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K 5 (E) Batteries on the Atlantik Wall

K5 with Diesel locomotive in domed bunker

Guns on the Atlantic Wall
By Karl Heinz & Michael Schmeelke  
ISBN : 0-7643-0572-7

A extract from Book :Guns on the Atlantic Wall 1942-1945

In the Summer of 1940, three railroad batteries, each with two K5 guns, were transferred to the Channel coast by the Wehrmacht for Operation Sealion. Battery E 712 took up position near Pointe aux Oies, E713 near Hydrequent and E 765 at first in the railroad yards of the harbor depot of Calais; later this battery was transfer to Coquelles.
After Operation Sealion had been given up, the three batteries remained on the Channel. To protect the cannons, the Todt Organization built two domed bunkers for Batteries 712 and 713, with room inside for the guns and their Diesel locomotives. For Battery 765, a multistory tunnel layout was built in a quarry near Coquelles. This also contained ammunition stores, housing and administrative offices. The K5 guns were aimed via a built in rail-switching system and turntable.
Along with the Navy's long range guns, the 28cm railroad gun dominated the Channel and the south coast of Britain.
In addition, they could fire on any shipping traffic at the harbors of Ramsgate, Dover and Folkstone.

Fortress 3rd Reich

Item 218 : Fortress Third Reich
German Fortifications and Defense Systems in WWII
Illustrations by Robert M.Jurga
The Atlantic Wall may be the most famous German World War II era fortification line in Europe, but in fact Germany built many fortified defensive lines throughout the war, from coastal defenses along the English Channel to the celebrated West Wall and the hurriedly built East Wall. There are forts, bunkers, and defensive lines - many half built because of Hitler's vacillating enthusiasm for defense - throughout the territory once occupied by Hitler's forces.
by : J.E.Kaufmann ,H.W.kaufmann
Includes 88 technical drawings, 17 detailed maps,
over 140 photos - many never before published
ISBN : 1-0-306-81239-8
Hard cover,  10" x 10", 362 pages.
Publisher : Da Capo Press
Recommended Reading by One35th

Beginning of the Atlantic Wall : (page 190)
Extracted from the book : Fortress Third Reich by J.E.Kaufmann & H.K.Kaufmann - ISBN 0-306-81239-8
The K-type 280mm railway guns could move on their railroad carriage into these dome bunkers, sometimes called cathedral bunkers. Once inside the armored doors, the concrete shelter provided all the protection needed as long as the guns were not in the firing position. These bunkers were large enough to house the two 280mm guns and the locomotive of one battery. One of these dome bunkers was situated on the northwest side of Calais, about one kilometer from the coast. Another one was at Vallée Heureuse, about four kilometers east of Marquise, almost half way between Calais and Boulogne, about six kilometers from the coast. A third one was at about one kilometer north of Wimereux, five kilometers north of Boulogne, near the coast. A fourth even larger bunker for a railroad gun battery was built later, not far from the first dome bunker near Calais.
Since the big K-type rail guns were too large for their own carriage to mount a turntable, curved sections of track were used for aiming. After 1936 the Vögele turntable was adopted. It consisted of a platform on which the gun car was mounted and which revolved around a circular track for aiming the gun. This made it possible for the gun to cover a full 360 degrees. The Vögele turntable was transported with each gun and assembled at the firing site. Nine railway artillery regiments totaling sixteen batteries were available in the summer of 1940. Some of them were stationed on the Channel coast during the autumn of 1940. The navy also had one of the two 150mm rail-gun batteries known as Batterie Gneisenau.  ...
K5E in Bunker A K5 in France, seen in one of the bunkers that were built to hide and protect them. It is in firing mode, since the generator is on the gun. The bunkers were made to look like barns. Note the big sliding doors; with all the rivets, they seem to be steel. Judging from the uniforms, this must be later in the war.
(Marcel Verhaaf Collection)

Atlantikwall Museum (France)
Musée du Mur de I'Atlantique
( Atlantikwall Museum )
batterie Todt
The museum is in Tower I ("Turm I") of the former German  "Batterie Todt"

Atlantik wall

Map of Calais

Map of K5 Batteries position

Map of Calais present day
Map of Calais - Present day
domed bunker
Front view of the domed bunker for the K5 gun
K5 on the atlantik wall
A gun of battery E712 is rolling out of the domed bunker. The loaded gun is immediately turned to its firing position.

A domed bunker of Battery E712, with soil banked against it. The Arched form of the bunker's roof was meant to deflect striking shells of the side.

Here a gun of E713 rolls out of its bunker near Hydrequent.
The artillery men have found seats on the gun.
K5 - E713 battery ready to fire
K5 Battery E713 has rolled onto the turntable, which could turn it 360 degrees.
The gun is being prepared for firing.
Two empty cartridges lie ready at the left side of the picture.
The ammunition gunners push two explosive shells and two main cartridges out of the ammunition bunker to the gun.
fire !
With a long trigger cord, the artilleryman triggers the gun.
on turntable 

The 28cm Railroad gun K5 Battery E765 on its turntable near Coquelles.
The gun's score is marked on the barrel.



© one35th - Last updated on  :  Tuesday, May 27, 2008