Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
Richard Anderson
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 May 2018 16:11

Sorry, somehow I missed your reply.
Artee wrote:And we’re going around and around and around. :wink: I was attempting to drop it (well sort of)….but as you know the dodgy casualty figures and dodgy findings of ‘that’ report (I'm not going to type it’s number again!) have been indirectly handed down through official and unofficial historical writing over 73 years…Yes you analysts clearly love fudge, quite a lot. :D
Yep. :lol:
Thanks for re-hashing the info on the units inland in the Sword area – I’ve been across all that for some years – however it’s nevertheless not a bad idea to trot it out again for other readers on the forum.

And, I should have said - about a week ago perhaps - notwithstanding ‘that’ report was focused “on the beach” (and so much written since has been), the events of the day, inland, are of particular interest - especially the Allied efforts to deal with the German Batteries - from Le Havre to Cherbourg.

Again, yes Omaha copped the worst of it. However there's more to the story. And still more to be found (eg. the SAA 989 map)

Another snippet from the Juno area….

From Major L Fulton OC D Coy Winnipeg Rifles – Mike Green … “there was all the noise in the world…Then you’d see a big spout of water come up and it dawned on me it was artillery fire and this wasn’t going to be a surprise. The Germans were awake and waiting for us…”
Um, if Major Fulton was seeing big spouts of water, then more than likely he was noticing the response from one of the Kuesten Batterie or one of the direct fire 75mm or 88mm pieces firing at the landing craft. The field artillery was tasked with firing on the beaches...there is that damned phrase again! :lol:
Must sign off, apparently I’ve got my knickers in a twist – I’m might have to see a urologist! :D
Artee
Cheers! Re-hashing can be fun. :D
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Sheldrake
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 28 May 2018 19:33

Artee???
Sheldrake wrote:Got some questions.

Not disbelieving, but checking sources so I can reference the points in other work.

What are the sources for the following?
Artee wrote: When the seaborne troops landed SAA 989 only had two of it’s batteries still in situ – 2./989 had been moved before dawn to respond to the arrival of 6th Airborne – it apparently still had three 12.2’s in action by the end of the day. However both 1./989 and 3./989 were over-run by Canadian troops in the afternoon.
Artee wrote: Around 1530hrs Centaurs of 2 RMASR apparently induced the gunners of 1./989 to go to ground – quite literally (into a large cave – they eventually gave up on 08June – a story in itself!).
Later still (mid June) the personnel of SAA989 were apparently fighting as infantrymen on the east of the Orne with Battle Group Grote.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Artee » 02 Jun 2018 06:19

Richard,

Just which Kuesten Batterie do you think was firing at Mike Green? Also, interesting that you should 'blame' a direct fire 75 or 88 for making a splash - that's similar to what the AORG did with their pseudo analysis of the Gold area... You analysts are funny guys :D

But just for more entertainment, here's yet another snippet - this time, it's obviously fake news ie. from the free press...

From Ross Munro, frontline reporter of The Canadian Press (via Little Black Devils: A History of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles)... “On the right, the Winnipegs….They were shelled and mortared even in the German positions…”

Amused
Artee
Last edited by Artee on 02 Jun 2018 06:33, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Artee » 02 Jun 2018 06:22

Sheldrake!!!

I responded to your post on 24May.

Regards
Artee

Richard Anderson
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Jun 2018 02:54

Artee wrote:Richard,

Just which Kuesten Batterie do you think was firing at Mike Green?
Not a clue old boy.
Also, interesting that you should 'blame' a direct fire 75 or 88 for making a splash - that's similar to what the AORG did with their pseudo analysis of the Gold area... You analysts are funny guys :D
Yep...and interesting that you "believe" a direct fire 75 or 88 would not make a "splash"?
But just for more entertainment, here's yet another snippet - this time, it's obviously fake news ie. from the free press...

From Ross Munro, frontline reporter of The Canadian Press (via Little Black Devils: A History of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles)... “On the right, the Winnipegs….They were shelled and mortared even in the German positions…”
Wonderful...still wondering why you think I need proof that they were "shelled and mortared"though? :lol:
Amused
Always happy to keep the gallery amused. :D
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Artee » 05 Jun 2018 00:32

Nup, there's no proof of anything - along as we keep one eye closed that is... :wink:

However as this thread is not called "Macrame for beginners", I thought I'd just 'bang on' about German Artillery.

