The Atlantic Wall 2 Belgium the Netherlands Denmark and Norway

July 31, 2017 | Author: George Van Bommel | Category: Warfare, Military Equipment, Military, Military Technology, Military Forces
Share Embed Donate


Short Description

Descripción: ww2 German protection...

Description

THE ATLANTIC WALL (2) Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway

ABOUT T H E AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR STEVEN J ZALOGA received his BA in history from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over two decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think-tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union.

ADAM HOOK studied graphic design, and began his work as an illustrator in 1983. He specializes in detailed historical reconstructions, and has illustrated Osprey titles on the Aztecs, the Greeks, the American Civil War and the American Revolution. His work features in exhibitions and publications throughout the world. He lives in East Sussex, UK.

FORTRESS • 8 9

THE ATLANTIC WALL (2) Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway

STEVEN J ZALOGA

I L L U S T R A T E D BY A D A M H O O K Series editors

Marcus Cowper and Nikolai Bogdanovic

First published in 2009 by Osprey Publishing Midland House, West Way, Botley, Oxford 0X2 OPH, UK 443 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016, USA E-mail: [email protected] © 2009 Osprey Publishing Limited All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrical, chemical, mechanical, optical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Enquiries should be addressed to the Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-84603-393-3 E-book ISBN: 978-1 -84908-125-2 Editorial by llios Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK (www.iliospublishing.com) Cartography: Map Studio, Romsey, UK Page layout by Ken Vail Graphic Design, Cambridge, UK (kvgd.com) Typeset in Myriad and Sabon Index by Michael Forder Originated by PPS Grasmere Printed in China through Bookbuilders 09 10 11 12 13

1098765432 1

A CIP catalog record for this book is available from the British Library.

AUTHOR'S NOTE The author would like to thank Alain Chazette for the use of photos from his extensive archive. Rob Plas and Marc van Etten provided indispensable help in helping to track down bunkers in the Hoek van Holland area. Thanks also go to Wachtmeester Alex van Riezen and to the Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie for help in obtaining photos and other information on the coastal bunkers taking part in the Walcheren battles. David Keough at the US Army's Military History Institute was also most helpful in pointing out resources for this study.

ARTIST'S NOTE Readers may care to note that the original paintings from which the color plates in this book were prepared are available for private sale. All reproduction copyright whatsoever is retained by the Publishers. All enquiries should be addressed to: Scorpio Gallery, PO Box 475, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 2SL, UK The Publishers regret that they can enter into no correspondence upon this matter.

THE FORTRESS STUDY GROUP (FSG) The object of the FSG is to advance the education of the public in the study of all aspects of fortifications and their armaments, especially works constructed to mount or resist artillery. The FSG holds an annual conference in September over a long weekend with visits and evening lectures, an annual tour abroad lasting about eight days, and an annual Members' Day. The FSG journal FORTls published annually, and its newsletter Casemate is published three times a year. Membership is international. For further details, please contact: The Secretary, c/o 6 Lanark Place, London W9 1BS, UK Website: www.fsgfort.com

THE WOODLAND TRUST Osprey Publishing are supporting the Woodland Trust, the UK's leading woodland conservation charity, by funding the dedication of trees.

FOR A CATALOG OF ALL BOOKS PUBLISHED BY OSPREY MILITARY AND AVIATION PLEASE CONTACT: Osprey Direct, c/o Random House Distribution Center, 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 E-mail: [email protected] Osprey Direct, The Book Service Ltd, Distribution Centre, Colchester Road, Frating Green, Colchester, Essex, C07 7DW E-mail: [email protected] www.ospreypublishing.com

CONTENTS INTRODUCTION

4

DESIGN A N D D E V E L O P M E N T

5

Defense sectors . Coastal artillery . Coastal obstacles . Coastal artillery radar Controlled submarine minefields - The midget submarine threat Coastal commando units

A T O U R OF T H E SITES

24

Belgium . The Netherlands - Norway . Denmark

T H E SITES IN C O M B A T

52

The Scheldt campaign . K-Verbande in the Netherlands . Combat in Norway The last battle

