StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Batterie 3/H.K.A.A.1260 had between four and six 12.2cm K.390/1(r) guns laid out in some woodland behind and to the west of the village. Covering from East to West - Courseulles to Arromanches. The guns could shoot out over the sea at any shipping trying to support a landing. At least two guns I think, were placed in the two casemates semi-finished casemates and at least three guns were located in their field positions behind in some woodland.

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12.2cm K.390/1(r).

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Batterie position.

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Plan of the SK casemates used here.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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1947 Geoportail

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Batterie 3/H.K.A.A.1260.
Beach defence - 3/Ost 441 of the 716th Inf. Reg.
4 x SK/Schartenstand (Bw.Nr.727-730 under construction).
4 x 12.2cm K.390/1(r) guns.
2 Flakstellung.
2 x 2cm Flak30.

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The Lavatory Pan.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Allied Intelligence air photo

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Intelligence air photo of this batterie under construction, four “SK” (Sonder Konstruktion) casemates for four 12.2cm K.390/1(r - Russian) guns.

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12.2cm K.390/1(r) guns.

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12.2cm K.390/1(r) guns firing.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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DEFE 2-375 Battery photographs Cherbourg to Honfleur

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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More Intelligence information. This photo is showing that the guns had arrived and were hidden in the hedgerow behind the casemates. The numbers (heights) and scale on the photo will help the ships artillery when they will need to fire on the batterie on D-Day morning.

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PRU photo Re-con Spitfire.

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Cameras being fitted.

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Medmenham interpreters.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Google

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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An air view today and the four casemates show up well but four & three are starting to be hidden by housing.

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2cm Flak 30.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013 in the cold

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 4

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A very cold March showing the front of the casemate.

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Plan.

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12.2cm K.390/1(russian) guns.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 4

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Looking inside the gun room.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Betonformstein

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Plan

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There are hundreds of plans for bunkers but probably there were none designed to take a 12.2cm K.390/1(r) gun. So I presume that is why a new plan specifically was drawn up for this bunker.
Built in Concrete block (Betonformstein) with an insertion of steel reinforcement and then filled with concrete

Plan of steel reinforcing rods.

 

 

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 4

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The two holes were to take large bolts to hold an even larger steel plate that would run down each side of the embrasure.

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Metal plate fittings at Mont Canisy.

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Steel bolts of the type that would have been used here in an R501 garage bunker.

 

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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12 June 2017

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 4

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A good view of the front of this casemate with the holes for the steel bolts can be seen and the vertical deflection steps either side of the embrasure. Also a small half round canopy over the embrasure.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Just after capture

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 3

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A direct hit by either a bomb or a battleships shell, a 12.2cm K.390/1(r) gun that looks as though it was inside the casemate and been taken out by the British soldiers after capture.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 3

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Now its been turned into a Gite. The stairs run up onto the damaged part.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 3

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Side view.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 3

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The view of the embrasure.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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June 1944

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Turm 2 not completed by any means also it looks as though it was damaged by a direct hit on the side. The concrete had not been poured between the two inner & outer walls.
The British used the area for quite a while until their breakout of Normandy.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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DEFE 2-487

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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The wooden ramp is to allow wheel barrows to be pushed up to aid construction. You can see the heavy steel girders being placed to create the roof and concrete would have been poured on the top to at least 2m. Making quite a strong roof.

Steel girders with wooden inserts to keep the concrete in the roof section when poured.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Snow bound with trees growing out of it.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Looking across the embrasure.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Built in Concrete block (Betonformstein) with an insertion of steel reinforcement and then filled with concrete. The steel reinforcement was here but the Mayors of all French towns were given the option of selling/using any item that was left over after the war. So the steel reinforcement was cut out and sold. The money went to the local council to do with as they felt necessary.

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The concrete blocks and the way the steel reinforcement locked together.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Rear entrance. The hole to the left of the door is where a Rost 200 vent would have fitted.

