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Longues-sur-Mer: Boots on the Ground

Which image is more evocative of history: the multi-gun German battery at Longues-sur-Mer overlooking both Omaha and Gold beaches?

Longues-sur-Mer batteryA.jpg

Or the hobbnailed jackbootprint of an awkward soldat who put his foot into wet cement as the casemate for one of the four 152-mm navy guns was being poured — undoubtedly leading to a tongue-lashing from his unhappy feldwebel?

Longues-sur-Mer Bootprint.jpg

Of course, the answer to most either/or questions is “both,” and in this case one without the other is incomplete.

Addendum: The guns are set well back from the cliffs overlooking the invasion beaches. Their fire was controlled from a bunker further forward with a view over the landing areas. The telephone link between the two was severed in the Allied bombardment during the night before the D-Day landings, and although the battery fired 170 rounds, it had little impact on the fighting. The guns were captured on June 7 by the members of the British 231st Infantry Brigade.


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