T H E SITES TODAY

60

FURTHER READING

61

GLOSSARY

63

INDEX

64

THE ATLANTIC WALL (2) BELGIUM, THE NETHERLANDS, DENMARK AND NORWAY INTRODUCTION T h e A t l a n t i c Wall w a s the l a r g e s t a n d m o s t e x t e n s i v e fortification p r o g r a m in m o d e r n E u r o p e a n h i s t o r y , far o u t s t r i p p i n g the M a g i n o t L i n e in l e n g t h , m a t e r i a l , a n d c o s t . T h i s is the s e c o n d b o o k in this series, f o l l o w i n g F o r t r e s s 6 3 o n the Atlantikwall o n the F r e n c h A t l a n t i c c o a s t . T h i s v o l u m e e x t e n d s the c o v e r a g e f r o m the B e l g i a n c o a s t e a s t w a r d t o the N e t h e r l a n d s a n d D e n m a r k , a n d n o r t h t o N o r w a y . T h e p r e v i o u s b o o k f o c u s e d o n the A t l a n t i c Wall's p r i m a r y r o l e in r e p u l s i n g the i n e v i t a b l e Allied i n v a s i o n o f F r a n c e . In the c a s e o f the c o u n t r i e s c o v e r e d in this v o l u m e , the m i s s i o n w a s m o r e c o m p l e x . C o a s t a l d e f e n s e s in B e l g i u m w e r e the s a m e a s t h o s e in n e i g h b o r i n g F r a n c e a n d p a r t o f the s a m e a n t i - i n v a s i o n s c h e m e . B u t for the rest o f this r e g i o n , the Atlantikwall w a s a r e s p o n s e t o m o r e diverse threats p o s e d by the R o y a l N a v y . T h e British a r t o f w a r h a d l o n g f a v o r e d c o a s t a l r a i d i n g ; the n a m e s of m a n y o f the f o r t i f i e d sites m e n t i o n e d in this b o o k elicit e c h o e s o f p a s t b a t t l e s f r o m the N a p o l e o n i c a g e a n d b e f o r e . T o a v o i d r e p e a t i n g the s a m e s u b j e c t s c o v e r e d in the e a r l i e r F o r t r e s s v o l u m e , this b o o k shifts the f o c u s a w a y f r o m a n t i - i n v a s i o n d e f e n s e s s u c h a s c o a s t a l o b s t a c l e s , a n d p r o v i d e s greater c o v e r a g e t o other c o a s t a l defenses s u c h a s radar, c o n t r o l l e d m i n e s , a n d c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s m a l l craft. N o r w a y w a s the first c o u n t r y t o see e x t e n s i v e d e p l o y m e n t of c o a s t a l artillery, p r o v o k e d in l a r g e m e a s u r e b y early British c o m m a n d o r a i d s . Allied d e c e p t i o n o p e r a t i o n s t h r o u g h the w a r a t t e m p t e d t o convince the G e r m a n s that a n i n v a s i o n o f N o r w a y w a s p a r t of Allied strategy, in h o p e s o f tying d o w n G e r m a n f o r c e s . T h e r e w a s a revival o f N o r w e g i a n defenses in the late s u m m e r o f 1 9 4 4 . T h e l o s s o f critical U - b o a t b a s e s in F r a n c e f o r c e d the K r i e g s m a r i n e t o d e p l o y its s u r v i v i n g f o r c e t o N o r w e g i a n h a r b o r s s u c h a s T r o n d h e i m , invigorating R o y a l N a v y actions to these northern waters and provoking r e n e w e d d e f e n s e efforts. W h e n the R e d A r m y p u s h e d the W e h r m a c h t o u t of F i n l a n d v i a the a r c t i c F i n n m a r k r e g i o n o f N o r w a y , c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s w e r e r e i n f o r c e d t o p r o t e c t the t r o o p c o n v o y s s t r e a m i n g d o w n a l o n g the c o a s t f r o m arctic w a t e r s . A l t h o u g h the t h r e a t o f a m p h i b i o u s i n v a s i o n o n the D u t c h c o a s t w a s slight d u e t o the t e r r a i n , the i m p o r t a n t p o r t s o f R o t t e r d a m a n d A m s t e r d a m a n d their a c c e s s t o the k e y rivers l e a d i n g i n t o the G e r m a n i n d u s t r i a l h e a r t l a n d g u a r a n t e e d s e r i o u s f o r t i f i c a t i o n e f f o r t s . D e n m a r k p r e s e n t s a different c a s e altogether, w i t h its d e f e n s e s o r i e n t e d p r i m a r i l y t o k e e p i n g the British fleet o u t o f the B a l t i c , w i t h s t r o n g g u n p o s i t i o n s t o c o v e r the n a r r o w s t r a i t s . 4

O f the r e g i o n s c o v e r e d in this b o o k , o n l y the N e t h e r l a n d s s a w e x t e n s i v e c o m b a t . T h e Atlantikwall a l o n g the D u t c h c o a s t b e c a m e involved in the a u t u m n 1 9 4 4 fighting to o p e n the a p p r o a c h e s to A n t w e r p . T h e fiercest of these battles t o o k place o n Walcheren, w h e r e British a m p h i b i o u s forces p a i d a heavy price t o o v e r c o m e a concentration of fortified g u n s . N o r w a y r e m a i n e d a b a c k w a t e r for m o s t of the war, the arctic n o r t h seeing s o m e c o m b a t in the a u t u m n of 1 9 4 4 during the w i t h d r a w a l of G e r m a n forces f r o m F i n l a n d . D e n m a r k w a s s p a r e d a n y extensive l a n d c o m b a t a n d its Atlantikwall d e f e n s e s w e r e never tested. C u r i o u s l y , N o r w a y a n d D e n m a r k b e c a m e m o d e l s for the final e v o l u t i o n o f G e r m a n coastal defense doctrine, serving a s the p r o v i n g g r o u n d s for several n e w types of w e a p o n including g u i d e d t o r p e d o e s , u n d e r w a t e r a c o u s t i c s e n s o r s , a n d infrared detectors.

