RR Guns - Alsace Alice

Discussions on the fortifications & artillery used by the Axis forces.
JABIER
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RR Guns - Alsace Alice

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:06

“Alsace Alice” may sound like some good looking girl but unfortunately for us it was a big railroad gun. The Krauts lobbed a few shells at us last January and killed and wounded 14 of our men.

Stanley Czuchra, 232d QM Salvage co, 7th Army

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-E-Riviera/maps/USA-E-Riviera-34.jpg

Some information about the "Alsace Alice" in the following posts
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 18:39, edited 2 times in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
Joined: 27 May 2008 07:46

Alsace Alice - 07 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:07

07 January 45, Sunday
Reuters correspondent with the American 7th Army says: "Heavy German railway guns, firing from the east bank of the Rhine, shelled Haguenau all day. The latest information pinces, the Germans in Herlishein and Offendorf, where it was believed they had been cleared, also in Gambsheim and Drusenheim, all of which are along the main Strasbourg-Seltz road railway."

VI Corps Arty
Haguenau received several rounds of Hvy cal fire, estimated 280mm, around midnight.

14th AD - Russel Bracco
First reports of Germans using 240mm guns, usually called RR Guns; something like “Anzio Express”. They shelled Haguenau, not too long though, fear of being intercepted. Planes have been out trying to locate gun positions, no luck!

Map
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x331/FJTM/RR%20Guns/Alsace%20targets%2003_zpsalno9c2z.jpg
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 18:40, edited 1 time in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
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Alsace Alice - 09 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:08

09 January 45, Tuesday

VI Corps Arty
A few rounds of heavy cal, now positively identified as 28cm, fell in the Bischwiller area around midnight.

JABIER
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Alsace Alice - 11 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:08

11 January 45, Thursday

VI Corps Arty
Fragments turned in by the 995th FA Bn prove definitely that a 21cm gun, firing a semi-armor piercing shell very similar to a dud recovered on the Anzio beach head, shelled a battery position vic 9135. Bearings from the shelled area indicate that a heavy caliber gun located by photos in the Q8561 square may be responsible. 2 FOB B-sound obtained an area location in the W2094 square of a heavy gun believed to be shelling in the Haguenau-Bischwiller region during the night.

14th AD - Russel Bracco
They are still shelling Haguenau. No doubt using big RR guns, 340 and up; range estimated at 35 miles and better. Air Corps has been grounded lately; adverse weather conditions.

Map wW2094
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x331/FJTM/RR%20Guns/RR%20-%20Appenweier%20wW2094_zpsynwmrh2g.jpg
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 18:52, edited 1 time in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
Joined: 27 May 2008 07:46

Alsace Alice - 15 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:09

15 January 45, Monday

VI Corps Arty
Sound was again actively engaged in trying to locate the heavy guns shelling Haguenau, and their efforts were rather successful in that they made a location at wR2600-0116. In view of the fact that there is a RR spur in this vic, this new location renders plausible the supposition that the enemy is shuttling his precious RR gun (or guns) between these two points. Unless they choose a new firing position tonight, we expect to be able to counter with some of our own heavy medicine.

Map wR2600-0116
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x331/FJTM/RR%20Guns/RR%20-%20Oberachern%20wW260011_zpszet89lum.jpg
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 18:54, edited 1 time in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
Joined: 27 May 2008 07:46

Alsace Alice - 16 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:09

16 January 45, Tuesday

VI Corps Arty
TWO RR-gun locations were spotted on Air Photos by blast narks left on the snow by the firing guns. One at wR2425-0312 and one at wR2891-1028. The guns, of course, were not there. Photos also confirmed 3 old sound locations across the Rhine River.

Map
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x331/FJTM/RR%20Guns/RR%20Achern%20wR242031_zpsvu7x4xnq.jpg
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 18:50, edited 1 time in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
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Alsace Alice - 17 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:10

17 January 45, Wednesday

VI Corps Arty
Haguenau - Bischwiller sector was again the target for 280mm RR guns across the river.

614th TD Bn Narrative Report
In the early morning hours of 17 Jan, heavy caliber enemy artillery shell fell 300 yards from Bn. CP [Reichshoffen]. This was investigated and found to be what was believed to be a railroad gun shell. This was reported to Div. Artillery, and they conducted investigation of the shell crater and damaged inflicted to building, to determine direction of fire and caliber.

JABIER
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Alsace Alice - 18 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:11

18 January 45, Thursday

117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mecz) in World War II
The enemy reoccupied Sessenheim and "B" Troop elements were forced to withdraw from that area. Runtzenheim was out-posted and Souflenheim was patrolled. Some small arms fire was received at the former, and enemy artillery fell in the latter. From the size and thickness of some of the shell fragments it is evident that some of the fire is of extremely heavy caliber; possibly from railway guns. Enemy activity has been of an aggressive deposition. No casualties were suffered by elements of the 117th.

JABIER
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Alsace Alice - 23 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:11

23 January 45, Tuesday

VI Corps Arty
A 280mm gun, this time located in the BUHL area 2910 threw 8 rounds into the Brumath vic.

