StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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Information

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

Details

1 x R633 M19 mortar bunker.
1 x R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.
2 x R677 casemate for an 8.8 Pak.
1 Vf/MG.
4 x R35 tank turret Tobruks.
1 x S35 tank turret Tobruk.
2 x Tobruk's.
1 x SK/Machinestand.
1 x Searchlight.
2 x 8.8cm Pak 43/41.


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R633 M19 mortar bunker here, plan.

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8.8cm Pak 43/41.

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R35 tank turret Tobruk.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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Plan

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville.

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Plan showing the green ant-tank ditches and an outer mine field. Several tank turreted Tobruk's and two 8.8cm A/T guns in casemates. A large R633 bunker with an M19 automatic mortar that could spit out 5cm mortar rounds at an incredible speed. A search light to light up any targets for the guns to fire upon. One 15 man crew bunker R656 may have doubled as the local HQ of the defence.


This to me is a very modern defence, probably slotted in between the two older ones either side. It has no old style bunkers and no 5cm KwK guns but has a very good defensive 5cm automatic mortar, two very good 8.8cm A/T guns able to shoot out any allied tank, landing craft with ease. The casemates were R677's and are the latest design and a very strong bunker. They did take a few hits but no real damage seems to have been done to them. A ring of 3.7cm French tank turrets in their own Tobruks covered all areas of defence, two out to sea and two covering the sides and rear. An S35 4.7cm French tank turret covered the sector between the two casemates making sure they were covered. A search light has been added and these lights were being given to many of the Wn's on the Atlantikwall by 1943/44. Then there are several interlocking anti-tank ditches covering the rear of the Wn and supplemented with two large mine fields. The only oddity is the R656/R621 15man/Gruppe shelter. Without measuring the bunker I have no idea which it is but as its the only bunker for all the soldiers defending the Wn, I am surprised there was not a bigger one or another shelter of some kind. But as this was a modern Wn using the latest designs and guns, they probably felt there was no need.

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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S35 tank turret.

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Large mine field.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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23 April 1944 Intelligence summery

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville taken by 16Sqd. RAF Spitfire on the 23 April 1944.

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1944 aerial photo of the sand dunes showing the anti-tank ditches very clearly. The two black marks on the coast are the two R633 casemates showing up too well. Where is the camouflage.

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Spitfire PR Mk.XI 16Sqn. RAF from RAF Hartford Bridge.

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Cameras being fitted.

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WAAF photographic interpreters at Medmenham.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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Bigot map 12 May 1944

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Allied Bigot map of the defences here.

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These are the maps the Americans would have taken with them on the assault.

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Bigot stamp.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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R9751/2 Report on German Concrete Fortifications

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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A post action plan made for the Allies.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Latrines.

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A nice thought.

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Paper boys..

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Humour.

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Official group pee.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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The rear of the defence was covered by two R35 tank turrets.

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R35 3.7cm KwK 144 (f) Tobruk.

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R35 tank turret.

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R35 on its original French tank.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Anti-Tank ditch.

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What looks like a V cut ditch to stop tanks attacking the rear of the defence.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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This large bunker was designed to hold an M19 automatic mortar. This is and electrically fired magazine fed gun or the crew could fire it manually.

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L to R: -
Crew room.
Ventilation.
Ammunition.

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M19 mortar with its crew and it could be hand fired or put on automatic and as I said earlier it could spit out a large amount of 5cm mortars to land on a small area, which would be devastating.

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The steel dome 428P01 set into the roof of the bunker with a movable cover to close off the hole when not in use and twisted open from a handle inside to the fire position.

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Ammunition storage where shelves of mortar bombs would be stored and then crew would load the bombs into a magazine and then that would be passed to the gun room to be fired.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 June 1944

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

After the battle for StP09 this bunker was left smoking and several bodies lying around.

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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The turret (below) looks very small but it was actually a large steel bell that had to be set into the bunker and concreted in.

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424P01 dome.

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How the dome fits into a bunker.

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Placing a dome into a bunker.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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You can see where the dome fitted.

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Dome top and mortar hole with the flap to close it off.

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Plan

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M19 steel turret.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Rear entrance. Two doors, the first is the way into the Tobruk defence and the second deeper in to the bunker.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Entrance to the Tobruk. The steel steps up into the Tobruk.

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Steel ladder steps.

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Tobruk.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Looking into the Tobruk. The top has been concreted over. The small niche is for a speaking tube connected to the bunkers crew room.

