Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
Rui
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Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 10 Jul 2011 19:07

From Zaloga, Steven J. D-Day Fortifications in Normandy. (Fortress 037). Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-678-6 / 978-1841768762. In page 29 appears the following data:

II/AA.191 ........ Brecourt................ 4 x 105mm leFH 18/40
3/AR.1716 ....... Bréville................. 4 x 75mm FK 16 n.A.
9/AR.1716 ....... Maisy-la-Perruque.... 4 x 155mm sFH 414(f)
1/HKAA.1260 ... Riva-Bella............... 6 x 155mm K420(f) / 4 x 155mm K418(f) [page 20]
2/HKAA.1260 ... Pointe-Du-Hoc......... 4 x 155mm K420(f) / 6 x 155mm K418(f) (French GPF)
1/HKAA.1255 ... Villerville/Bruyères .. 6 x 155mm K420(f)
2/HKAA.1255 ... Mount Canisy .......... 6 x 155mm K420(f)
3/HKAA.1255 ... Houlgate ............... 6 x 155mm K420(f)
Nebel.Abt.84 ... St. Laurent-sur-Mer... 40 x 320mm Nebelwerfer (Werfer-Regiment 84) [page 29 & 30]


Zetterling, Niklas. Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness. J. J. Fedorowicz Publishing. ISBN 0921991568 / 978-0921991564. Data:

91. Luftlande-Division had 2 x artillery battalions equipped with 10.5 cm Geb.H.40. [page 239]

716. Infanterie-Division had: [page 298]
3/AR.1716 = 4 x Czechoslovakian 10 cm howitzers
9/AR.1716 = 4 x Czechoslovakian 10 cm howitzers

Werfer-Regiment 84, part of Werfer-Brigade 7 [pages 142-143]
In 18.05.1944 was at Beauvais and was ordered to Normandy after 6.6.1944, only arriving in Falaise by 10.6.1944.
Werfer-Regiment 84 had 2 x 15 cm battalions and 1 x 30 cm battalion.



Note:
15.5 cm K418(f) = French "Canon de 155 Grand Puissance Filloux"
15.5 cm K420(f) = French "Canon de 155 L modèle 1916 St. Chamond"
Source: Chamberlain, Peter & Gander, Terry. WW2 Fact Files: Heavy Artillery. Arco Publishing Company. ISBN 0-668-03898-5.


My questions:
a) In 91. LD were 10.5 cm le.F.H. 18/40 or 10.5 cm Geb.H.40? By the way, how was the artillery organization in this division?
b) In 3/AR.1716 and 9/AR.1716, they were equipped with 4 x Czechoslovakian 10 cm howitzers each? Or the Zaloga's information is the correct one?
c) What is correct about 1/HKAA.1260, 6 x 155mm K420(f) or 4 x 155mm K418(f)?
d) What is correct about 2/HKAA.1260, 4 x 155mm K420(f) or 6 x 155mm K418(f)?
e) Could also be wrong, the 6 x 155mm K420(f) each, in the 1/HKAA.1255, 2/HKAA.1255 and 3/HKAA.1255?
f) Was the Werfer-Regiment 84 in St. Laurent-sur-Mer in 6.6.1944? And were eqquipped with 30cm or 32 cm Werfer launchers?

Regards,
Rui Esteves
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RichTO90
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 10 Jul 2011 20:47

Rui wrote:My questions:
a) In 91. LD were 10.5 cm le.F.H. 18/40 or 10.5 cm Geb.H.40? By the way, how was the artillery organization in this division?
b) In 3/AR.1716 and 9/AR.1716, they were equipped with 4 x Czechoslovakian 10 cm howitzers each? Or the Zaloga's information is the correct one?
c) What is correct about 1/HKAA.1260, 6 x 155mm K420(f) or 4 x 155mm K418(f)?
d) What is correct about 2/HKAA.1260, 4 x 155mm K420(f) or 6 x 155mm K418(f)?
e) Could also be wrong, the 6 x 155mm K420(f) each, in the 1/HKAA.1255, 2/HKAA.1255 and 3/HKAA.1255?
f) Was the Werfer-Regiment 84 in St. Laurent-sur-Mer in 6.6.1944? And were eqquipped with 30cm or 32 cm Werfer launchers?