From Major Edward Maxwell Morrison A Coy 8th Kings landing on Mike Green at H+20… “I was the first to feel the dry sand of Mike Green…Mortar and artillery fire saturated the beach area, a burst of machine-gun fire swathed through our small group, leaving six or more men killed or wounded…”

Oh, not that many 88's on Mike Green, probably less than 1 in fact, old Chap. Though I do indeed think a 75 would make a 'lovely' splash. Not as 'lovely' as a 10cm or 12.2cm H.E. round though...

Continuing to be entertained :D
Artee

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jun 2018 02:22

Artee wrote:Nup, there's no proof of anything - along as we keep one eye closed that is... :wink:

However as this thread is not called "Macrame for beginners", I thought I'd just 'bang on' about German Artillery.
:lol:
From Major Edward Maxwell Morrison A Coy 8th Kings landing on Mike Green at H+20… “I was the first to feel the dry sand of Mike Green…Mortar and artillery fire saturated the beach area, a burst of machine-gun fire swathed through our small group, leaving six or more men killed or wounded…”

Oh, not that many 88's on Mike Green, probably less than 1 in fact, old Chap. Though I do indeed think a 75 would make a 'lovely' splash. Not as 'lovely' as a 10cm or 12.2cm H.E. round though...
Honestly not putting much more thought into my responses, since I still don't have much of a clue what you're arguing about...or who you think you're arguing with? :lol:
Continuing to be entertained :D
As am I...by all means continue to bang on.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by forttravel » 08 Jun 2018 13:23

General overview map with fire ranges of some heavy coastal batteries from British manual "DESCRIPTION OF GERMAN DEFENCES IN THE WEST".
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Kelvin » 18 Mar 2019 04:33

Artee wrote:
17 Sep 2014 07:10
Folks,

Nice to see the vigorous debate still raging…

On the subject of the armament & location of 10./1716 on D-Day it seems many of us are still confused - despite the fact that the puzzle has already been solved on this very thread (not solved by me, I‘ll add). If some of the following seems plagiarised it’s because I’m not basing it on guess work - it’s a summary of various peoples great efforts.

By the time the Allies decided to land in France the 716 infantry Division had formed eleven batteries. In short, on 06Jun44 10./1716 was equipped with 4 x 15.5 cm sFH414 (f) (Field post No. 39308 D). The Battery was likely positioned between Formigny & St Laurent Sur Mer near La Londel (or Le Monchet ). A contemporary German map (likely dated some time after March) specifically identifies 10./1716 exactly where Allied Air Reconnaissance/Intelligence tentatively identified a four gun position (Grid Ref 657875 on the Allied map, which is accurate to 20May44). I am attaching edited parts of both maps (both of which come from omahabeach.vierville.free.fr/)

The YouTube link provided by bunker14 (on 10Sep) is particularly interesting. On 12Jul44 US Signal Corps cameramen filmed “Nazi Gun emplacements” at “St Laurent”. The footage shows a gun position with several howitzers in a field position (complete with personnel dugouts and underground ammunition storage). The howitzers are all 15.5 cm sFH414 (f). The position has clearly been hit Allied artillery or naval guns. At least two of the howitzers appears to have been spiked ie. destroyed by own crews (or by US engineers after the position was captured). Of note a close up of one the gun shields shows the gunners were using “7 Lag” (ie. Charge 7) at a range of 3050m - which correlates almost exactly with information depicted on the contemporary German map.

Conclusion: 10./1716 was in action in the Omaha area - firing on American forces landing on Dog and/or Easy beaches. The Battery was shelled on 06June and/or 07June. It was probably abandoned late on 07June as US forces pushed south - the gunners destroying their guns in the process (from “Omaha Beachhead” on 07June: “The 3d Battalion of the 26th Infantry, advancing down the St-Laurent road, had been stopped a half-mile short of Formigny by strong resistance from machine-gun nests and made no progress for the rest of the day…”). The three men of 10./1716 captured on 09June (likely then fighting as infantry) were probably made POW as German forces attempted to withdraw south.

