The Atlantik Wall In Normandy



Spt08 Ouistreham Map 1612 OT

This 52 feet high concrete tower is the only major part of the German Atlantic wall left in Ouistreham. It was designed as a flak tower designed to control antiaircraft defence of the harbour and was the German HQ in charge of the batteries covering the entrance of the River Orne and the
Orne Canal. On June 6th the Franco-British commandoes attempted to take the tower but were beaten back by heavy machine gun fire and grenades.
It remained in German hands until June 9th when Lieutenant Bob Orrell of 91st Field Company Royal Engineers together with three men placed explosive charges against the armoured door.
After several attempts it finally blew open, and the garrison of 2 officers and 50 men then surrendered. In 1987 after some restoration work the tower became a museum, dedicated to the Atlantic Wall.  Inside you can visit the generator room, the gas filter rooms, the generator and machine gun emplacements. The telephone exchange, radio communication room together with the observation post are also open. The museum also includes many rare photographs of the construction of the Atlantic Wall and also many documents relating to the observation tower.
The Todt organisation which, at the height of the war, employed over two million people is the focal point of the exhibition. The Atlantic Wall defended occupied Europe from Norway to the Spanish border and consisted of over 15,000 fortifications.
In the film "The Longest Day" the French Commandoes shown storming the casino were in fact filmed at Port en Bessin. The ground here is very flat and not on a hill as shown in the film. There is a Flak tower to the mounted on top of a command post. On the other side of the harbour their is a similar construction, complete with cupola.

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