Stp268 The Arsenal (Cherbourg Naval Port)
The port of Cherbourg was designated a Fortress by the Germans and was protected
by batteries on the hills to either side and also the Fort Roule to the rear.
The Naval port of Cherbourg is still used for the manufacture and servicing of
nuclear submarines and because of that is still a very secretive place, visitors are simply NOT ALLOWED.
The port has always been important to the French who from earliest times have
built fortifications to keep the English out.
When the Germans arrived in mid 1940, they simply took over many of the existing
French fortifications and augmented them with some of their own.
They also found on their arrival much of the manufacturing facility sabotaged by
the French as a last act of defiance.
The Germans' main use for the port was as a base for their "S" boats, fast
patrol boats that carried torpedoes.
There were two flotillas based here and the same at L'havre.
They were fast and caused many problems for the Allies. Their main weakness was
that they carried no radar sets and could only rely on visual sightings.
To protect the "S" boats the Kriegsmarine built a large concrete covered base in
the port for them.
It still exists to this day.
It was "S" boats from Cherbourg that caused so much loss of life at Slapton
sands in Devon, when American troops practicing for the D-day landings at Utah,
were ambushed by these craft.
The main armament around the Arsenal was concentrated at Bastion II and
comprised 4 x 105mm cannons designed and built by the German firm of Krupp and
were of the
Stp268 Bastion II M170/SK x 4 - M162a/SK - 105mm SKC/36 LC/36U UbtsK. SKC/36 type. Manned
Bastion III L407a - L409a x 2 - L410a x 2 - 20mm Flak30 x 3