Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

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Manuferey
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Post by Manuferey » 28 Oct 2007 14:35

Here is my translation of Chazette's French text.
8-)
Emmanuel

In July 1941, the harbor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz was placed under the protection of the E.674 Battery. This battery was armed with four 24 cm Theodor Kanone (E) guns, manned by 215 soldiers, and was positioned at Stp 27 at Erromardie.
In September 1942 [1941?], the battery was split in two in order to provide a second position near Dorrondeguy. Two 24 cm Theodor Kanone (E) guns formed the E.Bttr 674 while the other two guns formed the E. Bttr 664.
In the summer of 1942, the two batteries were brought together in the E.Art.Abt. 780 (HQ at Ciboure) under the command of Major Karl Hett, later replaced by Major Erwin Bloy.
At the beginning of 1943, two new guns were brought to the area. They were of the 24 cm Theodor Bruno Kanone (E) type and were positioned at Erromardie.
With the arrival of the second railway battery, the organization of the group had to be modified. The two 24 cm Theodor Bruno were transferred to the E.Bttr. 664 while the four 24 cm Theodor Kanone (E) became all part of the E.Bttr. 674. For a while, all these different guns were positioned together at Erromardie.
In the summer of 1943, the positions at Erromardie and at Croix d’Archiloa (an appendage to the battery), coded Stp Ba 49, included five H502 shelters, two H621 shelters, one H501 shelter, one H610 command shelter, one well shelter, one H636 Leitstand and no less than nineteen ammunition bunkers, in addition to the four turntables and the firing emplacements of the Ger. Bttr 664 armed with 10 cm le.FH 316(j) guns. Additional equipment provided close defense of the position: two 150 cm searchlights, one 60 cm searchlight, one 35 cm searchlight, 4 x 2 cm KwK 38 guns, 3 x 2 cm Flak 30 guns, one battery of 6 x 7,5 cm Flak M36(f) guns in position on the cliff next to the Leitstand. The E.Bttr 674 was removed from its position and replaced by the E.Bttr.664 and its two 24 cm Th.B.K (E) guns.
At the second position, at Dorrondeguy, coded Stp Ba 63, and located not far from Hendaye, was stationed the E.Bttr.674. This battery, as we have seen above, was armed with four 24 cm Th.K.(E) and was supported by a Ger.Bttr with 4 x 10 cm le.FH 316(j) howitzers, two 150 cm and one 60 cm searchlights, 4 x 2 cm KwK38 guns, 3 x 2 cm Flak 30 guns and one battery of 6 x 7,5 cm Flak M36(f) guns, installed on both sides of what is today the D912 [road]. From a construction standpoint, six H621-H622 shelters and eight ammunition bunkers were built in 1943 to shelter men and shells.
In July 1944, the two railway batteries were sent to the front in Normandy, and in September, could be found in the Saarbruck area.

24 cm Theodor Bruno Kanone (Eisenbahn)
German designation: 24 cm Th.Br.K (E)
Caliber: 238 mm
Tube length : 8400 mm L/35
Rifling length: 6300 mm
Weight in action : 95000 kg
Weight of the gun : 24000 kg
Traverse : 360°
Elevation : 0° to +45°
Muzzle velocity : 670 meters per second
Firing rate : 1 shot every 3 minutes
Maximum range : 20200 meters
Shell weight: 151 kg
Gun longevity: 1300 shots
Car length: 20700 mm
Manufacturer: Krupp AG, Essen

24 cm Theodor Kanone (Eisenbahn)
German designation : 24 cm Th K (E)
Caliber: 238 mm
Tube length: 9550 mm L/40 (31’ 4” – 40 cals)
Rifling length: 7820 mm
Weight in action: 94000 kg
Traverse: 360°
Elevation: +10° to +45°
Muzzle velocity: 810 meters per second
Firing rate: 1 shot every 3 minutes
Maximum range: 26750 meters
Shell weight: 148,5 kg
Gun longevity: 900 shots
Car length: 18450 mm
Manufacturer : Krupp AG, Essen

Bob_Mackenzie
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Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 28 Oct 2007 19:43

Thanks Jos

Another mystery cleared up :)

I was surprised to see the PaK-38 & flammenwerfer

Cheers

Bob

RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 29 Oct 2007 01:23

Manuferey wrote:At the second position, at Dorrondeguy, coded Stp Ba 63, and located not far from Hendaye, was stationed the E.Bttr.674. This battery, as we have seen above, was armed with four 24 cm Th.K.(E)


Thanks Alain and Emmanuel! One last question, for some reason I have 674 with just three Th.K. (E) by June 1944?

