Todt Battery

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Todt Battery
Part of the Atlantic Wall
Haringzelle, Audinghen, Pas de Calais, France
Audinghen Batterie Todt.jpg
The Todt Battery in 2008
War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svgReichsadler Deutsches Reich (1935–1945).svg
Kriegsmarine Ensign
Site information
Open to
the public
One casemate is open to the public
ConditionFour casemates, in varied condition
Site history
Built1942 (1942)
Built byOrganisation Todt
In use1942-44
MaterialsConcrete and steel
Battles/warsOperation Undergo
Garrison information
Garrison Kriegsmarine

The Todt Battery, also known as Batterie Todt, is a battery of coastal artillery built by the Germans in World War II, located in the hamlet of Haringzelle, Audinghen, near Cape Gris Nez, Pas de Calais, France. It was part of the Atlantic Wall, and consisted of four 380 millimetres (15 in) calibre Krupp guns with a range up to 55.7 kilometres (34.6 mi), capable of reaching the British coast, and each protected by a bunker of reinforced concrete.

History[edit]

The coastal defense version of the SK C/34 was modified with a larger chamber for coast defense duties to handle the increased amount of propellant used for the special long-range Siegfried shells.[1][2] Gander and Chamberlain quote a weight of only 105.3 tonnes (103.6 long tons; 116.1 short tons) for these guns, presumably accounting for the extra volume of the enlarged chamber.[3] An armored single mount, the Bettungsschiessgerüst (Firing platform) C/39 was used by these guns. It had a maximum elevation of 60° and could traverse up to 360°, depending on the emplacement. The C/39 mount had two compartments; the upper housed the guns and their loading equipment, while the lower contained the ammunition hoists, their motors, and the elevation and traverse motors. The mount was fully powered and had an underground magazine.[4] Normally these were placed in open concrete barbettes, relying on their armor, but Hitler thought that there was not enough protection for Battery Todt and ordered a concrete casemate 3.5 metres (11 ft) thick built over and around the mounts. This had the unfortunate effect of limiting their traverse to 120°.[5] Other C/39 mounts were installed at the Hanstholm fortress in Denmark, and the Vara fortress in Kristiansand, Norway. Plans were made to install two of these mounts at Cap de la Hague and two at Paimpol in France, modifying guns originally intended for an abortive refit of Gneisenau, but were not executed for unknown reasons. Work on putting two more mounts at Oxsby in Denmark was well advanced but incomplete by the end of the war.

The battery fired its first shell on 20 January 1942, although it was only officially opened in February 1942 in the presence of high Kriegsmarine dignitaries.[citation needed] Originally to be called Siegfried Battery, it was renamed in honour of the German engineer Fritz Todt, creator of the Todt Organisation and responsible for the construction of the Atlantic Wall, who died in a plane crash days before the battery's inauguration.

The battery was taken by Anglo-Canadian troops in September 1944, after an intense aerial bombardment, as part of Operation Undergo.

Museum[edit]

One of the four casemates now houses a museum about World War II, Musée du Mur de l'Atlantique. The exhibits include military hardware, including, outside, one of two surviving Krupp K5 artillery rail-mounted cannon.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_15-52_skc34.htm Chamber volume increased from 19,467 in3 (319 dm3) to 22,072 in3 (361.7 dm3), rifling length reduced from 629.2 in. (15.982 m) to 620 in (15.748 m)
  2. ^ Campbell, p. 229
  3. ^ Gander and Chamberlain, p. 272
  4. ^ Hogg, p. 242
  5. ^ Gander and Chamberlain, p. 256

Bibliography[edit]

  • This article was created from the translation of the article Batterie Todt the French Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported and free documentation license GNU.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°50′39″N 1°36′00″E / 50.8443°N 1.5999°E / 50.8443; 1.5999