Gun Battery Großer Kurfürst

Located at Cap Griz-Nez in France, at the narrowest point of the English Channel, the Germans built a gun battery consisting of four 280 mm. guns immediately following the capitulation of France in June 1940. These guns were placed in turrets, as on battleships, but instead of the battleship a large bunker (S412) was built for each gun. The guns had a 360 degree field of fire.

Throughout the war, the guns regularly fired shells against south east England and were therefore obviously a priority target for the Allies. After the landings in Normandy (D-day), Allied forces (principally Canadian) pushed along the coast to liberate the area. In addition to the harassment of Dover, the guns at Calais could have prevented the Allies from shortening their supply line, by firing on Allied shipping in the Channel.

As a last opportunity to make a difference, the British guns on the cliffs above Dover and which had participated in cross channel artillery duels since 1940,  launched one last massive attack. The Großer Kurfürst gun battery received several hits, but could continue to bombard Dover and the advancing Canadians.