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"Terrain Murals in a Norman Fort" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A short report on terrain murals in WWII German fortifications in Normandy, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 51, October 1944.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


German troops who manned one strongpoint on the Norman coast had a constant reminder of the directions from which the Allied invasion would come. Murals of the surrounding terrain had been painted in colors on the concrete walls of the several open-top emplacements of the position. Each sector of the ground dominated by the position was depicted on the wall from which it was visible. Thus, even if visibility was limited by fog, the occupants of any particular section of the position had a bird's-eye view of the specific area for which they were responsible. Evidently the maps were used to indicate fields of fire and approaches that would most likely be used by amphibious forces. The strongpoint consisted of 12 emplacements, connected radially to an underground command post. All weapons had been removed from the position, but some 60-mm mortar ammunition was found.


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