Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
RichTO90
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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by RichTO90 » 22 Jan 2010 04:09

Manuferey wrote:Hi Rich,

There is a reference to "stationary smoke-shell mortars [in the original German text: “bodenständige nebelwerfer"], manned by infantry" near Utah Beach in the debriefing of Lt-Col. Keil, CO of the 919. Gren,-Regt. Keil's text makes it clear that it is different from the I./101 S.Werf.Regt [mistakenly referenced as I./100. S. Werf. Regt. by Keil]:

Image

I also found the following in a US post D-Day intelligence report but it's a little bit confusing:
"Rockets were located several hundred yards behind both beaches [i.e. Omaha & Utah] in hedgerows. They occurred in groups of 38 firing pits with 4 rockets to a pit.
UTAH BEACH: 0 rocket pits, bearing on the beach".

So I'm curious to find out if Wurfgerät 40, manned by infantry, were standard beach defenses or not in Normandy.

Emmanuel


SWORD: Inland near Tailleville was WN 23, which was the headquarters of II./Gren.-Regt. 736, commanding K.V.U.-Gr. Seulles. A few hundred meters to the west was a small antiaircraft gun position, with six ex-French 7.5cm antiaircraft guns, manned by personnel of 3. (Flak)/Panzerjäger-Abteilung 716 (3./Pz.Jg.-Abtl. 716). Nearby was a multiple rocket launcher battery, consisting of about twenty 32cm Wurfgerät.

JUNO: Opposite WN 66 was WN 68, another “two-tiered” position with a 4.7cm Pak 181 (f) in an open pit and a machinegun casemate that covered the draw from the bluff. On the beach was a 5cm gun in an open pit, and two 7.5cm turreted guns mounted on casemates that had been taken from a tank prototype, the VK3001, that had never been put into full production. [edited to fix the redundent redundency]

OMAHA: WN 67 was at the head of the Moulins Draw where it split into two narrower valleys. It was a simple position designed to accommodate the firing position of a multiple rocket launcher battery and was similar to that near Tailleville in WN 23 on JUNO. It was armed with 38 32cm Wurfgerät.

UTAH: inland was a Wurfgerät position with reportedly six to eight six-barrel launchers.

I suspect there was another at GOLD, but haven't confirmed it. Werfer-Brigade 7 prior to D-Day 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 and JUNO, and, probably, GOLD. The brigade was ordered to Normandy, probably on 6 June. By 11 June it was south of Caen and in action by 16 June.

That's all I've been able to find to date on their existance and how they were possibly manned.
Last edited by RichTO90 on 22 Jan 2010 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

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moonraker
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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by moonraker » 22 Jan 2010 13:41

hello,
we must not forget to wn 68 and 66 of Tobruk for many automatic weapons.

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Manuferey
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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Manuferey » 22 Jan 2010 22:39

UTAH: inland was a Wurfgerät position with reportedly six to eight six-barrel launchers.


Rich,

6 to 8 six-barrel launchers could correspond to the battery/company of I./101 S.Werf-.Regt. positioned near Brucheville with 28/32 cm Nebelwerfer 41. Brucheville is inland, southwest from Utah Beach. Each 28/32 Nbw 41 is a 6-barrel launcher.

And wouldn't a Wurfgerät typically be a 4-barrel static launcher?

Keil mentions 2 different positions outside the I./101. :?

Emmanuel

RichTO90
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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by RichTO90 » 22 Jan 2010 23:21

Manuferey wrote:6 to 8 six-barrel launchers could correspond to the battery/company of I./101 S.Werf-.Regt. positioned near Brucheville with 28/32 cm Nebelwerfer 41. Brucheville is inland, southwest from Utah Beach. Each 28/32 Nbw 41 is a 6-barrel launcher.

And wouldn't a Wurfgerät typically be a 4-barrel static launcher?

Keil mentions 2 different positions outside the I./101. :?

Emmanuel


Hi Emmanuel,

I recall I had a good reason for deciding that the ones found were not part of 101, but I don't recall exactly why. :wink: I think it was the report of the 1st ESB that mentions them specifically? IIRC they were not anywhere near Brucheville and were apparently a static position. Similar to what happened at JUNO (IIRC) the engineers mentioned that the firing cables linking all the launchers had been severed by the bombardment. By the wording it seemd to imply they were part of a fixed posiion and not mobile launchers. I'll try to review it again.
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: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Manuferey » 23 Jan 2010 18:22

Thanks Rich. Following your lead on 1st ESB, I found this picture of members of 2nd NBB at Utah Beach. The object in the middle looks to me like the body of a 28/32 cm rocket when you compare it to a picture posted on page 1 of this thread by Stril !

Image
(source: http://www.strictly-gi.com/Debonisgroup1.jpg
in http://www.strictly-gi.com/page84.html)

Stril's picture:
Image

What do you think?

