Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

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Manuferey
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by Manuferey » 20 Nov 2016 20:49

jopaerya wrote:Thanks Emmanuel

Luckily I am not alone, see your post from Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:41 am in this Topic . Just Joking

Regards Jos
:oops: :oops: :oops: :thumbsup:

ALVF
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by ALVF » 29 Apr 2017 16:36

Hello,

I have bought some small photographs of a former french soldier of "Corps Franc Pommiès", a strong clandestine force built up un 1942 by commandant Pommiès, officer in french Army. The "Corps Franc Pommiès" was under command of "Organisation de Résistance de l'Armée" and the B.C.R.A in London.
After combats in clandestineness, the Unit entered in open fight in southern France in june 1944 then in eastern France in autumn 1944 and in early 1945 was transformed in 49e Régiment d'Infanterie of french 1ère Armée (général de Lattre de Tassigny).
An intriguing photograph is present: a 24 cm "Theodor" K(E), a railway gun of the E.674 battery. The photograph has been made in Gray (Haute-Saône) the 27th october 1944.The gun tube is severely disabled. Gray is an important crossing of railroads north-east of Dijon in direction of eastern France.
The cause is not known: aircraft allied bomb, self-blasted by germans or other cause?
I have a stong interest with any information.
24cm Theodor Gray 26-10-1944 Corps Franc Pommies.jpg
Yours sincerely,
Guy François.
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Manuferey
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by Manuferey » 29 Apr 2017 20:47

Guy,

It's indeed a mystery based on the location of the E.674 battery in the fall of 1944.

According to the website forum-der-wehrmacht, one of the three 24 cm Th K(E) of E.674 was in reserve in June 1944 (Note that the Gliederung of E.674 dated March 1st, 1944 already shows one gun as reserve) but it does not say where. In September 1944 the battery was in the Aachen area with only two 24 cm Th K(E) and one of them was in long term repair.

Therefore, it seems that one gun was lost between June and September, maybe the gun in reserve. It would have to be the gun in your picture and it would have been abandoned in Northeastern France before the battery retreated into Germany in September.

Eisenbahn-Batterie 674 (24-cm)
http://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/index ... 674-24-cm/

"Zur E-Batterie 674 liegen mir folgede Informationen vor :
Die Batterie lag vor der Invasion am 06.06.1944 an der Atlantikküste in Hendaye (Südfrankreich) und unterstand der Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Abteilung 780. Sie verfügte über 2 im Einsatz befindliche Theodor-Kanonen 24 cm sowie über 1 Theodor-Kanone 24 cm als Reserve-Gerät; zur Luftverteidigung verfügte die Batterie über 2 Flak 2 cm.
Die Batterie traf am 14.09.1944 beim LXXXI. Armeekorps (Bereich Aachen) ein; sie war der Eisenbahn-Artillerie-Abteilung 725 unterstellt, die wiederum dem Arko 117 unterstellt war. Sie verfügte zu diesem Zeitpunkt über 2 Theodor-Kanonen 24 cm, davon war eine Kanone in langfrisitger Instandsetzung."

Separately, if we look at the damages on the gun in your picture, it seems to correspond to a piece of the barrel breaking and falling on the frame (crushing locally part of the frame beneath it and bending a side guide but not both).Let's look at various options for the cause of these damages:
- Bomb: It would be a lucky strike for a bomb to fall right on top of the barrel, to explode and to break it. And if a bomb had fallen on the frame, I think that there would be more damage to it.
- Germans blasting it: It would require a big chunk of explosives positioned by the Germans at that particular location of the barrel to break it. It would have been easier to blow up the breach to render the gun unusable.
- It seems to me that it is a case of the barrel breaking up due to metal fatigue failure following repeated firing.

Emmanuel

jopaerya
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 30 Apr 2017 08:07

No awnser to the gun on your picture , but a plan that the 664 , 721 and 674 had to retrieve to Saarbrucken .
And from end 1944 a list of guns still in use in the Westfront, both documents are from the NARA.

Regards Jos
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Manuferey
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by Manuferey » 30 Apr 2017 15:53

Very interesting documents. Thank you for sharing, Jos.

In the second document, I assume that the "K5 gl. 30/12" with a range of 125 km were K5 "glatt". :idea:

gl. would mean "glatt" but what would 30/12 mean?