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by sturmvogel » 21 Apr 2009 21:43

Possibly because the ex-Belgian booty Theodor Karl SK L/40 captured in 1940 finally broke down beyond repair?

Jason

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Manuferey
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by Manuferey » 05 Nov 2012 23:31

An American report titled “Air-Ground Teamwork on the Western Front” mentions :

"The Fifth Infantry Division requested bombardment of some railway gun positions which were holding up their progress near Angers. Forty minutes later, Fighter Control and Combat Operations vectored a Thunderbolt squadron to the area and the enemy guns were shattered by two direct hits."
Note that the 5th US Infantry Division liberated Angers [pronounced “Anjay”], France on August 10, 1944.

The only German E-Batterien that were the closest to this region of France were the EAA 780 (E.664 and E.674)(pointing towards Nantes) and E.721 as seen on this map from August 10, 1944 showing German reinforcements sent from southwestern France towards Normandy. This map was posted by Jos in the thread In the thread “Fate of E-Battr. 722” http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8&start=15
Map = http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/

I have highlighted the location of Angers, just north of the Loire river, for reference.

Image

Based on the American account above, it looks like one the E-Batterien (possibly E.664 or E.674) made it actually farther than indicated on the map.

Does anyone have further information on this?

Emmanuel

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 06 Nov 2012 16:20

Maybe it's time for a "Eisenbahnartillerie Tome 2" :wink: , only joking Guy

Regards Jos

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Manuferey
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by Manuferey » 08 Nov 2012 00:41

jopaerya wrote:Maybe it's time for a "Eisenbahnartillerie Tome 2" :wink: , only joking Guy
Regards Jos
With English captions? :wink:

I have found the following account in a website dedicated to the US 30th Infantry Division. It mentions a 28 cm railway gun of E.674 that fired on the Dutch bordertown of Simpelveld on September 18, 1944 and killed a US soldier. The text goes on to mention that a 13th shell exploded inside the barrel.

As far as I know, E.674 was equipped with 24 cm Theodor K., not 28 cm guns. :?
Does anyone have information on this incident and could confirm that it was indeed a gun from E.674?

"Honoring Tec. 5 Ed G. Erickson, 120th IR, KIA Sept. 18th, 1944 in the village of Simpelveld.
Circumstances of the death of Tec. Erickson: In the night of 17-18 Sept., the village of Simpelveld, Holland was the target of the German 674.Eisenbahn Artillerie-Batterie (674th Railway Artillery Battery), between 2200 hours Sept 17th) until 0135 hours (Sept. 18th) the 280cm heavy railway gun fired 12 shells on Simpelveld. Lucky for newly liberated inhabitants and the American Liberators of this small Dutch/German border village, shell number 13 had probably a manufactory failure and exploded in the huge gun barrel as it was being fired. During the bombardment of Simpelveld one shell landed 50 yards to the rear of the Command Post of the 120th Infantry Regiment. Almost all the windows in the building were shattered. Two more shells landed in houses nearby, demolishing them. Technician 4th grade Erickson who was on guard duty was killed and two other men in his unit were wounded. In one of the nearby houses two civilians (father and son) were killed and one civilian seriously wounded."

