D-Day Fortifications in Normandy (Fortress, Volume 37) by Steven J. Zaloga

By Steven J. Zaloga

German defenses alongside the Normandy shores have been a part of the bigger Atlantic Wall fortifications designed to guard citadel Europe. whilst box Marshal Erwin Rommel took command of the invasion entrance in overdue 1943, he started a application to augment fortifications alongside the Normandy coast as he believed that any Allied attack needed to be stopped at the invasion shorelines themselves. His most crucial contribution to the defenses was once an in depth software of improvised seashore obstructions to complicate any touchdown try out. This publication analyses those fortifications and describes how the Allied forces overcame them at the morning of June 6, 1944.

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1260 on Pointe-du-Hoc, the guns were removed from the area and hidden along a tree line several kilometers behind the beach. The large Luftwaffe radar base at Douvres had all of its radars demolished in May 1944. In spite of the success of some of these attacks, many other sites remained operational, for example the battery at Longues-sur-Mer. Although Allied planners knew of the locations of virtually every major German fortification along the Normandy coast, they did not know the actual function or armament in all cases.

This would culminate in assaults on some of the most formidable strongpoints, for example the naval coastal gun batteries such as Crisbeq, which was first subjected to infantry attack on June 7, 1944. The campaign on the Cotentin Peninsula eventually ran into the most substantial fortifications in the region, surrounding the port of Cherbourg, later in June 1944. Bloody Omaha Omaha Beach was the only landing area where the outcome was ever in doubt. The fighting raged for 18 hours, concentrated around the “draws,” the gullies that cut through the bluffs allowing access off the beach.

So for nearly two hours the units already ashore received no reinforcements. The weaknesses in the German defenses were not immediately evident, but they were already failing. A platoon from Company E under Lt. John Spalding had landed to the west of WN62, found a gap in the German defenses between the strongpoints, and climbed over the bluff around 0730hrs. The gap between the strongpoints was laced by mines, and guarded by two machine guns in field entrenchments, grandly designated as WN62a, near where today’s famous US cemetery is located.

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