Emmanuel

RichTO90
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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by RichTO90 » 24 Jan 2010 15:33

Manuferey wrote:Thanks Rich. Following your lead on 1st ESB, I found this picture of members of 2nd NBB at Utah Beach. The object in the middle looks to me like the body of a 28/32 cm rocket when you compare it to a picture posted on page 1 of this thread by Stril !

Image
(source: http://www.strictly-gi.com/Debonisgroup1.jpg
in http://www.strictly-gi.com/page84.html)

Stril's picture:
Image

What do you think?

Emmanuel


I'm not sure that makes a difference? The rockets were the same after all, but the launchers were different.

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/rocket/index.html

The Wurfgerät launcher was a simple steel framework, while the 28/32 cm Nebelwerfer 41 was a slightly more refined wheeled launcher.

I'll try to remember to check the 1st ESB report on them tonight - sorry, I forgot to last night, too tired.

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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Manuferey » 24 Jan 2010 16:00

Hi Rich,

I agree, the rocket ammunition was identical and could have either come from a NbW 41 or a Wurfrahme. I posted the picture only because it is the first one I've ever seen of a 28/32 cm rocket in the Utah Beach area. Too bad, we do not know where exactly this picture was taken. :(

Emmanuel

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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by RichTO90 » 24 Jan 2010 16:05

Manuferey wrote:Hi Rich,

I agree, the rocket ammunition was identical and could have either come from a NbW 41 or a Wurfrahme. I posted the picture only because it is the first one I've ever seen of a 28/32 cm rocket in the Utah Beach area. Too bad, we do not know where exactly this picture was taken. :(

Emmanuel


It is unlikely that the photo was taken very far inland. The Naval Beach Battalions were tasked with beach operations and the photos I have seen from them, espeially photos taken early on, are usually almost within sight of the beach. See those of the 7th NBB at OMAHA, all were taken basically from the crest of the bluffs or further to seaward. Anyway, IIRC the 1st ESB account may give moe details.
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: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Manuferey » 24 Jan 2010 19:50

Close to the beach would mean a Wurfrahme ! I cannot wait for the 1st ESB account !

In the meantime, I've found this picture of a 28/32 NbW 41 inspected by (probably) US Intelligence Officers. Next to it are two a 15,5 cm leFH325(f) howitzers so the picture was probably taken at a weapon collection point like Isigny.

Can anyone confirm the location?

This NbW 41 could have belonged to various German outfits based on the listing provided in earlier posts in this threads (30 cm Werfer: III./WR 84. or I & II./ s.WR 2. or 101 S.W.R.)

Image

Emmanuel

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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Manuferey » 14 Dec 2013 21:32

Manuferey wrote:A picture of one of the 4 rows of Wurfgerät 40 behind Omaha Beach in June 44, from a veteran's album.

Photo ebay.com

Image

Emmanuel
The Gliederung of 716 ID dated May 1st, 1944 indicates 21 x [28/32 cm] sWG 41 as « bodenständige » weapons. sWG 41 was the version with steel frames.

If you look closely to the frame of the sWG launcher on the bottom right below, you will see that it is actually the wooden version i.e. sWG 40. This could then be one of the additional rocket launchers delivered later in May, "presumably to the 352. ID" according to Steve Zaloga in his latest book « The Devil’s Garden ».

Note that two rockets themselves are in steel casings and the others in wooden casings.

Image

Emmanuel

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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Ronguild » 14 Dec 2013 22:01

Manuferey wrote:Close to the beach would mean a Wurfrahme ! I cannot wait for the 1st ESB account !

In the meantime, I've found this picture of a 28/32 NbW 41 inspected by (probably) US Intelligence Officers. Next to it are two a 15,5 cm leFH325(f) howitzers so the picture was probably taken at a weapon collection point like Isigny.

Can anyone confirm the location?

This NbW 41 could have belonged to various German outfits based on the listing provided in earlier posts in this threads (30 cm Werfer: III./WR 84. or I & II./ s.WR 2. or 101 S.W.R.)

Emmanuel
I guess you mean 10,5 cm leFH325(f)

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Manuferey
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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by Manuferey » 15 Dec 2013 15:15

Yes, of course. Thank you for the correction, Ronguild.

Emmanuel

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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by jopaerya » 15 Dec 2013 17:43

Nice picture Emmanuel :thumbsup:

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Re: Nebelwerfers at Omaha Beach

Post by davidedwardmawer » 26 Jun 2017 10:05

http://omahabeach.vierville.free.fr/6ju ... n14h00.jpg

By the way, certainly some of the wurfgerat were fired from WN69 at Omaha as can clearly be seen by scorch marks around their firing pits at Saint Laurent Sur Mer on the aerial photo linked above.

Perhaps not all were fired. There are reports that the firing mechanism may have relied on local electricity grid supply (not sure about this) which would of course have been knocked out but enough were remaining for the US to take their photos after the battle!

This photo also shows what I believe to be LCT(r) hits on the suspected location of WN67 in the fields on the eastern side of the draw.

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