Source: http://www.oldhickory30th.com/Photos%20 ... RT%202.htm

Another excerpt from a history of the XIX Corps also mentions a “280 mm Railroad Gun” firing on the town of Heerlen, which is located just north of Simpelveld. It has to be the same gun:

“Nobody could explain what the stuff was at first, the night it came in. […]. But the Artillery said it was a 280mm Railroad Gun somewhere to the south, just lining in on the town of Heerlen. […] The Corps Artillery had the gun spotted and made it move several times. And later VII Corps found the wreck of a 280 mm gun in their sector. We may have hit it at that”
(See in http://www.xixcorps.nl/normandy_to_the_elbe.htm)

Emmanuel

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 03 Mar 2015 08:25

Hello All

AFAIK there were only three 24 cm Theodor Kanone (E) made , so the must be a mistake in the original information
with the four guns ?? or could it be that first one 24 cm Theodor Bruno Kanone (E) was added and later a other one ???

Regards Jos
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schwarzermai
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by schwarzermai » 03 Mar 2015 14:06

Hello Jos

in Sep 1939 there were 3 x "Theodor" only -

so 664 was created with 2 guns and 674 with 1 gun

at Nov 1st 1940 the 2nd gun for 674 was ordered in wehrkreis VI

Uwe
viewtopic.php?f=70&t=112552&start=195#p2028003

My Bookproject: "Organisationsgeschichte der deutschen Heeresartillerie im II. Weltkrieg"

http://balsi.de/Heeresartillerie/

ALVF
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by ALVF » 03 Mar 2015 15:26

Hello,

In 1939, they are 3 guns 24 cm "Theodor" K (E) with Reichsbahn numbers 919051 to 919053.
In may 1940, a belgian gun, ex-24 cm "Theodor Karl" gun dated from Great War, is captured intact and it received the Reichsbahn number 918541.
The 24 cm "Theodor" are strickly similar to the "Theodor Karl" guns of the Great War. The explanation is simple: the boggies and some others bits were hidden by Reichsbahn in 1920 years and a british admiral of CNIAC authorized these components as "commercial release" in 1924 contrarily to the french general Nollet of CMIC who wants these components had to be destroyed as the complete railway guns. The tubes of four guns 24 cm SKL/40 "Theodor Karl" with mounts slightly modified were also authorized by CNIAC as "coast guns" in the battery "Altona" of Wilhelmshaven. So, in 1935-1938 years, germans had near all the components to rebuild 3 "Theodor" railway guns, not very "new" but ready for immediate rebuilding .
The Nuremberg process and investigations, especially, the interrogations of some Krupp's engineers, explain many very interesting facts on these subjects, especially the Boeminghaus interrogation (this engineer was the leader of a group in charge of the studies of railway guns mountings).
Some war photographs taken in south-west France show the "beute" "Theodor Karl" Nr 918541 with "Theodor" of "new" manufacture in a coast battery near Biarritz.
Yours sincerely,
Guy François.

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 03 Mar 2015 22:14

Thank you both for your reply's , still have some questions on the right type - and amount of guns used by the 674 and 664 during the war .

Regards Jos

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by Manuferey » 04 Mar 2015 01:36

An interesting fact: KtSN Nr. 497 of 1.2.42 lists the organization of E-batteries with "3 Geschütze" for the several gun models including the 24 cm Th.K. and the 28 cm schw.Br.K (only 2 built). Did the Germans plan to build more 24 cm Th K guns and more 28 cm schw.Br. K? Or was the KtSN for these two gun models just a bureaucratic exercise?

Image

Emmanuel

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 04 Mar 2015 15:13

A part of a map from Lenco van der Weel ( date 1944 ) with E 664 ( 20.2 km.) and E 674 ( 24 km )
the 20.2 km fits with the max range of the Theodor Bruno Kanone (E) , the 24 km don't fit with the
Theodor Kanone (E) ??

If we can conclude that fur sure the E 664 had two Theodor Bruno Kanone (E) and the E 674 had
three guns , were would we place the fourth ( Beute ) gun ??

Regards Jos
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jopaerya
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 08 Mar 2015 20:15

According to the Kriegsgliederung des Feldheeres Band I ( 15-10-1942 till summer 1943 )

E 722 - 4 x 24 cm Th.B.K. (E)
E 664 - 2 x 24 cm Th.K. (E)
E 674 - 2 x 24 cm Th.K. (E)
E 691 - 3 x 24 cm (E) (f)

Regards Jos

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 28 Mar 2015 09:44

Date 01-03-1944 , Regards Jos
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