The Taking Of The Batterie d’Azeville Part Two

Camouflage Paint Still Visible

The first assault amounted to nothing but there were many dead on both sides. This was the first of many assaults and between each assault the USS Nevada shelled both batteries together with Quineville a little further to the north. During the night of June 7th - 8th, the Americans tried to surround both batteries for another assault. The commander of Crisbecq "Commander Ohmsen" phoned Azeville to ask that them to shell his batterie to try and dislodge the Americans. The fire was very accurate and at this point the Americans were on the roof of the fire Control Post and about to place explosives into the bunker. The Americans, not believing that the Germans would fire on their own position thought it was their own ships that were responsible for the firing. The Americans withdrew and the firing stopped but not before 90 American prisoners had been taken at Crisbecq. Shortly after, another attack was launched on Azeville, but this time the Americans attacked from several different directions. Here at Azeville the only cannons able to fire through 3600 were the anti aircraft guns mounted on the top of casemates No’s 1 & 4. These fired on the tanks approaching from the west. The flak gun on casemate No 4 had been damaged in an earlier attack but was operational again at this time. There were also three machine gun nests all able to fire on the approaching Americans. Some days before D-day the batterie had received a stock of anti tank mines and some of these had already been buried.  This attack failed because the Americans could not get close enough to the batterie. During the night of June 8th - 9th the USS Nevada damaged casemate No 1 with two  356 mm shells (14 inch). The first caused the damage visible on the exterior wall and the second came in through the gun window. This shell did not explode, but killed the gun crew of five before entering the plotting room and also killed the crew in here. The shell then continued through the metal machine gun portal, hitting the exterior wall in two places. All the men in this casemate were killed either by concrete shards or by the violent air movement caused by the shell. The shell was found in 1994 just outside the doorway but was in a dangerous condition and had to be exploded. This attack by the USS Nevada shocked the Germans and Dr. Hugo Treiber was not a fanatic and did not wish to loose any more men needlessly. During the morning of June 9th, the Americans bombarded the area and encountered weak resistance. The anti aircraft gun on casemate No 4 attacked an approaching Sherman, which had infiltrated the area without too much difficulty. The Captain walked out of casemate No 4 with an American parachutist who had been taken prisoner earlier, waving a white flag. For the troops at Azeville the war was over. Of the German force of around 250 at the start of the battles 169 were taken prisoner.

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