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Nom original: A.T.W._Belgium-Netherlands-Denmark-Norway - Copie.pdfTitre: The Atlantic Wall (2) - Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark and NorwayAuteur: Steven J. Zaloga (Author), Adam Hook (Illustrator)

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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: info@ospreypublishing.com
© 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,
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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

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AND AVIATION PLEASE CONTACT:
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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

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i Groningen
StPG
Texel
364

Den Helder

3 8

3

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4940y34 5 °

StPG Callantsoog 4 r

3

9

StPG Petten A |
StPG Schoorl * 4 3
StPG Castricumj44

Festung
IJmuiden 6 J A

N

A

Usselmeer
(ZuiderZee)

V

StPGZandvoort63l^2A63
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T h e r e m a i n i n g t y p e s i n c l u d e d a variety o f h e a d q u a r t e r s
command

Verteidigungsbereich - Defence Zone
Stiizpunktgruppe - Strongpoint Group
Heeres Kusten Artillerie Abteilung - Army Coastal
Artillery Regiment
Marine Artillerie Abteilung - Navy Artillery Regiment
Marine Flak Abteilung - Navy Flak Regiment
50 miles

posts

(Gefechtsstdnde),

and radio

posts

bunkers

such as

(Nachrichtenstdnde).

T a b l e 1 s u m m a r i z e s the m a i n t y p e s o f p e r m a n e n t b u n k e r s built a l o n g t h e

Atlantikwall

b y these c a t e g o r i e s . T h e A O K . 1 5 sector, w h i c h stretched

from

the Pas-de-Calais in France a l o n g the Belgian c o a s t a n d u p t o the Scheldt E s t u a r y
in the N e t h e r l a n d s , h a d by far the greatest density o f p e r m a n e n t b u n k e r s . T h e
N e t h e r l a n d s a l s o h a d a relatively dense a l l o t m e n t o f b u n k e r s , f o l l o w e d by the
r e m a i n i n g a r e a s o f t h e F r e n c h c o a s t , A O K . 7 in N o r m a n d y a n d A O K . l o n
the Atlantic c o a s t a n d B a y o f Biscay. B o t h D e n m a r k a n d N o r w a y h a d relatively
thin bunker c o v e r a g e ; details a r e lacking o n the total n u m b e r o f T o b r u k s built
in these countries, b u t even if these n u m b e r s w e r e i n c l u d e d , t h e overall total
11

n u m b e r of b u n k e r s relative t o the c o a s t l i n e w o u l d be s m a l l c o m p a r e d with
the other a r e a s of the Atlantikwall.
T h e N o r w e g i a n figures d o not include the
n u m e r o u s fortifications created a l o n g the c o a s t either by tunneling into the rock
or using q u a r r i e d r o c k for c o n s t r u c t i o n .

Defense sectors
I n f a n t r y d e f e n s e s a l o n g the Atlantikwall
t e n d e d t o be t h i c k e s t w h e r e the
l i k e l i h o o d o f i n v a s i o n w a s g r e a t e s t , s o c o a s t a l infantry p o s i t i o n s w e r e densest
in B e l g i u m a n d the N e t h e r l a n d s , w h i l e r e l a t i v e l y thin in D e n m a r k a n d
N o r w a y . T h e b a s i c t a c t i c a l e l e m e n t o f the infantry c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s w a s the
r e s i s t a n c e n e s t ( W o r W N : Widerstandsnest)
which usually consisted of a
small n u m b e r of bunkers a n d T o b r u k s , roughly between a s q u a d and platoon
in size. In i m p o r t a n t s e c t o r s , a r e s i s t a n c e nest w o u l d be built a r o u n d a g u n
p o s i t i o n , s u c h a s a 5 0 m m p e d e s t a l - m o u n t e d a n t i - a i r c r a f t g u n in a n o p e n
T o b r u k , o r a s i m i l a r w e a p o n in a full g u n c a s e m a t e . Several r e s i s t a n c e nests
f o r m e d a s t r o n g p o i n t ( S t . R : Stiitzpunkt)
w h i c h w a s a p l a t o o n - s i z e d defense
a t m i n i m u m , a n d s o m e t i m e s u p t o a c o m p a n y in size. Several s t r o n g p o i n t s
f o r m e d a s t r o n g p o i n t g r o u p (St.P.Gr.: Stiitzpunktgruppe)
which w a s between
a c o m p a n y a n d a b a t t a l i o n in size a s s i g n e d a f r o n t a g e of a k i l o m e t e r or m o r e .
S e v e r a l s t r o n g p o i n t g r o u p s f o r m e d a defense z o n e ( V B :
Verteidigungsbereich)
t h o u g h this c a t e g o r y w a s n o t w i d e l y u s e d in F r a n c e or B e l g i u m , w h i c h instead
d e s i g n a t e d the r e g i m e n t a l s e c t o r s a s c o a s t a l d e f e n s e g r o u p s ( K V G : Kiisten
Verteidigung
Gruppen),
a n d the d i v i s i o n a l s e c t o r s a s c o a s t d e f e n s e s e c t o r s
( K V A : Kiisten Verteidigung
Abscbnitte).

Coastal defenses in t h e Low
Countries often included an
additional seawall t o prevent
Allied tanks f r o m exiting t h e
beach. This is a fairly typical
example along t h e beach n o r t h
of Nieuport. (National Archives
Canada PA-174344)

T h e l a r g e s t a n d m o s t p o w e r f u l c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s e c t o r w a s the f o r t r e s s
(Festung), w h i c h w a s n o t a p p l i e d t o t a c t i c a l field f o r m a t i o n s , b u t rather w a s
r e s e r v e d for s t r a t e g i c a l l y i m p o r t a n t sites s u c h a s m a j o r p o r t s . T h e Festung
d e s i g n a t i o n e n c o m p a s s e d all d e f e n s i v e f o r m a t i o n s in the d e f e n d e d a r e a ,
a n d as often as not w a s primarily c o m p o s e d of Kriegsmarine formations
r e i n f o r c e d b y H e e r ( a r m y ) f o r m a t i o n s . A Festung
w a s typically centered
a r o u n d a c o r e p o s i t i o n (Kernwerk),
w h i c h w a s a heavily fortified s t r o n g p o i n t .
T h e Kernwerk
c o n t r o l l e d the k e y e l e m e n t in the d e f e n s e o f the site, s u c h a s
the s h o u l d e r s o f a p o r t o r a n i s l a n d c o v e r i n g a river estuary.

Coastal artillery
T h e centerpiece of G e r m a n coastal
defense w a s c o a s t a l artillery. A l t h o u g h
there h a d been s o m e d e s i g n of specific
c o a s t a l artillery w e a p o n s p r i o r t o
1 9 4 0 , the e n o r m o u s d e m a n d s of the
Atlantikwall
a s well a s its relatively l o w
p r i o r i t y in G e r m a n industrial p l a n n i n g
m e a n t t h a t n e a r l y all c o a s t a l artillery
w a s a d a p t e d f r o m n a v a l or field
artillery. In g e n e r a l , the K r i e g s m a r i n e
e s t a b l i s h e d the initial p o r t defenses a n d
t h e s e p o s i t i o n s w e r e later a m p l i f i e d
b y the d e p l o y m e n t o f a r m y c o a s t a l
b a t t e r i e s . H o w e v e r , the p a t t e r n v a r i e d
b o t h b y r e g i o n a n d t i m e , a n d these
i s s u e s a r e e x a m i n e d in m o r e detail in
the c o u n t r y sections o f this b o o k .
12

The interior of a Bauform 612
g u n casemate a r m e d w i t h a
7 5 m m PaK 40 anti-tank. This
bunker is part of t h e D o m a i n
Raversijde in Ostend, and t h e
g u n is located further back in
t h e casemate t h a n in w a r t i m e
since t h e embrasure is covered
t o protect t h e interior f r o m t h e
weather. (Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

Neither the a r m y nor navy c o u l d agree o n c o a s t a l artillery doctrine or tactical
practices. T h e n a v y r e g a r d e d their c o a s t a l artillery a s a l a n d - b a s e d version o f
w a r s h i p artillery a n d f o l l o w e d similar fire-control p r a c t i c e s . K r i e g s m a r i n e
coastal artillery batteries w e r e nearly a l w a y s p l a c e d n e a r the s h o r e with direct
view to sea s o that the g u n s c o u l d e n g a g e e n e m y w a r s h i p s by direct sighting if
necessary. N a v a l tactical doctrine stressed the n e e d t o e n g a g e m o v i n g e n e m y
w a r s h i p s , s o n a v a l fire-control s t a t i o n s a s s i g n e d t o e a c h b a t t e r y h a d r a n g e
finders a n d plotting tables to detect, t r a c k , a n d target e n e m y w a r s h i p s a n d to
p a s s this d a t a to the batteries. Besides the essential fire c o n t r o l p o s t
(Leitstand),
the naval batteries often h a d a s e p a r a t e a n g l e - m e a s u r i n g p o s t (Peilstand) located
s o m e distance f r o m the m a i n battery to ensure greater precision of range-finding.
T h e navy preferred to m o u n t their g u n s o n fixed, traversing m o u n t s , w h i c h in
practice m e a n t shielded m e d i u m g u n s a n d shielded or turreted h e a v y g u n s o n
sockets. In practice, the n a v y w a s s o m e t i m e s o b l i g e d t o use field g u n s d u e t o
shortages of suitable n a v a l g u n s .

The Batterie Saltzwedel
neu/Tirpitz of 6./M AA.204 o n
t h e western side of Ostend was
armed with pintle-mounted
1 0 5 m m SKC/32U submarine
guns in Bauform 671 casemates
starting in April 1944. This
well-preserved example is
part of t h e D o m a i n Raversijde
m u s e u m ; t h e embrasure
is covered by a w i n d o w t o
protect it f r o m t h e weather.
(Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

13

T h e a r m y preferred to l o c a t e its c o a s t a l
batteries s o m e d i s t a n c e f r o m s h o r e s o that
the batteries w e r e n o t i m m e d i a t e l y evident
to e n e m y w a r s h i p g u n s . T h e a r m y s a w its
m a i n m i s s i o n a s repel i n v a s i o n s or r a i d i n g
parties, and engaging moving enemy
w a r s h i p s w a s n o t a high priority. T h e a r m y
d i d n o t like fixed artillery for c o a s t a l
defense, b u t p r e f e r r e d n o r m a l field g u n s .
This w a s b a s e d o n the experiences of World
War I, such a s t h o s e at G a l l i p o l i , w h e r e the
a r m y d r e w the c o n c l u s i o n that it w o u l d be
impossible to protect a n e x t e n d e d shoreline
with sufficient w e a p o n s , a n d instead o p t e d
to keep the c o a s t a l artillery m o b i l e s o t h a t
it c o u l d be m o v e d t o a t h r e a t e n e d s e c t o r
o n c e the s i t u a t i o n b e c a m e clearer. T h i s
p r o v e d to be a very s h o r t - s i g h t e d tactical
n o t i o n ; Allied W o r l d W a r II a m p h i b i o u s
l a n d i n g s h a d a l s o t a k e n the G a l l i p o l i
lessons to heart a n d f a v o r e d brief, violent,
a n d o v e r w h e l m i n g a t t a c k s that w o u l d n o t
a l l o w the W e h r m a c h t t i m e t o b r i n g u p
a d d i t i o n a l artillery t o repel the l a n d i n g s .
In the event, a r m y tactical doctrine resulted

-

in battery fire-control c o n f i g u r a t i o n s t h a t p l a c e d little e m p h a s i s o n m o v i n g
target plotting, a n d thus h a d little c a p a b i l i t y t o e n g a g e m o v i n g t a r g e t s b e y o n d
ordinary direct sight e n g a g e m e n t . A S w e d i s h c o a s t a l artillery survey of G e r m a n
practices after the w a r s t r o n g l y f a v o r e d the K r i e g s m a r i n e p r a c t i c e s o v e r the
Heer's doctrine.

A quick source of coastal
defenses came f r o m t h e use
of w a r - b o o t y tank turrets like
this APX-2B turret f r o m Belgian
armyACG-1 cavalry tanks.
A total of 13 of these were
used along t h e Belgian

Coastal obstacles

coast, this o n e at Ostend.

T h e W e h r m a c h t u s e d v a r i o u s t y p e s o f c o a s t a l o b s t a c l e t o i m p e d e the A l l i e d
use of l a n d i n g craft. T h i s p r o g r a m w a s a p a r t i c u l a r favorite of E r w i n R o m m e l
w h e n he t o o k o v e r the i n v a s i o n f r o n t in the a u t u m n o f 1 9 4 3 . T h e s e o b s t a c l e s
w e r e e s p e c i a l l y d e n s e in B e l g i u m a n d the N e t h e r l a n d s , b u t q u i t e s p a r s e in
N o r w a y . T h e y a r e c o v e r e d in m o r e detail in the p r e v i o u s b o o k in this series
o n the A t l a n t i c Wall in F r a n c e ( F o r t r e s s 6 3 ) .

(A. Chazette)

Coastal artillery radar
Until W o r l d W a r II, c o a s t a l artillery w a s m o r e effective in d a y l i g h t h o u r s .
N i g h t e n g a g e m e n t s d e p e n d e d o n i l l u m i n a t i o n o f the t a r g e t w i t h f l a r e s o r

||]

RHEINMETALL 150MM C/36 DESTROYER GUN IN COASTAL MOUNTING

O n e o f t h e m o s t c o m m o n naval g u n s u s e d in K r i e g s m a r i n e

h a d a special a d a p t o r t o b o l t it t o t h e f l o o r o f t h e c a s e m a t e .