Regards,
Rui Esteves
a) Both. The artillery regiment was partly organized as a Gebirgsartillerie (mountain artillery) regiment on 11 April 1944. Nominally, six of the nine batteries were equipped with 10.5cm Gebirgs-Haubitz 40, a light-weight mountain artillery piece. However it is unclear which of the batteries were so equipped, although it appears that 1., 2., 4., 5., 7., and 8. are the most likely. It was one of the batteries of this regiment that were involved in the engagement with E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division under Lieutenant Dick Winters at Brécourt Manor, that has been made so well known by the book and film Band of Brothers.

Detective work by Emmanuel Ferey shows that it was probably 6. Batterie that was the one encountered by E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment at the Brécourt Manor and that 3. Batterie was at Holdy.

Art.-Regt. 191
Gefechtsstand – Les Carrières
Kdr: Oberstleutnant Heinrich Kiewitt
I. Btl. (four 10.5cm per battery)
Gefechtsstand – Blandamour (4 kilometers northwest of St. Sauveur le
Vicomte)
1. Bttr. – the St. Sauveur le Vicomte-Portbail road at the fork 400
meters northwest of the last “e” (on the map) of Besneville
2. Bttr. – Farm St. Anne (3.2 kilometers southeast of Bricquebec)
3. Bttr. – Holdy
II. Btl. (four 10.5cm per battery)
Gefechtsstand – Bessières (west of Montebourg)
4. Bttr. – St.-Mère-Èglise
5. Bttr. – La Jardinerie (5 kilometers northwest of Montebourg)
6. Bttr. – Brécourt Manor
III. Btl. (four 10.5cm per battery)
Gefechtsstand – château 2.5 kilometers northeast of La Haye du Puits
7. Bttr. – chateau 2.5 kilometers northeast of La Haye du Puits
8. Bttr. – attached to Fs.Jg.-Regt. 6
9. Bttr. – Chateau de Benaville à Picauville (6 kilometers southwest of St. Mére Eglise)

b).
3. Bttr. – Bréville (northeast of Caen) (four 7.5cm FK 16 n.A.)
9. Bttr. – Maisy Les Perruques (Wn 83) (six 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f))

c) & d). H.K.A.-Abtl. 1260
Gefechtsstand – Ryes (south of Arromanches)
1. Bttr. – St. Aubin-d’Arquenay (Ouistreham) (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
2. Bttr. – Pointe du Hoc (six 15.5cm K 420 (f))
3. Bttr. – WN 35a (Mont Fleury) (four 12.2cm K 390 (r))
MKB Longues – WN 48 (four 15cm TbtsK C/36) (attached)

e). H.K.A.Abtl. 1255 (between the Seine and the Orne River)
1. Bttr. – Villerville (six 15.5cm K420 (f))
2. Bttr. – Mont Canisy (six 15.5cm K420 (f))
3. Bttr. – Houlgate Tournebride (six 15.5cm K420 (f))
4. Bttr. – Hennequeville (four 10.5cm K331 (f))
MKB Vasouy (three or four 15cm TbtsK L/45) (attached)

f). No, but prior to D-Day the brigade provided personnel detachments to man fixed multiple rocket launcher (4-barrel 32cm Wurfgerät) positions along the coast. It is known that men from Werf.-Regt. 84 manned such a position at OMAHA and other, similar, positions are known to have existed on SWORD, JUNO, and GOLD. The brigade was ordered to Normandy on 7 June. Given the consistent layout of the German defenses, it is likely that similar were found in the 15. Armee zone and the rest of 7. Armee as well.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Manuferey
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Manuferey » 11 Jul 2011 03:23

a) 3./191 at Holdy and 6./191 at Brecourt were indeed equipped with 10.5 cm leFH18/40 based on US pictures from 1944, on shell casings recovered from the site and on the remains of a gun's tubular trails (same as those of 7.5 cm Pak 40).

