Saturday, April 4

Crisbecq Battery

The Crisbecq Battery, constructed by the Germans near Saint-Marcouf in the north-east of the Cotentin peninsula and jogging distance from where we are staying. The battery formed a part of the German Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications overseen by Rommel who had concluded by 1943 that Germany's Blitzkreig was no longer potent and that a strike on Normandy inevitable. He turned his attention to defense.

The main armament were three Czech 21 cm Kanone 39 canons, two of which were housed in the casemates (pictured). The Battery, with a range of 17–21 miles, could cover the beaches between Saint-Vast-la-Hougue and Point du Hoc, ie, Utah and Omaha Beaches.
Vista from the canon point
The stretch of land between the battery and Utah beach about 3 kilometres. The Germans flooded this region to make it more difficult for the Allies to advance on Normandy, with five pathways traversing the swamps (the first wave para gliders tasked with securing these routes, as well as taking out the bunker canons). Crisbecq offered a perfect location to target D Day ships. Dawn aerial and naval bombings reduced some of the threat.

In the end, Crisbecq was captured in the morning of 12 June without a fight by the 39th Regiment after the 9th US Infantry landed at Utah Beach. They found it deserted.