tank ditch not built yet, that was built early 1944.

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Anti-tank ditch.

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Anti-tank ditch.

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Design of an anti-tank ditch.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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1945

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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This is an air photo taken post D-Day probably July 1944 showing the construction in Bauform.

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Bauform bricks and reinforcement steel bars.

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Bauform bricks.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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1944

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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R612 under construction (construction No.Bw.486). What a strong position, if a field gun had been set in here it would have been able to fire across the le Ruquet River valley.

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Looking out of an R612.

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Inside.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Post D-Day

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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This is the field position probably built by the gunners to camouflage their gun. It must have done some damage across the valley, I do not know how many rounds were fired.
Infantry companies/platoons that held a position were issued heavy weapons as they came available. These were not fired by artillery troops but by infantry men trained in that role. It would have made them slightly less affective than they could have been.

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7.62cm I.K.H.290(r).

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7.62cm I.K.H.290(r).

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An ammunition niche at Wn62, these were a local made storage of any ammunition and quite a few are in this eastern end of the defence.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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DEFE 2/431 Operation Neptune Part IV

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Order of Battle in the West
As of 5 May 1944
Secret.
716th Static Infantry Division (Wehrmacht), 726 Infantry Regiment.

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716th Static Infantry Division (Wehrmacht).

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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00-00-00

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Now up on the hill the original and main defence. A trench system laid out in a circle with 2 Feldmässig bunkers as living accommodation, two defence Tobruk´s and two 8.14cm Mortars.

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MG.34 machine guns.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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81mm Mle. 1927/31 Stokes-Brandt 

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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8.14cm or 81mm Gr.W.278(f) a captured French Mortar.
The crew are training with a wooden mortar bomb and you can see a piece of string to extract the bomb out of the barrel. These mortars were very effective and would have made life on the beach very difficult. The bombs hitting the shingle would create metal and also stone shrapnel flying all over the place, killing and injuring many Americans.

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81mm Gr.W.278(f).

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Box of mortar bombs.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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US Int officer

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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This is one of the positions for an 81mm Gr.W.278(f). It looks like a concrete base to sit the base plate of the mortar on and it looks like a sort of turntable. Behind an ammunition niche to store the mortar bombs and any spare parts.

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A plan of the beach that may have been used by the gunners. A call for fire in a certain area could be called down buy an observer and he would say 'Target B', the gunners would then move the barrel around to line up with pre determined marks in the mortar pit and a pre set sight. and fire could come down very quickly.

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81mm Gr.W.278(f) broken down for transporting.

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Mortar crews.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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MG.34 

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Two Tobruks were placed covering the rear of the defence but could probably bring their guns to bear on the beach.

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Vf58c plan.

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Vf58c.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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This twin engined Lightening is flying a very low level reconnaissance flight along what was to become

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Lightening of the 7th photo Reconnaissance Group at RAF Mount Farm.

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RAF Mount Farm.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Bigot Map of the are

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Bigot map of Wn64 showing the anti-tank ditch, the barbed wire and possible machine gun positions.

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Anti-tank ditch.

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Barbed wire.

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Machine guns.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Omaha Beach Draw E3 Bigot plan 27 April 1944

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est
Combined Operations Pilotage Parties

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This is an artists impression of the E1 Draw le Ruquet River Valley. From aerial photos. It tells of the shingle and sand beach, that if tanks cross the shingle it will be compacted to allow wheeled vehicles to cross. It does say that Sommerfeld Tracking may need to be used.
From the obituary of Donald McColleville "Several beaches were targeted by the samplers, both in an effort to find suitable sites and also to confuse German commanders about where landings might happen". "They would approach the shore in small boats with silenced engines, before swimming or going in a canoe over the final distance". "To take the samples they would turn an auger screw into the beach and put sand into pots, and then head back to England."

Equipment: Underwater writing tablet and chinagraph pencil, 2 waterproof torches, oil-immersed waterproof prismatic compass, RG infra-red gear, auger tube, bong stick, sounding lead and line, beach gradient line (fishing line attached to 1’ brass rod), SUE (Signal Underwater, Explosive: No.36 Mills grenades), 2-days emergency rations

Bong stick ?? I wonder what that was.

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Sommerfeld tracking.

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Yorkshire-born Major Donald McColville and served with the Royal Engineers in WW2 would visit beaches at night and creep u the sand and take samples. Bring them back and write a report on the beach.

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Combined Operations Pilotage Parties.


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Stealthily by Night - COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) - Clandestine Beach Reconnaissance And Operations In World War II

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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D-Day Naval Bombardment Schedule

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est
D-Day Naval Bombardment Schedule

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This is the D-Day Naval Bombardment Schedule plan for Omaha beach showing the ships that will target the areas of Wn64.

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USS Shepler.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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06:00 H Hour D-Day

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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LCVP's running into the beach.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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D-Day Plan

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Map showing the German defences and then the Americans beach names. Here we are looking at Easy Red and E1 Draw (le Ruquet River valley).
Lt Spalding E co. 16th Inf. landed (red arrow) at about 06:45 through very deep water and managed to get onto the beach with his 32 men boat group. As they made the drier sand, mortars & machine guns at long range started hitting them. They managed to reach the Roman ruins, muddy marshy and overgrown inner beach, helped hide the soldiers. There was a ravine that would take them up to the top of the grass covered cliff. Following paths up the slope and looking out for mines. Gun fire was coming in from Wn64 but was spasmodic as they were probably also shooting at any troops along the beach under their position. At the top they turned right and advanced on the machine gun and Wn64. They rushed the gun and managed to take the gunner prisoner. When interrogated, they found he was Polish and had been forced by a German NCO to continue firing.
The blue arrows was the route of Capt. Dawson of G Co. They advanced parallel to Spalding and took out a machine gun with a hand grenade in a position at the top of the path.
Both groups continued into the hinterland.

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Wading ashore

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Climbing the bluff.


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Advancing into the Bocage.

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Machine gun on the bluff.

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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3026 Cherbourg 1944

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Air photo 1944 of E1 Draw with tents, vehicle, track ways filling up the area.

Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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Its all over

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Wn64 St-Laurent-sur-Mer est

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