USS Corry (DD-463) German D-Day Reports
From the Saint-Marcouf (Crisbecq) Battery

Oberleutnant Walter Ohmsen, commander of the Saint Marcouf Battery, which had a garrison of 400 men.

Born on June 7, 1911. Joined the German Navy in April, 1929. Prior to commanding Saint Marcouf, he was German Navy chief of instruction in telemetry at the marine artillery school of Sassnitz. Wounded during the invasion, he received the Knights Cross for his efforts in repelling the attack. He was captured in late June 1944. 


BELOW: June 1-15, 1944 War Diary of the German Sea Commander, Normandy.
Admiral Hennecke. The Commander of Sea Defenses, Normandy.
This report contains a collection of several artillery units, including Saint Marcouf, reporting in to central command.

Source: United States National Archives Microfilm Roll 4307, Frame PG 38121
Page 134


War Diary
Sea Commander, Normandy

Commandant Admiral Hennecke

Beginning: 1 June 44

Ending: 15 June 44





Page 141

(Note: Saint Marcouf entries with translations are on following pages below.)

This page has entries for the
end of June 5, 1944 -- late hours,
and beginning pre-dawn hours of June 6, 1944.

Things were mostly quiet until just after midnight, when at 00:22, Cherbourg rang "Fliegeralarm" which means airplane alarm. Hundreds of Allied aircraft were flying over Normandy -- fighters, bombers, gliders, and paratrooper planes filled the skies.






At a distance, the Saint Marcouf battery believed the Corry was a cruiser.
Images of light cruiser vs. destroyer. Silhouettes can look similar at a distance.
Light cruisers generally had 6-inch guns. Destroyers had 5-inch guns.

Light cruiser HMS Sheffield      Destroyer USS Corry


Below: Page 150 of the German Commander of Sea Defenses report -- June 6, 1944, at 06:35, the Saint Marcouf Battery, being 1.5 miles inland, saw the silhouette of the USS Corry as a light cruiser, and reported direct heavy hits on what it believed was a cruiser. The Corry was the US Navy's only major loss on D-Day. No other warship was sunk or sustained heavy hits off Utah Beach. See translation below. 

Page 150

Marcouf remarks are below.










Marcouf reports heavy hits. Direct hits on cruiser.

BELOW: Page 151. Translations of June 6 activity from 07:15 to 07:39.  At 07:15, German unit Arko 118 reports cruiser shelled by Marcouf burning. From the distance, the Corry's smoke screen generator emitting smoke would appear as a ship burning, but the smoke screen tank on the Corry's stern was hit by a German shell as the Corry was sinking, which set off the smoke. At 07:28, a unit from German regiment 1261, correctly identified the Corry as a destroyer and reported seeing the Corry's smoke screen generator functioning, believing that the Corry had intentionally fogged itself.  (Note: Translations are not given for entries before 07:15).

Page 151

07.15 Arko 118 reports:
Marcouf got hits before battery. Cruiser shelled by Marcouf, burning. 4./1261 (Quinéville) shot at vehicle. Apparent sinking. Small vehicles drive around. 5.u.6. do not shoot, since range of fire is not sufficient. No connection to the 1. Department. Before Grandcamp and Vire delta of ship at collections and accrete

07:20 Battery Marcouf reports:
07:20 Enemy cruiser sunk.  Battery unclear. 1 cannon direct hit, several wounded - medical assistance urgently needed.

07.20   III./1261 (also Marcouf) reports: 7. Battery fired on enemy ship, position 2600 distance 149 hm with 1 cannon to fire on enemy.

07:28 Unit from 1261 reports:
4. Battery fired at destroyers - distance 4 km -. Destroyer in sinking condition fogs itself.

07,30 To Battery Marcouf:
Well done
, medical assistance on the way. 

07,39 FT to Channel Coast Admiral:
Enemy cruiser after bombardment Marcouf 07:20 sunk. Battery unclear. 1 cannon direct hit.

Below: A second German D-Day report.
German Naval Command West War Diary - 6 June 1944

Page 6232 -- 2nd-to-last paragraph which begins "Batterie Marcouf meldet" states:
Battery Marcouf reports as the first tangible success hit on enemy cruiser
and explosion of a ship.

Source: United States National Archives Microfilm
Roll 4075, Frame PG 37570-585

Two of Saint-Marcouf's three 210-millimeter (8.25-inch) guns.

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