Atlantikwall

The g u n fired a 45.3kg projectile t o a m a x i m u m range

g u n b a t t e r i e s was t h e 1 5 c m T o r p e d o b o o t s

K a n o n e (Tbts K) C/36. This d e s t r o y e r g u n h a d b e e n d e v e l o p e d
b y R h e i n m e t a l l in t h e early 1930s, a n d t h e s e w e a p o n s w e r e

of 23.5km.
The M 2 7 2 was part of a family o f similar g u n casemates

usually d e p l o y e d in t h e n o r m a l T b t s LC/36 m o u n t w h i c h

{Geschutzschartenstande),

employed a conventional armor splinter-shield covering

w i t h 27 b e i n g c o n s t r u c t e d in N o r w a y (5), D e n m a r k (10),

all o f t h e g u n e x c e p t t h e rear. T h e g u n a n d m o u n t w e i g h e d

N e t h e r l a n d s (4) a n d France (8). This w e a p o n w a s also m o u n t e d

18.8 m e t r i c t o n s a n d e m p l o y e d a c o n v e n t i o n a l s o c k e t w h i c h

in o t h e r t y p e s o f g u n c a s e m a t e s , s u c h as t h e B a u f o r m 6 7 1 .

a n d t h e first w a s b u i l t in A p r i l 1943

In t h e age before radar,
searchlights and flares were
t h e primary means of n i g h t
illumination for coastal artillery
batteries. This is a 60cm
Flakscheinwerfer 36 preserved
at t h e Domain Raversijde
m u s e u m in an anti-aircraft g u n
pit. (Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

s e a r c h l i g h t s . T h e s e t r a d i t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e s w e r e far f r o m s a t i s f a c t o r y in the
e v e n t o f s t r o n g w i n d s , f o g or o t h e r w e a t h e r c o n d i t i o n s t h a t w e r e a frequent
o c c u r r e n c e a l o n g the c o a s t . T h e a d v e n t o f n a v a l s u r f a c e - s e a r c h r a d a r o p e n e d
u p the p o s s i b i l i t y o f c r e a t i n g a l l - w e a t h e r , 2 4 - h o u r c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s . T h e
K r i e g s m a r i n e h a d b e e n the p i o n e e r s of G e r m a n military r a d a r a n d h a d b e g u n
t o r e c e i v e t h e F r e y a e a r l y w a r n i n g r a d a r in 1 9 3 8 ; a b o u t a h u n d r e d w e r e
c o m p l e t e d p r i o r t o the o u t b r e a k o f the war, b u t m a n y w e r e r e q u i s i t i o n e d by
the L u f t w a f f e for air d e f e n s e .
F r e y a w a s f o l l o w e d shortly a f t e r w a r d s by the Seetakt (sea-tactical) r a d a r s ,
w h i c h w e r e the first d e d i c a t e d s u r f a c e - s e a r c h n a v a l r a d a r s . T h e L u f t w a f f e
s p o n s o r e d a s e p a r a t e d e v e l o p m e n t t r a c k , a n d the W i i r z b u r g family of
fire-control r a d a r s for directing flak batteries w a s r e a d y in 1 9 4 0 . After a
p r o m i s i n g start, G e r m a n r a d a r d e v e l o p m e n t s t a g n a t e d until 1 9 4 3 d u e to 1 9 4 1
d e c i s i o n s t o cut l o n g - t e r m a d v a n c e d research o n the p r e s u m p t i o n that the w a r
w o u l d s o o n be over. T h e history of G e r m a n w a r t i m e r a d a r d e v e l o p m e n t is t o o
c o m p l i c a t e d t o c h a r t h e r e , b u t the p r o g r a m h a d several effects o n G e r m a n
c o a s t a l defenses. S u r f a c e s e a r c h r a d a r s such a s Seetakt p r o v e d to be well suited

LEFT

The most c o m m o n
Kriegsmarine coastal radar
o n t h e Atlantikwall

was t h e

FuMO-215 Wiirzburg-Reise,
w h i c h was used b o t h in t h e
tactical search role, and in
some cases as a dedicated
artillery fire c o n t r o l radar.
(NARA)
RIGHT

The FuMO-11 R e n n e r w a s t h e
Kreigsmarine's first a t t e m p t at
a dedicated microwave artillery
fire control radar, b u t technical
problems w i t h t h e design
severely curtailed its
d e p l o y m e n t . (NARA)

16

to the early w a r n i n g role a n d c o u l d p r o v i d e
g o o d , all-weather c o v e r a g e o u t to the h o r i z o n
of e n e m y s h i p p i n g , a s l o n g a s the Allies
were n o t e m p l o y i n g electronic j a m m i n g . T h e
K r i e g s m a r i n e created a N a v a l Tactical R a d a r
Service a n d erected a chain of c o a s t a l r a d a r s a s
p a r t of the Atlantikwall
effort. B y 1 9 4 2 , these
early r a d a r s a l l o w e d G e r m a n c o a s t a l artillery
t o e n g a g e British s h i p p i n g in the C h a n n e l .
T h e s e surface-search r a d a r s w e r e n o t a c c u r a t e
e n o u g h in a z i m u t h even if r e a s o n a b l y a c c u r a t e
in r a n g e , a n d this led t o further interest in
dedicated fire-control r a d a r s .
The small n u m b e r of naval r a d a r s
available did not permit each gun battery
or even e a c h r e g i m e n t t o h a v e its o w n
station. The Kriegsmarine established O Z
(Ortungszentralen:
n a v a l radar
reporting
centers) a s the link b e t w e e n the r a d a r
s t a t i o n s a n d the v a r i o u s o t h e r e l e m e n t s o f
c o a s t d e f e n s e . Air d a t a w a s e x c h a n g e d w i t h
the L u f t w a f f e ' s F M Z
(Flugmelderzentralen:
aircraft r e p o r t i n g c e n t e r s ) w h i l e n a v a l d a t a
w a s p a s s e d t o the r e g i o n a l S e e k o . T h e S e e k o r e g i o n a l c o m m a n d c e n t e r s h a d
a n artillery staff a n d this staff in t u r n p a s s e d the d a t a d o w n t o the artillery
g r o u p c o m m a n d e r s a n d then on d o w n to the individual g u n batteries by
t e l e p h o n e . T h i s w a s n o t a n e s p e c i a l l y efficient m e t h o d f o r f a s t - m o v i n g
e n g a g e m e n t s a n d led t o i n t e r e s t in the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s m a l l , i n e x p e n s i v e
r a d a r s t a t i o n s t h a t c o u l d be d e p l o y e d a t the b a t t e r y level.
D e v e l o p m e n t o f t a c t i c a l artillery fire-direction r a d a r s w a s n o t m a t u r e in
G e r m a n y in 1 9 4 4 - 4 5 . G e r m a n y a t t e m p t e d t o a d a p t A l l i e d m i c r o w a v e
t e c h n o l o g y t o the S e e t a k t w i t h the c e n t i m e t r i c F u M O - 1 1 ( R e n n e r ) r a d a r for
m o r e precise a z i m u t h d a t a . H o w e v e r , the R e n n e r suffered s e r i o u s reliability
p r o b l e m s a n d w a s never p r o d u c e d in a d e q u a t e q u a n t i t i e s . In the a b s e n c e o f
this c o m p a c t fire-control r a d a r , the K r i e g s m a r i n e w a s o b l i g e d t o rely o n the
large F u M O - 2 1 4 W i i r z b u r g - R i e s e ( G i a n t W i i r z b u r g ) , a n excellent a l l - p u r p o s e
r a d a r originally d e s i g n e d for a i r c r a f t d e t e c t i o n a n d flak c o n t r o l . T h e s e w e r e
d e p l o y e d by the K r i e g s m a r i n e in the c o a s t a l r o l e b o t h for s u r f a c e s e a r c h a n d
artillery fire d i r e c t i o n , b u t the size o f the r a d a r m e a n t t h a t they c o u l d o n l y b e
e m p l o y e d f r o m l a r g e f i x e d sites, a n d w e r e very v u l n e r a b l e t o A l l i e d a t t a c k .
A derivative o f the F u M O - 2 1 4 c o d e n a m e d F u M O - 2 1 4 / - 2 1 5 Scheer w a s a l s o
d e v e l o p e d s p e c i f i c a l l y for artillery fire d i r e c t i o n a n d it o f f e r e d b e t t e r
n a r r o w - b e a m a c c u r a c y a n d g r e a t e r r e s i s t a n c e t o j a m m i n g ; it w a s n e v e r
a v a i l a b l e in a d e q u a t e n u m b e r s . A third fire-control r a d a r , the B a r b a r a , w a s
a l s o in d e v e l o p m e n t b u t n o t w i d e l y d e p l o y e d .
T h e d e p l o y m e n t patterns of K r i e g s m a r i n e c o a s t a l r a d a r s varied c o n s i d e r a b l y
from country to country. In the N e t h e r l a n d s , the 4 1 s t R a d a r C o m p a n y d e p l o y e d
3 2 naval surveillance r a d a r s , with only o n e at L a n g e r a k dedicated to artillery fire
control a n d n o n e in the air search role. In c o n t r a s t , of the 4 1 c o a s t a l r a d a r s in
N o r w a y , 2 2 were used for naval surveillance, 1 0 as dedicated fire control r a d a r s ,
a n d 9 as air search r a d a r s . T h e significant difference in a l l o t m e n t w a s d u e in
p a r t to the large n u m b e r of Luftwaffe air search r a d a r s in N e t h e r l a n d s a s p a r t

A n o t h e r source of electronic
early w a r n i n g of a p p r o a c h i n g
Allied ships a n d aircraft w e r e
passive radar m o n i t o r i n g posts
like this FuMB.21/27. These
picked u p t h e emissions f r o m
Allied radars and this data was
used t o alert t h e coastal radars.
(NARA)

17

of the K a m m h u b e r line shielding G e r m a n y , a n d the c o r r e s p o n d i n g lack of need
for naval air search r a d a r s . T h e large n u m b e r o f n a v a l surveillance r a d a r s in
the N e t h e r l a n d s a l o n g such a s h o r t c o a s t l i n e r e d u c e d the need for d e d i c a t e d
fire-control r a d a r s . Instead, the 4 1 s t R a d a r C o m p a n y deployed t w o intermediate
O M Z f o r w a r d r a d a r r e p o r t i n g s t a t i o n s at ' s - G r a v e n h a g e ( T h e H a g u e ) a n d
D e n H e l d e r besides the O Z r e p o r t i n g center in H a a r l e m t o m o r e q u i c k l y
disseminate t r a c k i n g d a t a . In c o n t r a s t , the g u n batteries in N o r w a y l a c k e d
nearby surveillance r a d a r s a n d s o s o m e of the m o r e i m p o r t a n t batteries w e r e
issued their o w n F u M O - 2 1 4 radar. T h e s e disparities c o u l d be seen in p a s s i v e
radar m o n i t o r i n g p o s t s a s well with nine p o s t s in the N e t h e r l a n d s a n d only t w o
in all of N o r w a y .
In general, G e r m a n c o a s t a l defenses h a d a d e q u a t e c o a s t a l r a d a r c o v e r a g e for
n o r m a l s u r v e i l l a n c e , b u t the n e t w o r k s s e l d o m h a d the r e s o u r c e s t o p r o v i d e
m u c h in the w a y of fire-control direction d u e t o a s h o r t a g e of m i c r o w a v e sets.
Priority in a d v a n c e d r a d a r s w e n t t o the Luftwaffe's air defense o f the R e i c h .
F u r t h e r m o r e , the G e r m a n n a v a l r a d a r n e t w o r k s s e l d o m h a d the r e s o u r c e s o r
resiliency to survive dedicated Allied anti-radar c a m p a i g n s that p r e c e d e d m a j o r
a m p h i b i o u s o p e r a t i o n s . T h e G e r m a n r a d a r s c o u l d be s m a s h e d by air a t t a c k
a n d blinded by electronic c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s ; A n g l o - A m e r i c a n r a d a r t e c h n o l o g y
r e m a i n e d years a h e a d of G e r m a n t e c h n o l o g y b o t h in t e r m s of the r a d a r s a n d
electronic c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s .
To m a k e u p for the shortage of r a d a r s , the Kriegsmarine attempted to develop
a variety of other sensors for c o a s t a l defense. T h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t of these w e r e
radar interception/direction-finding receivers (FunkmejZbeobacbtungsgerdt)
such
a s the F u M B - 4 S a m o s a n d F u M B - 5 F a n o , w h i c h p i c k e d u p the s i g n a l s f r o m
Allied aircraft a n d ship r a d a r s . T h e s e stations c o u l d often detect Allied ships at
twice the distance of neighboring r a d a r s . H o w e v e r , they were not precise e n o u g h
for use in fire direction, a n d were mainly used for early w a r n i n g . Allied electronic
discipline d u r i n g m a j o r a m p h i b i o u s o p e r a t i o n s d r a m a t i c a l l y r e d u c e d their
effectiveness, since they h a d n o value if the Allied ships a n d aircraft w e r e n o t
emitting signals.
A n o t h e r p a s s i v e t a r g e t d e t e c t i o n s y s t e m w a s the Z e i s s W P G - Z S t
Wdrmepeilgerdt
infrared detector. T h i s w a s a f o r e r u n n e r of the c o n t e m p o r a r y
t h e r m a l i m a g i n g fire-control s y s t e m a n d w a s i n t e n d e d t o detect e n e m y s h i p s
by the heat s i g n a t u r e . T h i s set w a s c o m p a c t e n o u g h for u s e in c o a s t a l artillery

HJ

M l 7 8 FIRE CONTROL POST, SEEZIELBATTERIE

HEERENDUIN, WN 8 1 , IJMUIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS

K r i e g s m a r i n e coastal g u n b a t t e r i e s i n c l u d e d a fire c o n t r o l

r o o m received data f r o m t h e observation decks above w h i c h

post {Leitstand)

w e r e e n t e r e d i n t o t h e fire d i r e c t i o n c o m p u t e r

t o i d e n t i f y , track, a n d d e s i g n a t e t a r g e t s f o r t h e

(Rechenschieber)

b a t t e r y . T h r e e - s t o r y posts like t h i s o n e h a d a r a n g e f i n d e r p o s t

a n d t h e n integrated w i t h bearing data f r o m an adjacent bearing

o n t h e t o p , an o b s e r v a t i o n d e c k in t h e f r o n t , a n d w o r k i n g space

c o m p u t e r {Kleingerat)

o n t h e l o w e r level. T h e r a n g e f i n d e r p o s t c o u l d use a v a r i e t y o f

Peilstand

stereoscopic r a n g e f i n d e r s , usually w a r s h i p t y p e s m o u n t e d o n

p l o t t i n g r o o m m a i n t a i n e d data o n t h e targets, usually w i t h

sockets. T h e o b s e r v a t i o n d e c k h a d v a r i e t y o f f i x e d o b s e r v a t i o n

range and deflection plotting boards. Once the target's range,

o b t a i n e d f r o m t h e battery's small

bunker located some distance away. The adjacent

devices for t a r g e t t r a c k i n g , usually a p e d e s t a l - m o u n t e d o p t i c a l

bearing, and speed were d e t e r m i n e d , a firing solution was

s i g h t for d e t e r m i n i n g b e a r i n g w i t h t h e d a t a passed e l e c t r i c a l l y

c o m p u t e d a n d passed t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l g u n s via a special

to the computing room below.

s w i t c h b o a r d {Scholtkasten).

A l t h o u g h t h e t w o observation decks w e r e t h e most
obvious features of such a bunker, t h e heart of t h e o p e r a t i o n
was in t h e c h a m b e r s l o c a t e d at t h e base o f t h e b u n k e r . These
c o m p a r t m e n t s m i m i c k e d t h e fire c o n t r o l o n a w a r s h i p , b u t d u e

T h e fire c o n t r o l b u n k e r w a s t h e

battery's c o m m u n i c a t i o n h u b having radio and t e l e p h o n e
links t o h i g h e r h e a d q u a r t e r s as w e l l as t o o t h e r b a t t e r y p o s t s .
T h e M 1 7 8 c o n f i g u r a t i o n s h o w n h e r e w a s first c o n s t r u c t e d
in A p r i l 1943 a n d w a s n o t e s p e c i a l l y c o m m o n , w i t h o n e e a c h

t o the fixed position of the battery, t h e firing c o m p u t a t i o n s

in N o r w a y a n d t h e N e t h e r l a n d s a n d t w o in France. H o w e v e r ,

w e r e less e l a b o r a t e t h a n o n a m o v i n g w a r s h i p . T h e c o m p u t i n g

t h e g e n e r a l f e a t u r e s w e r e fairly t y p i c a l .

batteries, h a d an a z i m u t h a c c u r a c y of t w o mils a n d could detect large
w a r s h i p s t o a r a n g e o f a b o u t 1 5 - 2 0 k i l o m e t e r s . L i k e m a n y devices o n the
" b l e e d i n g e d g e o f t e c h n o l o g y " it h a d r e l i a b i l i t y a n d c o s t i s s u e s ; the a r m y
s h o w e d m o r e e n t h u s i a s m for it t h a n the navy. T h e V a r a b a t t e r y in N o r w a y
r e c e i v e d a set in e a r l y 1 9 4 5 , a n d t h e a r m y d e p l o y e d f o u r sets in F e s t u n g
S t a v a n g e r t o d e t e c t a p p r o a c h i n g l a n d i n g craft. In D e n m a r k , three sets w e r e
d e p l o y e d a t E s b j e r g in 1 9 4 5 t o c o v e r the h a r b o r e n t r a n c e a n d a single set w a s
b e i n g d e p l o y e d n e a r C o p e n h a g e n a t H e l l e r u p in the s p r i n g o f t h a t year.

