Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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Wn73 on the eastern flank of StP Vierville covering the beach exit with Wn's 72 & 71. Based around an old derelict house 'Maison Gambier' and two mortar Tobruk's for 8.1cm Brant (f) mortars. There would also have been quite a few machine guns situated pointing down onto the beach and valley. An old 7.5cm anti-tank gun was set in a small bunker probably made by the gunners out of one course of concrete blocks. A mortar observation bunker was added to the forward mortar Tobruk. The cliff edge is now quite dangerous and the area is very overgrown. Japanese Knot weed has been dumped in the area and taken over, parts also are just inside a large caravan site and two Tobruks can be seen there. The old house has now gone but the five Felmässig accommodation buildings are all there. Attacked by Rangers and some infantry of the 116th Inf. on D-day, the position was taken and that helped the D1 Draw (Valley) to be opened to traffic.

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StP Vierville.

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Felmässig.

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Target indicators painted on the mortar Tobruk's.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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Plan

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11.Komp./Gren.Rgt.726.
5 x Feldmässig concrete barracks.
2 x Ic125/Vf61a emplacements for Mortars.
2 x Ic116 Tobruk´s.
1 x SK/Schartenstand for Pak.
1 x Barracks (possibly a wooden hut).
1 x Wasser Tank.
Remains of Maison Gambier.
1 x 7.5cm Pak 97/38.
2 x 8.14cm Gr.W. Brant (f) Mortars.
A tunnel.

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8.14cm Gr.W. Brant (f) Mortars.

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7.5cm Pak 97/38.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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00-00-00

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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The German map of all the positions around this area with Wn71/72& 73 making StP Vierville, I have seen on some maps that Wn74 may have been added to StP Vierville??
Mine Fields Mf.23 running to the west along the cliff top and Mf.22 along the face of Wn73.

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Bouncing Betties 'S' mine.

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Mines ready to set.

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'S' mine.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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1944

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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A very good air photo of Wn73.

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Photographic F-5 Lightening.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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1944

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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I have added details to this photo.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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06 August 2013

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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The view a few Americans had as they were landing.
On the cliff : -       L/R - Observation for two 8.1cm Mortars, at least three Mg.34/MG.43's.
Below the cliff : - L/R - an 8.8cm Pak 43 in a casemate (Wn72). A 7.5cm Pak 97/38 in a small casemate (Wn73). A Doppelschartenstand casemate for a 5cm KwK L/60 (Wn72).
That is some fire power.

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8.8cm Pak 43.

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7.5cm Pak 97/38.

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5cm KwK L/60.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

Details

A closer look at the 7.5cm Pak 97/38 casemate on the hill probably out dates the casemates in Wn72. When in 1943 that the coast had to be defended Infantry troops moved here and dug in in earth emplacements. Gradually they were issued heavy weapons like mortars and anti-tank guns. They may have managed to get the Todt organisation to build them the two mortar Tobruk's, an open emplacement with a small added ammunition room. When a Pak gun turned up it was an old 1897 75mm French field gun converted onto a sma 5cm Pak carriage and a newly designed muzzle break fitted. Ammunition was plenty full, as it was all captured from the French and converted to armoured piercing. The gun was rushed into service on the Russian front but when it became super seeded by better guns they were then distributed out to static units. No extra gunners were employed, either the heavy weapons platoon took them over or it was just regular infantry men.

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Ic125/Vf61a mortar Tobruk.

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An old 1897 75mm French field gun converted onto a smaller carriage and a newly designed muzzle break fitted.

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Muzzle break, when the gun is fired, the barrel recoils backwards. By adding a muzzle break, hot gasses shoot out backwards out of its holes as the shell passes and for a fraction of a second. That slows the barrels travel. Thus allowing for a shorter carriage.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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06 August 2013

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

Details

The casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38 set into the hill and completely hidden from the sea side. A trench ran from behind it up the bank to the mortars above and another across the path and up the left side of the defence.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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06 August 2013

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Mortar observation

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On the top of the hill the mortar observation post (the horizontal piece of concrete) showing up.

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Forward artillery observer.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

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In the foreground are some pieces of steel rod, they maybe steps that were set into bunkers to climb up or down.

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These the ones in the picture foreground.

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More steels both sides of this seat.

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Steel ladder rungs.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

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There looks to be an extra position, either an observation for the guns crew or a machine gun position.
Barbed wire covering the steep hill side.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

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A well made construction of no known design, probably one of the infantrymen was a builder in an earlier life?? An extra strong wall on the seaward side and reinforced steels in the roof.

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Casemate plan.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

Details

Small ammunition niches in the rear of the casemate and some more space on the right side. I have added about 30 rounds of 7.5cm ammunition inside the niches to give an idea how it may have looked.

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Pak ammunition details.

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7.5cm Pak 97/38.

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Crew of five.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

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At the beginning of the war with the Russia, the Germans collided with T-34 and KV tanks. In a hurry, the Germans began developing tools to combat them. One of the measures was the use of 75 mm barrels of the French field gun of the sample of 1897 - several thousand such guns were seized by the Wehrmacht in the course of campaigns in Poland and France (Polish guns were bought from France in a rather large number). In addition, a large ammount of ammunition also fell into the hands of the Germans. In France more than 5.5 million shells were seized. The barrel was equipped with a new muzzle brake and gun carriage from the Pak.38 gun. Thus the 7.5cm Pak 97/38 was born.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

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In the roof is a hole to let out fumes that would have been trapped inside when firing.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

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The view down to the beach. The range from here to the white van is 150meters, the gun is capable of putting a shell through 43mm at 2000meters. The front armour on a Sherman tank was 50mm. I will let you work out the maths.

