A short video of the Battery.
Batterie Lothringen has the distinction of being the only Kriegsmarine battery in Jersey.
Work started on the first early gun positions March 1941, then in April-May, the Kreigsmarine’s men and equipment of 3./ Marine Artillerie Abteilung 604 started to arrive in Jersey. The German High Command had agreed to establish Marine batteries in all three principal islands. Construction of Batterie Lothringen was finally completed in May 1944.
The Battery’s four elderly 1917 15cm SKL/45 guns were put on these elevated platforms so that they could lower their guns sufficiently should the need necessitate to fire directly into the bay of St Aubin or Portelet.
The Command Post (Leitstand) of Batterie Lothringen extends to a depth of 40ft on two floors. One of four built to a similar design in the Channel Islands, the bunker was surmounted by a range-finder and two periscopes to determine the distance and speed of sea targets.
The Battery’s guns were commanded and fired electrically from inside this Leitstand command bunker, which plotted the movements of sea targets with the aid of the sophisticated rangefinder, the periscope arms for this can be found towards the cliff edge. Underneath, the two storied Type 132 bunker, which has been magnificently restored, is undoubtedly the very best surviving example from Hitler’s much vaunted Atlantic wall.
The massive structure or tower in front and to the side of the Command Bunker known as a ‘Marine Peilstand’ or ‘Naval direction-finding tower’, is one of three constructed in Jersey, out of a planned total of nine.
The observation slits, set in two metres of concrete, provide an impressive setting for the distant sea views towards France. On top of the tower is a mounting for a 2cm Flak Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun.
Although the Batterie Lothringen never faced a large scale Allied attack, it was involved in a number of engagements against Allied ships and aircraft, including a particularly fierce fire-fight against US motor torpeodo boats in August 1944. There is a memorial to this engagement on the headland commemorating the many lives lost on United States’ PT (Patrol Torpedo) Boats 503 and 509.
On our Bunker Tour, we have private access to the interior of the Batterie Lothringen Command Bunker, the Naval Direction and Range-Finding Tower and other parts of the Battery which are preserved by the Channel Islands Occupation Society.
Another interesting aspect of the Noirmont headland is that previous occupiers include Neolithic people who erected a megalithic dolmen, Iron Age people who had a promontory fort there and the British military, who had gun batteries around the lower parts of the headland and an artillery Martello tower in the Napoleonic era.