The Longues Sur Mer battery is strategically situated on the cliffs between Arromanches and Port en Bessin overlooking the D-Day Normandy Landing beaches. The four 155mm guns with a range of eight miles were in a position to threaten either the Americans landing on OMAHA Beach or the British Landing on GOLD Beach. The guns were naval guns taken from a decomissioned destroyer, therefore the battery was manned by 143 German Navy personnel. On D-Day The battery fired upon the U.S. Battleship Arkansas before switiching its fire to the British flagship, HMS Bulolo off GOLD Beach. In reply The British cruiser HMS Ajax fired 114 6 inch shells at the battery silencing it. Ajax scored a direct hit on No.4 casemate and near misses on the other three. Late in the afternoon of D-Day, No.1 gun began firing again before being finally silenced by the French cruiser Georges Leygues. The battery was captured by the Devonshire Regiment moving inland from GOLD Beach on 7th June, the day after D-Day. The battery is unique in that it retains the guns in the casemates just as they were when captured in Operation Overlord on 7th June 1944.
The Longues Sur Mer battery is an evocative place, retaining its power to this day. Standing beside the casemates, or looking through the gun ports, you get a real sense of what the brave men who stormed the Normandy landing beaches on D Day were really up against. It is a very popular spot on our tours. By Malcolm Clough