Large gun batterie north of Le Havre
Et026 Ecqueville site overview
What to see
Batterie Equeville was one of several large gun batteries on top of the cliffs located north of the captured port city of Le Havre.
It’s a site which evolved over the years following the German occupation of France, starting off in early 1942 when 10.5cm Czech-built cannons were positioned in field emplacements at the site.
Over the next year the site grew to incorporate personnel shelters, barracks, and an infirmary, of which some were interconnected by a series of underground tunnels.
Ammunition bunkers, and both anti-aircraft and machine gun posts were also constructed and by the end of 1943 four R671 type casemates had been completed to protect the cannons.
It’s these four large casemates which are the easiest the see today located either side of the small track – Impasse de Primeveres - which runs through farmland from the village towards the edge of the high cliffs.
All four casemates stand on farmland and are only able to be viewed with permission. The fire control post which stands just a few yards behind the second casemate is also on private land and cannot be accessed. Two R621 double group shelters stand in the same fields as the casemates but are now buried from view.
Next to the road to the cliffs you can see the entrances to two underground ammunition bunkers, single room structures which supported the batterie’s larger guns. It’s believed that there were as many as 14 of the bunkers at the site. The entrances have been filled to prevent entry for safety reasons and prevent damage to the site which was listed as a historical monument in November 1996. The site was captured in September 1944 not long after the success of Operation Astonia, the Allied attack which reclaimed the port and city of Le Havre.