Controlled submarine minefields

The Kriegsmarine was not
especially enthusiastic a b o u t
t h e use of c o n t r o l l e d mines for
harbor defense, b u t began
d e p l o y i n g such w e a p o n s in
1944. This is t h e most c o m m o n
type, t h e RMA; t h e c o n t r o l
cables that led back t o t h e
shore c o m m a n d post are
evident in this view.
(NARA)

C o n t r o l l e d s u b m a r i n e m i n e s a r e o n e o f the o l d e s t f o r m s o f n a v a l m i n e .
In c o n t r a s t t o the m o r e familiar f o r m of n a v a l m i n e s that are a r m e d w h e n they
a r e d e p o s i t e d at s e a , c o n t r o l l e d m i n e s a r e c o m m a n d a c t u a t e d a n d s o r e m a i n
i n a c t i v e f o r m o s t o f their d e p l o y m e n t . T h e y a r e m o s t c o m m o n l y u s e d for
h a r b o r defense a n d they are especially v a l u a b l e in s i t u a t i o n s w h e r e other types
o f n a v a l m i n e s w o u l d p o s e t o o g r e a t a threat t o c o m m e r c i a l w a t e r b o r n e traffic.
T h e U S A r m y w a s o n e o f the m o s t e n t h u s i a s t i c p r o p o n e n t s o f c o n t r o l l e d
s u b m a r i n e m i n e s a n d h a d e m p l o y e d t h e m in the d e f e n s e o f the A m e r i c a n
c o a s t since the 1 9 t h century. A l t h o u g h the K r i e g s m a r i n e e m p l o y e d b u o y a n t
controlled m i n e s in W o r l d W a r I, d u r i n g the r e a r m a m e n t p r o g r a m of the 1 9 3 0 s
the n a v y h i g h c o m m a n d d e c i d e d a g a i n s t a m o d e r n i z e d e q u i v a l e n t . T h e British
r a i d s o n D i e p p e o n A u g u s t 1 9 , 1 9 4 2 a n d St. N a z a i r e o n M a r c h 2 8 , 1 9 4 3 m a d e
it quite clear t h a t G e r m a n h a r b o r defenses w e r e i n a d e q u a t e a n d that controlled
m i n e s c o u l d p r o v i d e a useful a d j u n c t t o other m e a n s of h a r b o r defense such
a s c o a s t a l artillery. T h e K r i e g s m a r i n e h a d b e e n r e l u c t a n t t o p l a n t extensive
m i n e f i e l d s b l o c k i n g m a j o r p o r t s d u e t o the h a z a r d they p o s e d t o n o r m a l
fishing a n d c o m m e r c i a l traffic a s well a s their o w n w a r s h i p s . T h e controlled
minefields p e r m i t t e d n o r m a l active minefields t o be set u p a r o u n d the p o r t s ,
w i t h a single clear c h a n n e l c o v e r e d by c o n t r o l l e d s u b m a r i n e m i n e s t h a t c o u l d
be left d o r m a n t until a n a t t a c k o c c u r r e d .
T h e v a l u e of c o n t r o l l e d s u b m a r i n e m i n e s r e m a i n e d controversial within the
K r i e g s m a r i n e , b u t a p r o g r a m w a s b e g u n in 1 9 4 3 . R a t h e r t h a n d e v e l o p a n e w
m i n e , four existing types of s e a b e d m i n e s w e r e m o d i f i e d a s
c o n t r o l l e d m i n e s by a d d i n g w a t e r t i g h t fittings for
c a b l e s t o c o n n e c t t h e m t o s h o r e . T h e mines w e r e
p l a n t e d o n the s h o r e b o t t o m a n d connected
by underwater cable to a shore control
station. The control station could
c o m m a n d - d e t o n a t e the mines b a s e d on
visual t r a c k i n g of a n e n e m y vessel, or
I
b a s e d o n the m a g n e t i c s i g n a t u r e of
the e n e m y vessel f r o m the m a g n e t i c
detector in the m i n e itself w h e n the
ship p a s s e d overhead. The mines
c o u l d a l s o be activated to o p e r a t e in
a n o r m a l , a u t o m a t i c m o d e , relying
o n their m a g n e t i c detector. In total, 2 5
h a r b o r s w e r e fitted with 7 2 9 controlled
w

s u b m a r i n e m i n e s in 1 9 4 4 - 4 5 , with 1 2 of
these p o r t s in F r a n c e . B o t h D e n m a r k a n d
the N e t h e r l a n d s h a d five p o r t s c o v e r e d , while
B e l g i u m h a d t w o a n d N o r w a y only o n e .
20

One of t h e solutions t o
t h e threat of British m i d g e t
submarines was t o d e p l o y
these Rheinmetall-Borsig R300
rocket-propelled d e p t h charge
launchers t o Norwegian a n d
Danish ports in 1944-45.
(NARA)

The midget submarine threat
T h e R o y a l N a v y b e g a n t o p r o b e G e r m a n h a r b o r d e f e n s e s in N o r w a y w i t h
m i d g e t s u b m a r i n e s , s t a r t i n g w i t h a f a i l e d C h a r i o t a t t a c k o n the b a t t l e s h i p
Tirpitz in the T r o n d h e i m f j o r d in O c t o b e r 1 9 4 2 . T h i s a t t a c k w a s f o l l o w e d b y
a p a r t i a l l y successful a t t a c k o n Tirpitz o n S e p t e m b e r 2 2 , 1 9 4 3 by X - C r a f t ,
a n d a failed p e n e t r a t i o n o f B e r g e n h a r b o r b y W e l m a n c r a f t in N o v e m b e r
1 9 4 3 . T h e p r i n c i p a l u n d e r w a t e r d e f e n s e t o this p o i n t h a d b e e n a n t i - t o r p e d o
b o o m s and nets, which were obviously inadequate. T h e Kriegsmarine b e g a n
t o investigate t e c h n i q u e s b o t h for the d e t e c t i o n o f the m i d g e t s u b m a r i n e s a s
well a s m e a n s t o a t t a c k t h e m o n c e d e t e c t e d . U n l i k e the R o y a l N a v y a n d U S
N a v y , w h i c h h a d a l r e a d y d e p l o y e d s e a b e d m a g n e t i c a n o m a l y d e t e c t o r s , the
K r i e g s m a r i n e d i d n o t u s e this t e c h n i q u e for h a r b o r d e f e n s e , a l t h o u g h s u c h a
s y s t e m w a s u n d e r d e v e l o p m e n t by 1 9 4 5 . T h e K r i e g s m a r i n e d i d a t t e m p t t o
d e p l o y a c o u s t i c s e n s o r s , the E l e k t r o a k u s t i c K H A {Kiistenhorchanlage)
and
the c o m p e t i n g A t l a s W e r k e K U G - 5 . T h e s e w e r e p a s s i v e a c o u s t i c s t a t i o n s
t h a t w e r e a n c h o r e d in h a r b o r s t o listen for e n e m y s u b m a r i n e s , u s u a l l y w i t h
m u l t i p l e s t a t i o n s t o m a k e it p o s s i b l e t o t r i a n g u l a t e the s o u r c e o f the s o u n d .
O n e of the K H A s y s t e m s w a s d e p l o y e d a t H o r n b a e k in D e n m a r k , b u t the
a c o u s t i c s y s t e m s w e r e m o s t w i d e l y u s e d in N o r w e g i a n h a r b o r s , w i t h s o m e
10 sets d e p l o y e d in 6 h a r b o r s a n d f j o r d s b y 1 9 4 5 .
Rheinmetall-Borsig had already begun work on a rocket-propelled
anti-submarine depth-charge launcher, the b r e e c h - l o a d e d , single tube
3 8 0 m m R a k e t e n w e r f e r 3 0 0 M 4 3 w h i c h fired a 3 0 0 k g r o c k e t p r o j e c t i l e w i t h
a 1 5 8 k g e x p l o s i v e c h a r g e t o a r a n g e of a b o u t 3 k m . A s m a l l n u m b e r w e r e sent
for trials w i t h M A A . 5 0 6 a t A g d e n e s in the T r o n d h e i m f j o r d in A p r i l 1 9 4 4
w h e r e they w e r e j u d g e d t o be r e a s o n a b l y s u c c e s s f u l . T h e y w e r e d e p l o y e d in
m o d e s t n u m b e r s w i t h c o a s t a l artillery batteries t o p r o t e c t h a r b o r s in N o r w a y
a s well a s w i t h 2 . / M A A . 5 1 8 in D e n m a r k in the E s b j e r g d e f e n s e sector. S o far
a s is k n o w n , they w e r e n o t u s e d in c o m b a t .

Coastal commando units
O n e of the m o s t d e s p e r a t e i n n o v a t i o n s in G e r m a n c o a s t a l d e f e n s e w a s the
c r e a t i o n of s p e c i a l n a v a l c o m m a n d o u n i t s in 1 9 4 4 . D e s u l t o r y e f f o r t s t o
d e v e l o p m i n i a t u r e s u b m a r i n e s b e g a n in 1 9 4 3 , s p u r r e d o n b o t h by B r i t i s h
21

The K-Verbande submarine
units were designed t o be
m o b i l e so t h a t they could be
m o v e d t o invasion sites. This
B i b e r f r o m K-Flotilla.261 being
t o w e d on its standard transport
trailer by a half-track prime
mover was b u r n e d o u t by an air
attack o n t h e Amiens-Bapaume
road in early September 1944.
(NARA)

e x a m p l e s a n d by the Italian s u c c e s s e s in the M e d i t e r r a n e a n . T h e s e s c a t t e r e d
efforts were finally c o n s o l i d a t e d by Vice A d m i r a l H e l m u t h H e y e in April 1 9 4 4
as K o m m a n d o der K l e i n k a m p f v e r b a n d e ( K d K or K - V e r b a n d e : S m a l l C o m b a t
Unit C o m m a n d ) . T h e first m i d g e t s u b m a r i n e a t t a c k s w e r e c o n d u c t e d a g a i n s t
the Allied fleet off A n z i o in late A p r i l 1 9 4 4 . In c o n t r a s t t o the J a p a n e s e ,
Italian a n d British use of s m a l l s u b m a r i n e s , w h i c h w e r e offensively o r i e n t e d
a n d u s e d for n a v a l r a i d i n g , the K - V e r b a n d e w a s e n v i s i o n e d a s a n o v e l ,
l o w - c o s t , a n t i - i n v a s i o n f o r c e for c o a s t a l d e f e n s e . T o c u t t h r o u g h the u s u a l
military b u r e a u c r a c y , this force w a s i n d e p e n d e n t of r e g i o n a l n a v a l c o m m a n d s .
T h e K - V e r b a n d e eventually t o o k c o n t r o l of a w i d e r a n g e o f u n c o n v e n t i o n a l
w e a p o n s including m a n n e d t o r p e d o e s , m i d g e t s u b m a r i n e s , s h o r e - b a s e d g u i d e d
t o r p e d o e s , r o b o t a t t a c k b o a t s , a n d n a v a l c o m m a n d o units.
E a c h of the five K-Divisionen (K-Divisions) included several K-Flotilla, e a c h
specializing in a p a r t i c u l a r type of craft. T h e initial o p e r a t i o n s w e r e c o n d u c t e d
by m a n n e d t o r p e d o e s , w h i c h w e r e a n i m p r o v i s e d s u b m a r i n e c o n s i s t i n g o f a n
u n a r m e d , m a n n e d c o n t r o l t o r p e d o o n t o p a n d a n a r m e d G 7 e electric t o r p e d o
below. T h e first v e r s i o n , the N e g e r , w a s u s e d at A n z i o a n d w a s f o l l o w e d by
the i m p r o v e d M a r d e r . A t o t a l o f s i x N e g e r / M a r d e r flotillas w e r e d e p l o y e d ;
a b o u t 2 0 0 N e g e r a n d 3 0 0 M a r d e r w e r e built. T h e M a r d e r m a n n e d t o r p e d o e s
w e r e a g a i n d e p l o y e d f r o m the F r e n c h c o a s t in J u l y - A u g u s t 1 9 4 4 , a n d
were s u b s e q u e n t l y sent to B e l g i u m , the N e t h e r l a n d s , N o r w a y , a n d D e n m a r k .
T h e M a r d e r s u b s w e r e later s u p p l e m e n t e d by m o r e s o p h i s t i c a t e d o n e - m a n

Q

105MM SK C/32, MARINE FLAK BATTERIE WEST (3./MFLA.810), STUTZPUNKT EDELWEISS, NOLLEDIJK,
VLISSINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS

The 1 0 5 m m SK C/32 w a s o n e o f t h e m o s t c o m m o n K r i e g s m a r i n e

Each b a t t e r y h a d f o u r o f t h e s e t u r r e t s , a n d t h i s p a r t i c u l a r

flak w e a p o n s , a n d h a d o r i g i n a l l y b e e n d e s i g n e d b y R h e i n m e t a l l -

b a t t e r y w a s also s u p p o r t e d b y a Fl 2 4 6 a m m u n i t i o n b u n k e r -

Borsig for small w a r s h i p s . T h e basic w a r s h i p v e r s i o n w a s

fire d i r e c t i o n i n f o r m a t i o n c a m e f r o m a n e a r b y W u r z b u r g

fitted

w i t h a s h r a p n e l s h i e l d , a n d this t y p e w a s f r e q u e n t l y u s e d o n

A radar c o d e n a m e d W i l m a . T h r e e b a t t e r i e s o f t h i s r e g i m e n t

l a n d . D u r i n g W o r l d War II, w i t h t h e i n c r e a s i n g use o f t h i s

w e r e l o c a t e d in t h e i m m e d i a t e F e s t u n g V l i s s i n g e n area, MFB

w e a p o n in t h e coastal flak role, an e n c l o s e d t u r r e t m o u n t

N o r d , Ost a n d W e s t , all w i t h t h e s a m e w e a p o n s . This b a t t e r y

was d e v e l o p e d , p r i m a r i l y f o r w e a t h e r p r o t e c t i o n , since t h e s e

w a s c o m m a n d e d b y Lt. K r a u t m a n a n d h a d a c o m p l e m e n t

batteries w e r e l o c a t e d a l o n g t h e N o r t h Sea. T h e r e w e r e t w o

o f 123 t r o o p s . O n e o f its t u r r e t s w a s d e s t r o y e d a n d o n e l i g h t l y

c o n f i g u r a t i o n s o f steel c u p o l a : t h e r o u n d e d t y p e seen h e r e , a n d

d a m a g e d d u r i n g an RAF raid o n O c t o b e r 9. T h e b a t t e r y s a w

a similar d e s i g n b u i l t o f w e l d e d flat sheet steel. T h e c u p o l a w a s

e x t e n s i v e c o m b a t use b o t h in an a n t i - a i r c r a f t m o d e a n d

m o u n t e d o n a v a r i e t y o f c o n c r e t e schwere Flakstand

a g a i n s t surface t a r g e t s d u r i n g t h e

g u n pits

w i t h cavities f o r a m m u n i t i o n s t o w a g e a r o u n d t h e i r p e r i p h e r y .

in O c t o b e r 1944.

fighting

along t h e Scheldt

submarines which could carry two torpedoes,
n o t a b l y the Biber, a n d 1 0 B i b e r flotillas w e r e
eventually o r g a n i z e d . A b o u t 3 3 0 Biber a n d 3 9 0
of the later M o l c h w e r e delivered. T h e K-Flotillas
w e r e d e s i g n e d t o be m o b i l e , a u t o n o m o u s units
that c o u l d be held in reserve a w a y f r o m the c o a s t ,
a n d then r a p i d l y m o v e d into p o s i t i o n by land to
strike at Allied i n v a s i o n forces. T h e y w e r e carried
o n a special w h e e l e d trailer that c o u l d be rapidly
m o v e d by r o a d u s i n g a half-track prime-mover,
a n d then transferred into the w a t e r at a suitable
b o a t l a n d i n g or b e a c h .

