ANNEXURE 4 TO APPENDIX " C " OF REPORT OF NAVAL COMMANDER FORCE " G "
COAST DEFENCE BATTERIES An inspection of the Coast Defence Batteries in area GOLD was made between D+14 and D +20.
This was the only battery in the sector fitted with coast defence guns. Four of these, all of calibre 150 mm. (5.9-in.) were sited in thick concrete emplacements. They were apparently naval guns and were on pedestal mountings, the mounting having a traverse of about 140'. This traverse was obtained by mounting the guns well forward in the casemates and leaving an aperture in the casemate out of which the gun and shield projected. The shield was only i-in. steel and this weak spot in an otherwise almost impregnable position proved to be the battery's, undoing. Three of the gun shields had each been pierced by shell which had put the guns out of action.
This was remarkably accurate : the field in which the battery was sited was covered with bomb craters and it is estimated that at each position there were twenty 500 or 1,000-1b. bomb craters within 50 yards of the casemate.
One casemate had received a direct hit on top. About seven feet of concrete was blown away and a hole about two feet diameter made into the casemate. At another casemate, a bomb had exploded about five yards in front of the gun and the earth was blown away down to the concrete foundations.
5. Empty cylinders were counted in the following numbers:—
No. 1 gun 50
No. 2 gun 5
No. 3 gun 10
No. 4 gun 50
6. A massive concrete O.P. was in course of construction just behind the cliff face. It was dug into the ground to a depth of some 30 feet, the top of the U. I'. being at ground level. On completion, the intention must hay, been to cut away. the cliff face as required for observation.
7. It was difficult to find shell craters as these were swamped by the bomb craters. A number were however seen close to the guns, a testimony to the accurate shooting of H.M.S. AJAX. To her also must go the credit for knocking nut the three guns and silencing the battery at 0620, after less than one hour's engagement.
General Impressions S. This battery was not ready to go into action. The O.P. was not finished and all guns must have been in some form of local control.