The Great Casemate of the

Crisbecq battery


Memorial of the 1st Battalion of the 4th Division

 

Utah Beach 6.6.44 / Crisbecq 6.7.44

 

 

 


Commemorations of D. Day 2021 : placing of the commemorative plaque dedicated to the soldiers of the 4th ID killed in Crisbecq

 

77 years after the events, tribute was finally paid to them

at the scene of their fights, on the memorial of the large bunker of Crisbecq


 

June 4, 2021, discovered inside the large bunker Crisbecq of the identity plate of Henry S. , American soldier MIA in Normandy July 7, 1944

 

S. Henry and several other Engineer soldiers had been reported missing but the precise location of their accidental death could never be determined due to a violent explosion. It was therefore in this dynamited blockhouse that this accident had occurred

 



1st Battalion, 22d Infantry

 

The leaders of Combat Team 22 pictured in the marshalling area just before loading for the assault on D. Day.

 

Seated on right : Lt Colonel S.W. Brumby, Commanding Officer 1St Bn 22nd Infantry

 

Photo du commandement du 22d Intanfry la veille de l'embarquement pour la Normandie

 

1st Battalion, 22d Infantry

 

Preparations for the landing

 

Les préparatifs au Débarquement

 

 

 


Landing on Utah Beach and mouving for Crisbecq from June , 1944

 

Road map of the Landing on June 6

 

 

Carte de l'itinéraire emprunté par le 1er bataillon le Jour J

The 1st battalion facing Crisbecq June 7 / 10, 1944

 

Road map of the 22nd regiment for the capture of Cherbourg

 

Crisbecq will in fact be the only strong point of the Atlantic Wall for Utah Beach stopping the American troops for 6 days

 

 

Carte de l'itinéraire emprunté par le 22ème régiment de la 4ème ID pour la prise de Cherbourg

After 2 days of hard fighting, part of the 1st battalion (companies b and c) gave up attacking Crisbecq from the front and began to bypass the battery from the south by attacking Fontenay.

 

On June 9 and 10 Crisbecq was to be contained by a force of tank destroyers and infantry and was to be neutralized by division artillery at the time of the attack. The containing force, commanded by Maj. Huston M. Betty, consisted of Company C, 22d Infantry ; Company C, 4th Engineer Combat Battalion; Company C, 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion.


 

1st Battalion, 22d Infantry

 

Capt. Thomas Shields of Company A

(Distinguished Service Cross)

 

On June 7, 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry began its first attack against the Crisbecq battery, seizing the village of Saint-Marcouf.

 

Moving out of the village, the Battalion was stopped by fire from the 75mm guns of Crisbecq.

 

A German counterattack forced 1st Battalion to pull back. It was during this engagement that Captain Tom Shields was killed.

 

Shields had assumed command of the "1st Battalion" to replace Lt colonel S.W. Brumby (himself   seriously wounded during the first battles against Crisbecq).

 

Ordering the Battalion to withdraw from the battlefield, he called in artillery fire upon his own position to cover the withdrawl, then was grievously wounded. .

 

He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross

 

 

Le 7 juin, le 1er bataillon du 22e d'infanterie entame sa première attaque contre la batterie de Crisbecq en s'emparant du village de Saint-Marcouf.

 

A la sortie du village, le bataillon a été arrêté par le feu des canons de 75 mm de Crisbecq. Une contre-attaque allemande oblige le 1er bataillon à se retirer. C'est au cours de cet engagement que le capitaine Tom Shields a été tué.

 

Shields venait de prendre le commandement du "1st Battalion" en remplacement du Lt colonel S.W. Brumby (lui même blessé face à Crisbecq).

 

Il fût mortellement blessé durant ces combats du 7 juin, ordonnant au bataillon de se retirer du champ de bataille, il fit appel à l'artillerie sur sa propre position pour couvrir le retrait.

 

 

 

Il a reçu à titre posthume la " Distinguished Service Cross "


Capture of the Casemate

 

This photo was taken when American troops arrived on June 12, 1944

The casemate is still intact and the cannon is still in place

 

Cette photo a été prise à l'arrivée des troupes américaines, le 12 juin 1944

La casemate est encore intacte et le canon est toujours en place

 

 

 

 


 

Destruction of the Casemate

 

Photograph of the casemate after the accidental explosion of July 7, 1944 which caused the death of 7 American soldiers of the 364 th Engineer General Service Regiment 

 

 

 

Photo de la casemate après l'explosion accidentelle du 7 juillet 1944 qui a causé la mort de 7 soldats américains du 364 th Engineer General Service Regiment

 

 

 

 

 

Plaque in memory of the disappeared from Crisbecq

 

On June 4, 2021, during cleaning work, the identity plate of Henry SIMMONS (one of the 7 soldiers killed in the accidental explosion of the ammunition bay of the bunker) was found in the rubble of the bunker

 

 

Le 4 juin 2021, lors de travaux de nettoyage, la plaque d'identité de Henry SIMMONS (l'un des 7 soldats tués dans l'explosion accidentelle de la soute à munition de la casemate) a été retrouvée dans les gravats du blockhaus

 

Photo of the large bunker of Crisbecq on June 6, 2021