Fort du Roule battery – Stp 255

German batteries of the Atlantic Wall in Normandy

Unit: 260th Marine Regiment of Artillery (MAA260)

Codename: Stp 255

Artillery guns: 4x 105 mm S.K.C/32U 

Outcome: Under American control on June 26, 1944

The Fort du Roule battery was originally a nineteenth century fortification built by the French on the heights overlooking the Cherbourg roadstead from the south, in order to protect the port from possible British raids.

Composition of the Fort du Roule battery

The Germans requisitioned this fort and under the control of the Todt organization undertook to strengthen this position as of 1944. They installed along the cliff four casemates of the Regelbau 671 type, each housing a 105 mm gun And which are connected together by tunnels. These galleries house during the period of the German occupation torpedoes armed S-Boote speedboats which are at anchor in the port of Cherbourg.

At the top of Mount Roule, the fortress is reinforced by positions of machine guns and mortars which ensure close protection of the site against a ground attack. Three 37 mm Flak 36 guns also provide anti-aircraft defense. The southern part of the mountain is equipped with trenches and anti-tank ditches.

The Fort du Roule battery during the Battle of Normandy

On June 25, 1944, at 8 am, a squadron of P-47 fighter-bombers launched a raid on Fort du Roule without causing major damage. The Americans of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 314th Infantry Regiment of the 8th Infantry Division stormed the outposts of the battery, supported by the 311th Field Artillery Battalion, and succeeded In the immediate vicinity of the drums after a brief but violent battle.

Bangalore torpedoes are used to open gaps through barbed wire. Corporal Kelly (Easy Company, 2nd Battalion) crosses the enemy lines under intense fire, loaded with explosives which he installs three times at the foot of the German point of support before attacking the position with grenades , Obliging the defenders to surrender. Decorated with the Medal of Honor for this action, Kelly died as a result of injuries in November 1944. The upper position of Fort du Roule is removed around 10 pm. But the battery in itself did not fall until the following day, thanks to the courage and the happy initiative of the soldiers of E company.

The taking of the Fort of the Roule allows the Americans to engage more deeply in the city of Cherbourg and to start the siege of the arsenal.