In September the remains of a 648 for Czech Einschartenturm were discovered in the Panzerstützpunkt at Lézongar, near Audierne, France.

The Czech-gone-German cupola type 817P5 was already partly cut up, but the original three Czech embrasures can still be seen. Only three intact 648 exist, all of them located in the Festung Saint-Nazaire, so this is a rare find. The whole bunker is still there but will be partly demolished to make place for a bicycle track and the reinforcement of the coast. The cupola will disappear too. If anyone has more info on where the turret will go, let me know.

More info via Le Télégramme and the French Atlantikwall forum.

Sébastien Chiquet and Gérard Saliou, of the Saliou company; Yves Cariou, on top of the bunker. (Photo:

Sébastien Chiquet and Gérard Saliou, of the Saliou company; Yves Cariou, on top of the bunker. (Photo:


6202 by félixlechat
6202 a photo by félixlechat on Flickr.

GRAMASA, the local bunker association in the south west of France has uncovered a fantastic 622 with all the camouflage paint still on the walls. The same paint was used to draw this man smoking a pipe. Must be original?

Two years ago we mentioned the renovation of an anti-tank bunker in the south west of France. In May of 2012 the plans were finally put into action.

The bunker’s armoured plate was behind bricks but still there including the protecting lifting plate in front. The ball mount for the 4.7cm Festungspak 36 (t) is present too. Some relics were found in the spent shell pit in front of the bunker too.

Sunlight on the bunker again. (Photo: Marc Mentel, GRAMASA)

Sunlight on the bunker again. (Photo: Marc Mentel, GRAMASA)

Some weeks ago we came into contact with a Marineflak veteran which was stationed at Trégastel, south of Brest in Bretagne, France.

Wolfgang Weber came in from the Flakschule at Misdroy at the Baltic Coast at the age of 19. His story combined with our fieldwork can be found here.

I must say, you do know a lot more about MFlak 811 than I ever had the opportunity to gather while I was there. And that is now long ago. Memories fade. [..] Perhaps I can shed a little light here or there.

I arrived  at 396 in about March of 44 coming from the Flak Training Center near Misdroy at the German Baltic Sea coast. During that short span of time until the Allied invasion and subsequent advances, there really wasn’t much time getting acquainted with the area and location of units. I knew that the heavy guns were of the 10.5 double barrel type. There were 2cm positions in the area but not in our immediate vicinity, to my knowledge.

About 5./MFlak (my unit), I don’t know of any other guns of that caliber in the area besides the 3 at BR 396. [..] There were no bunkers at our location. However, close to one of the guns a natural rock formation had created a small low ceiling cave that was utilized as storage place for non-military items of sorts. Each of the guns was positioned on top of three rock plateaus with a low concrete wall around it with storage space for the ammo.

The location of the Bt staff of 5./MFlak 811 was at the western limit of Plougastel proper near the water tower. As I was told, French labor was used building a defense trench system around the position. To no surprise, when enemy troops arrived in the area, well targeted artillerie barrages created havoc. The water tower received a direct hit. I have no knowledge of the number of 2 cm guns as well as the location the Bt staff.

The Abteilungsstaff was positioned at Plougastel. I was transferred there from 396 to help establish a unit to use forward observer reports about enemy troop advances converting those into coordinates and transmitting them to the batteries for ground defensive fire. After the enemy artillery succesfully destroyed that unit, we were relocated to an empty cinder block building south of Plougastel in an open field area to continue our work. Soon after, a targeted bombing raid leveled this building putting us out of business. With the enemy now advancing south towards the tip of the peninsula, the batteries were ordered to fire at will, we were attached to a small infantry unit which a few short days later had to surrender. I do remember the small Fortress Corbeau. I was there only once for a few hours of work detail.

After staying at POW camps in Landerneau, Morlaix, Rennes, and Tourlaville (Cherbourg) I was sent to the US and was at POW Camp Howze in Gainesville, near Dallas, TX until Feb 1946 when the POW’s were transferred to England, where I stayed at a POW Camp near Cockermouth in the Lake District until discharge to Germany in August of 1947.

I really don’t know if my notes are of any value or use to you. However, I had fun doing it.

Best wishes for now.
Wolfgang W.

Wolfgang Weber off duty in March 1944. (Private collection of Mr Weber)

Wolfgang Weber off duty in March 1944. (Private collection of Mr Weber)

In Audresselles, on the sea wall, a 612 casemate is for sale. Attached is a house.,sento.htm?lang=fr

612 Audresselles. (Photo:

612 Audresselles. (Photo:

French rescue teams use the tunnels of Margival to practise on emergency cases.

Rescue training in the tunnels. (Photo: l'union)

In June we posted about two ‘Kleinstglocken’ 24P8 found in the south of France. One of them was obtained by the Association de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Historique Militaire in Le Wantzenau, near Strasbourg.

And what they did was fantastic. They’ve meticulously renovated this turret to a mint condition and put it on display outside their museum, on a small room which allows visitors to see the inside.

A fabrication number was found on the inside which showed it was made by Gruson, as late as in 1941!

The whole renovation project was photographed and can be seen on the association website.

Fantastic video by Olivier Benoit using a Canon 5d MkII and a drone (small remote controlled plane) of the Karola fire control tower on Île de Ré.