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741st TD on Omaha.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Casemate for the 7.5cm Pak 97/38

Details

This is the side door where spare ammunition would have been stored somewhere out here.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Trench

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Across the path is a trench running up the hill to the forward part of the defence overlooking the valley.

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s

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Trench

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Across the path is a trench running up the hill to the forward part of the defence overlooking the valley.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation

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This is the mortar observation post looking down to the beach and if it was connected via telephone line to the second mortar and the 7.5cm Pak gun, it could have controlled all the main weapons on this hill. It may also have had connections with artillery control inland and be able to call down direct fire onto the beach.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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00-00-00

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation

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The observation slit.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation

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This just shows how hard it was to get in in 2004, this is the trench system to bunker. The Americans complained about shooting at a German and he then disappears into a trench and appears in a completely different place.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation

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Down in the trench you can see the stone wall lining of the trench.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation

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The view outside and why did I not take more photos inside sorry.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Ic125 Mortar emplacement

Details

This is the ammunition space for the Ic125 Mortar emplacement and stored here would be boxes of 8.14cm Gr.W. mortar bombs.

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Mortar.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Ic125 Mortar emplacement

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Wooden boxes of 8cm mortars rounds.

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If the gun was to be used in the field then ammunition would be carried in these boxes.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Ic125 Mortar emplacement

Details

This is where the mortar tube would have fitted and could be moved around 360°'s. On the lid today is a solid concrete cover to stop people falling in, (H&S). But at the time the crew would have had either a wooden cover to keep out the weather or a steel sheet of metal to drag over the hole to protect them from flying splinters when bobarded.

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Ic125 Mortar emplacement.

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Full crew for two mortars.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Ic125 Mortar emplacement

Details

Around the lips of these and many other bunkers where diagrams of targets and distances to them were painted on. They still existed in 2004 and can be seen very well.

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You can see the beach on this one.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Ic125 Mortar emplacement

Details

Here is what they looked like just after being captured. Note the ammunition niches have been cleared out of all their mortar bombs.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Ic125 Mortar emplacement

Details

Looking down beach and you can see the painted target indicator for this part of the beach.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Trench

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Another trench onwards.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation/machine gun position

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This is one of the cliff edge defence positions. Note the two angle irons sticking up. Cold and wet in the winter and very hot in the summer. The view from here on D-Day would have been overwhelming. Right out on the horizon battle ships shooting, then destroyers, landing ships, landing craft. Smoke and shells landing in the sea, shells flying over their heads and also landing around them both German and Allied.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Trenches

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Back in the trenches and that lovely Japanese Knot Weed, now that was a good idea to dump it here. Well done Mr Gardener.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Observation/position

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Another defence position looking over the cliff edge. LCT's and LCA's passed under this cliff and landed to the left. They lost almost half their men between leaving the boats and getting under the protection of the cliff from gunfire from Wn74 & Wn73.

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LCA bow door.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The second Ic125 Mortar emplacement

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The sea is to the right.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The second Ic125 Mortar emplacement

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Looking down the beach.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The second Ic125 Mortar emplacement

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This is the entrance into the emplacement through the trench system

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The second Ic125 Mortar emplacement

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Ammunition room.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The second Ic125 Mortar emplacement

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Gun room.

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Mortar crew.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The second Ic125 Mortar emplacement

Details

Inside the painting I think is of the sea and three of the many ready ammunition niches.

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Box of mortar bombs.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
The attack

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To the west of here C Co./2 Ranger Bn. landed and climbed up the cliff just like this one. They came in to the front of Wn72 but realised that it would have been murder to land amongst some of the heaviest firing along the coast. They turned west and landed to between Wn73 & Wn74 still taking a lot of machine gun cross fire. Although they took a lot of casualties. They did manage to get off the beach and move under the cliff along about 300m to find a place to cliff. Realising that although thier job was to go straight to help their collogues at Pointe du Hoc, instead they turned left to start clearing Wn73. The right decision in the circumstances.

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LCI's moving into the shore.

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Captain Ralph E. Goranson C Co./Ranger Bn. Tom Hanks portrayed him in the movie "Saving Private Ryan" but not attacking here.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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The Rangers and members of the 116th joined together and advanced through Wn73 taking out each position one at a time.

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Dog Green sector.

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Rangers.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Mason Gambier

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The site of the old house.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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00-00-00

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Mason Gambier

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The ruins on the hill.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Mason Gambier

Details

Another view of the ruins on the hill. A lot of the house would have been removed to add to trenches and bunkers.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Mason Gambier

Details

This is the use made of the old house and its ruins, it could be a machine gun or a rifleman’s position.

Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Feldmässig - Feldmässig Reinforced field-type constructions

Details

Along the coast here are several concrete buildings like this semi sunk into the ground. They are reinforced concrete offices/accommodation. This Wn actually has five and they are all still here.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Feldmässig

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Two more just around the corner.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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07 July 2004

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Tobruk

Details

2 x Ic116 Tobruks are covering the rear areas.

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Tobruk.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Feldmässig

Details

Feldmässig four and five.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Feldmässig

Details

The two Feldmässig four & five set into the side of a trench running up to the top of the hill.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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WO 219-508 Observations on invasion of France and fall of Cherbourg 1944 June-July

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Feldmässig

Details

The two Feldmässig four & five this picture possibly taken later than the one before as the trench looks filled in and steps to make access better to the top. Now its all dug out to of been used by the camp site.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest
Feldmässig

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Feldmässig five.

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Army rations.

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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11 October 2018

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Wn73 Vierville-sur-Mer ouest

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