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Sprachrohr, mouth piece.

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Tobruk.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

The wall on the right was added when the bunker was built as a protection for the entrance. There is a R634 up the coast has a wall covering its entrance and may be a local addition.

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P633 plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 June 1944

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

This is just after the battle for the bunker. Attacked by the 3/22nd and it looks as though it was quite a battle.

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Close combat defence embrasure and the steel embrasure has been removed.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Close combat embrasure inside.

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Details2

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Looking into the entrance.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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Another close combat embrasure covering the passage.
Aerial slots either side of the passage.

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Details2

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57P8 rifle port covering the passage entrance.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Crew room.

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Plan.

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German soldiers cupboard.

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Crew.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Crew room entrance and escape.

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Plans.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Escape. In an emergency this is the only way out.

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410P9 door that would have closed off the tunnel.

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Escape.

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Shutters closing off the far side of the tunnel

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

This room is the ventilation room which means it would have had a pump to suck in air from outside. The air would go through a filter system and pressurize the bunker to keep out any attack with gas and also smoke can be filtered. There were at least two pumps in here.

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\manually powered hand pump.

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Filters.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

Ventilation room. This could also have a generator in here?

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Plan.

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German plan of a pump.

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The sort of generator that may have been here.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

Ammunition room. Here there would be racks for storing 5cm mortar bombs and a table to make up magazines of about five bombs. The far door is the entrance into the mortar room dome.

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R633 ammunition room.

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5cm Mortar bomb.

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Crew loading fresh magazines.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Leaving the ammunition room.
The mortar although it could be manually fired it could also be automatically fired by and electrical motor. It seems that (as far as I can see) very few used power operated motors. There was another item that I have no idea what it was and it sat in the ammunition room at the other end of the gun room.

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M19 turret & gun room plan.

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Tool chest.

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Tool chest.

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This item sits against the wall on the end wall. Its part of ammunition feed I think.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Close combat defence room.

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How it may have looked.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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The way out.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R633 M19 mortar bunker.

Details

 

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville the view towards the garage.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Nice view of the bunker. Two entrances (one hidden behind the bush) and Tobruk entrance.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

 

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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Radio aerial slots one with the cap still on.

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Aerial slots.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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Details of the builders of the bunker.

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Aerial fitting in a bunker.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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00 00 00

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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Aerial slots.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Tobruk.

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Picture of a Tobruk just after capture.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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Tobruk inside.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2014

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Without measuring this bunker I have no idea which type this is. One says its an R656 and another an R621. And as can be seen from the two plans they look very alike.

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R656 15 man bunker.

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R621 Gruppe shelter.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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A small niche outside the left door.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

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The left entrance.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Gas lock passage. Two aerial slots either side. A 434P01 would have closed off here. A thick armoured double stable door.

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A 434P01 door.

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A 434P01 door.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Door into the crew room and this was a 19P7 thinner steel gas tight door.

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19P7 thinner steel gas tight door.

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Gasschutztur 19P7.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Large crew room would have had rows of bunks, one man wooden cupboards, a folding table or two and about four layers of folding bunk beds.

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

The entrance door a close combat embrasure covering the left hand entrance.

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There would have been a gas filtration pump set on the wall with spare filters stacked below.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

The second close combat embrasure covering the right hand entrance.
The two pipe fittings I believe are the chimney pipes for the bunker stove.

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Bunker stove fitting.

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Bunker stove.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

Close combat embrasure type 57P8.

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How it would have been used.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk.

Details

 

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk.

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R35 3.7cm tank turret.

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R35 3.7cm tank turret looking inside.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk.

Details

The turret rim was bolted onto the top of he Tobruk.

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R35 turret.

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R35 tank.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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SK/Machinestand garage.

Details

This may have been made as a gun garage and later a generator placed inside to run the searchlight. There was also a fuel store and underground cable to the searchlight.

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Plan.

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Bunker garage.

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A 53a gun garage very much like this one.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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SK/Machinestand garage.

Details

If this had been used as a gun garage the square niche in the end wall was to allow the barrel of the to enter thus allowing a long barrelled gun to sit inside nicely.

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A 53a gun garage.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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SK/Machinestand garage.

Details

 

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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SK/Machinestand garage & the R656 15 man bunker or an R621 Gruppe shelter.

Details

 

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk.

Details

The second rear R35 tank turret Tobruk. Note the treads sticking up to bolt down the Turret.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk.

Details

 

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Anti-Tank ditch.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Anti-Tank ditch.

