Mont Fleury battery – Stp 35a

German batteries of the Atlantic Wall in Normandy

Unit: 3rd battery of the 1260th Coastal Artillery Regiment

Codename: Stp 35a

Artillery guns: 4x 122 mm K390/2 (r)

Outcome: Under British control on June 6th, 1944

The Mont Fleury battery, coded Stp 35a and Wn 35a, is located northwest of the village of Ver-sur-Mer, at the place known as Les Roquettes. The place known as Mont Fleury is situated to the north-east of Ver-sur-Mer, but the name of this battery comes from an error of the Allied intelligence services which has since remained to posterity.

The Germans initially set up four Soviet pieces of 122 mm in an open position overlooking the coast, which they seized on the eastern front. With the increase of allied bombing in the spring of 1944, Todt decided to build four casemates derived from the Regelbau H679 type. In order to make these casemates faster, concrete block walls are mounted on either side of a concrete soleplate in which the reinforcement is installed. Only two of these concrete protections are completed at the time of the landing.

On D Day at dawn, the allied armada opens fire on this battery that faces Gold Beach and of which only one cannon is then in place. The HMS Orion shoot for almost two hours and reached it twelve times without causing major damage. The 6th Green Howards regiment, having disembarked at the Hable of Heurtot and then taken the reverse position of the Wn 35 defended by Russian volunteers, progresses on the plateau on which stands the battery.

Company Sergeant Major (CSM) Stan Hollis, one of the section leaders of D Company commanded by Major Lofthouse, seized the fortified site alone armed with a Sten gun and several grenades : He crosses the discovery and shoots several bursts into one of the casemates before launching grenades that kill two German soldiers and wound others. The other soldiers of the drums go when he begins to head towards the second casemate (for this action, as well as the one that delivers a few moments later in the village of Crepon, CSM Stan Hollis is decorated with the most prestigious decoration British military, the famous Victoria Cross).