Artillery Batteries

Field guns batteries. They were simply breastworks with traversed ramparts. On the back of the traverses, the gunners built weak shelters for the ammunition. The field batteries were usually placed on the crests and not behind them, in order to shorten the dead space and beat the ground immediately in front of them. Therefore they were clearly visible from a great distance and could be easily shelled by the enemy.


Fortress guns batteries protected by earthworks. They were usually entirely under the ground level or slightly raising above it. The walls were often reinforced with makeshift materials, like fascine, boards, empty ammunition boxes and so on. The traverses were provided with shrapnel-proof shelters for the gunners. Their ceiling was made of wooden boards or corrugated iron plates, covered with a coat of earth, 30-40cm high. The shelters for the ammunition were built on the back of the traverses. Sometimes in order to protect the gunners against enfilade fire parapets and traverses were raised with earth bags. The batteries were interconnected by communication trenches. They were usually well masked, even if some guns batteries were so close to the crests, that their barrel could be seen from afar.



a. 150mm Krupp gun 

b. back-sight housing

b’. front sight

c. seat of the aiming plate

d. mounting

e. frame with front pivot

f. traversing rail

g. earth bags

h. parapet raised with earth bags

i. traverses raised as above

j. lateral shelter for the gunners

k. frame to close the access

Battery 39 for 150mm gun in coast mounting



Fortress gun batteries in concrete emplacements. They were usually entirely under the ground level. The artillery pieces were placed on a concrete platform, 30cm thick, with the inner banks plated with a concrete wall, 40cm thick. The emplacements, usually for 6 pieces, were 26 m long and were separated by great traverses not exceeding the ground level. Four shelters (2x2x1.8 m) closed by metallic or wooden doors, were placed under every traverse for the ammunition storage. Their vault was 40cm thick and the intrados was made of corrugated iron. The walls of the emplacements had concrete niches to shelter the gunners and the projectiles. Behind the emplacements and the traverses a communication passage, 2 m wide, connected the whole battery. Batteries of this type were built only in the North-western Sector, regarded as the most exposed to an attack, and were usually well masked. Nevertheless they were not able to resist to the torpedo shells of the heavy howitzers.



a. 105mm Krupp gun 

b. back-sight housing

c. seat of the aiming plate

d. counter recoil wedge

e. concrete shelter

f. concrete terre-plein

g. concrete covering wall

h. concrete mask for the barrel

Battery 3 in concrete emplacement