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06 October 2013

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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The view along the main battle line.

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This is where the main defence was placed. Two very powerful 8.8cm ant-tank guns and three tank turret Tobruk's.

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8.8cm Pak 43/41.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk number three.

Details

This Tobruk has been exploded but I think this is a recent action I believe to make it safe for bathers.

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Details2

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk number three.

Details

Beyond this Tobruk on the far corner of the defence was another machine gun in a field position.

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Machine gun team.

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How it would have looked.

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R35 Tobruk.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R35 3.7cm tank turret Tobruk number three.

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Almost unrecognisable.

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How it looked on the top of the sand dune.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Search Light.

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Post D-day picture.

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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1944

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Post D-day picture.

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First the tank turret Tobruk, then the search light and the two R633's.

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The tank turret Tobruk. Turret still in place.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Scheinwerfer - Searchlight emplacement.

Details

150cm Searchlight.

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Allied post action elevation.

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Allied post action plan.

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Searchlight.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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1944

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Scheinwerfer - Searchlight emplacement.

Details

150cm Searchlight.

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150cm searchlight.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Scheinwerfer - Searchlight emplacement.

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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Beach defences.

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The stakes were placed so that they would do the best damage at high water mark.
This is an interesting point: -
The German plan for D-Day England was to land at high tide and let their barges (they were canal barges modified) settle and then the troops, vehicles and horses could land.
Now the Allied plan was to land at low tide or a rising tide and as a landing craft unloaded the tide would have lifted them off and they could return for a new cargo. Also as the beach defences were further up the sand, the landing craft would see and avoid them.

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Beach defences.

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Stakes.
13 scattered Element 'C'.

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Element 'C' or Belgian Gate.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

The casemate had enough room for a large anti-tank gun and a flanking wall protecting the embrasure from direct fire from the sea. Also it allowed the gun to fire directly down the beach.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

Looks as though it took a large hit here.

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USS Arkansas.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2014

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

Rear entrance.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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June/July 1944

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

Rear entrance just after capture.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2014

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

View into the gun room.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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June 1944

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

Looking into the gun room. The two legs of the gun set into recesses in the concrete. Two niches either side to hold ammunition.

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R677 casemate plan.

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The two ammunition niches.

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2014

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

The sea wall/anti-tank wall was built prior to the gun emplacement and the flanking wall has been built around it.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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1944

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R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

The casemate with its gun still in place. The search light emplacement with its camouflage net on the roof. The searchlights cover is sitting down the bank.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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1944

Information

R677Casemate for an 8.8cm Pak 43/41.

Details

Interesting details here:
A very dark cover over the top of the bunker - the black square on the air photo is this bunker.
Note the damage done to the inside of the flanking wall. The only way they could have been damaged is possibly from tanks advancing up the beach??

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The black squares are the roofs showing up rather too well.

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Sherman tanks advancing up the coast.

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2/22nd.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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S35 tank turret Tobruk.

Details

A very substantially built Tobruk for the tank turret.

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S35 47mm Pak tank turret.

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S35 4.7cm gun.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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S35 tank turret Tobruk.

Details

 

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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S35 tank turret Tobruk.

Details

You can see where the turret bolted onto the Tobruk.

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The view inside a turret.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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StP09 St Martin de Varreville

Details

Continuation of the old ant-tank wall.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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The second R677 casemate.

Details

On the right of the rear entrance is the vent for foul gases from the bunker fan.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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The second R677 casemate.

Details

Gun room. The large round pope on the wall is where a fan would have been fitted. When the gun fired the room would fill with foul gases from the gun and the fan would suck out the gases via a network of vents set into the roof and piped to the large hole. The fan would then push out the gases out of a vent in the rear of the bunker.

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Extraction pipe plan of an R699 the same basic design here.

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Extractor fan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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The second R677 casemate.

Details

Details

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Plan.

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R677 plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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The second R677 casemate.

Details

An MG-Scharte set into the antitank wall which may pre date the bunker.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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June 1944

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The second R677 casemate.

Details

With the gun still in place.

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An Allied photo of the gun in side.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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The second R677 casemate.

Details

View down the beach.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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06 October 2013

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3.7cm KwK R35 tank turret Tobruk.

Details

 

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R35 turret.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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3.7cm KwK R35 tank turret Tobruk.

Details

Where the turret fitted one thread can be seen.

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Plan.

StP09 St Martin de Varreville

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21 October 2004

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Pointe du Hoc..

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