On 06June 11./1716 was equipped with 6 x 15cm sFH 13/1 (Sf) Geschützwagen Lorraine-Schlepper (f) (Sd.Kfz.135/1) (Battery Commander Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf, Field Post No. 09664 W). During April 44 the 716th Division formed a “Gerätbatterie” with the Self Propelled guns still available in the LXXXIV Corps sector. Indeed, the neighbouring 711th Infantry Division had apparently acquired a Self Propelled battery about the same time, though neither the 01May44 Kriegsgliederung of the 716th or 711th list their respective SP Batteries. The 716th’s only motorised artillery battery apparently became operational, as 11./1716, some time in early May. This new self propelled battery was called “Graf Waldersee” (hence considerable confusion in various histories).

Conclusion: On the morning of D-Day 11./1716 aka Graf Waldersee was at Plumetot ie. in the Sword area, where it fought against British forces landing on Queen beach. By the end of 06June 11./1716 aka Gaf Waldersee had just three SP guns still in action.

Artee10. 1716 near Omaha....jpgProbable sFH414 (f) of 10. 1716.jpg
Hi, Artee, I would like you if 709, 711, 712 and 716 Inf divisions still had 4.7cm Pak auf Renault on the eve of Normandy ? Thank

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Sheldrake
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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 18 Mar 2019 18:01

Artee wrote:
21 May 2018 03:54
SAA989 (as one example, in brief)…As we can see from the fantastic SAA989 map the Abteilung had six OP’s spread out over 15km+ (from WN35a overlooking Jig beach to WN21 overlooking Queen beach). It was not just covering the Juno area. When the seaborne troops landed SAA 989 only had two of it’s batteries still in situ – 2./989 had been moved before dawn to respond to the arrival of 6th Airborne – it apparently still had three 12.2’s in action by the end of the day. However both 1./989 and 3./989 were over-run by Canadian troops in the afternoon. Around 1530hrs Centaurs of 2 RMASR apparently induced the gunners of 1./989 to go to ground – quite literally (into a large cave – they eventually gave up on 08June – a story in itself!). The Canadian Scottish seem to have strolled into the position of 2./989 around 1720hrs. In the meantime the Abteilung Stab had been over-run by the Regina Rifles.
I have revisited the documents and would like pick up some points made here.

1. It is unlikely that 2./989 was ordered to move from their battery positions. According to Richter (FMS at 02.05 he ordered II/192 to clear the airborne forces from East of the Orne with 2./989 under some command arrangement. That did not mean that the guns of 2./989 would physically move with the Panzer Grenadiers. The Airborne DZs East of the Orne were well within the guns (excellent) 20km range from their positions. I doubt it was Richter's intention to lose the fire of 2./989 for maybe four hours while it made an unnecessary displacement to a new position east of the Orne.

2. The one part of the battery that would move to join II/192 PGR would have been the battery commander and or the OP section, with a wireless set. (No point in running line at night form 15 km over countryside infested with paratroops). So what was left in the K B stand and N B Stand of 2./989 covering the Juno sector? It made sense to denude this sector as the battalion command and OP post was close to the infantry battalion in Taiville, but the men who might have been able to bring observed fire onto Mike Green might not have been there, or if they were they might have been shouting into a dead telephone line after the allied bombardment.

I don't know what the communications equipment available to this battalion was, but I think it might have been stretched to support a 15 Km front AND a detachment with the Panzer Grenadiers. (How much telephone line did they have? Was this unit integrated into the area's military telephone network. Without radios, artillery in positional warfare needed a robust and resilient telephone network with lots of redundancy to protect line from bombs and shells. E.g. a "ladder" of duplicate wires connecting exchanges forwards and to flanking formations, as supported the western front in WW1. How much line did the 84th Corps have? Probably not enough to support a front line along 200km of coast

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jpz4 » 18 Mar 2019 21:09

@ Kelvin:
No "4.7cm Pak auf Renault" in the 709.I.D. on D-Day.
Those with the 716.I.D. had been reassigned in late 1943 but their status after that is unclear.

@ Sheldrake:
Telephone connections existed between the battalion and its batteries and the batteries and OPs (dug in at a depth of 2m). Battalion had telephone connection with the art. battalion to the left. Communication with the battalion on the right flank ran via the inf.regt. The battalion and batteries were also linked into the radio network of the division.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Kelvin » 19 Mar 2019 03:19

jpz4 wrote:
18 Mar 2019 21:09
@ Kelvin:
No "4.7cm Pak auf Renault" in the 709.I.D. on D-Day.
Those with the 716.I.D. had been reassigned in late 1943 but their status after that is unclear.

