Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

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Michael Kenny
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Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Jun 2020 17:57

Normandy, May 1944. Anyone know what it is?
US31 0501 Ardenne May 1944.jpg
June 7th 1944
US7 1773 June 7th 0069 Cussy Ardenne ..F.jpg
US31 0501 Ardenne May 1944 VVV.jpg
Screenshot_345DF.jpg
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Last edited by Michael Kenny on 26 Jun 2020 02:44, edited 1 time in total.

JKernwerk
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye June 1944

Post by JKernwerk » 25 Jun 2020 18:47

Dear Michael,
I have Stp. Cussy on that same plot of land.
In 1942 s.Fl.Abt. 2./683.
JK

JKernwerk
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye June 1944

Post by JKernwerk » 25 Jun 2020 19:52

In 1942 it only had 2 2cm Flak, the position on your photo's is much to large for two of those.
edit, In 43 the 2./683 had 6 8.8Flak.
JK

Michael Kenny
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye June 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Jun 2020 21:22

I thought it might be Flak. Very well placed to protect Caen and Carpiquet

JKernwerk
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye June 1944

Post by JKernwerk » 25 Jun 2020 23:43

It certainly is well placed.
I do not know if it was possible that the batterie was used in a landrole against the Allies.
If possible Flakpositions had more than one role, against air, sea and land targets.
JK

Michael Kenny
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye June 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Jun 2020 00:28

This is it in 1945.
Screensllllot_345.jpg
The lack of craters around the place suggests it was abandoned very early in June.
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Artee
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Artee » 03 Jul 2020 04:41

Info I've seen suggests s.Flak-Abt. 683 had been reorganised as gemischte Flak-Abteilung 683 (v) in 1943. Looks the Abteilung moved to the Paris area in March or April 44.

I cannot seen any unit in that exact location in June 44. Though it seems to have been a lot of work to just be abandoned.

Larry D.
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Larry D. » 03 Jul 2020 14:34

Here is some additional information, although I do not think it helps with the core questions at the top of the thread:

gem.Flak-Abt. 683 (v)

Formed May 1942 at Kassel-Wolfsanger as a schwere (heavy) Abteilung. A year or so later it was reorganized as a gemischte (mixed) Abteilung. (See website ww2.dk for more organizational details).

History
Aug 42: had just arrived in West France and deployed at St. Malo, St. André and Paris-Villacoublay to protect airfields under Flak-Rgt. 653. (NARA RG 242, T-405; ww2.dk)
15 May 43: 2 men KIA and 4 WIA in Allied bombing of Caen-Carpiquet airfield. (BA-MA Freiburg, Gen.Qu.(6.Abt.) Verlustmeldungen (Loss Reports)
1 Jun 43: Caen under Flak-Rgt. 100/13. Flakdivision. (ww2.dk)
3 Sep 43: Abt. Stab and some of the batteries at Evreux under Flak-Rgt. 100. (NARA T-321 roll 61)
1943-44: elements of the Abteilung are said to have been moved to the French Channel Coast, possibly around Le Havre, but still under Flak-Rgt. 100. (Tessin)
Nov/Dec 43: now under Flak-Rgt. 59 (Paris). (Tessin)
Jan-May 44: location uncertain but under Flak-Rgt. 59 (Paris). (Tessin)
Jun-Jul 44: Rouen area under Flak-Rgt. 100/13. Flakdivision. (NARA T-971 roll18, frame 053)
9 Jun 44: the majority of 6./683 with 9 x 2.0 cm guns ordered to transfer from Saint-Andre to Marcilly to provide airfield protection. (ULTRA KV7199; KV7725)
12 Jun 44: 1. Battr. with 5 x 8.8cm guns and radar declared operational at Elbeuf, on the Seine 17 km S of Rouen to protect bridges. At same time, 2. and 3./683 were on the way to La Roquette (not located) for employment along the right bank of the Seine. (BNA HW 5/500; CX/MSS/R213/145)
14 Jun 44: 2./683 transferred to Mantes-la-Jolie/on the Seine 59 km SE of Elbeuf and 5./683 (possibly at Le Mans) ordered to transfer to Angers. (CX/MSS/T216/27; R217/72)
8 Jul 44: 1./683 was deployed in the Elbeuf area with 5 x 8.8 cm guns. (CX/MSS/R238/24 and 83)
12 Jul 44: 2. Battr. and 4. Battr.operational in the Muids-Ande area. (BNA HW5/529)
6 Aug 44: Abteilung engaged in protecting Seine bridges at Louviers/south of Rouen. (NARA T-321 roll 61).
14 Aug 44: 6./683 trf to Meulan ferry with 9 x 2.0 cm guns and 3 x 2.0 cm guns to Mantes ferry. These ferry crossings were along the Seine between Paris and Rouen. (BNA HW5/563)
21 Aug 44: Stab/683 trf to Vatteville and still under Flak-Rgt. 100. (ULTRA CX/MSS/T283/126)
24 Aug 44: a battery from Flak-Abt. 683 operating at Barentin/3 km S of Pavilly. (BNA HW 5/574)
20 Sep 44: POWs reported all guns lost during retreat from France. (BNA WO 171/341)
Oct 44: Stab, 5. and 6./683 were still operational under Luftwaffenkdo. West, but were disbanded a few weeks later.
25 Nov 44: Abteilung’s Feldpost numbers deleted this date.

