Sunday, 7 July 2013

Book Review: German Defensive Batteries and Gun Emplacements

I received this A4 sized 48 page booklet on the German Atlantic Wall Defences facing the Normandy invasion in yesterdays post. Consisting mostly of black and white photographs this introduction to these fortifications is quite an easy read, though it is worth taking some time over the photos. Note that this book only covers the artillery gun emplacements in the invasion area, it does not cover all of the fortifications in Normandy and it doesn't go in to detail about things such as trenches, shelters or minefields surrounding any of the fortifications.

The information given for each of the batteries varies somewhat, for some of them you get a set of plans of individual bunkers (some but not all of these are dimensioned, though the scale isn't stated but could easily be worked out) then for others you'll not get anything much at all other than a brief description, some details of what happened to the battery and a few photographs.

I found some of the descriptions of the batteries quite interesting and I did learn some new information. There is also a handy list at the back of the emplacements, the unit manning them and what guns they had. As I'm working on a battery that's based on the Longues-sur-Mer Battery this booklet was a helpful resource when combined with other information - more on this battery model later....

In summary I'd say that the book is worth buying but if you want a detailed guide to any particular battery you would need a bigger more detailed book or perhaps the guide book for one of these sites.

Full Title: German Defensive Batteries and Gun Emplacements on the Normandy Beaches Invasion: D-Day June 6 1944
Authors: Karl-Heinz Schmeelke & Michael Schmeelke
Publisher: Schiffer Military/Aviation History (1995)
Language: English
ISBN: 0-88740-755-2
Price: £7.93 ("real" book - on

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