Guernsey / Geschichte

​​Gun fire in Les Canichers​




​​Naumannshöhe Battery was one of two remaining batteries in St Peter Port after the German occupation ended. Local islander Mollie Bihe, remembers the German forces firing them above her house.​

​​By the time the occupation ended, the German army had installed fourteen coastal artillery batteries on the island. Of all these, St Peter Port was home to just two batteries, including the Naumannshöhe battery.

It was constructed in and around the grounds of Les Cotils and consisted of four French 10.5cm Schneider field guns mounted on concrete emplacements with adjacent ammunition shelters. The battery was tasked specifically with providing barrage fire onto the area outside the harbour mouth, to serve as a barrage fire control battery to activate harbour barrage fire, and also to engage enemy forces attempting to, or having already, landed on the east coast beaches.

In 2014, one of the gun emplacements and adjacent ammunition bunkers was excavated. During this excavation a number of important items were discovered left behind after liberation when the guns were removed. These included a large spade fitted to the rear of the gun carriage to act as an anchor, the heavy steel tie down cables used to secure the gun to the turn table, and the steel frame complete with remnants of camouflage netting that had been fitted above the gun.

An islander during the occupation, Mollie Bihe, remembers the guns being fired over her house:

"In the Canichers there were guns, big guns which were situated in the Blue Mountains at the Cotils behind our house. We used to have to get out of our house sometimes at 4 or 5am, because the Germans wanted to practise firing their guns. We used to have to walk up the road and go up to my aunt for three or four hours whilst they did it. We had to leave our windows and doors open but there was damage to our properties as well because of it.”

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​​L'Hyvreuse, St Peter Port, Guernsey​ ​, GY1 1FN​