The Yorck Battery at Querqueville is for sale

The site of the Querqueville battery is a former French fort refitted by the Germans during the Second World War. It is now for sale…

October 5, 2016: The Yorck Battery in Querqueville, Normandy is for sale.
Author: Marc Laurenceau

Owned by the French Army until the early 2010s, the Querqueville Battery site in the Cotentin region is for sale for the sum of 275,000 Euros excluding acquisition costs. Also known as the Amfreville Battery, this site is home to many relics of the Second World War. It is now possible to acquire a part of the famous Atlantic Wall!

Fans of “bunkerarcheology” and beautiful sea views will be seduced by this announcement: the current owner of the Querqueville battery site, called “Yorck”, is putting his land up for sale. Several constructions, witnesses of more than a hundred years of military history, are still present and face the sea, only a few kilometers from Cherbourg.

The site, with a total surface of 1.6252 hectares, is sold with several remains still in place, left by the military over the years and periods of occupation. According to the owner, some of the World War II buildings were covered with earth directly after the liberation battles, and would still be in place. The former German trenches are still visible through the bushes and shrubs that have grown since the site was last maintained.

History of the Yorck battery

Originally, the Amfreville battery was a French artillery stronghold dating from 1898, which was part of the defense of the port of Cherbourg, in the Cotentin region. From 1926, three 164 mm guns model 1893-96 on mountings were installed: these guns opened fire on June 18, 1940 on German troops located in the Martinvast area, before being destroyed on order the next day.
The Germans took over the battery and reused the French installations while reinforcing them during the construction of the Atlantic Wall. They installed four marine guns dating from the First World War, Krupp 170 mm SK L/40s with a maximum range of 20 kilometers.

These guns were housed in Regelbau M271 type casemates, and firing was controlled from a two-story station located at the rear of the casemates, on a higher position. The entire site included multiple dugouts, ammunition bunkers, and firing positions for mortars and machine guns.

York Battery was operational by the end of June when the Allies sought to seize Cherbourg and its valuable deep water port. It was used to attack the American warships cruising off the coast, whose mission was to bombard the various artillery batteries in the area.
On 25 June, an impressive artillery duel took place for many hours between York Battery, its counterparts in the Cherbourg sector and the Allied ships. On both sides, direct fire was recorded but without causing any major damage. The American warships sailed out of range of the German guns around 3 pm. This support allowed the ground forces to get closer to Cherbourg and its fortified points: on 26 June, the 2nd Battalion of the 47th Infantry Regiment belonging to the 9th American Infantry Division captured the Yorck Battery.

Below, in 1944, a Regelbau M272 type casemate housing a 170 mm gun of the Yorck battery.

Practical information about the sale of this historic space, rare enough to be reported, is available on the website of the English property agency Unique Property Agency.

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