Map Bül area
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x331/FJTM/RR%20Guns/RR%20-%20Buhl%20wR2910_zpsgv1dpvzt.jpg
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 19:00, edited 1 time in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
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Alsace Alice - 24 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:12

24 January 45, Wednesday

VI Corps Arty
12 rounds heavy cal. fell just to the east of this town [Brumath] also

JABIER
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Alsace Alice - 27 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:12

27 January 45, Saturday

VI Corps Arty
Pfaffenhoffen, which also received one round of heavy caliber at 1558A

JABIER
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Alsace Alice - 28 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:13

28 January 45, Sunday

VI Corps Arty
The heavy gun which shelled the Saverne-Dimbsthal area during the night, from examination of the fragments, is believed to be of 380mm cal, and very likely is a railroad gun. XV Corps Arty reports a gun of the same cal shelled vic Saaralbe (wQ4844) between 0300 and 0515A on Jan 25th. Bearings from this shelling and from Dimbsthal intersect at , indicating that the gun is active on the railroad between Zweibrucken and Hornbach, which is very favorable for railway gun operation. - 3d Obsn Bn obtained two area plots during the time of the shelling last night at wQ716673 and wQ728670 which also fix the lair of the monster as this branch rail line. In keeping with the usual practice, the gun is probably hidden by camouflage or in a tunnel during the day, and occupies alternate firing positions at night.

Map wQ722-698
http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x331/FJTM/RR%20Guns/RR%20Hornbach%20wQ722698_zps2rtuottn.jpg
Last edited by JABIER on 06 Mar 2017 18:56, edited 1 time in total.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
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Alsace Alice - 30 01 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:13

30 January 45, Tuesday

VI Corps Arty
No aerial photos were obtained yesterday over the Corps front, but those taken in the XV Corps sector disclosed that the suspected 380 mm gun location at Hornbach may be right for several trains of cars were ob¬served on the railroad, and a possible blast mark was found at wQ7298-6291. XV Corps Artillery has corrective measures ready for the next appearance of this big gun.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
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Alsace Alice - February

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:15

Unknown date, but in the first days of February 45

Recollections of a World War II Combat Medic,
Bernard L. Rice (Co C, 82nd Armored Medical Bn)
In the French First Army
After Herrlisheim we were assigned to the French First Army, commanded by General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, later Marechal de France. This was one of the few times in United States history that American troops served under a foreign flag. Our mission was to drive the Germans from the Colmar pocket.
Hooper and I took Lieutenant Riley and a billeting party of three into the city of Colmar. Later we found we were the first six GIs to enter that historic town. Riley picked the University of Colmar building for our treatment station.
That night a small group of German soldiers who had holed up in a building across the street from us tried to escape in the darkness. Within a few moments we had several casualties right on our doorstep. Later, huge shells from a railway gun across the Rhine dropped into our area. One shell hit the roof of our building. Tile and bricks rained down upon our ambulance.

65th Signal Battalion, Interview with Eldon F. Krieg
Well, Colmar, the place they call Colmar. We, there was a sergeant that took his men in a building that he didn't have any business being there. And there was at one time, there was a general billeted there, and the German's knew that, and they rolled a railroad gun in. And these 17 boys was killed in one shot.

World War II record of Julien D. Saks, Chemical Officer 12th AD.
The first night in Colmar we were shelled by a railroad gun from the other side of the Rhine. The shells came in with a regularity of four minutes between shells. That meant if we needed to leave our shelters we could go outside for about three minutes before seeking shelter again. The Corps Artillery Commander and the Corps Chemical Section were quartered in adjacent homes. Between the two houses was an air raid shelter with a very heavy concrete roof. A shell from the railroad gun landed on the concrete roof of the air raid shelter, bounced in the window of the Corps Artillery Commandant's room and exploded. It wounded the Corps Chemical Officer next door and destroyed the Corps Artillery Commander's possessions and papers. Fortunately, the Corps Artillery Commander was at our headquarters. When he heard about it I was told he was incensed and ordered every artillery gun within range to fire on it simultaneously.

A railroad gun is usually housed in a tunnel or cave to protect it and its crew which loads and takes care of it. It is brought to the mouth of the cave or tunnel, quickly fired and withdrawn back into the tunnel or the cave. There is only a very slight chance of hitting it even though its exact location can be determined by triangulation. He must have timed his artillery barrage to land on the mouth of the tunnel at the very time the gun fired as it ceased firing.

A Biography of Robert Granville Caldwell, Jr. , 12th AD
I did quite a bit of CI, but as it was an armored division, we moved fast sometimes, and it was hard to do anything long-term. All the same, I arrested a number of Nazi agents who were crossing into American lines to get information back to the Germans. We went along the Rhine to Colmar, which was shelled by huge railroad guns across the river.

Two Years of Combat with the 83d Chemical Mortar Battalion, by Robert Brimm
Co. A, with the 143rd, took part in repulsing several enemy tank attacks east of Kurzenhausen. Enemy troops attacked and infiltrated to the rear of the frontline positions.
The month of Feb. represented a period of limited attacks and very aggressive patrolling by the American forces. The mortar fire continued to be rather high as close support was given. The enemy became very defensive and most activities were heavy artillery fire and mine and wire laying. Many screening missions were fired. WP (White phosphorous) was fired predominately, due to the threat of premature bursts. Co. A was shelled by 280 mm guns.

JABIER
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Posts: 122
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Alsace Alice - 05 02 45

Postby JABIER » 06 Mar 2017 14:15

05 February 45, Monday

582nd SAW Bn
Saverne. Last night Jerry sent over 2 shells. They were reported to be from Railroad Guns, and they were 280mm. One shell landed about 600 yards from our Bivouac Area next to the Canal in Saverne and blew up a house, 2 G.I.'s were hurt but none killed. The other landed about a mile or two out of the Saverne Area.


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