Crisbecq Battery

The Crisbecq battery (MKB, Marineküstenbatterie) at Saint Marcouf (Manche, Normandy) is on the northern sector of Utah-Beach beach. It was the first battery to open fire on Allied forces at precisely 5:52 am on the morning of June 6, 1944.
Constructed from 1942 onwards, the battery was not completed on Day, construction of the casemates having been delayed following regular bombardments from April 1944. Among the most powerful batteries in the area, it had 4 210 mm guns with a range of over 30 Kms.
Hit hard on the night of June 5-6 by 598 tons of bombs, the anti-aircraft defense was wiped out, along with a 210 mm gun. Many soldiers also lost their lives during the shelling. Paratroopers from the 502nd regiment of the 101st Airborne, whose objective was the Varreville battery, and parachuted too far south, unsuccessfully attacked the Crisbecq battery on the night of June 5-6, 1944. 20 of them were taken prisoner (An interrogation is reconstructed in one of the casemates)
At 5:52 am the battery opened fire on ships in the Utah-Beach sector, its guns, which had not been silenced during the bombardment, sinking the destroyer USS Corry and damaging other ships on the morning of June 6. She was then targeted by the American battleships USS Nevada, Texas and Arkansas. The battery's two remaining active guns were silenced at 9am, before one of them was restored the following morning. On June 8, troops of the 4th Infantry Division, who had landed earlier at Utah-Beach, attacked the position without further success. Indeed, faced with these attacks, the Oberleutnant Zur See Walter Ohmsen commanding the Crisbecq battery asked the Azeville battery a few kilometers away, to open fire on its own position to annihilate the American assault.
In the confusion, the Americans withdrew and the Germans took 90 prisoners. On June 10 and 11, the battery came under heavy shelling and Ohmsen was ordered to withdraw. He left behind 21 wounded soldiers and American prisoners. Only 78 men reached the rear lines further north.
On the morning of June 12, U.S. troops attacked, only to find the battery abandoned. A few days later, Ohmsen was awarded the Iron Cross for having resisted the American armada for almost a week. American engineers would later use the battery to test the bunkers' resistance to explosives, causing more damage than the shelling of the landing itself
The battery today consists of 19 points:
1) Type R683 casemate housing a 210 mm Skoda gun. The explosion of this casemate cost the lives of some twenty American soldiers)
2) 155mm gun enclosure.
3) Type 134 ammunition magazine.
4) Type 622 shelter.
5) Type 502 shelter, which received a 105mm shell attributed to the Azeville battery.
6) Type 622 shelter housing the reconstruction of an interrogation of an American soldier.
7) Cargo bay type 134: Kitchen and storeroom.
8) Shelter type 621: Sick bay.
9) Light shelter protecting the battery's water pump.
10) Anti-aircraft gun enclosure.
11) Tobruk.
12) Light shelter.
13) 155 mm gun enclosure.
14) Unfinished R683 casemate.
15) Gun emplacement for 155 mm gun.
16) Ammunition locker.
17) Water tank.
18) 155 mm gun enclosure.
19) 155 mm gun enclosure.

Address: Route des Manoirs, 50310 Saint-Marcouf Telephone: 06 68 41 09 04

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