HomeThe Azeville batteryA unique Atlantic Wall site

A unique Atlantic Wall site

The Atlantic Wall is a vast 4,000 km long coastal defence system built by Nazi Germany during the Second World War to protect itself from an Allied landing.

A strategic location

In 1942, the German army identified the town of Azeville, set back from the coast a few kilometres from Sainte-Mère-Eglise, as a strategic base. A battery that was invisible from the sea!

Located 4 km from Gougins beach (Saint-Marcouf), the Azeville battery was in charge of protecting the east coast of the English Channel from a possible landing. Its guns covered an area stretching from the Bay of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue to the Bay of Veys.

Azeville battery cannon driving range
Azeville battery shelling range

A unique complex

Drawing of the battery and underground

Between 1943 and 1944, four powerful reinforced concrete casemates designed to protect the artillery (105 mm Schneider 1913 guns), were built under the supervision of the Todt organisation.
The site was also equipped with two anti-aircraft guns.

The complexity of this military space lies in the impressive network of concrete tunnels and covered trenches extending for over 800 metres. It provided shelter for men and ammunition.

A German garrison at the heart of a Normandy village

Portrait of the Azeville battery commander: Hugo Treiber

Around 170 men were under the command of Hauptmann Hugo Treiber.
So they lived in the local community for two and a half years in direct contact with the population of 115.

Over two years of construction for a three and a half day battle

On the morning of 6 June 1944, the battery went into action, shelling the Utah Beach landing sector.

Finally, on 9 June, after intense fighting, the garrison surrendered to the American soldiers of the 4th Division.

Now a tourist spot

In 1994, as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Département de la Manche became the owner of the concrete structures.

Enlightened by rigorous historical research, the Department opened the site to the public.

The Azeville site is part of the network of sites and museums managed by the Département de la Manche.

Transcription of the video

The Azeville Battery is a unique Atlantic Wall site set back from the coast at a few kilometres from SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE.

For Nazi Germany, it was in charge of protecting the beaches on the east coast of the Cotentin peninsula from an inland location.

Comprising 4 casemates and an impressive complex of underground tunnels, it was one of the Allies’ main objectives on 6 June 1944.

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