The US Army Operated Coastal Artillery in the USA. In Germany, the Kriegsmarine was in charge of Coastal Artillery.


March 1942. Virginia Beach, Va. “Fort Story coast defense. A tough job for soldiers is shoving the breech block of the giant howitzer into place. The screw threads help the block to withstand millions of foot-pounds of pressure caused by the exploding charge.” Photo by Alfred Palmer, Office of War Information.

German Coastal artillery, all of which was manned by the Kriegsmarine, played a major role in numerous engagements on along the outer edges of the Nazi Empire. This included defending the long coast of Norway, of France, the Baltic et al. Tens of thousands of men were employed in the German coastal artillery and a lot of them did far more fighting than the crews of ships like the Tirpitz.

(photo courtesy of

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: