Cross channel bombardments

After the Germans invaded France in May 1940, they quickly developed a series of gun batteries on the northern coast, near Calais. The Germans had plans to invade England and the guns would support that invasion by both partly keeping the Channel free of enemy ships and simultaneously support the anticipated landing.

Over the next five years, the English Channel was front line between the German gun batteries in France and similar British guns in the area around Dover.  There were regular outbreaks of artillery duels between gun posts on either side of the Channel and the town of Dover alone was, during the war, hit by more than 2,200 shells (as well as air raids), giving it the local name “Hell Fire Corner”.

In September 1944, three months after the landings in Normandy (D Day), the Allied forces had moved up the coast and a massive bombardment of the German batteries began, both by the guns of Dover and by aircraft.  Each of the German gun batteries was protected with minefields, barbed wire, bunkers and trenches.  After fierce fighting, mainly by Canadian Army forces, at the end of September 1944 the last gun was silenced and the people of Dover could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

The German gun batteries around Calais were:

Battery Großer Kurfürste with 4 pcs. of 11 inches guns

Battery Lindemann with 3 pcs. of 16 inches guns

Battery La Carre de Marbee with 1 pcs. of 11 inches guns

Battery Todt with 4 pcs. of 15 inches guns

Battery Friedrich August with 3 pcs. of 12 inches guns

The map show the range of the German guns.


Battery La Carre de Marbee


Battery Lindemann

Battery Friedrich August

Battery Todt

Battery Großer Kurfürste


This site has been translated by

Norman Brice