Coastal Turrets

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
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Korbius
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Coastal Turrets

Post by Korbius » 04 May 2003 17:14

Coastal turrets that cover the entrance to the Rotterdam harbor. I couldn't get closer because the area was surrounded by a fence. I've never seen such turrets, and the calibre doesn't seem as big as the naval batteries in Norway. Anyone can shed some light on the type of cannons present in these turrets?

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Atilla
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Post by Atilla » 05 May 2003 06:55

If you can read Dutch, this site has some good information on those turrets.

http://www.forthvh.nl/frames.htm

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Korbius
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Post by Korbius » 05 May 2003 11:25

Hi Atilla, unfortunately I can't read dutch, so could you by any chance summarize that text in English? Thanks for the link.

Atilla
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Post by Atilla » 05 May 2003 12:49

Here's a part on the armament and the turrets:

The armament of the fort consisted of 3 armored turrets made of cast iron, 1 meter thick. The turrets were made by Gruson, a german company.

The two large turrets both held two 24cm/L30 guns made by Krupp. A third smaller turret housed two 15cm/L30 guns.

The range of the guns was around 7.500 meters. (not sure if this is for the 15cm or 24cm guns, seems a bit low for the latter but after all they were 1890's guns; not an expert in that field)
Rotation speed of the large turrets was appoximately 4 minutes for a 360 degree turn.

In 1940, the fortress and surrounding area were held by approximately 3000 Dutch soldiers. (dunno how many actually manned the fort of turrets)

The whole complex was build around 1890, to protect the harbor of Rotterdam. During the German invasion of Holland in may 1940 the guns were used to fire at concentrations of german airlifted infantry which was landed on the Rotterdam airfield Ockenburg and in the surrounding area. The German airlandings were quite dispersed, and as a result operated in small groups. SOme 150 Germans were captured and held prisoner in the fort, before being transported to England before the Dutch surrender.
The guns themselves were out of action after two days of firing, their old age made them malfunction. As they were of no further use to the Germans the turrets and guns were scrapped and used for the German war-industry in 1943.

As you can see, the current turrets and guns are mock-ups.

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Proton
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Post by Proton » 05 May 2003 12:53

Great info Atilla, thanks for translating it! :wink:

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 05 May 2003 13:00

Attila

I've no reason to to disbelieve what you have stated and though I can understand the actual armament being removed, I would have thought the Turrets would have stayed in situ and new weapons installed as part of the Atlantic Wall!

Andy

Atilla
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Post by Atilla » 05 May 2003 13:16

The Germans build a whole range of new bunkers in the area, among them 3 equiped with 28cm guns originally intended for the battlecruiser Gneissenau.

I think it would be very hard to adapt those turrets to house newer guns. After all, the turrets were made especially for the guns they housed.

Apart from that, the German war-industry was in desperate need of metals. In the Netherlands, they even robbed most of the bells from churchtowers for the copper they were made of. So no reason not to use those turrets, when you can probably make better bunkers with a cheaper material like concrete.

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Proton
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Post by Proton » 05 May 2003 19:52

Are those turrets a mock up till these days or have they been replaced with originals?

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