German coastal defense
t e c h n o l o g y at t h e e n d of
t h e war was a curious mix
of i n n o v a t i o n , desperation,
and improvisation. There was
no better example t h a n t h e
initial d e p l o y m e n t s of
advanced, w i r e - g u i d e d T10
Spinne t o r p e d o e s by t h e KVerbande at Strib in Denmark
in early 1945. The t o r p e d o e s
were housed in a concrete
garage and loaded o n an
improvised w o o d e n cart.
To launch t h e t o r p e d o , t h e
cart was l o w e r e d t o t h e shore
by w i n c h , and t h e t o r p e d o
released a n d launched off t h e
cart once s u b m e r g e d . (NARA)

T h e K - V e r b a n d e a l s o i n c l u d e d the L i n s e
e x p l o s i v e craft, w h i c h w e r e small w o o d e n m o t o r
b o a t s o p e r a t e d in units c o n s i s t i n g of a c o m m a n d
b o a t a l o n g w i t h t w o e x p l o s i v e b o a t s . T h e e x p l o s i v e b o a t s w e r e o p e r a t e d by
a s i n g l e c r e w m a n w h o s t e e r e d t h e m c l o s e t o the t a r g e t , b a i l i n g o u t at a n
o p p o r t u n e m o m e n t . C o n t r o l o f the L i n s e w a s then t a k e n over by radio-control
f r o m the c o m m a n d b o a t . O n s t r i k i n g the e n e m y vessel, the e x p l o s i v e c h a r g e
in the r e a r of the b o a t s a n k , a n d w a s d e t o n a t e d a few s e c o n d s after i m p a c t
b y a d e l a y fuze t o m a x i m i z e d a m a g e . A t o t a l o f 1 , 2 0 1 L i n s e b o a t s w e r e
m a n u f a c t u r e d . A L i n s e flotilla h a d a s t a n d a r d c o m p l e m e n t of 1 6 c o m m a n d
b o a t s a n d 3 2 e x p l o s i v e b o a t s a n d 1 1 L i n s e flotillas w e r e o r g a n i z e d . Besides
the s u b m a r i n e s a n d L i n s e b o a t s , the K - D i v i s i o n e n u s u a l l y i n c l u d e d a n a v a l
c o m m a n d o p l a t o o n ( M E K : Marine Einsatz Kommando)
with 3 0 - 6 0 troops
for d e m o l i t i o n a n d r a i d i n g .
T h e K - V e r b a n d e s a w c o n s i d e r a b l e c o m b a t in the N e t h e r l a n d s d u r i n g
the c a m p a i g n a l o n g the S c h e l d t f r o m the a u t u m n o f 1 9 4 4 t h r o u g h the early
w i n t e r o f 1 9 4 5 , b u t their m o s t e x t e n s i v e d e p l o y m e n t w a s in S c a n d i n a v i a with
f o u r o f the five d i v i s i o n s s t a t i o n e d in N o r w a y .

A TOUR OF THE SITES
Belgium
D u r i n g the G r e a t War, the K r i e g s m a r i n e ' s c o a s t a l artillery force e x p e r i e n c e d
its first l a r g e - s c a l e d e p l o y m e n t a w a y f r o m h o m e w a t e r s a l o n g the B e l g i a n
c o a s t . S o m e 2 2 5 g u n s w e r e d e p l o y e d , shielding the c a n a l exits t h a t led to the
U - b o a t h a r b o r in B r u g g e ( B r u g e s ) . T h e s u c c e s s of the U - b o a t s in c o m m e r c e
r a i d i n g a r o u n d B r i t a i n p r e c i p i t a t e d the l e g e n d a r y R o y a l N a v y r a i d s of M a r c h
1 9 1 8 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 . After the war, little of the 1 9 1 8 defenses
r e m a i n e d , h a v i n g b e e n s p i k e d b y the G e r m a n s p r i o r t o their w i t h d r a w a l a n d
s c r a p p e d after the war. B e l g i u m h a d a m o d e s t a r r a y o f c o a s t a l defenses in the
i n t e r w a r y e a r s i n c l u d i n g the e x c e l l e n t V i c k e r s 9 4 m m (3.7in.) p e d e s t a l g u n ,
a n d t h e s e w e r e initially o c c u p i e d b y G e r m a n t r o o p s in 1 9 4 0 b e f o r e m o r e
elaborate defenses were organized.
T h e G e r m a n c o a s t a l artillery f o r c e s d e p l o y e d in B e l g i u m b e t w e e n 1 9 4 0
a n d 1 9 4 4 w e r e s u b s t a n t i a l l y less t h a n t h o s e b e t w e e n 1 9 1 4 a n d 1 9 1 8 .
Z e e b r u g g e l o s t its s t r a t e g i c i m p o r t a n c e , a s the l o n g e r - r a n g e d U - b o a t s w e r e
b a s e d o u t o f h a r b o r s in F r a n c e r a t h e r t h a n in t h e m o r e c o n f i n e d w a t e r s
o f B e l g i u m . T h e Atlantikwall
in B e l g i u m w a s l a r g e l y a n e x t e n s i o n o f the
C h a n n e l d e f e n s e s in the n e i g h b o r i n g P a s - d e - C a l a i s r e g i o n o f F r a n c e u n d e r
A O K . 1 5 c o n t r o l . A s a r e s u l t , the d e f e n s e s e c t o r s here w e r e n u m b e r e d a n d
24

TOP

LEFT

Kettle positions w e r e typical
of t h e early Belgian batteries
like this c a m o u f l a g e d 1 5 5 m m
GPFof3./HKAA.1260in
Middelkerke. (A. Chazette)
TOP

RIGHT

Some of t h e early naval
batteries in Belgium had t h e
advantage of shielded guns
like this 1 0 5 m m SKL/40 of
7./MAA.204 Seezielbatterie
Kursaal. (A. Chazette)
MIDDLE

Bunkers were often sheathed
in c a m o u f l a g e nets as seen
in this stretch of defenses at
W e n d u i n e near Blankenbergh
in September 1944, part of a
1 .Marine-Funkmessabteilung
coastal radar post. A W u r z b u r g
Riese radar is evident t o t h e
right. (National Archives
Canada PA-174350)

LEFT

The Belgian coast had a
relatively heavy c o n c e n t r a t i o n
of railroad guns for its heavy
artillery. This is t h e 2 8 0 m m
Kurze Bruno station in Bredene
w i t h E.696. (A. Chazette)
25

The brains of t h e naval g u n
batteries were contained in t h e
p l o t t i n g rooms located deep
inside t h e fire control post.
These rooms contained a
variety of mechanical and
electro-mechanical c o m p u t i n g
devices, w h i c h converted data
f r o m t h e range finders and
bearing devices i n t o firing
solutions for t h e battery's guns.
(NARA)

T a b l e 2: W e h r m a c h t c o a s t a l artillery b a t t e r i e s in B e l g i u m , s u m m e r 1944

26

N a v y coastal batteries

Battery name

No. of g u n s

Caliber

1./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Hamilton

4

75mm

2./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Hundius

4

105mm

3./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Salzwedel-Alt

4

75mm

4./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Ramien

4

105mm

5./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Schutte

4

105mm

6./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Salzwedel-Neu

4

105mm

7./MAA.204

Seezielbatterie Kursaal

4

105mm

A r m y coastal batteries

Battery name

N o . of g u n s

Caliber

1./HKAA.1240

HKB Vosscheslag

6

155mm

4./HKAA.1240

HKB Groenendijk

6

155mm

5./HKAA.1240

HKB De Panne

6

155mm

6./HKAA.1240

HKB Westende

6

155mm

A r m y railroad batteries

Battery location

N o . of g u n s

Caliber

E.718

Knokke

3

170mm

E.717

Blankenberghe

3

170mm

E.655

Zeebrugge

4

150mm

E.687

Lisseweghe

2

203mm

E.690

Bredene

4

280mm

n a m e d in the A O K . 1 5 f a s h i o n a s K V A . A (Kiisten Verteidigung
Abschnitt-A:
C o a s t Defense Sector-A). Each K V A roughly corresponded to a divisional
sector, a n d w a s further d i v i d e d into three r e g i m e n t a l s e c t o r s ( K V A . A 1 t o A 3 ) .
T h e n a v y g u n s in B e l g i u m w e r e a n u n u s u a l l y m o t l e y selection i n c l u d i n g
Tsarist 3in. field g u n s r e c h a m b e r e d by the Poles in 1 9 2 6 for s t a n d a r d F r e n c h
7 5 m m a m m u n i t i o n , a s well a s m o r e conventional n a v a l g u n s . T h e p r e d o m i n a n t
a r m y c o a s t a l w e a p o n w a s the K 4 1 8 ( f ) , better k n o w n by its French d e s i g n a t i o n
of 1 5 5 m m GPF. T h e m o s t p o w e r f u l w e a p o n s in B e l g i u m w e r e n o t the
fixed b a t t e r i e s , b u t rather f o u r r a i l r o a d g u n b a t t e r i e s . T h e m o s t c o m m o n
w e a p o n w a s the 1 7 0 m m K ( E ) , w h i c h w a s a g u n t a k e n f r o m the W o r l d W a r I
Deutschland
class a n d r e m o u n t e d o n rail c a r r i a g e s , a n d there w a s a l s o a battery
with the powerful 2 8 0 m m K u r z e B r u n o . A s in the n e i g h b o r i n g A O K . 1 5 sectors
in F r a n c e , the Belgian c o a s t h a d a denser c o n c e n t r a t i o n of infantry p o s i t i o n s
than in the n e i g h b o r i n g N e t h e r l a n d s b e c a u s e o f its role in defending a g a i n s t a n
expected Allied a m p h i b i o u s i n v a s i o n . In the s u m m e r o f 1 9 4 4 it w a s o c c u p i e d
by the 712.1nfanterie D i v i s i o n , 8 9 . A r m e e K o r p s . Since the Belgian c o a s t w a s
only 3 6 miles ( 5 8 k m ) l o n g , the Atlantikwall
c o n s t r u c t i o n there c o n s u m e d only
5 1 0 , 4 2 0 cubic meters of concrete - less t h a n five percent o f the total.

ABOVE

LEFT

Coastal s t r o n g p o i n t s
f r e q u e n t l y had f o r w a r d artillery
observation bunkers in t h e
dunes like this Bauform 143,
part of St.P. Lohengrin in
Zoutelande between
Westkapelle and Vlissingen.
The a r m o r e d cupola can be
seen o n t h e roof on t h e bunker.
Note also t h a t t h e rear entrance
d o o r is well protected by a
m a c h i n e - g u n position in
enfilade. This particular bunker
has been expertly restored by
the Bunkerbehoud foundation
and has a full interior; t h e rails
o n t h e roof are a safety feature
and not part of t h e original
design. (Author's p h o t o g r a p h )
ABOVE

RIGHT

Life in a German coastal

The Netherlands
C o a s t a l d e f e n s e s in the N e t h e r l a n d s c o n s t i t u t e d a b o u t a t e n t h o f t o t a l
Atlantikwall
f o r t i f i c a t i o n activity in 1 9 4 2 - 4 4 . T h e N e t h e r l a n d s w a s n e v e r

bunker was cramped. This is t h e
preserved interior of a Bauform
502 of St.P. Lohengrin in
Vlissingen and this small r o o m
w o u l d have a c c o m m o d a t e d ten
soldiers. (Author's photograph)

LEFT

Seezielbatterie Wijk-am-Zee,
2.1 M A A . 2 0 1 , was e q u i p p e d
w i t h four Bauform 671 g u n
casemates as seen t o t h e right
w h i c h were a r m e d w i t h 1 5 0 m m
TbKC/36 naval guns d u r i n g t h e
war. Its M473a fire c o n t r o l post
can be seen t o t h e left; it was
in use as a seaside restaurant
w h e n visited by t h e a u t h o r in
2008. (Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

27

A "battleship of t h e dunes," t h e
Seezielbatterie SchveningenNord of 8./MAA.201 a r m e d w i t h
1 5 0 m m SKC/28 naval guns. In
this view, t h e multi-tier S414
fire c o n t r o l post can be seen
in t h e f o r e g r o u n d as well as
three of t h e Bauform 671
g u n casemates b e y o n d .
(Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

e s p e c i a l l y h i g h o n t h e list o f p r o b a b l e A l l i e d i n v a s i o n p o i n t s , s i n c e the
l o w - l y i n g l a n d b e h i n d the c o a s t a l d i k e s c o u l d be r e a d i l y f l o o d e d a n d m a d e
i m p a s s i b l e . T h e D u t c h p o r t s a t 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 k e y w a t e r w a y s 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 e n s u r e d a
s i g n i f i c a n t f o r t i f i c a t i o n effort o n the D u t c h c o a s t . A s e c o n d a r y r e a s o n for
h e a v y d e f e n s e o f t h e D u t c h p o r t s w a s their r o l e in b a s i n g S - b o a t t o r p e d o
b o a t s , w h i c h w e r e v e r y a c t i v e in the n a v a l c a m p a i g n s in the N o r t h S e a .
A n u m b e r o f s u b s t a n t i a l S - b o a t shelters w e r e built in D u t c h h a r b o r s t o defend
this f o r c e a g a i n s t R A F b o m b e r r a i d s .
T h e m a j o r i t y o f the D u t c h c o a s t a l defenses were s u b o r d i n a t e to the W B N
(Wehrmachtsbefehl
in den Niederlanden:
A r m e d F o r c e s C o m m a n d in the
N e t h e r l a n d s ) . T h e e x c e p t i o n w a s the Scheldt estuary region a r o u n d Breskens
a n d Vlissingen; it w a s s u b o r d i n a t e t o the neighboring A O K . 1 5 which controlled
G e r m a n a r m y units in the P a s - d e - C a l a i s a n d Belgian c o a s t .
T h e r e were four p r i m a r y defense zones in the N e t h e r l a n d s , t w o designated at
the highest level a s Festung (fortress) a n d the other t w o as
Verteidigungsbereich
(defense z o n e ) . T h e single m o s t heavily fortified a r e a w a s the H o e k v a n H o l l a n d
( H o o k of H o l l a n d ) due to its strategic i m p o r t a n c e . Aside from including the cities
of T h e H a g u e a n d R o t t e r d a m , this estuary a n d p o r t area offered access to the t w o
m o s t i m p o r t a n t rivers in this a r e a of northern E u r o p e , the M a a s (Meuse) a n d the
R h i n e . N e a r l y a q u a r t e r of the m a j o r fortifications built in the N e t h e r l a n d s
d u r i n g the w a r w e r e located in this sector. T h e defense centered a r o u n d the N e w
Waterway, the late 19th-century c a n a l connecting R o t t e r d a m to the N o r t h Sea.
T h e center of the defenses w a s its Kernwerk o n the s o u t h b a n k of the canal near
the site of t o d a y ' s E u r o p o r t .
T h e s e c o n d Festung in the N e t h e r l a n d s w a s I J m u i d e n . W h i l e this s m a l l
fishing p o r t w o u l d h a r d l y s e e m t o m e r i t s u c h a d e s i g n a t i o n , the fortified a r e a
s e r v e d t o c o v e r the e n t r a n c e o f the n e i g h b o r i n g N o r t h S e a C a n a l w h i c h led
t o A m s t e r d a m a n d the I J s s e l m e e r ( Z u i d e r Z e e ) . T h e Kernwerk w a s b a s e d o n
F o r t e i l a n d , a D u t c h fortified i s l a n d a t the e n t r a n c e of the c a n a l . T h i s Festung
a l s o i n c l u d e d a h e a v y c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f n a v a l flak b a t t e r i e s for air d e f e n s e ,
a l o n g w i t h fortified r a d a r s t a t i o n s .