ABOVE

Three views of t h e

Atlantikwall

defences. The image o n t h e right shows a 7 5 m m anti-tank g u n g u a r d i n g t h e shores of Ostend, n o w part of t h e D o m a i n Raversijde m u s e u m . (Author's p h o t o g r a p h ) BELOW

LEFT

The c r o w n i n g glory of German coast defense in W o r l d War I was t h e repulse of t h e British naval raid at Z e e b r u g g e in 1918. This p h o t o was taken in June 1940 f o l l o w i n g t h e fall

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT G e r m a n c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s o n the N o r t h S e a d a t e b a c k m a n y c e n t u r i e s , a n d during the reforms of K a i s e r Wilhelm in the late 1 8 8 0 s , the K r i e g s m a r i n e (navy) w a s a s s i g n e d this m i s s i o n . T h e s e fortifications w e r e m o d e r n i z e d d u r i n g W o r l d W a r I, a n d the K r i e g s m a r i n e w a s c o n f r o n t e d w i t h the n e e d t o d e f e n d the o c c u p i e d B e l g i a n c o a s t a g a i n s t British n a v a l o p e r a t i o n s . G e r m a n c o a s t a l fortification in W o r l d W a r I w a s n o t p a r t i c u l a r l y e l a b o r a t e , u s u a l l y c o n s i s t i n g of o p e n " k e t t l e " p o s i t i o n s (Kesselbettungen), w h i c h w e r e l a r g e circular g u n pits with c r e w shelters a n d p r o t e c t e d recesses for a m m u n i t i o n a n d crew. T h e defense o f the B e l g i a n c o a s t in 1 9 1 4 - 1 8 h e l p e d t o s h a p e G e r m a n a t t i t u d e s a b o u t c o a s t a l d e f e n s e w h e n d e a l i n g w i t h the R o y a l N a v y . British s t r a t e g y f a v o r e d p e r i p h e r a l o p e r a t i o n s a n d r a i d i n g , especially a g a i n s t vital p o r t s a n d other c o a s t a l objectives. T h e classic e x a m p l e w a s the British n a v a l r a i d a g a i n s t Z e e b r u g g e a n d O s t e n d o n April 2 3 , 1 9 1 8 , w h i c h a t t e m p t e d t o s a b o t a g e b o t h p o r t s by sinking b l o c k s h i p s in key p a s s a g e s . T h e Z e e b r u g g e r a i d w a s p a r t l y successful but the G e r m a n c o a s t a l batteries inflicted frightfully high c a s u a l t i e s

of Belgium and shows German t r o o p s o p e r a t i n g one of t h e Belgian Vickers 3.7-inch guns near t h e famous Z e e b r u g g e Mole w h e r e t h e 1918 battle t o o k place. (NARA) BELOW

RIGHT

The most vivid example of t h e value of coastal defense occurred o n April 9,1940 w h e n Norway's Oscarsborg fortress o n t h e approaches t o Oslo sank t h e German cruiser

Blucherwith

g u n a n d t o r p e d o fire. Three 2 8 0 m m M o d e l 1892/93 guns remained in German service w i t h 5./MAA.501, a n d o n e is seen here shortly after t h e war w h e n p h o t o g r a p h e d by a US A r m y inspection t e a m . (NARA)

o n the r a i d i n g force. T h e O s t e n d r a i d w a s a failure d u e to G e r m a n gunfire, a n d a r e p e a t r a i d o n M a y 1 0 w a s only m a r g i n a l l y successful. T h e defense of these t w o p o r t s h e l p e d e s t a b l i s h the m i s s i o n for the K r i e g s m a r i n e c o a s t a l artillery. G e r m a n d o c t r i n e d i d n o t f a v o r d e f e n s e s s u b s t a n t i a l e n o u g h t o prevent a full-scale i n v a s i o n , b u t r a t h e r sufficient t o deter R o y a l N a v y r a i d s a n d d i s c o u r a g e British w a r s h i p s f r o m b o m b a r d i n g the c o a s t . W i t h t h e r i s e t o p o w e r o f H i t l e r a n d t h e N a z i s in the e a r l y 1 9 3 0 s , G e r m a n y e m b a r k e d o n its m o s t e l a b o r a t e f o r t i f i c a t i o n effort o f the m o d e r n e r a , the W e s t w a l l , better k n o w n t o the Allies a s the Siegfried L i n e . T h i s linear d e f e n s i v e line a l o n g G e r m a n y ' s w e s t e r n frontier h a d little t a c t i c a l r e l e v a n c e t o the c o a s t a l d e f e n s e m i s s i o n , b u t it h a d a s u b s t a n t i a l t e c h n i c a l i m p a c t o n the later Atlantikwall in t w o m a j o r r e s p e c t s . T o b e g i n w i t h , it h e l p e d usher in a n e w g e n e r a t i o n o f f o r t r e s s d e s i g n t h a t p l a c e d g r e a t e r e m p h a s i s o n s h e l l p r o o f a n d b o m b p r o o f c o n s t r u c t i o n t h r o u g h the u s e o f steel-reinforced c o n c r e t e . U n l i k e the M a g i n o t L i n e , these b o r d e r fortifications w e r e relatively s m a l l b u n k e r s b a s e d o n the e x p e r i e n c e s o f the a r m y in the t r e n c h fighting of 1 9 1 7 - 1 8 . S e c o n d l y , the W e s t w a l l g a v e a d d e d i m p o r t a n c e t o O r g a n i z a t i o n T o d t , a p a r a m i l i t a r y c o n s t r u c t i o n f o r m a t i o n u n d e r Dr. F r i t z T o d t t h a t b e c a m e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h all m a j o r G e r m a n s t a t e civil e n g i n e e r i n g p r o j e c t s including the a u t o b a h n . G i v e n the peculiar political d y n a m i c s of N a z i G e r m a n y w i t h m a n y l a r g e s t a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n s v y i n g for the f a v o r o f the Fiihrer, O r g a n i z a t i o n T o d t h a d s u b s t a n t i a l b u r e a u c r a t i c incentives t o p u s h g r a n d i o s e c o n s t r u c t i o n projects whether w a r r a n t e d by military necessity or not. Hitler w a s especially susceptible to Todt's blandishments due to his p e r s o n a l e n t h u s i a s m f o r g r a n d i o s e a r c h i t e c t u r e , a s well a s his p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e a s a n i n f a n t r y m a n in the t r e n c h e s in W o r l d W a r I w h e r e b u n k e r s w e r e a m a t t e r o f life o r d e a t h .

