Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

Details

This was the second of four targets for the Americans on D-Day the E-1 Draw, these valleys at right angles off the coast are natural routes for an invading army. The defenders also saw these valleys as places in need of defending. With Wn64 on the east and Wn65 on the west. Wn65 here was actually not that strong, on 7.5cm Pak 35/36 slightly up the valley. A 5cm KwK L/60 in an R667 casemate. Another in a field position ready to be moved into a brand new R667 being constructed. Situated right on the beach were one of the 5cm KwK's and a 5cm Pak , many trenches and machine guns, half way back were to be two R667 casemates facing away from each other shooting down the beach east and west. Then up on the hill a mortar, the 7.5cm Pak and many more machine gun positions. A long anti-tank ditch ran between the two and minefields and barbed wire surrounded the defence.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Map

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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10./Gren.Rgt.726
2 x R667 casemates. (1 x under construction).
1 x Vf58c Tobruk.
1 x Nr1694 ringstand for 5cm KwK.
1 x Ringstand for the 3.7cm Pak.
1 x 2m thick bunker/reinforced house (cellar).
1 x small command post.
1 x 5cm Gr.W.201(b) in a Tobruk.
Many individual bunkers locally made and trenches.
MF10/11 & 40 mine fields surrounding the forward zone.
1 x 5cm Pak 38.
2 x 5cm KwK L/60.
2 x 61a mortar ringstands.
1 Ant-tank ditch 800meters.
1 x 7.5cm Pak 40.

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Nr1694

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Lc116 Tobruk for an s.MG.34.


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s.MG.34.

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5cmKwK L/60.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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German plan

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Plan

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The German map showing all the defences in the Percee and Bessin area. MF are mine fields.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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06 October 2013

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Beach area

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Unfortunately for us but not for the house owners, the whole beach area has been built on and there seem to be no remains left. That does not mean that there is nothing, there could still be a Tobruk or ringstand in some flower bed. Rommel ordered millions of mines to be laid on the beaches and just inland and many were. A lot of Americans became casualties to mines.

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Automatic flame throwers were situated all along the defences, they were pre pressurised containers of a petroleum fuel that could be electrically fired by a switch panel in one of the bunkers. .

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Laying mines.

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All sorts of intricate anti landing devices were use and one a tree trunk with a Teller mine tied with heavy gauge wire to the end of the pole.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Anti-Tank ditch

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The ditch ran for quite a long way but did not seem to hold the Americans up very much.

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Plan site of the anti-tank ditch.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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WO 219/508

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Anti-Tank ditch

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This is another photograph from War Office document 219/508 showing the tail end of the eastern side of the ditch and if you look at the top right hand side, you will see Wn64's casemate under construction to house possibly the 7.62cm j.K.H290(r) field gun.

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R612 casemate for an LaG gun

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The 7.62cm j.K.H290(r) field gun after its capture..

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

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After the beach and across the anti-tank ditch we have the second line of defence, the two R667 casemates. This one probably the most famous was very early on turned into a war memorial between 1944/1945.

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R667 casemate.

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R667 casemate.

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5cm Pak L/60.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

Details

This is an R667 type casemate for a 5cm KwK type gun. The gun became redundant from its use in tanks. The gun was then married to a plinth mounting that could be held down onto a hold-fast ring of bolts to the base of the casemate. This was the final casemate for this gun, several mountings in earth emplacements on a concrete base, then the Nr1694 ringstand type was an open ringstand, then some had an integrated front wall and a lid placed over the top. Next the Doppelschartenstand casemate where the gun can shoot down the beach left & right and have its seaward side protected. So you can see here the natural progression of the open gun pit to a full casemated gun.

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5cm KwK base for a field position.

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Nr1694 type.

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Nr1694 type.

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This is an add-on to an Nr1695front wall and lid to only allow the gun to fire flanking L&R.

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Doppelschartenstand casemate.