More of his work on









The city of Saint-Nazaire is known for its ignorance towards World War 2 heritage, destroying many unique bunkers and truncate the U-Boot bunker. But all of this would be peanuts compared to the plans to destroy the Marineflak headquarters at Saint-Marc.

The bunker, a huge and very rare Fl 250, consists of a big bunker with a 18 meter tower overlooking both the sea and inland. It’s in a very good state of preservation. Offices were built on top of the bunker with a fantastic patio in the middle surrounded by wooden beams with a very important quotation by Goethe:

“Allen Gewalten zum Trotz sich erhalten”

In English it’s “Despite the violent forces against us….we must overcome”. It became a slogan of the German resistance to Nazism. This building is truly not just another bunker but historical heritage.

Please send a letter, yes a real old fashioned letter, to the Service Territorial d’Architecture et du Patrimoine, ans ask them to protect this unique bunker. It would be an opportunity for the city of Saint-Nazaire to finally accept that World War 2 is also part of the city’s history, a big part even! You can write your own letter or use the example below.

Monsieur l’Architecte des Bâtiments de France M. Alain Tournaire
Service Territorial d’Architecture et du Patrimoine
1, rue Stanislas Baudry – BP 63518
44035 NANTES Cedex 1

Objet : inscription ou classement d’un élément architectural remarquable à St-Marc-sur-Mer (commune de Saint-Nazaire)


Par ce courrier, nous souhaitons attirer votre attention sur la nécessaire sauvegarde d’un des plus remarquables vestiges du Mur de l’Atlantique situé à St-Marc-sur-Mer, 5 route Ste-Eugène. Cadastré EK 387, cet ouvrage appartient à la Commune de St-Nazaire.

Il s’agit d’un ensemble comprenant un Blockhaus type Fl 250 avec une Tour d’observation haute de 18 m reposant sur un large bunker enterré dans un état exceptionnel de conservation. Cet ancien poste de commandement de la DCA de la marine (Défense Contre Avions) a été construit en exemplaire unique sur tout le Mur de l’Atlantique. Sur le bunker enterré est construit un ancien mess de marine tout aussi remarquable, avec un patio, des colonnes en briques rouges et des poutres gravées. Il s’agit là d’un des tous derniers bâtiments de cette époque encore en place aujourd’hui. Cette construction dan s son ensemble, qui a fait l’objet de nombreux référencements dans plus de 10 livres historiques, est visitée tous les ans par des centaines de passionnés, notamment des Hollandais, des Belges, des Britanniques et des Américains. Il est absolument indispensable, pour notre mémoire collective, d’inscrire ou de classer cet élément architectural remarquable.

A titre d’exemple, le Blockhaus d’Eperlecques dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais a été classé monument historique. En Normandie (Calvados et Manche), tous les vestiges du Mur de l’Atlantique ont été intégralement classés ; ils font l’objet de soin, comme le Poste de Commandement de la Pointe du Hoc pour lequel les autorités américaines ont engagé plus de 4 millions de dollars de travaux pour consolider la falaise sur laquelle il repose. Dans les îles anglo-normandes, ce patrimoine est fortement mis en valeur par les autorités. En Charente-Maritime, sur l’île de Ré, la Batterie Karola comprenant une haute tour d’observation bétonnée a été classé Monument Historique en 2004. Il est grand temps d’agir en Loire-Atlantique où, malgré une étude financée par la DRAC menée par M. Eric Lemerle en 1999, qui recense l’intégralité des vestiges du Mur de l’Atlantique dans le département, rien n’a été fait depuis. Alors qu’il était justement prévu, suite à cette étude, de classer une dizaine de sites les plus remarquables.

Nous nous prions d’agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de nos salutations respectueuses.

"Allen Gewalten zum Trotz sich erhalten”. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

"Allen Gewalten zum Trotz sich erhalten”. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)


Looting bunkers of the Atlantikwall by so-called collectors has been the case since the eighties of the last century. However since less and less complete bunkers are present the rate of looting speeds up. This is especially the case with the heavy Marine Batterie Karola on Île de Ré.

Alain Durrieu, writer of several books about the Atlantikwall, now calls on these people to stop their looting. The site is a protected monument and stealing fittings from the inside is a crime.

Just a couple of days ago Jean-Luc Moser visited the Leitstand in a timespan of two days. In between an armoured door was lifted out of its frame, ready to take away.

Durrieu warns the looters, that, contrary to that of the battery, the future fate of these robbers doesn’t look bright. Police and all local government involved at site have been warned and are patrolling the area.

Besides it’s just criminal, it’s also a big historical loss for the battery which in two or three years will be opened to the public as a museum. Lots of fittings are unique to a Kriegsmarine heavy battery and almost impossible to obtain otherwise.

The battery site was patrolled by the French army for a long time but since a few years it’s easier to get access to the site and even to the impressive S 497 tower. This of course triggered a lot of ‘collectors’ and more commercial oriented people to get their hands on the original fittings. Most of the stuff, as we’ve seen before, disappears on dusty attics or on ebay.


One of the most impressive bunkers of the Atlantikwall. The Leitstand type S 497 of Batterie Karola. (Photo: Henk Adriaanse)

One of the most impressive bunkers of the Atlantikwall. The Leitstand type S 497 of Batterie Karola. (Photo: Henk Adriaanse)