The Atlantik Wall In Normandy



Castel Vendon Wn229  Map 1110E

Castle Vendon is one of the most intriguing sites in Normandy. In 1924 the French Authorities ordered twin turreted naval guns which would be land based to protect many of their ports. The guns were made by the French company Schnieder. The guns fired a shell of 340 mm and would have had a range on nearly thirty kilometres. The guns arrived in Cherbourg, one taken from the French ship the Jean Bart. The work started at Castle Vendon some time after 1924, but because to financial restraints due to the depression they guns were put in storage in Cherbourg, and the work halted.   The fate of these guns remains a mystery, had they fallen into German hands they surely would have been used. One explanation is that they were scrapped before the war, but as Schnieder guns of first world war vintage were still in use by the French it would not seem likely. One may have been used by the German's at L'havre. Although two underground bunkers were planned to house the guns only one of the westerly of the two underground shafts was completed by the occupation. The tunnel leading to it may well be an old mine working. The Germans installed four Skoda 150mm cannons here housed in M272 casemates, and called the site "Gruchy after the nearby village) . Because of its important position, commanding the western approaches to the port of Cherbourg, Castle Vendon was to have three fire control posts. The first was on the same site as the guns and this was a marine type M162a, built on two levels, but this bunker was never started.

Wn229 M272 x 4 - 150mm SKC C/28 x 4 -  20mm Flak38 x 3 - 75mm Flak M33 x 4 Manned by 6/MAA260


Home Up Castel Vendon 2

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