Chateau de Fontenay

The Chateau de Fonteney was a fine renaissance chateau that had been the home of the Comte Edouard le Begue de Germiny and his family for many years. When the Germans arrived and started fortifying the Bay of the Seine with their first construction of the Atlantic Wall at Azeville, they required a base. About 300 Polish slave workers were used in the construction of Azeville and they were billeted in the grounds of the chateau. The Chateau then became the command post for the Germans who called the area around the Chateau the "iron triangle" which encompassed the batteries of Azeville, Crisbecq, and Quineville. Theses batteries along with the beach defences protected the eastern flank of Cherbourg. The liberation of the area, proved quite difficult after the comparatively easy landings at Utah Beach. The Germans had recovered from the initial surprise and gave stiff opposition to the advancing Americans, around the gun emplacements of Crisbecq, Azeville and Quineville. The taking of the chateau fell to the 359th inf. who were part of the 90th Division and the first platoon, led by Lt. Lynd, attacked the chateau from the east on June 10th 1944. This was after a heavy aerial and sea bombardment. The chateau then remained the front line between the Americans and the Germans for some days until Montburg was taken. Permission should be sought before visiting the chateau, as it is on private land. Great care should be taken when exploring the chateau as there are many holes, that lead to the cellar. Before D-day six 155 mm French guns were stationed near here manned by members of the 8HKAR/1261. No trace of any concrete emplacements can be found, although there were plans to house them in type H671 casemates. When the Americans advanced they were taken north to Lestre to protect the Montbourg to Quineville road.

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