"Alarm!" A German rifle section scrambles f r o m a Bauform 502 personnel bunker, part of S t r o n g p o i n t Roon in Middelkerke, Belgium. (A. Chazette)

T h e blitzkrieg v i c t o r i e s in the s p r i n g a n d early s u m m e r o f 1 9 4 0 p r e s e n t e d the W e h r m a c h t w i t h a s u b s t a n t i a l n e w c h a l l e n g e of d e f e n d i n g a n e x t e n d e d c o a s t l i n e f r o m the A r c t i c C i r c l e o f n o r t h e r n N o r w a y , d o w n the A t l a n t i c c o a s t t o the N o r t h S e a t o w a r d s the S k a g e r r a k , s o m e 3 , 8 0 0 k m ( 2 , 4 0 0 m i l e s ) . T h e f o u r o c c u p i e d c o u n t r i e s in the n o r t h e r n sector - N o r w a y , D e n m a r k , B e l g i u m , a n d the N e t h e r l a n d s - a l r e a d y h a d m o d e s t c o a s t a l artillery defenses. T h e only c o a s t a l defenses t h a t p l a y e d a role in the 1 9 4 0 c a m p a i g n w e r e the N o r w e g i a n d e f e n s e s in the O s l o F j o r d w h e r e the G e r m a n cruiser Bliicber w a s s u n k o n A p r i l 9 , 1 9 4 0 in a d u e l w i t h t w o f o r t i f i e d b a t t e r i e s . A s the W e h r m a c h t d e p l o y e d for o c c u p a t i o n d u t i e s , these e x i s t i n g c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s f o r m e d a thin Atlantikwall. c r u s t for w h a t w o u l d later e m e r g e a s the G e r m a n y r e m a i n e d o n the offensive in 1 9 4 0 4 1 a n d p a i d little attention to defensive c o n c e r n s . A significant n u m b e r of large c o a s t a l batteries a n d r a i l w a y g u n s w e r e d e p l o y e d t o the P a s - d e - C a l a i s o n the E n g l i s h C h a n n e l , but this w a s a n offensive o p e r a t i o n intended t o p r o v i d e fire s u p p o r t for the p l a n n e d Seelowe i n v a s i o n o f B r i t a i n . In 1 9 4 1 , Organization Todt began a large construction p r o g r a m in several F r e n c h p o r t s to create m a s s i v e b o m b p r o o f shelters t o h a r b o r the U - b o a t fleet in o p e r a t i o n s t o s t r a n g l e B r i t a i n by s u b m a r i n e b l o c k a d e a n d c o m m e r c e r a i d i n g ; smaller schemes w e r e a l s o u n d e r w a y o n s u b m a r i n e b u n k e r s in N o r w a y a n d S - b o a t ( t o r p e d o b o a t ) shelters in the