c) For HKAA 1260 we have German documents ("Bauprogrammen") and German and US pictures that show:
1./1260 - Riva-Bella - 6 x 15.5 cm K418(f) (not 420(f))
2./1260– Pointe du Hoc - 6 x 15.5 cm K418(f) (not 420(f))
3./1260 - Ver-sur-mer (Mont Fleury for the Allies) - 4 x 12.2cm K 390/1(r) (as opposed for example to the K390/2(r) guns of 1./1261 at St-Martin-de-Varreville).

d) Fixed multiple rocket launchers "manned by infantry" were installed in the Utah Beach sector according to Lt-Col. Keil, CO of GR919. A US post-D-Day report also mentions “Rockets were located several hundred yards behind both beaches [i.e. Utah and Omaha] in hedgerows."

Emmanuel

RichTO90
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 03:38

Manuferey wrote:c) For HKAA 1260 we have German documents ("Bauprogrammen") and German and US pictures that show:
1./1260 - Riva-Bella - 6 x 15.5 cm K418(f) (not 420(f))
2./1260– Pointe du Hoc - 6 x 15.5 cm K418(f) (not 420(f))
3./1260 - Ver-sur-mer (Mont Fleury for the Allies) - 4 x 12.2cm K 390/1(r) (as opposed for example to the K390/2(r) guns of 1./1261 at St-Martin-de-Varreville).
Thanks for the updates Emmanuel.
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Rui
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 13 Jul 2011 21:24

Thanks for speedy answers :D

@ Richard
RichTO90 wrote: b).
3. Bttr. – Bréville (northeast of Caen) (four 7.5cm FK 16 n.A.)
9. Bttr. – Maisy Les Perruques (Wn 83) (six 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f))
In this topic "Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf Normandy 1944":
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1512663
AdamW wrote:Art.-Regt. 1716 (716 Inf.Div.)
Gefechtsstand – Unknown

Morning JonS!
This is the bit - for interest, some books refer to the size of guns at Merville as 75mm and some books refer to them as 100mm. The report highlights 100mm (which is the general consesus). Do you know where the report came from or when it was written? Many thanks for your help so far mate - appreciate it.

Kdr.: Oberstleutnant Helmut Knüppe
. I. Abtl.
. Gefechtsstand – Colomby
. . 1. Bttr. – Merville (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
. . 2. Bttr. – WN 16 (Colleville-sur-Orne) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
. . 3. Bttr. – Bréville (northeast of Caen) (four 7.5cm FK 16 n.A.)
. . 4. Bttr. – WN 12 (Ouistreham “Water Tower Battery”) (four 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f))
. . 10. Bttr. – 4 kilometers northeast of Bayeux (four 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f))
. II. Abtl.
. Gefechtsstand – Crépon
. . 5. Bttr. – WN 35b (Crépon) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
. . 6. Bttr. – WN 32 (la Mare-Fontaine) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
. . 7. Bttr. – WN 28a (Bény-sur-Mer) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
. III. Abtl. (attached to 352. Inf.-Div.)
Are you certain about the six 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f) in the 9/AR.1716? In the post above, appears four 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f) each in 4./AR.1716 and 10./AR.1716. (also in Zetterling, Niklas. Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness. J. J. Fedorowicz Publishing. ISBN 0921991568 / 978-0921991564). And from data in the mentioned book, all Infanterie-Divisionen that French howitzers had four French howitzers per artillerie-batterie. Do know where were the 8./A.R. 1716?


Regards
Rui Esteves
My Christmas Book Wishlist:

T. Jentz - "Becker Funnies": All Vehicles Converted by Alfred Becker
Martin Block - Bible with all allocations from H.Za to the units
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RichTO90
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 13 Jul 2011 21:37

Rui wrote:Are you certain about the six 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f) in the 9/AR.1716?
Bleh! :oops: Thanks for noticing that. I usually cut and paste designations to keep them consistent and must have absent-minedly typed six instead of four for some reason.
Do know where were the 8./A.R. 1716?
I'll have to check.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Rui
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 13 Jul 2011 22:04

Hi Emmanuel, so the 1./; 2./ and 3./HKAA.1255 had each 6 x 15.5 cm K420(f) and not 15.5 cm K418(f) as in the HKAA.1260?

