Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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This is the middle section of Omaha Beach but the German army only learnt learnt this fact later on, that it was one of the targets for the biggest beach landing in history. The soldiers defending the beach went about their daily work duties building up the beach defences, laying mines, barbed wire. Digging trenches and camouflaging bunkers. Every week a new part of the defence sprang up along the coast and more guns bunkers were added. Young fit soldiers were sent off to the Russian front and older and not so fit troops took their places. It was the job of the Gren.Reg.726 and about 18/20 soldiers from that unit to hold this section of beach, armed with heavy and light machine guns, an old French probably ex Maginot line machine gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition for them. A 5cm KwK L/60, the latest version of the gun set out right in front of the sea in a very exposed position, we don't know how well this gun did in the battle as the pictures show it in very good condition (totally undamaged), almost pristine??

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The Villa "Les Sables d'Or" a defended house.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Google

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Wn66 along this beach. The circle may be the 5cm KwK Nr1694 ringstand, it is about the right place and size.

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The Villa "Les Sables d'Or" a defended house.

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A 5cm KwK L/60, the latest version of the gun set out right in front of the sea in a very exposed position, we don't know how well this gun did as the pictures show it in very good condition, almost pristine??

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s.MG.34.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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24 September 2005

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Nothing seems to be left of the defence, I don't often say this but here I think I can.

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MG34 inside an Lc116 Tobruk..

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lc116 Tobruk + MG34.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Plan

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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10.Kom./Gren.Reg.726
2 x ringstand Gr.W mortars.
1 x Nr1694 ringstand.
1 x lc116 Tobruk + MG34.
1 x 5cm KwK L/60.
Several machine guns.
Flame throwers.
Villa "Les Sables d'Or" a defended house.
Small railway for moving shingle/stone to make concrete.

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Nr1694

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lc116 Tobruk + MG34.

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Flame throwers.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Plan

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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AschaMenburg a town in Bavaria, its the code name for an artillery target. If and when an assault on the beach here the artillery inland would be asked to fire on Target 'AschaMenburg'. The artillery observer probably sitting or standing on the roof of the Villa "Les Sables d'Or" where an observation post was set up.

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Vf246 mortar Tobruk.

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81mm Mortar.

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5cm Mortar.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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1940+

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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This picture looks like it pre-dates D-Day, there is no trenches, anti-tank wall, etc. There is the extension on the seaward side (red circle) where a machine gun was to be set up.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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00-00-00

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Villa "Les Sables d'Or" a defended house. This was used as a blockhouse/observation and anything else they could use it for. It was one of the only houses still close to the water front and had a bunker built into its cellar. This house was probably removed by the Americans to make room for unloading stores and the rubble probably used to fill in the anti-tank ditch or craters.
The lower left hand side was a machine gun position and hit the Americans very hard as they landed to the left of this house.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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D-Day

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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D-Day possibly 14:00 shows Wn66 very well, with the 5cm ringstand to the left and the large house roof showing up. A long Zig Zag trench behind the sea road. With American troops on the beach and several Sherman tanks trying to push in off the beach. The Sherman's that made it to the beach and still able to fight, turned the battle here. Gradually the anti-tank guns were shot out and the tanks then had an easier time. The tanks could not cross the shingle until a Bulldozer or dozer tanks cleared the way. Then the anti-tank walls blown, the anti-tank ditch filled. Then they could start to leave the beach.

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DD's and wading Sherman’s.

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DD Sherman leaving an LST.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Post - D-Day

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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The 5cm KwK L/62 in an Nr1694 emplacement.
This looks an earlier picture than the the next one, it shows quite a bit of woodwork camouflage still in place.

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Nr1694 emplacement.

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5cm KwK L/62.

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5cm shells.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Post - D-Day

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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The 5cm KwK L/62 in an Nr1694 emplacement.
Considering there was one hell of a battle here for the beach, there seems very little damage done. A lot of the camouflage has been removed. Probably re used by the Americans.

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5cm KwK L/62.

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Nr1694 emplacement.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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MG position (red circle). Villa "Les Sables d'Or" a defended house with an artillery observatory on the roof.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Int

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Villa Les Sables d'Or taken on D-day Major Sidney Bingham, commander 2nd battalion 116th Infantry Regiment. He gathered about 50 men of F and HQ .co. who found themselves leaderless on the beach after the first assault wave. Major Bingham led these men in capturing the house and attempted to take WN 67.

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Major Sidney Bingham

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MG Crew.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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After the storm

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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A ship that looks like a destroyer has run aground opposite the Villa "Les Sables d'Or" the defended house. This would be after the great storm. The ant-tank ditch also shows up in this picture, reinforced with wooden tree trunks.

