During the night of 5 to 6 June 1944, the battery of Azeville was attacked by American paratroopers. Despite the attacks that night, the battery could fir the cannons in the morning of June 6 1944 on the beaches of Utah Beach.
The battery of Azeville was so heavily defended, that the Americans were forced to use another way to attack the battery. The U.S.S. Nevada fired from
a distance of more than 20 km on this battery. One of these 14" shells came exactly in the opening of a bunker and hit through a thick concrete wall of the bunker and boarded in the ground behind the bunker. Interestingly enough the shell didnít explode. This incident destroyed with the flying concrete and steel components, pressure and heat of the explosion not only the cannon in the bunker, but also the entire contents of the bunker. All German soldiers who were present at that moment in the bunker were killed.
50 years after this incident, this shell was found behind the bunker. It has been excavated and safely detonated.
Today, the battery of Azeville is well preserved. With a guided tour (in French and English), the bunkers and underground passageways can be visit. There is also Dutch and English documentation available during the tour.
The bunkers are still having a part of their original camouflage.
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- Text: Ewoud van Eig
- Photos: Jaco der Nederlanden (1), Ewoud van Eig (2,3,4) & Adrie Suykerbuyk (5)