Emmanuel

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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by JABIER » 03 May 2017 18:42

Report from 23/11/1945

A prisoner from the 674 Railroad Gun Battery, an Army Headquarters unit, passed through the cage during the period. He was captured as a “mere” infantryman, however, after he had been thrown in the line with a make-shift defense unit. According to his statement, he had been part of a gun crew which operated a 240mm railroad rifle in the vicinity of Julich. The gun, a complicated affair which ran on its own Diesel-powered truck, was tooled out of Ameln (0866) to a selected curve in the tracks near Julich, fired, and returned to Ameln. The curve, the prisoner explained, was necessary in order to have the axis of the truck in line with the target; otherwise the gun was liable to tip over from the recoil. He added that it could be fired at an angle, but special braces and props were required. Counter-battery missions were fired almost exclusively and would continue until the first round of American counter-battery dropped in the area, a procedure which sometimes allowed the crew to get off 25 rounds in succession. At the first sign of return fire, the driver would start his engine and retire to Ameln, where the gun was hidden under a camouflage net at various points 100 to 200 yards north or south of the Ameln station. No protection besides the net was employed.

Originally the battery consisted of 280 men and three guns. It was first located near Hendaye, in southern France, but managed to extricate itself to the Julich area during the retreat. At Julich serious difficulties arose: one gun burst its barrel with a hang-fire and a second was put out of action when a bomb fragment smashed the shell-loading elevator. The third gun is still in operation. The guns are known as “Theodores” or “Theodore Brunos”, a name derived in some way from the structure of the carriage. Fire missions are obtained from an attached Army Headquarters sound and flash unit.

This Artillery prisoner was one of six men captured from the 81st Reconnaissance Company, a unit which was employed originally as a guard and security company for 81st Corps Headquarters. (With two guns of his battery out of action the artilleryman was a natural for the infantry)

Regards,

ALVF
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by ALVF » 04 May 2017 08:00

Hello,

Thank you, Emmanuel, Jos and Jabier for your answers!
The last post confirms the burst of a barrel by a hang-fire but the date and the location of the burst are unknown for my photograph because the Julich battle is dated 1945 and my photograph is taken the 27th october 1944.
Jos, can you publish a better photograph of the map? The reading of this good map is very difficult.
Yours sincerely,
Guy François.

jopaerya
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by jopaerya » 04 May 2017 09:54

Sorry Guy

The page is from a NARA file T 78 Roll 269 ( Gen.d.Art. ) from site site from J Calvin and is only 155kb and not better.

Regards Jos

JABIER
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by JABIER » 04 May 2017 21:45

Sorry the date of the report is 23/11/1944 and correspond to the combats around Aachen before the Battle of the Bulge.

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... ed-VII.jpg

It seems that from the original report different units made different summaries. The one from the US VII Corps Artillery gives the date of the accident with the cannon tube: 5 Oct 1944

SPECIAL INTERROGATION REPORT
PW was interrogated at PWE of the 1st US Inf Div. The man was used as a replacement for front line troops after his gun was put out of action.

PW´s original unit, the 674th RR Gun Btry, consisted of 2 - 240mm RR guns. One of the guns was put out of action 5 Oct by a premature burst. The other gun, the one the PW was with, was put out of action about 4 weeks ago by counterbattery fire.

When PW was with the Btry, it was located at Inden (K0252) and later Ameln (F0866). While at Inden, the gun was brought to the Eschweiler area when fired. Firing was often done from Nothberg (K8846). After dark the gun was moved to the firing point and would remain until just before daylight unless it was counterbatteried. Usually 20 rounds would be fired during the night. Many targets were received from flash and sound units.

About 5 weeks ago the gun was moved to Ameln. While at this location it was moved at night to the curve in the railroad at K0357 and fired. It was at this position the gun was hit by our artillery and put out of action.

PW states the Btry was near Nantes, France, as part of a 3 - Btry Bn. Since returning to Germany, the Btry has been operating alone.

Question to Guy François:
Your information about the 49e Régiment d'Infanterie mentions Tiger tanks in Eppingen?

Regards,

ALVF
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Re: Eisenbahn batteries 664 and 674

Post by ALVF » 10 May 2017 07:41

Hello,

Thank you for these informations!
Unfortunately, I have no information about Tigers and 49e R.I in Eppingen.
Yours sincerely,
Guy François.

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