Curious fact...
In the Zaloga's "D-Day Fortifications in Normandy", he mentions several 20 mm Flak...
2./HKAA.1260 = 2 cm Flak 30
4./HKAA.1260 = 2 cm Flak

Any info about the small caliber artillery weapons used at Normandy? Normally only the big guns are mentioned.

Regards,
Rui Esteves

(My edit: a typo, wasn't the 5./HKAA.1260, it was the 4./HKAA.1260)
Last edited by Rui on 13 Jul 2011 22:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Rui
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Rui » 13 Jul 2011 22:27

Some interesting data from Zetterling's book...

In Infanterie-Divisionen:
4 x French 10 cm howitzers ...... (1 x Battery x 4 piece each) ....... (343. ID)
28 x French 10.5 cm howitzers ... (7 x Batteries x 4 pieces each) ... (346. ID; 708. ID)
12 x French 10.5 cm guns ......... (3 x Batteries x 4 pieces each) ... (709. ID)
68 x French 15.5 cm howitzers ... (17 x Batteries x 4 pieces each) .. (331. ID; 343. ID; 709. ID; 711. ID; 716. ID)

Total = 112 French artillery pieces in Infanterie-Divisionen.

The French 10 cm howitzers are French 10.5 cm howitzers? (Perhaps a Zetterling typo?)


Regards,
Rui Esteves
My Christmas Book Wishlist:

T. Jentz - "Becker Funnies": All Vehicles Converted by Alfred Becker
Martin Block - Bible with all allocations from H.Za to the units
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 14 Jul 2011 00:15

Rui wrote:The French 10 cm howitzers are French 10.5 cm howitzers? (Perhaps a Zetterling typo?)
The Germans aften termed 105,, pieces 100mm...the Czech howitzers were also actually 105mm IIRC.
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 14 Jul 2011 00:18

RichTO90 wrote:
Rui wrote: Do know where were the 8./A.R. 1716?
I'll have to check.

Cheers!
III./Art.-Regt. 1716 (- 10. Bttr.)
Gefechtsstand – Le Cambe
8. Bttr. – Maisy La Martiniere (Wn 84) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
9. Bttr. – Maisy Les Perruques (Wn 83) (four 15cm s.F.H. 414 (f)) - notice I made the correction :D

It was attached to 352. Infanterie Division along with Grenadier Regiment 726 and Ost Batallion 439.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Manuferey » 14 Jul 2011 00:53

Rui wrote:Hi Emmanuel, so the 1./; 2./ and 3./HKAA.1255 had each 6 x 15.5 cm K420(f) and not 15.5 cm K418(f) as in the HKAA.1260?
Right. The HKAAs and HKARs regrouped batteries from various origins and did not follow a standard TO&E.
Not often noted by historians, the type of French guns installed at 2./1260 (Pointe du Hoc), i.e. 155 mm GPF (aka 15.5 cm K418(f) by the Germans), was also still used by the US forces, for instance near Los Angeles, for coastal defense in 1944!
Rui wrote:Curious fact...
In the Zaloga's "D-Day Fortifications in Normandy", he mentions several 20 mm Flak...
2./HKAA.1260 = 2 cm Flak 30
4./HKAA.1260 = 2 cm Flak

Any info about the small caliber artillery weapons used at Normandy? Normally only the big guns are mentioned.
A lot of research has been done on the German coastal batteries in Normandy in the last few years. For the most recent information, I encouraged you to acquire the 2011 book “Mur de l’Atlantique – Les batteries de côte en Normandie” (“Atlantikwall – The coastal batteries in Normandy”) by Alain Chazette. The main text is in French but the captions of the pictures are translated in English. You will find detailed maps of the batteries as well as positions, pictures and details of the armament including light Flak, field guns used for close defense and sometimes long range guns for firing illuminating shells (called “Leuchtgeschuetz” by the Germans).

All coastal batteries typically had light flak guns (3.7 cm and/or 2 cm) for AA defense.