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Anti-tank ditch.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II´

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre - Dawn Assembly Plan 6 June 1944. Marked in red the 2nd Air Division bomber stream heading to Normandy and Omaha beach.
2nd Combat Bomb Wing of the 2nd Air Division USAAF
389BG = C
564th: B Sqn YO.
565th: B Sqn EE.
566th: B Sqn RR.
567th: B Sqn HP. RAF Hethel.

445BG = F 
700th B Sqn RN.
701st B Sqn MK.
702nd B Sqn WV.
703rd B Sqn IS. RAF Tibenham.

453BG = J.
735th B Sqn E3.
734th B Sqn E8.
733rd B Sqn F8.
732nd B Sqn H6 RAF Old Buckenham.

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389BG = C on its tail.

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445BG = F.

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453BG = J on the tail.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II’

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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14th Combat Bomb Wing of the 2nd Air Division USAAF
44BG = A
66th: B Sqn WQ.
67th: B Sqn NB.
68th: B Sqn GJ.
506th: B Sqn QK. RAF Shipdham.

392BG = D
576th B Sqn CI.
577th B Sqn DC.
578th B Sqn EC.
579th B Sqn GC. RAF Wendling. 

492BG = U
846th B Sqn 5Z.
857th B Sqn 9H.
858rd B Sqn 9A.
859th B Sqn X4. RAF North Pickering.

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44BG = A 

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392BG = D on the tail.

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 492BG = U.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II’

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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In briefing stress was laid on the importance of avoiding premature bomb releases because of the tremendous allied assemblage off-shore.
20th Combat Bomb Wing of the 2nd Air Division USAAF
93BG = B
328th: B Sqn GO.
329th: B Sqn RE.
330th: B Sqn AG.
409th: B Sqn BS. RAF Hardwick.

446BG = H
704th B Sqn FL.
705th B Sqn HN.
706th B Sqn RT.
707th B Sqn JU. RAF Bungay.

448BG = I
712nd B Sqn CT.
713rd B Sqn IG.
714th B Sqn EI.
715th B Sqn IO. RAF Seething.

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93BG = B

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446BG = H

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448BG = I.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II’

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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96th Combat Bomb Wing of the 2nd Air Division USAAF
458th BG = K 
752nd: B Sqn 7V.
753rd: B Sqn J4.
754th: B Sqn Z5.
755th: B Sqn J3. RAF Horsham St. Faith.
466th BG = L 
784th B Sqn T9.
785th B Sqn 2U.
786th B Sqn U8
787th B Sqn BS. RAF Atterbridge. 
467BG = P
788th B Sqn X7
789th B Sqn 6A.
790th B Sqn Q2.
791st B Sqn 4Z. RAF Rakheath.

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458th BG = K.

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 466th BG = H.

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467BG = P.


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BG = Bomber Group.
B Sqn = Bomber Squadron.
Two letter code = squadron letter code.
RAF Airfield because all airfields stayed under RAF control but did have a number code to all camps in the ETO.
Details from Eighth Air Force Bomb Group Tail Markings and AIX Group for there help.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II’

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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The bombing was a bit of a disaster, the bobardiers were told NOT to hit thier friends in the sea below. The H2X radar fitted pathfinder planes, some, the radars did not work or the planes were inoperable. The clouds at their height was up to 10/10ths. The bombardiers found it hard to see the coast and used a timed approach. So as the bomber stream crossed the coast the bombardiers held off for three to ten seconds, letting their bombs shower across the French countryside killing many a Norman Cow. Also they bombed N to S across the coast where as on Utah Beach they bombed down the coast and were much more accurate and successful.

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RAF Shipdham.

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2nd Air Division area of south east England.

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II’

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est
H2X Radar

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This H2X radar scope image may be from one of the aircraft that missed striking the Normandy landing beach defences because of orders not to undershoot. The position of the aircraft is near Sword beach, the easternmost of the landing beaches.

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Liberator with an H2X unit just behind the bomb bay..

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H2X inside the aeroplane.

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H2X radar scanner..

Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Pre D-Day bombing run AIR 40-1132 - Part II´

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Their target St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins. All the planes in the 2nd Air Division were B-24 Consolidated Liberator aircraft.

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B-24 Consolidated Liberator aircraft.

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Flak over the target.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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Bigot Assault map

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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HQ 1st US INF DIV
April 44
Assault Map, Official, G-2 Evans, Huebner Maj. Gen.

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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24 September 2005

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Wn 66 St-Laurent-sur-Mer - les Moulins est

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