About Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery
The Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery, also known as ‘Batterie Allemande’, was a German defensive battery in Normandy which played a big part in the German defence efforts during the Normandy Landings on D-Day, 6 June 1944.
Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery history
The Longues-sur-Mer Battery (also known as Batterie Allemande) was part of Hitlers Atlantic Wall defences consisting of four rapid firing 152mm navy guns, each housed in large concrete casemates. The site of the battery also included a fire control post, ammunition stores, defensive machine gun posts and accommodation for the soldiers.
The battery is located between Omaha and Gold beach which made it a threat to the Allied landings. Because of this, the area was heavily bombed on the night before D-Day. This was followed by a naval bombardment in the morning.
Although the bombing did not cause much damage to the guns it did destroy the phone line linking the fire control bunker to the guns which severely disrupted the batteries ability to engage with the Allied ships that eventually knocked the guns out of action during a duel in which no Allied ship was damaged despite the battery firing 170 rounds. On the 7th of June the major responsible for the battery surrendered to the British with 184 men.
Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery today
Today, the Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery is open to the public all year round including access inside the concrete casemates still housing their original guns and inside the fire control bunker which was featured in the film the Longest Day.
The site is one of the best preserved in France and the only onewhere you can still see some of the original cannon, capable, at the time, of firing shells weighing 45 kg at a distance of 22 km. The view from the firing command post, dug into the cliff, offers a vast panorama over the Bay of the Seine.
The site has a tourist information centre and a hut that serves food and drink although the opening times for these may be seasonal.
Getting to Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery
The German Battery (Batterie allemande) at Longues-sur-Mer is around 10 km directly north of Bayeux, just off the main coastal road, roughly halfway between Arromanches and the American Military Cemetery at Colleville. Signposting is clear.
The German battery is best reached by car or on bicycle – public transportation options are very limited. Alternatively, the battery is often included on day-trip minibus tours of D-Day landing beaches and sights.
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