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Rost 200mm extraction vents to allow the foul gases out of the gun room.

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Internal fan.

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Extraction on a bunker.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Gun room. Concrete would have been poured onto the floor and the the walls filled in and finished with the roof.

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Cement mixer at work.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Right hand ammunition niche.

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Ammunition niche.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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Looking into the gun room with the two ammunition niches either side.

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Plan.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Allied photo

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 2

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View from above reconnaissance photo.

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Cement mixer at work.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 1

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Now only half remains of what it was. For some reason half has been removed. You can see the gun room facing left and the ammunition niche.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 1

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The gap between the two walls would be filled with steel reinforcement and then concrete poured in, that looks about two meters thick.

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Steel reinforcement.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 1

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Gun room.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Google

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 1

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Half the bunker left.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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1944

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Turm 1

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As it looked in June 1944.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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25 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Flak

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2cm Flak 30 emplacement.

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Plan.

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2cm Flak 30.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 March 2013

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Flak

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2cm Flak 30 emplacement. Two 2cm flak's were laid out with one in front and one with the batterie. Any plane coming in from the sea, would have had these two guns to contend with. A quite formidable flak screen of 800 rpm (Practical) per gun. The guns used a 20 round box magazines so a quick change by the crew was needed. Also there would have been the odd machine gun on an AA mount, around the batterie.

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Typhoon attack.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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June 1944

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Flak

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2cm Flak 30 emplacement.

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2cm Flak 30.

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2cm magazine.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Flak

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2cm Flak 30 emplacement. The concrete lip of the emplacement looks still there.
BUT I believe this emplacement has now been ploughed out by the farmer.

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Plan.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Y33

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Allied map

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11 - the position of the casemated batterie.
12 - the layout of three of the 12.2cm guns.

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This intelligence plan May 1944, shows two (155mm) guns in casemates and three outside to the rear. A 12.2cm gun does look very like a 155mm gun, mistakes like that are very easy.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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D-Day

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Allied Photo

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I am sure this is a set up for the camera, but I think it was taken around D-Day by an army camera crew. There were very few cameras at 08:00.
This is how it would have looked anyway when the Green Howards landed at 07:30/08:00 on D-Day at King sector, Gold Beach.

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Assault landing craft manoeuvring.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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D-Day King Beach

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
D-Day

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Now we come to D-Day, this is what the batterie was being built for, but little bit late.
The Green Howards with SM Stan Hollis landed exactly where the arrow is pointing. His landing craft came right in to the beach opposite the road. The tide level would have been just turning after low tide. The poor soldeirs had to run up the beach with at least 60lb of rifle and equipment.

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King Beach.

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King Beach.

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British assault landing craft.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
King Sector, Gold Beach

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They jumped out of their craft and ran as best they could across the beach to the road, D & A company landed to the right and advanced up the hill. How they managed to cross the mine fields I really do not know.

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Plan.
Blue line - Low tide.
Yellow Line - Beach.

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Tanks landing.

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Tanks almost dry landing.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Google

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
King Sector, Gold Beach

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SM. Stan Hollis was a worried man, he knew that just behind the beach was what he thought to be a pill box, probably filled with MG42's. So on the run in, he took a Lewis gun from the landing craft and stated to fire a drum of .303 ammunition at this pillbox.
The building in question is the small shed to the left of the track.
The assault continued, they left their landing craft at low tide and had to run a long way over the sand between Rommel's Asparagus. Large beach defences made of steel, concrete or wooden tree trunks with old French 15.5cm shells wired to them or Teller Mines. A beach clearing group should have by now removed all these defences, but due to enemy action this took a lot longer than thought.

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15.5cm shell on a tree trunk.

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Rommel inspecting beach defences.

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How the beach may have looked.

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Lewis gun..

