The second stop on our D-Day road trip was a German artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer. Construction of the Longues-sur-Mer battery was completed during April 1944, and the battery was an important part of Germany’s Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications. The battery housed four, 152mm (6 inches!) guns and is located between Omaha and Gold Beaches — two of the D-Day landing zones. On the night before D-Day, the battery was hit with 1,500 tons of bombs, though none of the guns were disabled by the time D-Day landings began. British cruisers, Ajax and Argonaut, eventually managed to destroy three of the four guns; the fourth was finally destroyed at 7 PM on D-Day. The crew of the battery surrendered to the United Kingdom’s 231st Infantry Brigade.
The guns are in pretty bad shape — the years have taken their toll on the metal, and there is a significant amount of rust; however, it was still neat to get to see what is left of them.
If memory serves me correctly, I believe that this was the command post. This is the back of it. The front looks out over the English Channel, with Gold Beach (and Arromanches’ Mulberry Harbor to the East and Omaha Beach to the West). There was a radio system in place that allowed the command post to communicate with the soldiers operating the guns.
I was amazed that Port Winston, the mulberry harbor at Arromanches was visible from the command post at the Longues-sur-Mer battery. Longues-sur-Mer is 6.4 km (4 miles) from Arromanches.
Port Winston as seen from Longues-sur-Mer Command Post