6

N e t h e r l a n d s . W i t h the g r a d u a l a b a n d o n m e n t of p l a n s t o i n v a d e Britain a n d the strategic shift t o the R u s s i a n front, there w a s s o m e d i s c u s s i o n in F e b r u a r y 1 9 4 1 of erecting fortifications a l o n g the C h a n n e l a s a n e c o n o m y - o f - f o r c e tactic, enabling relatively m o d e s t units to defend very l o n g c o a s t l i n e s . Hitler rejected these p l a n s , if for n o other r e a s o n t h a n it m i g h t tip his h a n d r e g a r d i n g p l a n s to i n v a d e the S o v i e t U n i o n in J u n e 1 9 4 1 . T h e o n l y a r e a t o receive h e a v y fortification w a s the C h a n n e l I s l a n d s , w h i c h e n j o y e d Hitler's special attention a s the only British l a n d s in his g r a s p . T h e c o a s t a l defense d i l e m m a e m e r g e d late in 1 9 4 1 w i t h the b e g i n n i n g of British r a i d s a l o n g the N o r w e g i a n c o a s t . British special f o r c e s l a n d e d o n the L o f o t e n i s l a n d s o n the n o r t h e r n N o r w e g i a n c o a s t o n M a r c h 4 , 1 9 4 1 a g a i n s t m i n i m a l o p p o s i t i o n . T h i s p r o m p t e d the W e h r m a c h t t o r e i n f o r c e the s c a n t n a v a l c o a s t a l b a t t e r i e s w i t h a r m y b a t t e r i e s . In M a r c h 1 9 4 1 , N o r w a y w a s allotted 1 6 0 a r m y c o a s t a l batteries a n d in J u n e this p r o g r a m w a s e x t e n d e d by a d d i n g 9 0 batteries t o w e s t e r n E u r o p e a n d 1 0 t o D e n m a r k . British c o m m a n d o o p e r a t i o n s c o n t i n u e d in N o r w a y at S p i t z b e r g e n o n A u g u s t 1 7 , 1 9 4 1 , a n d a return raid to the L o f o t e n i s l a n d s o n D e c e m b e r 2 7 , 1 9 4 1 . T h e s e r a i d s , a s well a s similar o n e s o n the F r e n c h c o a s t , w e r e m o r e a n u i s a n c e t h a n a significant threat, b u t they c a u s e d s o m e w o r r y in Berlin. T h e direct result w a s a F u h r e r

TOP

LEFT

A variety of m u n i t i o n bunkers were d e v e l o p e d t o s u p p o r t artillery positions. This is an Fl 246 m u n i t i o n bunker, part of WN 82 Flak-Batterie O l m e n in IJmuiden w h i c h s u p p o r t e d t h e fortified 1 0 5 m m flak positions on t h e crest of t h e coastal d u n e above. (Author's p h o t o g r a p h ) TOP

RIGHT

Tobruks, more formally designated as Ringstande, were t h e most w i d e l y use field fortification in t h e

Atlantikwall.

They were small, simple structures w i t h a characteristic r o u n d o p e n i n g for a machine g u n or other w e a p o n . Since they had an o p e n roof and were built t o t h e lower B1 standards, they were not designated " p e r m a n e n t " fortifications. This example was part of t h e IJmuiden fortification zone. (Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

LEFT

This is a superb example of the open-kettle-style g u n pits typical of t h e Atlantikwall

in

1940-43, armed in this case w i t h a w a r - b o o t y Cockerill 1 2 0 m m mle. 1931 Belgian field g u n . This is part of the Batterie Saltzwedel neu/Tirpitz of 6./MAA.204from 1941 until April 1944, and n o w preserved at t h e Domain Raversijde m u s e u m . (Author's photograph)

TOP

LEFT

The Dieppe raid led t o an intensive p r o g r a m t o protect coastal batteries w i t h steel-reinforced concrete casemates like this Bauform 671 a r m e d w i t h a 1 5 0 m m C/36 destroyer g u n a n d currently preserved as part of t h e Domain Raversijde m u s e u m . (Author's p h o t o g r a p h ) TOP

RIGHT

This is another example of camouflage, a Schneider 1 0 5 m m mle. 1913 field g u n of 4./HKAA.180 built at T h y b o r o n , Denmark in 1943 w i t h t h e Bauform 671 casemate enclosed in a false w o o d e n structure t o look like a civilian b u i l d i n g . (NARA)

