- 3 -

Asnelles 2

5 cm A Tk gun in open octagonal pit, with breastwork 3 ft high and 3 ft thick and with 3 ft of sand in boxes to seaward, capable of all round fire. It was reported not to have been fired as the crews were sheltering from the bombardment and surrendered after hand grenades had been thrown inside. The gun had been hit by a few shell splinters, but was virtually undamaged.

Asnelles 3

An open gun position dug in the sand, providing the end of the trench system.‘ It was reported that no firing came from the position, but that there was much LMG fire from the trench system and small concrete one man pits. The bombardment had neither damaged the trench system nor neutralized the personnel long enough for the assaulting infantry to take over without opposition.

Asnelles 4

A 37 mm gun on a field carriage. It was housed in a small garage and could be wheeled out and fired from an open pit. It was found in the garage and it was clear that the bombardment prevented the enemy from wheeling out and firing the gun.

Asnelles 5

An open pit MG post with sand and turf walls. It had not been damaged by shell fire and was reported in use against the assaulting infantry.

Asnelles 6

A small MG position not damaged by the bombardment. It was reported as not having been used by the enemy.


The capture of this battery was the task of 2 DEVON who should have completed it by eve D-day. It was not in fact captured until 1053 hrs on D+1 and remained active until that time although the guns had been neutralised early on D-day by naval bombardment.

There were four 15 cm naval guns in heavy casemates, 350 yards inland from the edge of a 200 ft cliff which had a clear View to seaward. An OP of usual reinforced concrete type, with a slit for a rangefinder was practically complete, but had neither instruments nor wiring. Living quarters near the cliff were sunk so that the roof was at ground level, but were of light construction. Other defences near the cliff were:-

1 MG position 3 Mortar positions 2 2 cm flak positions 1 searchlight

of which only the searchlight, stated to have been hit by a naval shell, was damaged. Also, 11 inch shells were suspended on the cliffs on wires. Reported that some of these when released, did not explode.

Only one casemate was damaged by the heavy bombing. Despite two direct hits from 500 lb bombs which knocked the roof through above the shell room, and a very near miss cracking the floor, the gun still fired on D-day, The position was heavily cratered it is probable that if centralised fire control had been installed it would have been destroyed by cutting of cables. In Actual fact the guns were very independent and their capabilities were probably unimpaired by the bombing.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Notes by School of Combined Operations, 1944

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