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Plan of an R667 casemate.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

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The flanking wall protecting the embrasure from direct fire from the sea. As well as being attacked by a 37mm armed AAA Half track and a quad mounted one, the USS Frankford came in so close and turned side on so all here armament could fire broadsides at Wn65 and this bunker. The gunnery officer watched what a Sherman was firing at because due to smoke and dust he could not see any targets. They opened fife and saw chips of concrete and dust flying up from the casemate. Men on the beach said it was like being lifted bodily off the sand and then thumped back down, when a shell passed over the. In the end it was the AAA's half track that knocked the bunker about and the guns crew came out and surrendered. How they survived is another story. Untold.

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This is the USS Harding but how it would have looked when Frankfort fired on Wn65.

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The villa that was left on the coast had a rudimentary fire control post mounted on its roof.

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The villa that was left on the coast had a rudimentary fire control post mounted on its roof.

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The villa that was left on the coast had a rudimentary fire control post mounted on its roof.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

Details

This casemate was hit several times as can be seen and also a direct hit through the embrasure. The large chip on the roof could have been 5" shells from the Frankfort. The chip on the embrasure possibly the 37mm AAA half track.

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The end of the barrel was threaded and a muzzle break screwed on, this allowed for a higher powered charge. The gas was diverted backwards through the muzzle causing a breaking affect. Allowing a more powerful shell to be used and no real increase in the travel of the barrel. This was a German invention and taken up very quickly by the British in their 25 pounder gun.
In this picture it is missing?

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Now you see its back on.

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And here today but not screwed on fully??? I wonder what happened here.

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5cm KwK L/60.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Mickhael Akkeman

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

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Another drawing by Mickhael Akkeman of this casemate showing how the crew of the gun would have seen it.
Gun commander, gun aimer, gun loader and two gun ammunition handlers.
Mickhael Akkeman has a You Tube video about how and why he has drawn these stylised pictures.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

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A picture taken after capture and being used as a HQ by the Americans.

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5cm KwK L/60.

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The famous bag over the barrow.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

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An unusual double rear entrance to an R667 casemate. Usually only the rear entrance was used and this seems to be a local add on and may have linked up with a trench system now long gone.

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The standard rear entrance.

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R667 casemate plan.

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Second door.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

Details

Sergeant Haas of the 467th Anti-Aircraft-Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion destroyed the 5cm anti tank gun with his 37mm AA gun on his half track. In doing so 20 Germans surrendered and the Beach Exit was opened up by the engineers. I took up a position behind the rangefinder and in an instant we opened fire. We missed our first three shots as a shell went past us. I made an adjustment on the rangefinder and the next 15 shots went right into the gun port of the bunker. All the time my M16 were firing their 4 50 calibre machine guns at the bunker. No doubt the Bunker was dead. Beach Exit E 1 would become the most important exit on D-Day. And along the pillbox "Ruquet", the first Headquarters of the Americans at Omaha Beach, thousands of soldiers that landed at Omaha Beach would pass.

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M16 half track with a 37mm AA gun and twin 30cal machine guns..

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M16 half track with a 37mm AA gun and twin 30cal machine guns.


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The plaque to the 467th Anti-Aircraft-Artillery.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

Details

5cm KwK L/60 showing the gun with part of the shield damaged. Below the three types of 5cm Pak guns. The first two without muzzle breaks and the third the L/60 with one.

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5cm L/39.

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5cm L/40.

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5cm L/60.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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After capture

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate.

Details

This is just after capture, the gunner would have been killed by this round coming through.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate

Details

This is the ready ammunition space and would have been wood lined and full of ammunition.

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Boxes of 5cm ammunition.

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Boxes stacked behind a 5cm KwK on Wn61.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate

Details

When the gun has fired the shell case is ejected and one of the guns crew would collect it and pass it out of this slot where it would be cleared up later.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
R667 casemate No.2

Details

This is the second R667 under construction covering the west flank. Built in Bauform blocks and in filled by steel reinforced rods and then filled with concrete.