d i r e c t i v e o n D e c e m b e r 1 4 , 1 9 4 1 t h a t o r d e r e d the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a " N e w W e s t w a l l w i t h a s s m a l l a n u m b e r a s p o s s i b l e o f p e r m a n e n t fixed t r o o p s . " T h e directive r e c o g n i z e d t h a t G e r m a n o c c u p a t i o n forces w e r e stretched very thinly a l o n g the c o a s t , a n d t h a t f o r t i f i c a t i o n s c o u l d s u b s t i t u t e for m a n p o w e r in r e m o t e a r e a s . T h e p r i o r i t y f o r the f o r t i f i c a t i o n p r o g r a m w a s N o r w a y , the F r e n c h a n d B e l g i a n C h a n n e l c o a s t , the D u t c h c o a s t , a n d the G e r m a n Bight, in t h a t order. T h e e m p h a s i s o n N o r w a y in this early directive w a s a r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t N o r w a y p r e s e n t e d a n e s p e c i a l l y difficult defensive c h a l l e n g e d u e t o its e x t e n s i v e c o a s t l i n e , a s well a s the i m p o r t a n c e o f the c o a s t a l c o n v o y s a l o n g the N o r w e g i a n c o a s t t h a t w e r e b r i n g i n g vital m a t e r i a l s t o the G e r m a n w a r i n d u s t r y f r o m the m i n e s in n o r t h e r n N o r w a y . T h e c o a s t a l artillery p o s i t i o n s h a d t w o principal missions: protection of G e r m a n coastal shipping, and defense a g a i n s t e n e m y r a i d s . T h e initial N e w W e s t w a l l c o n s t r u c t i o n w a s o n a very s m a l l s c a l e a n d f o c u s e d o n reinforcing the c o a s t a l artillery p o s i t i o n s by p r o v i d i n g select batteries w i t h p e r s o n n e l b u n k e r s for their c r e w s a l o n g with protected ammunition bunkers. O n F e b r u a r y 2 7 / 2 8 , 1 9 4 2 , the c o m m a n d o s struck F r a n c e a g a i n at Bruneval, spiriting a w a y a secret G e r m a n c o a s t a l radar. T h i s p r o m p t e d a n o t h e r Fiihrer directive o n M a r c h 2 3 , 1 9 4 2 w h i c h r e c o g n i z e d t h a t w i t h the s e t b a c k s in R u s s i a , the Atlantic c o a s t eventually m i g h t be threatened with A n g l o - A m e r i c a n a t t a c k s . T h e h i g h e s t p r i o r i t i e s for f o r t i f i c a t i o n r e m a i n e d N o r w a y a n d the C h a n n e l I s l a n d s . T h e fortification c o n s t r u c t i o n e s c a l a t e d a h u n d r e d f o l d f r o m a n initial 3 , 0 0 0 c u b i c m e t e r s o f reinforced c o n c r e t e u s e d in O c t o b e r 1 9 4 1 to 3 7 3 , 7 0 0 c u b i c m e t e r s in S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 2 . In s p i t e o f t h e s u r g e in c o n s t r u c t i o n , the N e w W e s t w a l l p r o g r a m h a d limited r e s o u r c e s d u e t o the d e m a n d s of the R u s s i a n front. T h e p r i m a r y f o c u s o f the c o n s t r u c t i o n w a s a r o u n d m a j o r p o r t s , since these w e r e v i e w e d a s the m o s t a t t r a c t i v e t a r g e t s for British r a i d s . T o p r i o r i t i z e the c o n s t r u c t i o n , a few d o z e n key p o r t s were designated as fortified areas (Festungsbereicben). T h e St. N a z a i r e r a i d , w h i c h o c c u r r e d o n M a r c h 2 8 o n l y a f e w d a y s after the F i i h r e r d i r e c t i v e , o n l y s e r v e d t o i l l u s t r a t e the c o n t i n u i n g v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f the p o r t s . B y J u n e 1 9 4 2 , the N e w W e s t w a l l for the first t i m e a b s o r b e d m o r e c o n c r e t e t h a n the U - b o a t b u n k e r p r o g r a m . O n A u g u s t 1 3 , 1 9 4 2 H i t l e r held a m e e t i n g w i t h s e n i o r officials t o outline the s t r a t e g i c a i m o f w h a t he n o w d u b b e d Atlantikwall, the A t l a n t i c Wall. " T h e r e is o n l y o n e b a t t l e f r o n t (the R u s s i a n F r o n t ) . T h e other f r o n t s c a n only be d e f e n d e d w i t h m o d e s t f o r c e s . . . D u r i n g the winter, w i t h f a n a t i c a l zeal, a f o r t r e s s m u s t b e b u i l t w h i c h will h o l d in all c i r c u m s t a n c e s . . . e x c e p t by a n