28

T h e n o r t h e r n m o s t o f the m a j o r D u t c h fortified z o n e s w a s V B D e n Helder.
T h i s site h a d s t r a t e g i c s i g n i f i c a n c e a s a m a j o r p o r t a t t h e t i p o f N o r t h
H o l l a n d , controlling naval access into the IJsselmeer. T h e fourth m a j o r
defense sector w a s V B Vlissingen (Flushing), which controlled access to
the S c h e l d t E s t u a r y a n d the p o r t o f A n t w e r p . T h i s d e f e n s e s e c t o r i n c l u d e d
a s u b s t a n t i a l a r s e n a l o f n a v a l b a t t e r i e s f a c i n g the N o r t h S e a , a s w e l l a s
additional batteries to control the Scheldt. O n the s o u t h e r n b a n k of the
Scheldt Estuary w a s S t r o n g p o i n t G r o u p Breskens, a substantial defensive
p o s i t i o n in its o w n r i g h t w i t h a s i g n i f i c a n t Landfront.
Although these
defensive p o s i t i o n s w e r e o r i g i n a l l y u n d e r W B N c o n t r o l , in S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 2 ,
they w e r e t r a n s f e r r e d t o the n e i g h b o r i n g A O K . 1 5 c o m m a n d a s p a r t o f the
Channel C o a s t defense effort. With the a d v a n c e of C a n a d i a n a n d British
f o r c e s in A u g u s t 1 9 4 4 , the A O K . 1 5 r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w a s shifted further u p the
c o a s t , t a k i n g c o n t r o l o f s t r o n g p o i n t s u p t o O o s t v o o r n e . W i t h the l i b e r a t i o n
of A n t w e r p in S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 4 , the Scheldt E s t u a r y s u d d e n l y t o o k o n g r e a t e r
i m p o r t a n c e , since w i t h o u t control of the Scheldt the p o r t w a s virtually
useless d u e t o the t h r e a t o f the s u b s t a n t i a l G e r m a n c o a s t a l d e f e n s e s . D u e t o
this c h a n g e in i m p o r t a n c e , this s e c t o r w a s r e d e s i g n a t e d a s Festung
and
p l a y e d a significant role in the b r u t a l O c t o b e r - N o v e m b e r 1 9 4 4 e n g a g e m e n t s
w h i c h will be c o v e r e d in m o r e detail later.
B e s i d e s the u s u a l c o a s t a l artillery b a t t e r i e s , the N e t h e r l a n d s h a d a n
unusually h e a v y d e p l o y m e n t of K r i e g s m a r i n e flak batteries. T h e s e w e r e m o s t
often d u a l - p u r p o s e 1 0 5 m m n a v a l g u n s t h a t h a d a s e c o n d a r y r o l e o f c o a s t
defense. T h e w i d e s p r e a d d e p l o y m e n t w a s in p a r t d u e t o the n e e d t o d e f e n d
D u t c h h a r b o r s f r o m R A F a t t a c k s , but the N e t h e r l a n d s w a s in the p a t h of Allied
h e a v y b o m b e r s h e a d i n g t o w a r d s G e r m a n y . S o the b a t t e r i e s w e r e u s e d b o t h
in h a r b o r defense a n d a g a i n s t the b o m b e r s t r e a m s . In 1 9 4 3 a l o n e , the n a v a l
flak batteries fired 1 3 , 2 5 3 r o u n d s o f 1 0 5 m m a n d 2 6 , 9 1 4 r o u n d s o f 2 0 m m
a m m u n i t i o n . T h e flak batteries p l a y e d a n i m p o r t a n t role in defending D u t c h
h a r b o r s as they w e r e a v a i l a b l e in sufficient q u a n t i t y t o m a k e air a t t a c k s costly.
F o r e x a m p l e , o n J a n u a r y 1 7 , 1 9 4 5 a r a i d by 3 0 B e a u f i g h t e r s of 1 6 G r o u p into
the D e n H e l d e r a n c h o r a g e led t o the loss o f six aircraft.

Festung harbors in t h e
Netherlands were based
a r o u n d a heavily fortified
Kernwerk at t h e core of t h e
position. In t h e case of
IJmuiden o n t h e approaches
t o A m s t e r d a m , t h e WN 73
Kernwerk was based o n t h e
previous Dutch defenses o n
Forteiland, a small island
bisecting t h e channel. The
brick structure in center is t h e
original Dutch Kustfort built in
1880-87 and a r m e d w i t h Krupp
2 4 0 m m guns. On either side,
t w o of three Kriegsmarine
M l 70 g u n casemates are
visible; t h e y were a r m e d w i t h
1 5 0 m m SKL/40(h) naval guns.
One of a pair of Bauform 631
anti-tank g u n casemates is
visible in t h e lower right,
largely s u b m e r g e d f r o m
erosion. This small island, some
6 8 0 m l o n g and 3 0 0 m w i d e , had
26 major bunkers built o n it,
m a n y of w h i c h still survive.
(Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

29

Adjacent t o t h e IJmuiden
Kernwerk was WN.81, w h i c h
included Seezielbatterie
Heerenduin of 4./MAA.201,
armed w i t h four 1 7 0 m m SKL/40
naval guns in M272 casemates.
The centerpiece was this M178
naval fire control post.
(Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

The army also d e p l o y e d some
of its divisional field guns in
casemates like this battery on
t h e outskirts of Bergen-opZ o o m w i t h four Bauform 669
casemates for t h e batteries of
Artillerie Regiment 1719 of t h e
719.lnfanterie Division. The
battery's casemates are
unusual in t h a t several had an
additional Tobruk position built
o n t o p . (Author's p h o t o g r a p h )

WN 73 KERNWERK IJMUIDEN, NORTH SEA CANAL, THE NETHERLANDS
The Festung ports on the North Sea w e r e typically based a r o u n d

had four 1 7 0 m m SKL/40 naval guns in M 2 7 2 casemates, while

a core position {Kernwerk)

Seezielbatterie Wijk-am-See on t h e north had a battery of

which covered t h e main port

entrance - in this case, t h e North Sea Canal entrance into

1 5 0 m m Tsts.K C/36 guns in Bauform 671 casemates. This Festung

Amsterdam. The IJmuiden Kernwerk

was also supported by a heavy concentration of naval flak

was built on Forteiland, a

Dutch fortified island w i t h the Kustfort

built in 1 8 8 0 - 8 7 and

batteries for air defense along w i t h fortified radar stations.

armed with German 2 4 0 m m guns; it was m o d e r n i z e d in t h e

1.

Bauform 6 3 6 SK fire control post

1920s with several more m o d e r n small bunkers. The island was

2-4.

M l 70 g u n casemates for 1 5 0 m m SKL/40 g u n w i t h

substantially rebuilt in t h e summer of 1943 while m a n n e d by
3 . / M A A . 2 0 1 . The Dutch Kustfort

was reinforced by adding three

adjacent Bauform 6 5 6 1 5 - m a n personnel bunker
5.

Bauform 671 SK g u n casemate for British 3.7-inch g u n

large M 1 7 0 casemates for World War I 1 5 0 m m naval guns w i t h

6-7.

Bauform 611 g u n casemate for Soviet 1 2 2 m m A-19 g u n

associated personnel bunkers, plus a fire control post. These

8-13.

Bauform 631 antitank g u n bunker

bunkers were d e f e n d e d by a host of smaller bunkers containing

1 4 - 1 5 . Bauform 633 Mortar pit

antitank guns and machine guns, and t w o more artillery

1 6 - 1 9 . Bauform 6 4 4 m a c h i n e - g u n casemate

batteries were a d d e d , a r m e d w i t h w a r - b o o t y Soviet 1 2 2 m m A-

20.

19 field guns. The seaward beach was covered w i t h dragons'

21.

Bauform 635 D o u b l e g r o u p (20-man) personnel bunker

teeth to prevent the landing of tanks or vehicles.

22.

W a t e r reservoir

This Kernwerk

was part of an interlocking defense system w i t h

Local design d e c o n t a m i n a t i o n building

2 3 - 2 4 . D e p t h charge launcher

extensive artillery on both shoulders of the canal. Seezielbatterie

25.

Storage bunker

Heerenduin, located on the IJmuiden coast south of t h e canal,

26.

Bauform 6 6 8 6 - m a n bunker used as canteen

T a b l e 3: W e h r m a c h t c o a s t a l a r t i l l e r y b a t t e r i e s i n t h e N e t h e r l a n d s , s u m m e r 1 9 4 4

Notes
1

Marko-StandMarineartilleriekommandostand/stabsbatterie:
Naval
artillery command post/
staff battery

2

HKB-

3

Flagruko=
Flakgruppenkommandostand/
stabsbatterie: Flak group
command post/staff battery

32

Heereskiistenbatterie

Naval battery

Battery name

Casemate

No. of g u n s

Caliber

2./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Wijk-am-Zee

671

4

150mm

3./MAA.201

Kernwerk IJmuiden

M l 70,611

3+2

150mm

4./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Heerenduin (Prien)

M272

4

170mm

5./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Langerak

M153c

4

150mm

6./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Zuidzand

M671

4

94mm

7./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Noordwijk

671

4

155mm

8./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Schveningen-Nord

671

4

150mm

9./MAA.201

Seezielbatterie Westduin

671

4

105mm

1./MAA.202

Seezielbatterie Dishoek

4

150mm

4./MAA.202

Seezielbatterie Oostkapelle

671

3

94mm

5./MAA.202

Seezielbatterie Domburg

612

4

220mm

6./MAA.202

Seezielbatterie Westkapelle

671

4

94mm

7./MAA.202

Seezielbatterie Zoutelande

671SK

6

155mm

8./MAA.202

Seezielbatterie Fidelio

612

4

220mm

9./MAA.202

Kernwerk Vlissingen

M170

3

150mm

2./MAA.203

Seezielbatterie Breskens

671

4

76.2mm

3./MAA.203

Seezielbatterie Nieuwe Sluis

612

4

120mm

4./MAA.203

Seezielbatterie Cadzand

671

4

150mm

1./MAA.205

Marko-Stand

n/a

n/a

2./MAA.205

Seezielbatterie Vineta

671

4

150mm

3./MAA.205

Seezielbatterie Rozenburg

S412

3

280mm

4./MAA.205

Schwere Seezielbatterie Brandenburg

SK Bettung

3

240mm

5./MAA.205

Kernwerk Hoek van Holland

M170/622

4+2

120mm

6./MAA.205

Seezielbatterie Rockanje

671

4

94mm

7./MAA.205

Seezielbatterie Renesse Neu

671

4+3

75mm

8./MAA.205

Seezielbatterie Westerschouwen

671

6

94mm

1./MAA.607

Marko-Stand

n/a

2./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Eierland

M195

4

105mm

3./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Hors

671

4

120mm

4./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Kaaphoofd

612

4

105mm

5./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Duinrand

no

4

194mm

6./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Falga

671

4

120mm

7./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Zanddijk

M219

4

120mm

8./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Callantsoog

671

4

76.2mm

9./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Camperduin

612/671

4

105mm

10./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Bergen

671

4

120mm

11./MAA.607

Seezielbatterie Egmond am See

671

4

105mm

1

Army battery

Battery name

Casemate

No. of g u n s

Caliber

6

105mm

A r m y batteries
2

1./HKAA.1230

HKB De Koog

2./HKAA.1230

HKB Petten

612

4

105mm

3./HKAA.1230

HKB Castricum

671

4

105mm

4./HKAA.1230

HKBHillegom

669/671

6

105mm

5./HKAA.1230

HKB Katwijk

688

6

152mm

6./HKAA.1230

HKB Monster

Bettung

6

152mm

1./HKAA.1231

HKB Helvoet

4+2

105mm

2./HKAA.1231

HKB Goedereede

671

4

105mm

3./HKAA.1231

HKB Ouddorp

669/671

6

152mm

4./HKAA.1231

HKB Haamstede

671

4

105mm

5./HKAA.1231

HKB Hellevoet

671

4

105mm

Casemate

N o . of g u n s

Caliber

Navai Flak battery

Battery name

Naval coastal Flak batteries

2./MFA.246

Schw.Flak-Battr. Nansum

no

4

105mm

3./MFA.246

Schw.Flak-Battr. Delfzil

no

4

105mm

4./MFA.246

Schw.Flak-Battr. Termunten

no

4

105mm

FL 243a

4

105mm

5./MFA.246

Marine-Flak-Battr. Terschelling-West

1./MFA.808

Flagruko Den Helder

n/a

n/a

n/a

2./MFA.808

Marine-Flak-Battr. Dirksz-Admiral

FL243/L 401

4

105mm

3./MFA.808

Marine-Flak-Battr. Vangdam

no

4

105mm

5./MFA.808

Marine-Flak-Battr. Erfprinz

FL243/L401

4

105mm

1./MFA.810

Flagruko Heldburg

n/a

n/a

n/a

3./MFA.810

Marine-Flak-Battr. West

no

4

105mm

1./MFA.813

Flagruko Hoek van Holland

n/a

n/a

n/a

2./MFA.813

Marine-Flak-Battr. Nordmole

no

4

105mm

3./MFA.813

Marine-Flak-Battr. Waterweg

FL243

4

105mm

4./MFA.813

Marine-Flak-Battr. Briel

FL243

4

105mm

5./MFA.813

Marine-Flak-Battr. Zande

no

4

105mm

2./MFA.815

Marine-Flak-Battr. Vlieland-Ost

FL243a

4

105mm

3./MFA.815

Marine-Flak-Battr. Vlieland-West

FL243a

4

105mm

4./MFA.815

Marine-Flak-Battr. Den Hoorn

no

4

105mm

5./MFA.815

Marine-Flak-Battr. Kreuzberg

no

4

105mm

1./MFA.816

Flagruko

n/a

n/a

n/a

2./MFA.816

Marine-Flak-Battr. Beverwijk

no

4

105mm

3./MFA.816

Marine-Flak-Battr. Sud-Ost

no

4

105mm

4./MFA.816

Marine-Flak-Battr.Olmen

FL243

6

105mm

5./MFA.816

Marine-Flak-Battr. Duinenberg

no

4

105mm

3

German fortification efforts
in Norway in 1940-41 focused
o n t h e construction of massive
U-boat bunkers in T r o n d h e i m .
These facilities became m o r e
i m p o r t a n t in t h e a u t u m n of
1944 after t h e loss of U-boat
bases in France, leading t o
additional coastal defense
efforts in t h e area. This is a
v i e w of t h e submarine bunkers
i m m e d i a t e l y at t h e e n d of t h e
war. (NARA)

Norway
O f the N o r t h S e a c o a s t l i n e s d e s c r i b e d in this b o o k , N o r w a y w a s the first t o
see e x t e n s i v e c o a s t a l defense efforts s t a r t i n g in 1 9 4 0 , a n d h a d p r i o r i t y o v e r
the F r e n c h - B e l g i a n c o a s t well into 1 9 4 3 . T h e early e m p h a s i s o n N o r w a y w a s
d u e t o a v a r i e t y o f f a c t o r s i n c l u d i n g the s t r a t e g i c i m p o r t a n c e o f the o r e
s u p p l i e s f r o m n o r t h e r n N o r w e g i a n a n d n e i g h b o r i n g S w e d i s h m i n e s a n d the
c o r r e s p o n d i n g n e e d t o p r o t e c t the c o a s t a l traffic, a s well a s the i m p e r a t i v e
to interdict the B r i t i s h A r c t i c c o n v o y s s u p p l y i n g the R e d A r m y t h r o u g h
M u r m a n s k . N o r w a y a l s o p r o v i d e d a m e a n s t o c o n t r o l the n o r t h e r n s h o r e o f
the S k a g e r r a k a n d therefore a c c e s s t o w a r d s the B a l t i c a n d the n o r t h w e s t e r n
G e r m a n c o a s t . A t the s a m e t i m e , the N o r w e g i a n c o a s t w a s all t o o a c c e s s i b l e
t o British n a v a l c e n t e r s s u c h a s S c a p a F l o w , a n d v u l n e r a b l e t o r a i d i n g
o p e r a t i o n s by the R o y a l N a v y . N o r w a y p r e s e n t e d s o m e u n i q u e p r o b l e m s a n d
s o m e u n i q u e p o t e n t i a l for c o a s t a l d e f e n s e .