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Bauform construction, a concrete block often built of fly ash

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Steel reinforcement.

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Steel reinforcement showing through the worn concrete..

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Steel reinforcement.

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Plan.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Steps up to the rear defence up on the hill. There were at least three machine guns up here with un interrupted fire down onto the beach and any American on it.

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American soldiers climbing up the hill behind the bunker.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Escape or chimney for a small bunker.

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Plan.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Escape or chimney for a small bunker.

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Bunker escape.


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Plan of a Wellblech bunker that was around here somewhere.

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A Wellblech bunker.



Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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The view from the top with an entrance into a hole in the ground, possibly a bunker. This picture was taken in 2005 and I did not see it in 2018?? There was also a Vf61 type Tobruk/ringstand for a 5cm le.Gr.W.201(b). A Belgian version of the 5cm Granatwerfer 36 mortar. The Germans in bunkers close by said the were whistling out of the tube and going all over the place. The crew probably so afraid were just firing blindly towards the beach. The Americans said they were more a nuisance than anything else. Very small amounts of explosive and wobbling in the are.

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Plan of a Vf61 that may also have been here with a 5cm le.Gr.W.201(b) mortar.

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A 5cm le.Gr.W.201(b) mortar set on a plinth.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouestUnsure bunker

Details

Not exactly sure what this was?? its hollow and goes back away.

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Plan.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
7.5cm Pak 40

Details

This picture shows a 7.5cm Pak 40 A/T gun looking down the valley towards the sea.

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Plan..

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Shooting.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
7.5cm Pak 40

Details

This is the best I could do to find the spot the gun was in. This whole area was built over by US army camps/stores, etc and also a complete airfield was built on the top of the hill, obliterating any remains.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
7.5cm Pak 40

Details

This seems to be another picture of the gun with the camouflage removed. It does not look as though it was too damaged. Although it has seen some action.

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7.5cm Pak 40 shield details..

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7.5cm Pak 40.

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7.5cm Pak 40.

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7.5cm rounds.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Villa les Saines Vacance

Details

From here can be seen the anti-tank wall and the Villa les Saines Vacance before it was demolished. Not much else is visible.

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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06 June 1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Villa les Saines Vacance

Details

Slightly incorrect details on this picture, Easy White it should be Easy Red. I don't think there was an Easy White beach code.

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Plan.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Prominent building, now removed can be seen in front of the R667 casemate..

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Plan.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Civilians caught up in the battle, probably removed from the village for safe keeping, any wounded would immediately be shipped back to England and often nobody of their families knew where or what had happened to them until much later.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

Details

The second R667 under construction with the Bauform blocks built up and the steel reinforcement rods set in. Just awaiting the concrete.

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Landing Ship Infantry.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
Bigot Map

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This is a 'Bigot' Map of E-1 Draw and I have overplayed roughly some of the advances on D-Day.

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Planning.

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Troops queuing up for coffee and Doughnuts of Weymouth’s sea front before leaving England.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Information Section Office of the Chief Engineer, HQ., ETOUSA 27 April 1944

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest
E1

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This plan seems to have been made prior to the construction of the R667 casemate and the continuation of the anti-tank ditch.
Beach Exit - E-1.
Beach No.  -  46.
1 - All measurements taken from aerial photographs.
2 - A stereo-comparagraph was used to obtain data for road profile.
3 - Data for geological section was taken from 1:5000 beach maps compiled by information section Intelligence Division O.C.E. HQ, ETOUSA.
European Theatre of Operations, United States Army.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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24 September 2005

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Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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The end of the battle and POW's are being shipped out. Every German that made it to England, the war for them was over. For every American that landed on the beach, the war for them had only just started.

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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Information

Wn65 St-Laurent-sur-Mer le Ruquet ouest

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