The Atlantik Wall In Normandy

 

 

Brecourt Manoir Map 1311E

Monument placed here in June 2008

The Germans installed four guns here in open emplacements and connected by slit trenches.
Today no trace of this site remains, as it was only a field emplacement. There has always been discussion as to what guns were here. Dick Winters in his report said that they were 88mm, because of the muzzle brake. Other accounts talk of 105mm because the tails to a 105mm were found in the field. It was then thought that they might be Czech 100mm guns which used a tail which could be interchanged with the French 105m, but later research proved the guns to be 105 mm FH18 manned by the 3/AR 191 with the 6/AR 191 with the same guns at the Holdy Batterie. Both batteries were captured by paratroopers of 101st AD on June 6

The Germans manning these guns came from the 3/191sttArtillery Regiment, and they were billeted in St Marie du Mont and at Brecourt Manor.The American attack has been immortalized in the book " Band of Brothers"
by Stephen Ambrose and now by the Stephen Spielberg film of the same name.
The American Airborne Regiment which was given the task of taking the guns near the Manoir du Brecourt was "E" Company of the 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles).
They landed in Normandy early on D-day having flown in C47 aircraft from southern England.
The Airborne troops were scattered all over Basse Normandy, and in many cases, took days to find their companies.
"E" Company had fared no better, and the few troopers that had arrived at Le Grande Chemin, a tiny hamlet, no more than a group of houses, were given the task of neutralising the guns at the Manoir du Brecourt. Lieutenant Winters attacked the batterie and took the guns with just a dozen men, causing far more causalities than they received.
By now it was 11:30 and they had been in Normandy for only a few hours.
Already "E" Company had contributed greatly to the success of the Utah beach landings.
The guns they had taken out were the main defence for this southern section.
The Gun emplacements at St Marcouf (Crisbecq) and Azeville would not be taken for some days, but their guns were at the limit of their accuracy.
This action by the Band of Brothers was one of the first American victories on D-day and most certainly saved a lot of American lives on Utah Beach.
Inside the Manoir was Michel De Valaviell, he was a young boy at the time of D-day and he came out to greet the liberating Americans. Unfortunately they shot him and he was evacuated to England, where he spent six months.
Long after the war he became mayor and he was mainly responsible for the fine museum that is situated on Utah beach. He was also responsible for naming over forty of the roads in the area after Americans who were killed during the liberation.
 

Go to "The Attack" for more detailed photos of gun positions
 

 

Home Up The Attack

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