8

a t t a c k lasting for w e e k s . " F o r the first t i m e , H i t l e r l a i d o u t s o m e d e t a i l s o f the s c o p e o f the p r o g r a m , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e Atlantikwall w o u l d involve 1 5 , 0 0 0 b u n k e r s a n d 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 t r o o p s o n the A t l a n t i c c o a s t f r o m S p a i n t o the N e t h e r l a n d s t o be finished b y M a y 1 9 4 3 , the earliest t i m e a n A l l i e d i n v a s i o n o f w e s t e r n E u r o p e w a s likely. T h i s p r o g r a m d i d n o t a d d r e s s the s p e c i f i c r e q u i r e m e n t s for S c a n d i n a v i a , t h o u g h H i t l e r c o n s i d e r e d the p r o j e c t s there t o be p a r t of the o v e r a l l Atlantikwall effort. H e r e i t e r a t e d t h a t the f o c u s s h o u l d be the defense o f p o r t s t h a t w e r e v i e w e d a s the m o s t likely Allied o b j e c t i v e s w h i l e the o p e n b e a c h e s in b e t w e e n p o r t s w e r e a s s i g n e d a l o w e r p r i o r i t y . T h e A u g u s t 1 9 4 2 directive substantially shifted the focus of Atlantikwall defenses. While priority h a d previously g o n e to the C h a n n e l Islands a n d N o r w a y , the f o c u s w a s n o w shifted t o the F r e n c h a n d B e l g i a n C h a n n e l c o a s t . O f the 1 5 , 0 0 0 b u n k e r s in the p r o g r a m , 1 1 , 0 0 0 w e r e a l l o c a t e d t o the A O K . 7 a n d A O K . 1 5 (Armeeoberkommando, A r m y high c o m m a n d ) , which covered f r o m the w e s t e r n N e t h e r l a n d s t h r o u g h B e l g i u m t o N o r m a n d y . T h e A O K . l o n the A t l a n t i c c o a s t o f F r a n c e w a s a l l o t t e d 1 , 5 0 0 t o 2 , 0 0 0 b u n k e r s a n d t h e r e m a i n i n g b u n k e r s w e r e a u t h o r i z e d for the N e t h e r l a n d s . T h i s shift in p r i o r i t y w a s in p a r t d u e t o the i m m i n e n t c o m p l e t i o n o f m u c h o f the fortification w o r k o n the C h a n n e l I s l a n d s , b u t m o r e i m p o r t a n t l y t o the g r o w i n g t h r e a t o f A l l i e d i n v a s i o n . O n l y d a y s after this c o n f e r e n c e , the Allies s t r u c k w i t h a m a s s i v e raid at D i e p p e , o n A u g u s t 1 7 , 1 9 4 2 . T h e D i e p p e r a i d o n l y s e r v e d t o r e i n f o r c e the u r g e n c y o f the p r o g r a m , t h o u g h it d i d n o t l e a d t o a n y m a j o r c h a n g e in its s c o p e . Its o n e technical effect w a s t o f o c u s the n e e d for better p r o t e c t i o n o f the c o a s t a l artillery b a t t e r i e s t h a t w e r e v u l n e r a b l e in o p e n g u n p i t s . construction, T h e A u g u s t directive led t o the first m a j o r w a v e o f Atlantikwall the Winterbauprogramm (Winter C o n s t r u c t i o n P r o g r a m ) f r o m S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 2 t h r o u g h A p r i l 1 9 4 3 . A l t h o u g h the f o c u s r e m a i n e d o n r e i n f o r c i n g the n u m e r o u s c o a s t a l batteries a l r e a d y d e p l o y e d a l o n g the c o a s t , the D i e p p e r a i d e m p h a s i z e d the n e e d t o shield the g u n b a t t e r i e s w i t h i n f a n t r y p o s i t i o n s a n d t o e s t a b l i s h d e f e n s e s a l o n g the s o - c a l l e d Freie Kuste ( o p e n c o a s t ) , the c o a s t a l a r e a s b e t w e e n the p o r t s a n d other defensive z o n e s . Hitler d r e w the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t the g u n b a t t e r i e s h a d t o b e e n c a s e d in s t e e l - r e i n f o r c e d c o n c r e t e , a n d i n s i s t e d t h a t he p r e f e r r e d " 2 0 p r o t e c t e d g u n s t o 2 0 0 u n p r o t e c t e d g u n s . " T h i s initiated the Scbartenbauprogramm in the s p r i n g o f 1 9 4 3 . T h e Atlantikwall c o n s t r u c t i o n p r o g r a m relied o n s t a n d a r d i z e d b u n k e r d e s i g n s p r e p a r e d by the a r m y ' s F o r t i f i c a t i o n E n g i n e e r C o r p s in Berlin. T h e original Westwall fortifications h a d been d e s i g n a t e d in the O B (Offene Bettung, o p e n p l a t f o r m ) or V f (Verstarkfeldmassig, r e i n f o r c e d field p o s i t i o n ) series. A l t h o u g h s o m e of these d e s i g n a t i o n s w e r e r e t a i n e d d u r i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the Atlantic Wall, a n e w series of d e s i g n a t i o n s e m e r g e d . T h e r e is s o m e disparity in h o w these designs are identified, s o , for e x a m p l e , the " 6 1 1 " b u n k e r d e s i g n is variously called B a u f o r m 6 1 1 (construction p l a n 6 1 1 ) ; R 6 1 1 ( R e g e l b a u 6 1 1 :

Some units s h o w e d considerable i n g e n u i t y in c a m o u f l a g i n g bunkers like this example painted t o resemble a house in Ostend. (National Archives Canada PA-1744386) 9