PANZERTURM II (SBEHELFSAUSFUHRUNG), FESTUNG LIST A, NORWAY
W e h r m a c h t d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n s in N o r w a y m a d e e x t e n s i v e

b y an o c t a g o n a l steel p l a t e b o l t e d t o t h e roof. T h e s e b u n k e r s

use o f Panzerstellungen,

w e r e b u i l t t o t h e r e d u c e d B1 s t a n d a r d s o f c o n c r e t e t h i c k n e s s

w h i c h consisted of obsolete tank

turrets m o u n t e d o n bunkers derived f r o m t h e c o m m o n

a n d so w e r e i n t e n d e d t o b e f u l l y b u r i e d e x c e p t f o r w h a t e v e r

T o b r u k / R i n g s t a n d d e s i g n s . In t h i s case, t h e t u r r e t s w e r e

o p e n i n g w a s n e e d e d f o r access t o t h e i n t e r i o r , in t h i s case

leftovers f r o m t h e PzKpfw II (F) F l a m i n g o f l a m e t h r o w e r t a n k s ,

s o m e c r u d e steps a l o n g t h e side. T h e i n t e r i o r w a s a s i m p l e p i t

t e r m e d e x p e d i e n t v e r s i o n {Behelfsausfuhrung)

as t h e y w e r e

u n d e r t h e g u n a n d a c o m p a r t m e n t in t h e b a c k f o r a m m u n i t i o n

c h e a p l y a d a p t e d f o r t h e role by b l a n k i n g o f f t h e m o r e e l a b o r a t e

s t o w a g e ; t h e u n i t o f fire, t h e s t a n d a r d a m m u n i t i o n a l l o t m e n t ,

p i v o t i n g visors used o n t h e t a n k . A c o a m i n g w a s a d d e d o n t h e

w a s 12,000 r o u n d s . Since t h e y w e r e c o n s i d e r e d r e i n f o r c e d f i e l d

f r o n t t u r r e t r o o f t o i m p r o v e v e n t i l a t i o n . A t o t a l o f 63 o f t h i s

positions, no armored door was provided, a l t h o u g h some units

version w e r e c o n v e r t e d b y Schichau in E l b i n g , a l o n g w i t h 25 o f

w o u l d a d d an improvised w o o d e n d o o r for w e a t h e r p r o t e c t i o n .

t h e n o r m a l series u s i n g u n m o d i f i e d F l a m i n g o t u r r e t s ; 31 o f t h e

T h e t u r r e t s w e r e o r i g i n a l l y d e l i v e r e d in d a r k g r e y , b u t later in

e x p e d i e n t v e r s i o n seen here w e r e sent t o N o r w a y a n d 4 o f t h e

" l i g h t t r o p i c a l c o l o r " {heller Tropenanstich,

n o r m a l series t o D e n m a r k ; t h e rest w e n t t o t h e Eastern F r o n t .

w a s also w i d e l y u s e d o n m a n y o t h e r Atlantikwall

The T o b r u k is a B a u f o r m 232a d a t i n g f r o m M a r c h 1943 a n d is
fairly t y p i c a l o f Panzerstellungen,

w i t h a circular o p e n i n g c a p p e d

RAL 7028), w h i c h
components.

Sometimes, c a m o u f l a g e colors w e r e applied over this, b u t most
p h o t o s s h o w a single color.

The battlecruiser

Gneisenau's

C t u r r e t was e m p l a c e d near
T r o n d h e i m in MKB 1/507 near
Orlandet in 1943; this image
shows t h e battery shortly
after its c o m p l e t i o n b u t
before c a m o u f l a g e nets
were attached. This battery
remained in Norwegian service
after t h e war and is currently
preserved as a m u s e u m .
(NARA)

This is a typical example of
t h e early Norwegian coastal
artillery d e p l o y m e n t s , in
this case a French Schneider
1 0 5 m m mle. 1913. The kettle
position includes a concrete
slab w i t h pintle, o n w h i c h
was m o u n t e d a traversable
p l a t f o r m . The g u n was lashed
t o this for rapid traverse.
(NARA)

T h e e n o r m o u s length of coastline w a s a f o r m i d a b l e challenge to establishing
a n y s o r t o f c o m p r e h e n s i v e d e f e n s e line. T h e N o r w e g i a n c o a s t e x t e n d e d
f r o m the S k a g e r r a k t o the N o r t h C a p e o n the A r c t i c O c e a n , a d i s t a n c e of
2 , 5 3 2 k m ( 1 , 5 7 0 miles) t h o u g h the a c t u a l coastline w a s a d a u n t i n g 2 5 , 1 4 8 k m
if m e a s u r e d a l o n g the n u m e r o u s fjords. M u c h of the c o a s t w a s m o u n t a i n o u s
a n d u n d e v e l o p e d w h i c h p r e s e n t e d e n o r m o u s difficulty in m o v i n g a n y large
c o n s t r u c t i o n e q u i p m e n t i n t o p l a c e for fortification p u r p o s e s . O n the other
h a n d , the r o c k y c o a s t l i n e a l s o p e r m i t t e d the c o n s t r u c t i o n of defensive w o r k s
by d i g g i n g into the r o c k b e d t o m i n i m i z e the n e e d for e x t e n s i v e a m o u n t s of
steel-reinforced c o n c r e t e .
T h e e n o r m o u s l e n g t h o f the N o r w e g i a n c o a s t f o r c e d the W e h r m a c h t
t o d i v i d e the c o u n t r y i n t o three d e f e n s e s e c t o r s e a c h w i t h a K r i e g s m a r i n e
c o m m a n d a n d c o r r e s p o n d i n g H e e r c o m m a n d . T h e navy's sectors were A d m i r a l
der W e s t k i i s t e h e a d q u a r t e r e d in B e r g e n , A d m i r a l der N o r d k i i s t e b a s e d in
36

T a b l e 4: E i n s a t z g r u p p e W i k i n g p e r m a n e n t b u n k e r s in N o r w a y t h r o u g h J u l y 1944
Bunker

Storage

HQ

Gun

Platform

Observation

Medical

Torpedo

14

1

9

0

1

1

1

Alta

9

4

5

0

2

0

0

Moen

5

1

0

0

1

0

0

Narvik

14

1

2

7

2

0

0

Bodo/Mosjoen

14

0

29

0

3

1

o

Trondheim

26

9

12

1

9

6

2

Andalsnes

36

1

16

0

2

2

2

Bergen

42

3

18

1

6

4

1

Kristiansand

50

5

24

4

14

10

0

3

0

3

0

3

0

0

25

118

13

43

24

6

(30)

(220)

(20)

(71)

(44)

(9)

Kirkenes

Tonsberg
Total

213
(296)

1

Notes
1

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of bunkers intended for

completion

T r o n d h e i m a n d A d m i r a l der P o l a r k u s t e in T r o m s o . In t u r n , these sectors w e r e
divided into regional sea c o m m a n d s (SeekommandantlSeeko).
T h e H e e r units
were s u b o r d i n a t e to A r m e e o b e r k o m m a n d o N o r w e g e n ( N o r w a y A r m y H i g h
C o m m a n d ) t h o u g h after J a n u a r y 1 9 4 2 , the K i r k e n e s sector fell u n d e r A O K
L a p p l a n d (later A O K . 2 0 G e b i r g s ) w h i c h w a s r e s p o n s i b l e for the Finnish front.
A t p e a k s t r e n g t h the a r m y h a d five c o r p s in N o r w a y , i n c l u d i n g o n e in the
Kirkenes sector n o t under A O K N o r w e g e n c o m m a n d , b u t by 1 9 4 5 this h a d
been whittled d o w n by the transfer o f o n e c o r p s t o other fronts.
G e r m a n fortification w o r k in N o r w a y initially b e g a n in m i d - 1 9 4 1 w i t h the
c o n s t r u c t i o n of r e i n f o r c e d s u b m a r i n e b u n k e r s in T r o n d h e i m . O r g a n i z a t i o n
T o d t c r e a t e d the E i n s a t z g r u p p e W i k i n g t o specialize in c o n s t r u c t i o n w o r k in
S c a n d i n a v i a . F o r t i f i c a t i o n efforts in the m o r e r e m o t e n o r t h e r n a r e a s w e r e
c o n s i d e r a b l y h a m p e r e d by the l a c k o f r o a d a n d rail lines, a n d p r o m p t e d a n
ambitious G e r m a n p r o g r a m to construct a supporting transportation network
to link G e r m a n o c c u p a t i o n f o r c e s . A further incentive t o c r e a t e a r o a d a n d
rail n e t w o r k in the n o r t h w a s Hitler's s c h e m e t o c r e a t e a m a j o r G e r m a n p o r t
in the T r o n d h e i m a r e a w i t h facilities for a q u a r t e r - m i l l i o n G e r m a n m i l i t a r y
a n d civilian p e r s o n n e l . T h e e n o r m o u s d e m a n d s of these c o n s t r u c t i o n s c h e m e s

BELOW

LEFT

Besides French artillery, t h e
Norwegian batteries also m a d e
extensive use of W o r l d War I
artillery, such as this Skoda
2 1 0 m m K39/40, originally
ordered by Turkey f r o m
Czechoslovakia b u t kept in
p r o d u c t i o n after 1939. (NARA)

BELOW

RIGHT

The difficulty of erecting
concrete casemates in t h e
r e m o t e regions of Norway
m e a n t t h a t most batteries
relied o n c a m o u f l a g e umbrellas
like this 2 4 0 m m SKL/40 of MKB
4/517 Batterie Mestersand near
S y l t i n 1943. (NARA)

The Atlantikwall

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.

i n S c a n d i n a v i a , 1944-45

Art.Gr. Underavsnitt Sydvaranger
Art.Gr. Underavsnitt Nordvaranger
Art.Gr. Underavsnitt Varde-Kiberg
Art.Gr. Underavsnitt Eismeer
Art.Gr. Underavsnitt Tanafjord
Art.Gr. Kistrand
Art.Gr. Nordkapp
Art.Gr. Alta
Art.Gr. Oksfjord
Art.Gr. Nordreisa
Art.Gr. Varto
Art.Gr. Ullsfjord
Art.Gr. Tromso
Art.Gr. Balsfjord
Art.Gr. Senja
Art.Gr. Gavlfjord
Art.Gr. Hadsel
Art.Gr. Flakstad
Art.Gr. Moskenes
Art.Gr. Vestvagoy
Art.Gr. Svolvaer
Art.Gr. Vagsfjord
Art.Gr. Harstad
Art.Gr. Andfjord
Art.Gr. Salangen
Art.Gr. Narvik
Art.Gr. Korsnes
Art.Gr. Vestfjord
Art.Gr. Folda
Art.Gr. Bode

31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
60.

Art.Gr. Sandessjoen
Art.Gr. Bronnoysund
Art.Gr. Vikna
Art.Gr. Namsos
Art.Gr. Orlandet
Art.Gr. Trondheim-Ost
Art.Gr. Trondheim-Vest
Art.Gr. Kristiansund
Art.Gr. More
Art.Gr. Romsdal
Art.Gr. Alesund
Art.Gr. Standlandet
Art.Gr. Nordfjord
Art.Gr. Sognefjord
Art.Gr. Hjeltefjord
Art.Gr. Bergen
Art.Gr. Korsfjord
Art.Gr. Bomlafjord
Art.Gr. Haugesund
Art.Gr. Karmoy-Syd
Art.Gr. Stavanger-havn
Art.Gr. Stavanger-Syd
Art.Gr. Egersund
Art.Gr. Vanse
Art.Gr. Mandal-Sogne
Art.Gr. Kristiansund
Art.Gr. Lillesand
Art.Gr. Arendal
Art.Gr. Larvik
Art.Gr. Makeroy

Seeko
Hammerfest
Seeko
Tromso

rSeeko^

Harstad

k-bJ

*

.*\

2 4

1 5 \

Tromso

7

l

r ^ T I iL

\

I )

Seeko
Narvik

Art.Gr. Artilleriegruppe -Artillery Group

c o n s u m e d m o s t o f the early s u p p l i e s of r e i n f o r c e d c o n c r e t e a n d s l o w e d any
c o a s t a l defense fortification. L o c a l units were obliged to m a k e d o with
i m p r o v i s a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g the u s e o f r o c k t o c r e a t e e x p e d i e n t defenses a n d to
u s e c a v e s a n d t u n n e l s for a m m u n i t i o n a n d p e r s o n n e l shelters. In c o m p a r i s o n
w i t h the Atlantikwall
in F r a n c e , N o r w a y w a s very w e a k l y p r o v i d e d w i t h
r e i n f o r c e d c o n c r e t e shelters. S o w h i l e there w e r e over 2 , 0 0 0 g u n c a s e m a t e s in
F r a n c e , there w e r e o n l y a b o u t a h u n d r e d in N o r w a y .
38

LEFT

A Kriegsmarine coastal battery
in t h e Arctic Finnmark region
in 1943 a r m e d w i t h a 1 5 0 m m
UbtsuTbts L/45 U - b o a t / t o r p e d o
boat g u n . In t h e b a c k g r o u n d is
a c a m o u f l a g e d fire c o n t r o l
post. (NARA)

BELOW

LEFT

MKB 6/511 was d e p l o y e d at
Skrolsvik w i t h four of these
t u r r e t e d 1 5 0 m m SKC/28 naval
guns in MPL C/35 turrets and
became operational in A u g u s t
1943. This is a fairly typical
example of t h e use of
d i s m o u n t e d warship guns
for coastal defense; these
guns had served as secondary
armament on the

Scharnhorst

a n d Gneisenau cruisers. (NARA)

T a b l e 5: A r t i l l e r y d e p l o y m e n t
in N o r w a y b y caliber
Caliber

T h e initial steps t o defend the N o r w e g i a n c o a s t b e g a n late in 1 9 4 0 w i t h
K r i e g s m a r i n e p l a n s t o a b s o r b 13 e x i s t i n g N o r w e g i a n c o a s t a l b a t t e r i e s , a d d
a d d i t i o n a l batteries f r o m c a p t u r e d N o r w e g i a n a r m y artillery, a n d r e i n f o r c e
these batteries with a d d i t i o n a l artillery t o increase the total t o 4 4 n a v y c o a s t a l
batteries. T h e difficulties of m o v i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n s u p p l i e s t o m a n y o f the m o r e
remote c o a s t a l p o s i t i o n s forced the n a v a l c o a s t a l batteries t o d e p l o y in o p e n
field e m p l a c e m e n t s in m a n y l o c a t i o n s . A s a m i n i m u m , a t t e m p t s w e r e m a d e t o
p r o v i d e a concrete p l a t f o r m w i t h pintle m o u n t for m e d i u m c o a s t a l g u n s a n d
to p r o v i d e s o m e f o r m of p r o t e c t e d a m m u n i t i o n a n d c r e w shelter. T h e British
coastal raids in M a r c h 1 9 4 1 infuriated Hitler a n d triggered a s c h e m e to increase
the N o r w e g i a n c o a s t a l batteries w i t h 1 6 0 a r m y c o a s t a l batteries.
T h e v a s t m a j o r i t y o f c o a s t a l artillery p i e c e s d e p l o y e d t o N o r w a y w e r e
w a r - b o o t y r a t h e r t h a n s t a n d a r d G e r m a n field artillery o r n a v a l g u n s ; a b o u t
1 , 1 0 0 g u n s w e r e e v e n t u a l l y d e p l o y e d in N o r w a y . In c o m p a r i s o n , there w e r e

