Dover batteries september 1944

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by martin75, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. martin75

    martin75 Member

    Hello, I need help with the shots made by the English heavy batteries in the Dover sector against the German batteries in the Gris-Nez and Calais sectors in september 1944. I have a lot of information but some seem contradictory.
    In particular, regarding the day of September 20: did Wanstone's 15 inch guns fire? How many shells were fired by the 14 inches guns of St Margaret ?
    Colonel Maurice-Jones in "History of coastal artillery in British army" speaks of 85 shells for Wanstone and 198 for "Winnie" and "Pooh". This seems very high, especially since the excessive wear of the barrels, particularly for the 15 inch barrels, prevented them from reaching the French coast.
    Any help would be welcome !
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    I have dug out my old copy of After the Battle Issue 29 titled “Cross-Channel Guns” by John Reed published back in 1980 which has details of the Sept 1944 actions by the British as well as German guns. Back issues are available

    After the Battle - Magazines > Issues 26-50

    For 17th Sept it notes that “Barrel wear was now a problem for both Wanstone guns and, with shells from Clem and Jane falling well short, the time had come for them to be withdrawn. Winnie and Pooh alone were now capable of hitting the target............Inevitably, Pooh’s suspect ramming mechanism failed yet again, but not before the two guns had fired a total of 114 rounds, one sixth of their total for the entire war”.

    That is the last mention of Clem and Jane at Wanstone.

    Then on the 19th “....After six sighting rounds, Winnie and Pooh fired 60 rounds at the Grosser Kurfürst guns and later returned to action to fire a further eight to silence a nearby anti-aircraft battery. Excessive barrel wear was by now revealing itself in some less accurate shooting and, when on the following morning the Corps commander called in the big-guns against Nebelwerfer and mortar batteries near Cap Blanc-Nez, only six shells out of forty fired found their mark.

    It was the end of the war for the Dover long-range guns....”

    I hope this helps you sort out some of the details.
  3. martin75

    martin75 Member

    All my thanks Ewen.

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