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Railway Shelter

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All along this coast there was no road and the only way to get from Isigny-sur-Mer to Ouistreham was by railway, a narrow gauge single line, but a very busy service. I must have been allowed to continue by the Germans as on D-Day a train could be seen steaming up at Courseulles station.
When members of the Green Howards and their SM. arrived at the (so called pillbox) he must have taken some "stick" from his men as they passed the railways waiting shelter. There seems to have been little opposition. The 3/Ost 441 of the 716th Inf. seem to have melted away. The artillery bombardment seems to have been quite accurate as they could use Mont Fleury light house as reference. Just before the infantry landed, elements of the "Funnies" started to land. They lead the way across the beach with DD tanks, Bobbin Churchills laying roadways and other combined operation troops.

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The railway passing Asnelles.

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Greye-sur-Mer.

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Courseulles busy station.


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Sherman DD in action.


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Sherman flail tanks advance up the beach..


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Support fire from Sextant self propelled guns..

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Railway Shelter

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Alexandra, Princess of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment, Green Howards. In memory of those soldiers who died on D-Day around King Sector.

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Green Howards.

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Green Howards loading at Southampton Docks.

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Moving inland.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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11 November 2016

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Railway Shelter

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The Railway Shelter has become a bit of a shrine to the Green Howards and was repaired and now looks in good condition.
The railway went from left (Arromanches) to right (Courseulles). Now a half drivable but certainly a walking route.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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23 March 2015

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
Cdt Byred 1927

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This was not to be a good flight for navigator Byrd, pilots Bert Acosta and Bernt Balchen, and George Noville. The weather was terrible with rain, turbulence, and fear of ice building up on the wings. At night and without a point of reference Byrd was unable to navigate but they were able to establish their position by getting a fix on ships below them in the Atlantic. When they crossed the coast of France they discovered Paris was socked in with clouds and rain. They circled, the crowds at Le Bourget Airport heard the motors of a plane above them, but the weather made landing impossible. Byrd vectored the America back to the coast where he calculated the only safe place to land was to ditch in the shallow ocean near the town of Ver-sur-Mer. They dropped flares in the waves, came around, and some 40 hours after taking off from Long Island they hit the water. All four men evacuated successfully and reached shore in inflatable rubber boats.
http://www.admiralbyrd.com/atlantic-ocean-flight-1927.html

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The plane in the sea off this beach.

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Byrd before leaving America.

StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Google

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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The Green Howards came up the road, probably to miss the mine fields that were laid out both sides and a large anti-tank ditch that cut across the fields between here and the beach. They then turned right into what is now Rue Claude Debussy. Here on the left was the Lavatory Pan and somewhere up this road was a pill box of some kind that held a machine gun. SM. Stan Hollis advanced towards the bunker and trough a hand grenade into the firing slit and jumped into the trench system and captured several wounded and dazed soldiers. He then continued up the trench and captured the remaining troops in this area north of the batterie position. With the relative ease that these positions were taken, shows the troops were probably very dazed by the bombardment. The time SM. Hollis looked out to sea was aroung 09:30.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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00-00-00

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie
The Lavatory Pan

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Now why was this house called the 'Lavatory Pan'. Seen from the air it has a circular drive up to the front of the house, which looks like a lavatory pan from air photos that the troops poured over prior to landing. It was nick named that by the soldiers to make remembering it easy.

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Allied air photo.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Plan

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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The route SM. Stan Hollis took towards the batterie.

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Hollis attacked a machine gun post which I think was a Tobruk.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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Google

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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The route SM. Stan Hollis took, first the Tobruk was taken out, then the FCP and on to the batterie position. By then the artillery men started firing at the. But soon started to run away towards a wall. Continued to fight behind the wall and then melted away south.
Now its easy to 'They ran away'. Yes they did, but in the words of SM. Stan Hollis. " I thought it was only us fighting this war", until I turned around and looked over towards the sea and saw it black with ships out at sea and tanks and vehicles advancing across the beach.

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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SM. Stan Hollis

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StP35a. Mont Fleury Batterie

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