La Pernelle 2 battery – Essen
German batteries of the Atlantic Wall in Normandy
Unit: 10th Battalion of the 1261st Marine Artillery Regiment (10/HKAR1261)
Codename: La Pernelle 2
Artillery guns: 3x 170 mm K18
La Pernelle 2 battery is one of the three elements that make up the defensive complex around the village of La Pernelle, comprising two artillery batteries (Pernelle 1, Pernelle 2) and a radar station (station B7).
La Pernelle 2, also known as “Essen”, comprises three 170 mm German K18 guns installed in open-air intakes. The Germans plan to build three casemates like the Regelbau H679 but the Allies, disembarking on June 6, 1944, do not give them time to do so.
Shortly before D-Day, the Allies bombed the Atlantic Wall, notably the La Pernelle complex. One of the 170 mm pieces was damaged during these attacks and then towed to Cherbourg for repairs. It is still under repair at the time of disembarkation.
Not being protected from the bombardments, the guns are then moved by the Germans in the interior. They are then neutralized by their servants to prevent them from falling into the hands of American forces during the Battle of Normandy.