@ Sheldrake:
Telephone connections existed between the battalion and its batteries and the batteries and OPs (dug in at a depth of 2m). Battalion had telephone connection with the art. battalion to the left. Communication with the battalion on the right flank ran via the inf.regt. The battalion and batteries were also linked into the radio network of the division.
Hi, jpz4, thank for your data. Was all 4.7cm Pak auf Renault were out of service by June 44 except 319.Inf. Div ?

I found one Pz.Artilllerie vehicle : 10.5cm Haubitze auf Renault Char B with 42 rounds but I cannot find which unit had those vehicle ? Do you know which unit had these on D day ? Thank

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 19 Mar 2019 12:22

jpz4 wrote:
18 Mar 2019 21:09
@ Sheldrake:
Telephone connections existed between the battalion and its batteries and the batteries and OPs (dug in at a depth of 2m). Battalion had telephone connection with the art. battalion to the left. Communication with the battalion on the right flank ran via the inf.regt. The battalion and batteries were also linked into the radio network of the division.
Is this the doctrine/ theory or the actual state of affairs of the communications in SAA 989 in June 1944 in Normandy? There doesn't sound like much redundancy in that arrangement. That also represents a lot of trenches to be dug through Norman hedgerows! Again in positional warfare in WW1 there were big communication trenches crossing the battlefield lined with comms cables. They weren't there on D Day.

Thinking further on the N B Stand and K B Stand. I can't find a detailed breakdown of the organisation of a Schwehr Artillery Abteilung, but this light batter shows the German battery structure. https://www.wwiidaybyday.com/kstn/kstn433n1mai44.htm

The Commanders Group includes himself a Forward Observer and an Observation officer as well as a survey NCO and a range taker NCO.

The signals section includes two field cable troops and three radio troops - one guns F stelle one for the Battery position B Stelle and one for the FOO (VB)

I think the N B stelle is the battery commanders command and observation post situated close to an infantry HQ with whom they might liaise. Thus the N B stelle for 1./989 is at Taillville close to HQ II/736 and N B Stelle 3./989 is close to HQ Ost Bn 442. N B 2./989 is very close to the SAA 989 B stelle because it is in reserve. According to Zetterling 2./989 was motorised which made it the logical choice to support II/192 PGR.

Not sure this advanced human knowledge much but it ties up a loose end in my mind

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by jpz4 » 19 Mar 2019 14:34

I'm talking about the state of affairs in the the battalion. Lack of cable prevented a direct line to the battalion to the right. The buried cables posed a lot of problems when they needed to be repaired.

As for digging cable trenches, it might have been more common than you think. To give some examples.
Until the end of July 1943 about 2500 km of Fest.Kabel had been installed in the sector of AOK7, with another 1300 planned. When you look at the numbers for LXXXIV.A.K., Fest.Nachr.Stab 10 installed 110 km in Febr. 44, 110 in March and 137 km of cable in April. This can be compared to digging about 64, 102 and 100 km of trenches (Kabelgraben) in that same period. They had around 600 workers in Febr. and about 950 in April. Compared to 1943 it looks like they significantly scaled up in 1944. To what extend this is related to reducing the number of staffs under AOK7 I do not know, but it appears there was simply a shift in sectors of priority.

This does not necessarily say much about the units on the coast, but does show an effort was made to dig cable trenches.
Last edited by jpz4 on 19 Mar 2019 18:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Artillery in Normandy 6.6.1944

Post by Sheldrake » 19 Mar 2019 18:00

What exactly was the relationship between the LXXXIV.A.K., Fest.Nachr.Stab fortress signals staff and the signals sections of the field units under command 84th Corps? Field units such moved in and sometimes out of the corps command.

I would ave thought that the priorities for the fortress might have been the fixed defences. E,g, the wiring that connected say the bunkers on each fortified position. 100 km of telephone wire doesn't go very far in positional warfare. Prior to the 1916 battle of the Somme, which had an an assault frontage of 20km the British laid 1,000km of buried cable and a further 60,000 km of surface cable. OK the British had 2,000 guns in the battle compared to the C.500 in the 84th Corps on a 100km front.

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