German use of railway guns agains't Britain

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Post by Oracle » 12 Feb 2007 15:16

What peashooters did we use from the Dover area?

Ron Klages
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Post by Ron Klages » 13 Feb 2007 20:59


Here is an accounting of the cross channel fighting by big guns in 1940 to 1944

Source was the Magazine After the Battle No 29 dated 1980 and titled Cross-Channel Guns

Best regards,

Ron Klages

One of the lesser known campaigns of WW II was the cross channel bombardments in the Pas-de-Calais and Dover area between German and Britiish large gun emplacements. Here is some information on this little known action.

In the four years where the cross channel gun emplacements were on the front line towns in the Kent region suffered over 100 civilian dead and four times that many injured as a result of 3,514 German shells bursts. Dover alone received 2,284 of these shells from the German guns.. From the British guns, 4,240 rounds were fired. In both cases many of the rounds fired were at shipping in the channel. The allied landings on Normandy removed this aspect of the war as the front line moved to the east in Europe away from the channel.

Here are the guns used by each side.

German Costal Guns in the Calais-Boulogne Sector

• 204 Naval Coast Battalion,Malo Terminus with 4x 194mm
--HQ-Ostend, St.Pol-sur-Mer with 3x 145mm

• 244 Naval Coast Battalion
--Waddon Battery with 4x170mm
--OLDENBURG Battery with 2x 240mm
--Calais-Dique Est battery with 3x 75mm
--Calai-Bastion II battery with 3x 194mm
--Calai-Fort Lapin battery with 2x 164mm
--Sangatte battery with 3x 170mm
--LINDEMANN Sangatte battery with 3x 406mm

• 242 Naval Coast Battalion
--Wissant-M3 battery with 4x 150mm
--GROSSE KURFURST Fframzelle battery with 4x 280mm
--Capp Gris-Nez battery with 3x 170mm
TODT Haringzelles battery with 4x 380mm

• 240 Naval Coast Battalion
--FRIEDRICH AUGUST Wimille-Le Tresorerie battery with 3x 305mm
--Boulogne-Fort de la Creche Ouest battery with 4x 75mm
--Boulogne-Fort de la Creche battery with 2x 240mm. 1x 194mm, and 4x 105mm
--Boulogne-Cap d’Alprech battery with 4x 94mm
--Boulogne-Mont de Couppe battery with 1x 150mm and 3x 138mm
--Boulogne-Breakwater battery with 4x 88mm

• Railway batteries
--Calais Grables 690 Railway battery with 2x 280mm railway guns
--Sangatte-Cement Factory battery with 2x 280mm railway guns
--Les Alleux battery with 2x 280mm railway guns
--Hydrequent-Le Carre de Marbee battery with 1x 280mm railway guns
--Wimereux-Les Oies battery with 2x 280mm railway guns

Across the channel were the following Kent guns

• 2. Super Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery
--HQ at Charlton Parl, Bishopsbourne no guns
--5. Super Heavy Battery at Shepherdswell with 2x 12inch named SHEBA and CLEO and 1x 12inch at Eythorne
--8.Super Heavy Battery at Eythorne with 2x 12inch
--11. Super Heavy Battery at Bishopsbourne Tunnel with 1x 18inch named BOCHEBUSTER. Battery accomodatiopn at Lenham Oast House and ammunition store at Lyminge.
--12. Super Heavy Battery HQ at Adisham no guns, at Staple Halt with 1x 12inch and at Poulton Farm with 1x 12inch