c o n s t r u c t i o n s t a n d a r d 6 1 1 ) o r H 6 1 1 (Heer 6 1 1 : A r m y 6 1 1 ) t o distinguish a r m y bunkers from air force (L: Luftwaffe) a n d navy ( M : Kriegsmarine) bunker d e s i g n s . T h e r e w e r e a b o u t 7 0 0 o f these s t a n d a r d d e s i g n s , o f w h i c h a b o u t 2 5 0 w e r e u s e d o n the Atlantic Wall; m o s t o f the n e w designs intended for the Atlantikwall w e r e in t h e n e w 6 0 0 series. It s h o u l d b e m e n t i o n e d t h a t these d e s i g n s w e r e often m o d i f i e d in the field t o better m a t c h local terrain c o n t o u r s . B e s i d e s the s t a n d a r d i z e d d e s i g n s , there w e r e localized v a r i a t i o n s o f s t a n d a r d p l a n s a s well a s entirely n e w d e s i g n s , s o m e t i m e s identified with a n S K suffix for Sonderkonstruktion (special d e s i g n ) . In g e n e r a l , O r g a n i z a t i o n T o d t d i s t i n g u i s h e d b e t w e e n t w o m a i n c a t e g o r i e s o f f o r t i f i c a t i o n : the p e r m a n e n t (stdndige) " b o m b p r o o f " b u n k e r s , w h i c h w e r e fully e n c l o s e d t y p e s , a n d r e i n f o r c e d field f o r t i f i c a t i o n s , w h i c h w e r e usually open-topped a n d included such types a s open gunpits a n d the ubiquitous T o b r u k . T h e latter w a s a s m a l l d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n n a m e d after i m p r o v i s e d d e f e n s e s d u r i n g t h e fighting a r o u n d T o b r u k in 1 9 4 2 t h a t h a d been c r e a t e d u s i n g c o n c r e t e d r a i n a g e p i p e s . Officially called Ringstande, the T o b r u k s w e r e typically u s e d a s w e a p o n s s t a n d s fitted w i t h a n o p e n ring p o s i t i o n a t o n e end. M o s t w e r e built f o r u s e a s m a c h i n e - g u n p o s i t i o n s , b u t they w e r e a r m e d w i t h a variety of w e a p o n s including m o r t a r s , pedestal-mounted guns a n d obsolete tank turrets (Panzerstellungen). T h e r e w e r e five m a i n types o f p e r m a n e n t , b o m b p r o o f b u n k e r s . T h e m o s t c o m m o n w a s the Unterstand (bunker) w h i c h c a m e in three m a i n varieties: the p e r s o n n e l b u n k e r (Unterstand fur Mannscha)Hen), m u n i t i o n s s t o r a g e bunker (Unterstand fiir Munition) a n d t h e relatively u n c o m m o n w e a p o n s g a r a g e (Unterstand fiir Waff en und Gerat). T h e s e b u n k e r s m a d e u p m o r e than half of all the p e r m a n e n t b u n k e r s . T h e utility b u n k e r s (Versorgungsstande) were very similar in design a n d included m e d i c a l , kitchen a n d other miscellaneous types. T h e s e c o n d m o s t c o m m o n t y p e o f p e r m a n e n t b u n k e r w a s the g u n c a s e m a t e (Schartenstand), which w a s a fully enclosed g u n bunker with a n o p e n e m b r a s u r e a n d these m a d e u p a b o u t a third o f the p e r m a n e n t b u n k e r s o n the Atlantikwall w i t h w i d e s p r e a d c o n s t r u c t i o n b e g i n n i n g in t h e s p r i n g o f 1 9 4 3 . T h e s e were s u p p o r t e d by dedicated fire-control/observation bunkers (Beobachtungsstande). T a b l e 1 : Atlantikwall Region

bunker construction

AOK.15

AOK.7

AOK.1

Netherlands

Denmark

Norway

Total

Personnel

946

960

554

357

814

Storage

396

181

149

114

184

213

1,237

HQ

118

68

42

39

95

24

386

Gun casemate

767

876

733

241

432

131

3,180

Observation

54

34

46

6

88

43

271

Utility

72

57

42

13

140

24

348

Tobruks

2,399

3,142

1,338

1,596

7

?

Total

4,752

5,318

2,904

2,366

7,753

435

17,528

708

1,566

818

383

7,314

2,532

13,321

6.7

3.4

3.5

6.1

>0.24

>0.17

1.3

Coastline (km) Density/km

3,631

fortifications on the North Sea

Atlantikwall

Navy Coastal Artillery Batteries 2./MAA.201 3./MAA.201 4./MAA.201 5./MAA.201 6./MAA.201 7./MAA.201 8./MAA.201 9./MAA.201 9. 1 ./MAA.202 10. 4./MAA.202 11. 5./MAA.202 12. 6./MAA.202 13. 7./MAA.202 ./MAA.202 14 15. 9./MAA.202 16. 2./MAA.203 17. 3./MAA.203 18. 4./MAA.203 19. 1./MAA.204 20. 2./MAA.204 21. 3./MAA.204 22. 4./MAA.204 23. 5./MAA.204 24. 6./MAA.204 25. 7./MAA.204 26. 1./MAA.205 27. 2./MAA.205 28. 3./MAA.205 29. 4./MAA.205 30. 5./MAA.205 31. 6./MAA.205 32. 7./MAA.205 33. 8./MAA.205 34. 1./MAA.607 35. 2./MAA.607 36. 3./MAA.607 37. 4./MAA.607 38. 5./MAA.607 39. 6./MAA.607 40. 7./MAA.607 41. 8./MAA.607 42. 9./MAA.607 43. 10./MAA.607 44. 11./MAA.607

Navy Coastal Flak Batteries 45. 2./MFA.246 46. 3./MFA.246 47. 4./MFA.246 48. 5./MFA.246 49. 1./MFA.808 50. 2./MFA.808 51. 3./MFA.808 52. 5./MFA.808 53. 1./MFA.810 54. 3./MFA.810 55. 1./MFA.813 56. 2./MFA.813 57. 3./MFA.813 58. 4./MFA.813 59. 5./MFA.813 60. 2./MFA.815 61. 3./MFA.815 62. 4./MFA.815 63. 5./MFA.815 64. 1./MFA.816 65. 2./MFA.816 66. 3./MFA.816 67. 4./MFA.816 68. 5./MFA.816

Army Coastal Artillery Batteries A. 1./HKAA.1230 B. 2./HKAA.1230 C. 3./HKAA.1230 4./HKAA.1230 5./HKAA.1230 6./HKAA.1230 1./HKAA.1231 2./HKAA.1231 3./HKAA.1231 4./HKAA.1231 5./HKAA.1231 1./HKAA.1240 4./HKAA.1240 5./HKAA.1240 6./HKAA.1240

StPG Schiermonnikoog

V

^
View more...

Comments

Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.