For 2./1260 (Pointe du Hoc): 2 x 3.7 cm Flak 36 (not 2 cm Flak 30). There is a picture to prove it.

For "4./1260" (MKB Longues): it is important to note that German documents (Bauprogrammen and KTB SeeKo Normandie of 1944) refer to it as “Marine Batterie Longues” or simply “Batterie Longues”, never as 4/HKAA 1260 (AFAIK). It was tactically attached to the HKAA 1260 because of its location but remained a Kriegsmarine batterie. This was not an issue since the HKAAs and HKAR were tactically attached to the Kriegsmarine as long as the enemy had not landing in their sector.
For its Flak defense: 3 x 2 cm Flak 28.

Rui wrote:The French 10 cm howitzers are French 10.5 cm howitzers? (Perhaps a Zetterling typo?)
Yes, the French "10 cm" howitzers would have to be “10.5 cm” as there was no 100 mm howitzers in the French Army in 1940. Some German maps and “Gliederungen” (German TO&E) sometimes show for instance "10 cm fr." instead of 10.5 cm (f). It could have been the same in Zetterling's source.

In Normandy, the French 10.5 cm guns were typically 10.5 cm K331(f), the French 15.5 cm howitzers were 15.5 cm K414(f). The French 10,5 cm howitzers were probably 10.5 cm leFH325(f) (ex- "Canon de 10,5 cm Court Mle 1935 B").

Below is a US Signal Corps picture taken in Normandy, probably at a weapon collection point, where we recognize two 10.5 cm leFH325(f) howitzers on the right of the 28/32 NbW 41 rocket launcher inspected by US officers.

Image

Emmanuel

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 14 Jul 2011 01:43

Manuferey wrote:Not often noted by historians, the type of French guns installed at 2./1260 (Pointe du Hoc), i.e. 155 mm GPF (aka 15.5 cm K418(f) by the Germans), was also still used by the US forces, for instance near Los Angeles, for coastal defense in 1944!
As an aside, my Dad apparently trained on the 155mm GPF at some time when he was a cadet at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now known as Virginia Tech) 1939-1943. When we were at Pointe du Hoc in 2000 he immediately recognized them and asked why they wer displaying "American" guns at a German coastal battery. :D Our guide was a bit confused at first, as was I. Sadly, I never asked him specifics, but since when he was commissioned in 1943 he went into the Coast Artillery AAA, it must have been when he was at school in "Battery K" of the VPI Corps of Cadets.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Manuferey » 14 Jul 2011 02:01

Go Hokies ! :wink:

Emmanuel

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 14 Jul 2011 12:01

Wasn't 10./AR 1716 equipped with the 15cm sFH13 auf Lorraine Schlepper anyway ? Certainly that is what Lt Rudolf Schaaf the battery commander says in Hasting's "Overlord".
Alan

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by RichTO90 » 14 Jul 2011 12:31

Alanmccoubrey wrote:Wasn't 10./AR 1716 equipped with the 15cm sFH13 auf Lorraine Schlepper anyway ? Certainly that is what Lt Rudolf Schaaf the battery commander says in Hasting's "Overlord".
Yep. The corrected entry should be:

Art.-Regt. 1716
Gefechtsstand – Unknown
Kdr.: Oberstleutnant Helmut Knüppe
I. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Colomby
1. Bttr. – Merville (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
2. Bttr. – WN 16 (Colleville-sur-Orne) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
3. Bttr. – Bréville (northeast of Caen) (four 7.5cm FK 16 n.A.)
4. Bttr. – WN 12 (Ouistreham “Water Tower Battery”) (four 15cm
s.F.H. 414 (f))
10. Bttr. – 4 kilometers northeast of Bayeux (“Graf Waldersee
Batterie”) (three 15cm s.FH 13 auf Lorraine-Schlepper)
II. Abtl.
Gefechtsstand – Crépon
5. Bttr. – WN 35b (Crépon) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
6. Bttr. – WN 32 (la Mare-Fontaine) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
7. Bttr. – WN 28a (Bény-sur-Mer) (four 10cm le.F.H. 14/19 (t))
III. Abtl. (attached to 352. Inf.-Div.)

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