Guns

Batteries

406mm

7

2

380mm

6

2

305mm

4

1

280mm

12

4

240mm

13

3

210mm

73

23

170mm

15

4

155mm

242

52

145mm

50

11

130mm

12

3

127mm

24

6

122mm

5

1

120mm

39

11

105mm

368

95

100mm

46

12

65-94mm

117

30

1,033

260

Total

39

The Gneisenau t u r r e t of Batterie
Fjell (MKB.l 1/504) near Bergen
was covered w i t h a c a m o u f l a g e
umbrella typical of Norwegian
sites consisting of w o o d e n
outriggers and wire n e t t i n g
w i t h painted metal squares
and dried brush. (NARA)

T a b l e 6: c o a s t a l b a t t e r i e s , A d m i r a l P o l a r C o a s t
Artillery group

C o m m a n d unit

Art.Gr. Underavsnitt
Sydvaranger

HKAA.478

Art.Gr. Underavsnitt
Nordvaranger

Art.Gr. Underavsnitt
Vardo-Kiberg

Art.Gr. Underavsnitt
Eismeer

Art.Gr. Underavsnitt
Tanafjord

Art.Gr. Kistrand

Art.Gr. Hammerfest

Art.Gr. Nordkapp

Art.Gr. Alta

Art.Gr. Oksfjord

Art.Gr. Nordreisa

Art.Gr. Varto

40

2./MKB.513

MAA.513

HKAA.448

HKAA.480

I./HKAA.971

II./HKAA.971

IV./HKAA.971

MAA.514

III./HKAA.971

I./HKAA.972

MAA.448

HKB 1/478

HKB 2/478

HKB 4/478

HKB 6/478

HKB 999

MKB 3/517

MKB 4/517

4x 75mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 75mm

3x 150mm

4x 240mm

HKB 3/478

MKB 2/513

4x 105mm

3x 130mm

HKB 1/448

HKB 5/448

MKB 3/513

MKB 4/513

4x 105mm

3x210mm

3x 280mm

4x 8 8 m m

HKB 2/448

HKB 3/448

HKB 4/448

5x 145mm

5x 145mm

5x 155mm

HKB 1/480

HKB 2/480

HKB 3/480

HKB 4/480

HKB 5/480

MKB 1/513

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

6x 145mm

6x 145mm

4x 145mm

3x 130mm

HKB 4/971

HKB 5/971

HKB 6/971

HKB 7/971

HKB 31/971

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

3x 130mm

HKB 3/971

HKB 16/971

HKB 17/971

HKB 18/971

HKB 19/971

MKB 1/514

MKB 5/514

4x 105mm

6x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

3x 130mm

4x 100mm

HKB 1/971

HKB 2/971

HKB 8/971

MKB 2/514

6x 145mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4 x 170mm

HKB 36/971

HKB 37/971

MKB 3/514

MKB 4/514

MKB 6/514

MKB 7/514

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

3x 130mm

4x 150mm

4x 105mm

HKB 32/971

HKB 33/971

HKB 34/971

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

6x 155mm

HKB 33/971

HKB 2/972

HKB 3/972

6x 145mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

HKB 4/971

HKB 31/971

HKB 1/972

HKB 4/972

HKB 5/972

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

6x 145mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

Art.Gr. Ullsfjord

Art.Gr. Tromso

Art.Gr. Balsfjord

Art.Gr. Senja

Art.Gr. Gavlfjord

Art.Gr. Vagsfjord

Art.Gr. Harstad

Art.Gr. Andfjord

Art.Gr. Salangen

Art.Gr. Narvik

Art.Ob.Gr.
Vest-Lofoten

Art.Gr. Hadsel

Art.Gr. Flakstad

Art.Gr. Moskenes

Art.Gr. Vestvagoy

Art.Gr. Svolvaer

Art.Ob.Gr.
Lodingen

Art. Gr. Ofotfjord

Art.Gr. Korsnes

Art.Gr. Vestfjord

MAA.512

HKAA.773

IV./HKAA.971

II./HKAA.972

HKAA.480

MAA.511

II./HKAA.971

II./HKAA.983

I./HKAA.983

III./HKAA.973

HKB 3/480

HKB 5/480

HKB 8/971

HKB 35/971

HKB 6/972

HKB 7/972

MKB 5/512

4x 145mm

4x 145mm

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

6x 145mm

4x 105mm

4x 150mm

HKB 18/971

HKB 8/972

MKB 2/512

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

HKB 37/971

HKB 16/972

HKB 17/972

HKB 18/972

HKB 999

MKB 1/512

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

3x 210mm

3x 210mm

4x 120mm

4x 105mm

HKB 2/480

HKB 19/972

HKB 20/972

HKB 21/972

HKB 22/972

MKB 4/512

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

3x 150mm

HKB 1/480

HKB 4/448

HKB 34/971

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

6x 155mm

MKB 1/511

MKB 2/511

MKB 3/511

MKB 5/511

MKB 6/511

MKB 7/511

3x 170mm

3x 105mm

4x 155mm

4x 4 0 6 m m

4x 150mm

3x210mm

HKB 5/983

HKB 6/983

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

HKB 12/983

HKB 13/983

HKB 14/983

HKB 15/983

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 145mm

6x 155mm

HKB 1/983

HKB 2/983

HKB 3/983

4x 155mm

6x 150mm

3x 210mm

HKB 31/973

HKB 32/973

HKB 33/973

HKB 34/973

HKB 35/973

HKB 36/973

HKB 37/973

3x 210mm

3x 210mm

4x 105mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 120mm

4x 105mm

HKB 16/971

HKB 46/973

HKB 49/973

6x 155mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

HKB 5/448

HKB 4/480

HKB 2/971

HKB 5/971

HKB 32/971

HKB 36/971

3x210mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 155mm

MKB 2/514

MKB 5/514

4x 170mm

6x 155mm

MKB 1/514

MKB 4/514

MKB 6/514

HKB 3/971

3x 130mm

3x 130mm

3x 130mm

4x 105mm

HKB 47/973

HKB 48/973

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

MKB 2/516

MKB 3/516

4x 150mm

4x 305mm

HKB 61/973

HKB 62/973

HKB 63/973

HKB 64/973

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

MKB 1/516

MKB 4/516

MKB 5/516

MKB 7/516

MKB 8/516

4x 150mm

3x 4 0 6 m m

4x 150mm

4x 100mm

4x 105mm

HKAA.971
I./HKAA.971

III./HKAA.971

5./MAA.514

MAA.514

IV./HKAA.973

MAR.30
3./ MAA516

V./HKAA.973

MAA.516

The most p o w e r f u l of t h e
coastal guns d e p l o y e d in
Norway was Batterie Trondenes
I armed w i t h a 4 0 6 m m SKL/45
"Adolfkanone." This scale plan
f r o m a US A r m y report shows
its pedestal m o u n t i n g in a
lightly a r m o r e d turret. (NARA)

a b o u t 2 , 2 0 0 g u n s d e p l o y e d o n the Atlantikwall
in F r a n c e . T h e three m o s t
n u m e r o u s t y p e s in N o r w a y w e r e F r e n c h , the S c h n e i d e r 1 0 5 m m m l e 1 9 1 3
(K331(f): 2 3 1 guns, 58 batteries); Schneider 1 0 5 m m mle. 1 9 3 6 (K332(f):
9 5 g u n s , 2 4 b a t t e r i e s ) a n d the S c h n e i d e r 1 5 5 m m m l e 1 9 1 7 ( K 4 1 6 ( f ) :
1 0 9 g u n s , 2 1 b a t t e r i e s ) . T h e m o s t w i d e l y u s e d G e r m a n g u n w a s the o b s o l e t e
2 1 c m M o r s e r 18 w i t h 4 0 in service in N o r w a y in 13 b a t t e r i e s . D e p l o y m e n t
by c a l i b e r w a s a s d e s c r i b e d in T a b l e 5 .

A v i e w d u r i n g t h e construction
of Batterie Trondenes I of MKB
5/511 nearHarstad shortly
before its c o m p l e t i o n in t h e
s u m m e r of 1943 gives some
idea of t h e size of t h e w e a p o n .
(NARA)

B y 1 9 4 4 , the W e h r m a c h t in N o r w a y e v e n t u a l l y d e p l o y e d a t o t a l of 1 2
n a v a l c o a s t a l artillery b a t t a l i o n s a n d 1 1 a r m y c o a s t artillery b a t t a l i o n s . B o t h
t y p e s o f artillery f o r m a t i o n s w e r e u n d e r n a v a l c o m m a n d , s u b o r d i n a t e t o a
special artillery staff at the r e g i o n a l S e e k o h e a d q u a r t e r s . D u e to the distances
i n v o l v e d , a s well a s the c o n f u s i n g g e o g r a p h i c i n t e r m i x t u r e of n a v a l a n d a r m y
batteries, the W e h r m a c h t in N o r w a y decided to create a n intermediate artillery
c o m m a n d s t r u c t u r e n o t u s u a l l y f o u n d e l s e w h e r e o n the Atlantikwall,
the
Artillery G r o u p (Art. G p . : Artilleriegruppe),
which controlled mixed naval
a n d a r m y batteries a s d e t a i l e d below. S o m e of these g r o u p s w e r e fairly l a r g e ,
w i t h several g u n batteries a s well a s a s s o c i a t e d t o r p e d o a n d r a d a r batteries.
A s a r e s u l t , s o m e o f the l a r g e r artillery g r o u p s w e r e in t u r n b r o k e n
d o w n into tactical artillery s u b - g r o u p s (Artillerie-Untergruppe)
to control a

11
s

-M

42

specific o b j e c t i v e , s u c h a s a fjord.
In the c a s e s o f B e r g e n a n d N a r v i k ,
the sheer n u m b e r o f b a t t e r i e s in
t h e s e s e c t o r s f o r c e d the c r e a t i o n
of three s u p e r g r o u p s t o c o o r d i n a t e
the artillery f o r m a t i o n s . A r t . O b . G r .
(Artillerie-Obergruppen)
Forde
c o n t r o l l e d the artillery g r o u p s in the
Bergen area, Art.Ob.Gr.Vest-Lofoten
c o n t r o l l e d five artillery g r o u p s o n
the s o u t h e r n a p p r o a c h e s t o N a r v i k ,
a n d A r t . O b . G r . L o d i n g e n controlled
three artillery g r o u p s in the H a r s t a d
area
o n the n o r t h e r n
Narvik
a p p r o a c h e s . In c o n t r a s t to other
a r e a s o f the Atlantikwall
such as
F r a n c e a n d the N e t h e r l a n d s , there
w e r e f e w d e d i c a t e d flak r e g i m e n t s
for c o a s t a l d e f e n s e . I n s t e a d , flak
b a t t e r i e s w e r e d e p l o y e d w i t h i n the
a r m y c o a s t a l artillery r e g i m e n t s .

T a b l e 7: c o a s t a l b a t t e r i e s , A d m i r a l N o r t h C o a s t
Artillery g r o u p

C o m m a n d unit

Art.Gr. Folda

I./HKAA.974

Art.Gr. Bodo

Art.Gr. Sandessjoen

Art.Gr. Bronnoysund

Art.Gr. Vikna

Art.Gr. Namsos

Art.Gr. Orlandet

Art.Gr. Trondheim-Ost

Art.Gr. TrondheimVest

Art.Gr. Kristiansund

Art.Gr. More

Art.Gr. Romsdal

Art.Gr. Alesund

Art.Gr. Stadlandet

MAA.510

II./HKAA.974

lll.HKAA.974

MAA.500

I./HKAA.975

MAA.507

MAA.506

II./HKAA.975

I./HKAA.976

MAA.505

II./HKAA.976

lll.HKAA.976

IV./HKAA.976

HKB 1/971

HKB 7/971

HKB 1/974

HKB 2/974

HKB 3/974

HKB 8/974

6x 145mm

4x 105mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

6x 210mm

4x 8 8 m m

HKB 4/974

HKB 5/974

HKB 6/974

HKB 7/974

HKB 9/974

HKB 10/974

MKB 4/510

3x 210mm

4x 105mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

5x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 150mm

MKB 5/510

MKB 6/510

4x 150mm

4x 150mm

HKB 16/974

HKB 17/974

HKB 18/974

HKB 19/974

HKB 20/974

HKB 21/974

HKB 22/974

4x 155mm

4x 75mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x105mm

MKB 1/510

MKB 2/510

MKB 3/510

4x 127mm

4x 120mm

4x 105mm

HKB 31/974

HKB 32/974

HKB 33/974

6x 155mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

HKB 1/975

MKB 1/500

MKB 2/500

4x 75mm

4x 127mm

4x 127mm

HKB 2/975

HKB 3/975

HKB 4/975

HKB 5/975

HKB 6/975

HKB 7/975

HKB 8/975

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

3x 210mm

5x 155mm

5x 105mm

HKB 16/975

HKB 18/975

HKB 19/975

MKB 1/507

MKB 4/507

5x 105mm

4x 105mm

6x 150mm

3x 280mm

3x 280mm

MKB 1/506

MKB 2/506

MKB 3/506

MKB 4/506

MKB 5/506

HKB 17/975

3x 150mm+
2x 210mm

4x 150mm+
2x210mm

4x 150mm

3x 120mm

3x 105mm

3x 150mm

HKB 20/975

HKB 21/975

HKB 22/975

HKB 23/975

HKB 24/975

HKB 25/975

HKB 26/975

4x 155mm

6x 210mm

4x 150mm

4x 155mm

4x 76mm

4x 76mm

4x 7 6 m m

HKB 27/975

HKB 6/971

HKB 2/976

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

HKB 3/976

HKB 4/976

HKB 5/976

HKB 6/976

HKB 7/976

MKB 3/505

4x 120mm

4x 8 8 m m

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

3x 150mm

HKB 16/976

HKB 17/976

HKB 18/976

HKB 24/976

HKB 25/976

MKB 1/505

4x 88mm

6x 155mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 8 8 m m

4x 105mm

HKB 19/976

HKB 20/976

HKB 21/976

HKB 22/976

4x 105mm

3x210mm

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

HKB 23/976

HKB 30/976

HKB 31/976

HKB 32/976

HKB 33/976

HKB 34/976

MKB 2/505

4x 105mm

4x 8 8 m m

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 8 8 m m

3x 150mm

HKB 35/976

HKB 36/976

HKB 37/976

HKB 38/976

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

6x 155mm

43

T a b l e 8: c o a s t a l b a t t e r i e s , A d m i r a l W e s t C o a s t
Artillery group

