Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly.

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St.Batterie 2./H.A.A.1148.
2 x R669.
1 x écurie (stable).
1 x Feldm.
4 x 10cm le.F.H14/19(t).
1 x 5cm Pak 38.

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Horse drawn artillery.

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly.

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Follow the Chemin de Béthencourt road and you will see the small pill box and the two casemates on the side of the road.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly.

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Local defence pillbox/Tobruk of a very odd Vf type.

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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2 x R669 casemates for field gun.

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There were four 10cm le.F.H14/19(t) field howitzers, two would have been inside the casemates and two outside in open field emplacements. They were a horse drawn artillery battery..

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10cm le.F.H.14/19(t) .

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Plan of site.

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You can see from this picture 1950's that the two casemates are here and a large area where either construction work or the two open demulcents were sat.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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2 x R669 casemates for field gun.

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Rear entrance where the gun would have been pushed in with two small ammunition niches each side. The round hole in the back would have had a grill on it and is a vent for extracting the smoke from he gun room.

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R669 casemate.

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10cm le.F.H14/19(t).

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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R669 casemates gun room.

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Two niches either side for ammunition.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Concrete lintel for the ammunition niche.

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The R669's around here seem to use pre stressed concrete lintels instead of steel.

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Writing set into the lintel possibly a makers type mark.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Right hand ammunition niche.

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They could hold quite a few rounds and there would have been a small ammunition store locally and then further back a main ammunition storage site where another load could be drawn from.

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Ammunition storage.

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10cm powder charges in their wooden box.

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10/15 cm.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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The roof.

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Steel I beams with the wooden shuttering holding the concrete back.

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Steel reinforcement being assembled before the shuttering and concrete is poured.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Gun room.

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The artillery piece would sit in the angled well at the front..

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Ammunition storage area.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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The other ammunition niche.

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This one had an electric fan to evacuate the smoke when the gun fired. This means that they must have had mains electricity supply? out here.

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Electric extractor.

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A plan of the extraction in an R669 casemate. Gases collected in the roof vents was taken via a large diameter pipe to the fan and then extracted out of the rear vent..

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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R669 casemate.

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4 x 10cm horse drawn artillery, There would have been probably a team of six horses to a guns team making 24 or more. The gun commander may also have had a horse and the forward observation office (FOO) would also have a horse if it had not been replaced by a small VW type vehicle.

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Kübelwagen.

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Or horse.

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The type of fire control post that may have housed the forward controller for this battery. A long cable would have been buried in the ground and linked the battery with the observer. Radio would only be used if they had one or if the cable was broken.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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This is a sink hole.

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With all the rain we have had this winter 2013/14 these sink holes just keep opening up. Its the second that I saw on this trip. Very odd feeling looking down it. Its about 3 to 5 meters down.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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R669 casemates.

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The two wings on the rear sides are for earth to be piled up around the sites and these horns hold the earth back away from the rear door.

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R669 at the Merville battery.

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R669 plan.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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R669.

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They do look as though they were being built in a hurry, the build quality is not at all very good. The order came down from HQ that all batteries were to be casemated after the very heavy bombing on the run up to D-Day. Bunkers were being hurriedly constructed all over the Atlantikwall and many were not finished. This can be seen at Omaha beach and on several of the British beaches and here there should have been four casemates and only two were built.

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You can see here it was a bad mix of concrete.

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Mixing concrete.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Rear entrance.

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A bit of damage here. There would have been two wooden shutters on the front to close off the gun room and at the back heavy steel doors should have been in place. These often were either not fitted or were removed after the war.
Often inside casemates there are signs painted to remind the guns crews to open the rear door before firing the gun, for obvious reasons and also if there is too much noxious cases around whilst firing. They have to wear their gas masks with the correct filters.

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The type of grill that was used here.

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Something like this.

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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The second casemate gun room.

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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R669.

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10cm artillery had a range of about 10,500meters with a rate of fire of four rounds a minuet. Made by Skoda of Czechoslovakia (t) and captured by the Germans in early 1940 and re used here. It is about 3,500 meters to the sea so these guns could cover from Ault in the north to Tréport in the south west easily. And at 4 rounds per minuet could pound any landing attempt with ease. On a map there would be marked rectangle areas on beaches and around the towns and given code names. The FOO could call the guns with a code word and the gun layer could adjust his fire and hit pre determined targets very quickly.

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Air photo.

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R669 casemate

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Fire plan.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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This would have been a road block.

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The whole area would have had barbed wire around it and a mine field defence.

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S Mine box.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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A trench entrance to the pill box.

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A pill box maybe but I think its an adapted Tobruk with a concrete lid to give it height to see around the defence area and may have been a small command post for the defence..

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A plan of the Tobruk/pill box?.

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A plan of how it may have looked.

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Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Side view.

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I am a bit on the big side with broad shoulders and looking inside I would have had a job fitting in.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Embrasure.

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A machine gun/rifle would have been too big to use inside this bunker but maybe a machine pistol??

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Schmeisser machine pistol (sub machine gun).

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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Could this have been for a periscope. I actually do know what this is.

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And its not anything like a periscope hole. I have received an e-mail from a local (Thank you Jérémy) for letting me know. He has explained but for the moment I need to keep it to ourselves until I have his permission to say.

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B17.

Wn Tre011, St-Quintin la Motte Croix au Bailly

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22 February 2014

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