The forgotten beach (final part)

After our visit to Mont Canisy we return towards the D 513 and head for Villerville by Deauville. With some hard searching you can find some objects. For more information and some research the magazine '39-45 Historica', (April-May-June 2000) 'Le Mur de L'Atlantique en Normandie' the publisher Heimdal (it is written French). They sell them in the better souvenir shop around Normandy.

Wn Trou 08

The one way road through the centre of Villersville leads to a small boulevard on the beach of this town. Across the bay lays Le Havre.

Villerville, with obstacles in the sea, Then and Now

The beach over here was heavy defended, not only with heavy guns, but also with obstacles on the beach. The beach was loaded with 'Belgium Gates'. These could be rolled with the tide to have the sharp ends of the gates just above the waterline, to rip open the bottom of landing craft.

A 'Belgium Gate', an obstacle against landing craft.

From the boulevard I advise you to make a walk on this beach, heading east. Walk approximately 500 meter along the steep cliff. Halfway, at low tide, you come across a wreck of a boat, unknown to me. At the same level, near the cliff, lies an enormous Blockhaus. This one still shows the German black paint to outline of a now disappeared building. The next bunkers you come across, a further 250 meter, are the from the stronghold 'Trou 08 Cricqueboeuf'.

'Trou 08 Cricqueboeuf', with black paint still on the bunker

In the middle of this complex lies a bunker which looks as it is deteriorating by erosion. But at closer examination it tells you that this was done on purpose, to give it a 'feeling' that it was part of the cliff. Before the concrete was poured, the builders placed some sandbags in the mould. When the mould was removed, the illusion of erosion was left as a marking in the concrete. In this bunker stood an SK 4.7 cm Skoda 36(t).

Stroll back to the boulevard of Virreville and continue our route east, heading for Honfleur

Wn Trou 05

The first important battery was near Vasouy, a few kilometers west of Honfleur. Located here was Wn Trou 05 Marineküstenbatterie (MKB) Vasouy, under the command of 9. Marine Artillerie Abteilung 266. Here were three heavy bunkers of the type M272. Construction of this side started in the sumer of 1943 and was concluded at the end of that year. Each battery contained a 15 cm L/45.

The range finding post, Type M262.

West of the complex, at the back, the Germans built a range finding post, Type M262. Three 2 cm Flak 30 canons with a searchlight offered protection against bomber attacks. During D-Day the complex was out of reach to take action against the invasion forces. In August, 1944 the occupants of the battery left the complex and retreated to Le Havre. A couple of days later some divers of the Kriegsmarine returned to blow up the guns in the bunkers.

The Battery of Vasouy, Then and Now.

What is left? Take the D 513 from Honfleur heading for Trouville in the west. 200 meters before you reach the village sign of Pennedepie, you may spot in a flash the giant range finding post. To park your car is quite difficult, but across the road is a small spot.

Not a stair, but the deflectionshield of the eastern kazemat

The battery is located on a private land, but it is worth a quick peak under the barbwire. The range finding post is very impressive. There are two gunnery M272 places left intact. The one in the east is blown to pieces. It must have been with such a tremendous explosion, that the shock off disbelief left the other two standing. An enormous crater and blocks of concrete are spread over the whole place.

The crater of the northern M272