• 3. Super Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery
--HQ at Sellindge, Guinea Hall no guns
--4. Super Heavy Battery with HQ at Sandy Hatch Golf Club with no guns and 1x 9.2inch at Folkestone Railway and 1x 9.2inch at Hythe Railway. Later these were redeplyed in December 1940 to 1x 9.2inch at Rolvenden Station and 1x 9.2inch at Wittersham Road Station.
--13. Super Heavy Battery with HQ at Sellindge with no guns and 1x 12inch at Sellindge Railway and 1x 12inch at Hollybush Railway.
--X. Super Heavy Battery [Canadian] with HQ first at Littlestone and then Kingsnorth, North Ashford with no guns and 2x 9.2inch at Golden Wood Siding. This battery was replaced by 15. Super Heavy Battery in February 1941.
--Y. Super Heavy Battery [Canadian] with 1x 9.2inch at Grove Ferry and 1x 9.2inch at Canterbury. This battery was replaced by 7. Super Heavy Battery in November 1940.
--15. Super Heavy Battery with 2x 9.2inch at Golden Wood Siding. These guns were originally with X. Battery.
--17. Super Heavy Battery with 1x 9.2inch at Kingswortl and 1x 9.2inch at Sevington Spur.
--7. Super Heavy Battery at Elham with 2x 12inch

The Marine Guns were:

• Royal Marine Siege Regiment with HQ at Portal House, St. Margaret’s
--A Battery at St. Margaret’s with 1x 14 inch named WINNIE and 1x 14 inch named POOH
--B Battery at Guston with 1x 13.5inch named SCENESHIFTER, 1x 13.5inch named PIECEMAKER and 1x 13.5inch named GLADIATOR

•540. Coast Regiment with HQ at South Foreland with no guns and 3x 6inch at Fan Bay, 4x 9.2inch at South Foreland and 2x 15inch at Wanstone named JANE and CLEM.

• 520. Coast Regiment with 3x 6inch at Lydden Spout, 3x 8inch at Hougham and 3x 8inch at Capel

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Christian W.
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Post by Christian W. » 17 Feb 2007 17:58

--LINDEMANN Sangatte battery with 3x 406mm
These guns must have been a nightmare, conserning that they were built for German H-class battleships, that were never completed because of the outbreak of World War II.

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 17 Feb 2007 18:10

Christian W. wrote:
--LINDEMANN Sangatte battery with 3x 406mm
These guns must have been a nightmare, conserning that they were built for German H-class battleships, that were never completed because of the outbreak of World War II.


I would think no more nightmare than any other 14+ inch battery, on German or British side.

Regards, Mark V

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Post by varjag » 19 Feb 2007 11:22

Innocent question? How bad was really the damage to Dover and surroundings? I imagine that the German guns would fire a few rounds - to which the British would reply with an equal number +One - and that a similar routine would exist on the German side of the Channel. Are there any dates for such exchanges - and details of the damage caused and number of rounds exchanged? Varjag

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Post by Hop » 19 Feb 2007 12:00

By coincidence last night I was reading some of the intelligence reports Britain was sending FDR during the BoB. Here's a very brief description of one bout of shelling:
Last night Dover was shelled between 6 and 11pm, between 150 and 200 rounds were fired at the town, harbour and shipping. Damage and casualties were slight. The guns at Dover returned the fire
It's dated 10th September, but the dates might not be 100% accurate, as the telegram is from the 10th, the report might be from a day or so earlier.

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Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Jul 2007 00:50

I have a copy of a wartime history of the British Southern Railway line. Dover was basically closed to civilian railway traffic for the duration, and a lot of the town evacuated, apart from the civilians needed to support the RN in the port that they took over from the Southern - it was their Kent terminal for the pre-war train ferries. There was pretty constant shelling on a three days on, the fourth quiet sort of routine, a lot of the houses and buildings in the town were damaged, with the railway tunnels through the chalk hills behind the town used as night shelters. Wasnt quite a WWI Flanders-type ruined town or a Caen, but not far off.

There were at least two major permanent gun emplacements on the hills to either side of the port, supplied by narrow guage railway line.

Edward L. Hsiao
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Re: German use of railway guns agains't Britain

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 26 Jun 2019 01:41

Railway guns were pretty interesting weapons used by the Germans from 1939 to 1945.

Edward L. Hsiao

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