C o m m a n d unit

Art. Ob. Gr. Forde

HKAA.981

HKB 5/981

Art.Gr. Nordfjord

I./HKAA.981

HKB 1/981

HKB 2/981

HKB 3/981

HKB 4/981

HKB 6/981

HKB 17/981

MKB 9/504

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

3x 130mm

HKB 11/981

HKB 12/981

HKB 13/981

HKB 14/981

HKB 15/981

HKB 16/981

MKB 7/504

4x 105mm

4x 8 8 m m

4x 105mm

4x 100mm

4x 100mm

4x 105mm

4x 127mm

HKB 31/977

HKB 32/977

HKB 33/977

HKB 34/977

HKB 35, 37/977

HKB 38/977

MKB 5/504

4x 145mm

5x 155mm

4x210mm

4x 105mm

4+ 4x 88mm

5x 105mm

3x 150mm

HKB 36/977

MKB 1/504

MKB 2/504

MKB 3/504

MKB 4/504

MKB 11/504

4x 105mm

3x210mm

3x 240mm

3x 240mm

3x 210mm

3x 280mm

HKB 46/977

HKB 47/977

HKB 48/977

HKB 49/977

HKB 50/977

MKB 6/504

MKB 8/504

4x 8 8 m m

3x 210mm

4x 100mm

4x 105mm

4x 100mm

4x 150mm

4x 127mm

HKB 61/977

HKB 62/977

HKB 63/977

4x 8 8 m m

4x 88mm

6x 155mm

HKB 64/977

HKB 65/977

HKB 66/977

HKB 68/977

MKB 10/504

3x 210mm

4x 145mm

6x 155mm

4x 75mm

4x 150mm

HKB 1/978

HKB 2/978

HKB 3/978

HKB 67/977

6x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 122mm

4x 145mm

HKB 4/978

HKB 6/978

MKB 1/503

4x 150mm

4x 100mm

3x 100mm

HKB 8/978

HKB 9/978

HKB 16/978

HKB 17/978

MKB 3/503

MKB 6/503

4x 100mm

4x 210mm

4x 100mm

4x 105mm

4x 170mm

4x 240mm

HKB 18/978

HKB 19/978

HKB 20/978

MKB 4/503

4x 8 8 m m

4x 210mm

4x 100mm

4x 127mm

HKB 21/978

HKB 22/978

HKB 23/978

HKB 24/978

HKB 25/978

MKB 5/503

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

6x 150mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

3x 150mm

HKB 17/979

HKB 18/979

HKB 19/979

HKB 20/979

HKB 21/979

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 155mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

MKB 1/502

MKB 2/502

MKB 3/502

MKB 5/502

MKB 6/502

3x 150mm

3x 150mm

2x 210mm

4x 240mm

3x 380mm

HKB 31/979

HKB 32/979

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

HKB 33/979

HKB 34/979

HKB 35/979

HKB 36/979

HKB 37/979

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

HKB 1/980

HKB 2/980

HKB 3/980

HKB 4/980

HKB 5/980

4x 105mm

4x 105mm

4x 120mm

4x 88mm

4x 120mm

Art.Gr. Sognefjord

Art.Gr. Hjeltefjord

Art.Gr. Bergen

Art.Gr. Korsfjord

Art.Gr. Bomlafjord

Art.Gr. Haugesund

Art.Gr. Karmoy-Syd

Art.Gr. Stavanger-Havn

Art.Gr. Stavanger-Syd

Art.Gr. Egersund

Art.Gr. Vanse

Art.Gr. Mandal/Sogne

Art.Gr. Kristiansand

Art.Gr. Lillesand

Art.Gr. Arendal

Art.Gr. Larvik

44

HKAA.981

III./HKAA.977

MAA.504

IV./HKAA.977

IV./HKAA.977

V./HKAA.977

IV./HKAA.978

6./HKAA.978

I./HKAA.978

II./HKAA.978

III./HKAA.978

II./HKAA.979

MAA.502

III./HKAA.979

III./HKAA.979

I./HKAA.980

Art.Gr. Makeroy

Art.Gr. Fredrikstad

MAA.501

I./HKAA.980

HKB 8/980

MKB 3/501

MKB 4/501

MKB 6/501

MKB 5/501

MKB 2/501

4x 105mm

4x 150mm

4x 150mm

3x 380mm

3x 280mm

4x 150mm

HKB 6/980

HKB 7/980

HKB 17/971

4x 100mm

4x 100mm

4x 155mm

Note:

Coastal artillery units in Norway were designated in an alternate format than elsewhere on the Atlantikwall. The format for batteries in Norway was,
for example, HKB 6/908 where HKB or MKB identifies army or navy battery, prefix (6) identifies battery number, suffix (908) identifies parent regiment.
The standard format for battalions elsewhere was, for example, 1./HKAA.980 where numeral prefix (1.) identifies the battery, a Roman numeral prefix (II.)
identifies a battalion, and a numerical suffix (980) identifies parent regiment.

By far the m o s t spectacular c o a s t a l artillery in N o r w a y w e r e the three d o z e n
heavy naval g u n s , usually surplus w a r s h i p w e a p o n s , assigned to critical defensive
assignments. T h e m o s t powerful of these w e a p o n s w e r e the " A d o l f k a n o n e n , "
a set of 4 0 6 m m g u n s originally i n t e n d e d for the n e v e r - c o m p l e t e d H - c l a s s
battleships. T h e y were installed in the islands shielding N a r v i k a n d were intended
to cover all sea a p p r o a c h e s to this p o r t . T h e V a r a battery near K r i s t i a n s a n d o n
A l t h o u g h g u n casemates
w e r e relatively u n c o m m o n in
Norway c o m p a r e d w i t h other
sections of the

Atlantikwall,

some of t h e more i m p o r t a n t
batteries in t h e south were
reinforced. Batterie Vara of
MKB 6/502 covering t h e
Skaggerak w i t h its three
3 8 0 m m SKC/34 guns was
scheduled t o be m o v e d t o
this impressive S169 casemate,
b u t it was never c o m p l e t e d .
It is seen here d u r i n g an
inspection of US A r m y officers
i m m e d i a t e l y after t h e war.
(NARA)

T a b l e 9: h e a v y c o a s t a l g u n s i n N o r w a y
Battery

Unit

Location

Number

Type

Source

Batterie Trondenes I

MKB 5/511

Harstad

4

4 0 5 m m SKC/34

H-class battleship project

Batterie Engeloy

MKB 4/516

Engeloy island

3

4 0 5 m m SKC/34

H-class battleship project

Batterie Vara

MKB 6/502

Movik

3

38cm SKC/34

battlecruiser projects

Batterie Notteroy

MKB 6/501

Vardasen

3

38cm KM36/35(f)

French battleship Jean-Bart

Batterie Lodingen

MKB 3/516

Makeroy

4

305mm Bofors L/30

pre-war Norwegian coastal gun

Batterie Husoen

MKB 1/507

Ostersjoomradet

3

28cm SKL/45

cruiser Goeben

Batterie Kiberg

MKB 3/513

Husaen

3

28cm SKL/45

WWI warships

Batterie Orlandet

MKB 4/507

Orlandet

3

28cm SKC/34 (triple)

battleship Gneisenau

Batterie Fjell

MKB 11/504

Fjell

3

28cm SKC/34 (triple)

battleship Gneisenau

Batterie Mestersand

MKB 4/517

Sylt

4

24cm SKL/40

pre-1900 battleships and cruisers

45

T a b l e 10: K r i e g s m a r i n e t o r p e d o b a t t e r i e s in N o r w a y
Battery

Torpedo

Artillery G r o u p

Local naval c o m m a n d

Torpedobatterie Bokfjord

4x 53cm

Art.Gr. Un.
Sydvaranger

MAA.513

Torpedobatterie Porsoy

2x 53cm

Art. Gr. Ofotfjord

MAA.516

Torpedobatterie Korshamn

2x 53cm

Art. Gr. Ofotfjord

MAA.516

Torpedobatterie Ledangsholm

4x 53cm

Art. Gr. Namsos

MAA.506

Torpedobatterie Hasselvik (Hysness)

4x 53cm

Art. Gr. Trondheim-ost

MAA.506

Torpedobatterie Hambaara

4x 53cm

Art. Gr. Trondheim-ost

MAA.506

Torpedobatterie Nordlandet

4x 53cm

Art. Gr. More

MAA.505

Torpedobatterie Julholmen

2x 52cm

Art. Gr. More

MAA.505

Torpedobatterie Otteroy syd

2x 52cm

Art. Gr. More

MAA.505

Torpedobatterie Angelshaug (Vemelsvik)

2x 45cm

Art. Gr. Nordfjord

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Rutledal

2x45cm

Art. Gr. Sognefjord

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Hjelte (Herdla)

3x 53cm

Art. Gr. Hjeltefjord

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Gavlen

2x 45cm

Art. Gr. Hjeltefjord

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Kvarven

3x 45cm

Art. Gr. Bergen

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Radne (Leroy)

3x 53cm

Art. Gr. Bergen

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Ljones

2x 45cm

Art. Gr. Korsfjord

MAA.504

Torpedobatterie Kaholm

3x 45cm

Art. Gr. Makeroy

MAA.501

the S k a g e r r a k w a s m o u n t e d in similar single-gun turrets in a n S I 6 9 kettle
p o s i t i o n ; a set of m a s s i v e c a s e m a t e s w a s under construction but not occupied at
the end of the war. A l t h o u g h of less impressive size, m a n y other surplus w a r s h i p
turrets w e r e d e p l o y e d in N o r w a y including eight 1 5 0 m m S K C / 2 8 g u n s in twin
C / 3 6 turrets intended for the incomplete Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier.

BATTERIE TRONDENES I, 5./MAA.511, HARSTAD, NORWAY
The most powerful guns emplaced in Norway were the massive
Krupp 4 0 6 m m Adolfkanonen in t w o batteries at Steigen and

Each battery consisted of four gun positions, located about
2 5 0 m apart. Battery Trondenes I, also known as Batterie Theo,

Trondenes, which had a m a x i m u m range of 5 6 k m (35 miles). The

was located on a rocky headland north of Harstad, and positioned

guns were leftovers from the abortive H-class battleships. Since the

to cover the Andfjorden and Vagsfjorden on the northern

naval turrets were never completed, the guns were m o u n t e d in a

approaches to Narvik. Its sister, Batterie Dietl, was located on

special BSG {Bettungshiess-Gerust)

Engeloy to cover the Vestfjorden on the southern approach to

single mounting with a turret of

light 4 5 m m armor steel. The guns were fitted to an S384 complex,

Narvik. The four gun positions were located 8 5 - 1 0 5 m above sea

which consisted of a deep concrete well with a high gun pedestal,

level. Construction of the battery started in 1942, but the battery

along with a series of tunnels leading back into reinforced concrete

was not entirely complete at war's end. A reserve ammunition

ammunition galleries behind the gun. In contrast to the sister

bunker and an emergency headquarters for the regional Seeko

battery in France, Batterie Lindemann near Calais, an overhead

were still under construction. The battery was protected by an

casemate was never built for the Norwegian batteries. The turret

8 8 m m flak battery and three more light flak batteries (37mm and

was covered with a camouflage umbrella constructed of w o o d

7 7 m m ) in the area. Batterie Harstad Nord (1./MAA.511) with three

outriggers with wire netting garnished with pieces of white and

1 7 0 m m guns was positioned downhill from Batterie Trondenes

green waxed paper and bunches of dried grass.

at the tip of the headlands for sea-level defense.

Batterie Flakfort of 1 ./MAA.508
covering t h e C o p e n h a g e n
roadstead was a f o r m e r Danish
battery e q u i p p e d w i t h six of
these t u r r e t e d 2 1 0 m m SKL/51
guns. (NARA)

Torpedo

T a b l e 1 1 : K-Verbande in N o r w a y , 1945
Unit

Base

I.K-Di vision

Narvik

K-Flotilla 2/265

Engeloy

11 Biber

K-Flotilla 1/215

Ullvik

30 Linse

K-Flotilla 1/362

Brenvik

20 Marder

MEK.35

Harstad

60 troops

MEK.90

Oslo

30 troops

2.K-Division

Trondheim

K-Flotilla 2/216

Namsos

24 Linse

K-Flotilla 1/216

Selvenas

36 Linse

K-Flotilla 1/267

Kristiansund

15 Biber

K-Flotilla 2/267

Molde

15 Biber

MEK.30

Molde

80 troops

3.K-Division

Bergen

K-Flotilla 1/362

Herdla

20 Marder

K-Flotilla 215

Flatoy

30 Linse

K-Flotilla 2/362

Krokeidet

20 Marder

K-Flotilla 415

Stavanger

30 Molch

K-Flotilla 1/263

Sogne-Hollen

14 Biber

K-Flotilla 2/263

Tangen-Stolsviken

15 Biber

MEK.25

Stend-Bergen

60 troops

4.K-Division

Oslofjord

K-Flotilla 265

Haao

20 Biber

K-Flotilla 1/366

Stavern

15 Marder

K-Flotilla 2/366

Mageroy

15 Marder

48

Weapons

batteries

T h e v a l u e o f t o r p e d o b a t t e r i e s in the d e f e n s e o f N o r w a y ' s
n u m e r o u s f j o r d s w a s m a d e p a i n f u l l y a p p a r e n t t o the
K r i e g s m a r i n e o n A p r i l 9 , 1 9 4 0 w h e n the cruiser Bliicher w a s
s u n k b y t w o 2 8 c m t o r p e d o e s f r o m the O s c a r b o r g fort in
Oslofjord. T h e N o r w e g i a n navy had begun establishing
t o r p e d o b a t t e r i e s a s e a r l y a s 1 8 9 0 , m o u n t e d in c o n c e a l e d
u n d e r w a t e r l a u n c h e r s . T h e s e batteries w e r e p o s i t i o n e d t o c o v e r
p a s s a g e w a y s that were 5 , 0 0 0 m wide or less. Besides taking
over several N o r w e g i a n batteries and using N o r w e g i a n navy
e q u i p m e n t t o c r e a t e o t h e r s , the K r i e g s m a r i n e i n s t a l l e d their
o w n batteries, eventually t o t a l i n g 1 7 s h o r e batteries. In c o n t r a s t
t o the o r i g i n a l N o r w e g i a n b a t t e r i e s , the G e r m a n b a t t e r i e s
t y p i c a l l y u s e d d e s t r o y e r - t y p e triple l a u n c h t u b e s m o u n t e d o n
the s u r f a c e in a c o n c r e t e b u i l d i n g w i t h a f i r e - c o n t r o l p o s t
located nearby, often s u p p o r t e d by a searchlight. A typical
b a t t e r y c o n s i s t e d o f t h r e e officers a n d 4 0 m e n , a n d w a s
s u b o r d i n a t e d t o the c o a s t a l artillery b a t t a l i o n in the a r e a . In
a d d i t i o n t o the s h o r e b a t t e r i e s , t w o f l o a t i n g b a t t e r i e s w e r e
d e p l o y e d in B e r g e n .

Denmark
D e n m a r k w a s t h e m o s t o b s c u r e p o r t i o n o f the
Atlantikwall.
D e n m a r k h a d very m o d e s t c o a s t a l defenses p r i o r t o the 1 9 4 0
invasion, mainly centered a r o u n d Copenhagen's harbor. As a
s h o r t - t e r m e x p e d i e n t , in the s u m m e r of 1 9 4 0 the W e h r m a c h t
d e p l o y e d 1 5 n a v y c o a s t a l b a t t e r i e s a t the m a j o r h a r b o r s a n d
m a j o r c h o k e p o i n t s l e a d i n g i n t o the B a l t i c , b a s e d p r i m a r i l y
o n o l d w a r - b o o t y artillery t a k e n f r o m the D a n i s h a r s e n a l .
T h e n a v a l c o m m a n d in D e n m a r k w a s d e s i g n a t e d A d m i r a l
S k a g g e r a k a n d w a s s u b o r d i n a t e t o the N a v y B a l t i c H i g h
C o m m a n d {Marine Oberkommando
Ostsee); there w e r e three
subordinate Seeko. The Army High C o m m a n d Denmark
( A O K - D a n e m a r k ) w a s the c o r r e s p o n d i n g a r m y c o m m a n d .
T h e a u t u m n o f 1 9 4 0 s a w the first m a j o r c o n s t r u c t i o n effort
with a s c h e m e to d e p l o y t w o h e a v y c o a s t a l batteries in D e n m a r k :
o n e a t H a n s t h o l m o p p o s i t e N o r w a y t o c o n t r o l the S k a g g e r a k ,
a n d a p a i r o n B o r n h o l m in the Baltic to cover the K a t t e g a t . In the
event, the i n v a s i o n o f the S o v i e t U n i o n in 1 9 4 1 curtailed the
B o r n h o l m p l a n s , b u t the H a n s t h o l m p r o j e c t c o n t i n u e d a l o n g
w i t h a c o r r e s p o n d i n g b a t t e r y o n the N o r w e g i a n side of the


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