FpNs: 1. Battr. (L 51395), 5. Battr. (L 06092). No others found.

Kommandeur:
Maj. Rau Jul 44

Other Names: Hptm. Christian Gässler, Hptm. Kiow.

L.

Aber
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye June 1944

Post by Aber » 03 Jul 2020 18:33

Michael Kenny wrote:
26 Jun 2020 00:28
This is it in 1945.

Screensllllot_345.jpg
The lack of craters around the place suggests it was abandoned very early in June.
Looking at modern maps suggest it is roughly 100m x 100m?

Ammunition storage?

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 03 Jul 2020 19:10

Given the width of the road, those square/rectangular holes are very big - were they the footings for some serious foundation work?

Regards

Tom

Michael Kenny
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Jul 2020 19:44

Rough idea of the size

1947 air view
Screenshot_dc180.jpg

Screenshot_177.jpg
Screenshot_179.jpg
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Artee
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Artee » 04 Jul 2020 01:21

Yep, as Larry has pointed out correctly above (sourced from ww2.dk), gemischte Flak-Abteilung 683 (v) may have been in the Paris area in January.

First pic here is an extract from 100,000 scale map which just illustrates the high ground this 'mystery' complex stood on - the exact location indicated in the red circle.
Extract 1 - 100,000 GSGS 4249 7F 1944.jpg
Second pic shows the situation in June 44 (one of these years I'll aquire a better copy of this map!). Again the exact location is shown in the red circle. This map shows us the location of all the flak in place around Carpiquet at the time, including some 3.7cm Flak of 2/835 located just to the south west at Franqueville. Of particular note there is no unit indicated at all at the position in question.
Extract 2 - KVA Caen 44.jpg
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Jul 2020 02:19

Building in progress and overtaken by events?

Artee
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Artee » 05 Jul 2020 14:03

The answer is: "Potatoes" !!!

I had a hunch that looking for info on the capture of the Abbaye Ardenne in July might bear fruit (or in this case, pomme de terre!). And I actually found something 'juicy' online. The position was captured during Operation Charnwood on 08July by B Coy of the Regina Rifles. The defenders of this "abandoned anti-aircraft position" were evidently from 25 SS Panzergrenadierregiment.

From an article by Terry Copp written in 2011 [found at https://legionmagazine.com/en/2011/08/t ... y-part-95/ ]:

“Matheson [OC Regina Rifles] devised a plan which he hoped would minimize the risks. Major Eric Syme’s B Company was briefed to make maximum use of the preliminary barrage in order to seize an abandoned anti-aircraft gun position halfway to the objective behind a mound of rubble. The Hussars were asked to ensure the enemy in Franqueville was destroyed. Once the gun position (code-named Potatoes) was secure, both C and D companies were to move forward and use Potatoes as a base for the final 700-yard push to the walls of the Abbaye…”

The attached, unedited, pic comes from the same article.

CoppMap.jpg
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Larry D.
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Re: Complex west of Abbaye d'Ardenne June 1944

Post by Larry D. » 05 Jul 2020 16:49

That's wunderbar that you were able to find that obscure little caveat of history, Artee! It would be interesting to know why it was abandoned, whether it was just left as it was, or whether it was demolished at the time it was abandoned. There are some surviving records of Flak-Rgt. 100, but possibly not for gem.683(v). These might give more details either in the KTB u.Anlagen or in the Stellungsbuch. Too bad they had to destroy so much of the documentation.

L.

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