The city of The Hague shows how you can preserve a bunker: incorporate it into urban design.

One of the three pre-war Dutch bunkers (which were part of the Atlantikwall during the war), was moved to the Army Engineers museum in Vught two years ago. Another was found but buried beneath the new boulevard. It’s however still visible. A thick glass plate covers the entrance shaft and the bunker’s building plan is visible on the pavement. A beautiful solution which shows that the historical value of bunkers is recognized more and more.

Photos and a 3D impression by Bas de Mos can be found on the website of the SAMS.

Great news for several bunker complexes in the Netherlands. Both the Landfront of the Verteidigungsbereich Vlissingen (except for the anti-tank wall in the east) and the batteries of Olmen and Heerenduin in the dunes of IJmuiden are classified as national heritage. It took over 10 years to come to this conclusion, but the persistance paid off. Stichting Bunkerbehoud and WN2000 in IJmuiden have worked years on these projects.

The unique, largely intact, Landfront of Vlissingen runs through the inland of Walcheren and was originally intended to protect the important harbour of Vlissingen on the land side. Anti-tank ditches are still quite intact, and nowadays, you can take your bike and take tour along the bunkers. Both bunkers, anti-tank ditches and other parts of the Landfront are now protected. This means demolition is now far away and any modifications to the bunkers or the landscape must follow a strict set of rules.

Marineflakbatterie Olmen and Marineküstenbatterie Heerenduin at the coast of IJmuiden are one of the few bunker complexes in the Netherlands which are still visible. By classifying the Dutch government accepts these remnants from a dark past. Hopefully this will lead to more protected bunkers and complexes in the future.

The first 630 (021-173) which was incorporated into the bicycle route ten years ago. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

A 630 (021-173) part of Landfront Vlissingen. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

This weekend is heritage weekend in the Netherlands. A lot of usually closed bunkers are open to the public. Here’s a small list of possible visits.

September 8

In the province of Zeeland one can visit several bunkers of Stichting Bunkerbehoud between 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. In Vlissingen you can take a view through the huge periscope which is mounted in the turret of the Regelbau 143 at Oranjemolen. Unique in the world, and only this day. The bunker museum in Zoutelande with its 143 and 502 are open too.  In Burgh-Haamstede the big hospital bunker type 118a in Slotbos can be visited as well as the quite rare communications bunker 618 in Middelburg in the Toorenvliedt park. It’s being restored and in original condition. Guided tours through the bunker park are possible.

On De Punt, Goeree-Overflakkee a very special Widerstandsnest is open to the public. Guided tours from 10 am to 4pm and as an extra, World War 2 reenactors will show the daily life of soldiers during the war. More info via WO2GO website.

The ‘Biberbunker’ (L 487 Nachtjagd headquarters) on Voorne is an impressive two storied bunker. Although it’s been altered after the war it’s still an interesting place to visit.

In Rijswijk, the BB-complex Overvoorde is open. Formerly a Luftwaffe headquarters it was converted to a civilian defence site after the war. More info.

Den Haag and Scheveningen were of course important during the war. Seyss-Inquart, Reichskommissar, had its headquarters here. This weekend two museum bunkers can be visited. One 622 at Scheveningen of Bunkermuseum Den Haag and a 608 and recentely uncovered 622 of Stichting Atlantikwall Museum Scheveningen.

In Noordwijk the impressive S 414 fire controlpost with underground tunnels can be visited. It’s been restored recently and looks fantastic. More info.

A camouflaged 616 cable switch bunker can be found in Alkmaar. An interesting bunker with an interesting appearance. More info.

Two young guys have restored a M 151 Kriegsmarine personnel bunker in Den Helder. It was part of a heavy Flak battery. In a short time it’s been turned from a wrecked place place to something to visit. Have a look at their website.

Further in the north, at the Afsluitdijk, the Kazemattenmuseum Kornwerderzand opens its doors. It’s the only place in the Netherlands were German forces were put to a halt during the 1940 war. Besides the impressive Dutch casemates, some German additions can be seen including a 667 with 5cm KwK installed. More info on their website.

Besides all the German bunkers there are loads of forts and other defence works open to the public this weekend. For an overview please see the official Open Monumentendag website

The Stichting Atlantikwall Museum Scheveningen can add a new bunker to their list. The location at the Badhuisweg (Scheveningen/The Hague) becomes something of a museum park now.

The bunker is a Regelbau 622 was part of  Wn 318, which housed the Waffen-SS Verteidigungsstab of the Stützpunktgruppe Scheveningen. The local government gave permission to dig up the bunker. It proved to be a hard job, as the entrance side of the bunker was filled with tons of concrete pieces.

Plans are to leave one of the rooms as it is now, to show how a bunker looks like after decades under the ground. The other room will be used for exhibitions. The bunker will be linked to the Regelbau 608 headquarters, which has been a museum for some years now.

One of the rooms of the newly opened 622. (Photo: Bas de Mos)

One of the rooms of the newly opened 622. (Photo: Bas de Mos)

The Dutch prize for the best initiative in our field of interest was awarded again this year. The winner is Stichting WO2 Goeree-Overflakkee (Association for the preservation of World War 2 heritage on the former island of Goeree-Overflakkee). Volunteers of the group unearthed a complete German Widerstandsnest.

I think it’s encouraging to see that this was a cooperation between local authorities, an environmental organization and the abovementioned association. Official organizations begin to acknowledge that German bunkers are part of history and can be of great value, both environmentally and touristically.

The award will be handed over on April 7. We will meet at 12.15 at Bezoekerscentrum De Punt. (3253 MC, Ouddorp, the Netherlands). Foreign visitors are very welcome!

The Gouden Betonmolen is an initiative by the Dutch fortificatieforum to award people or groups who are doing a special thing for fortifications in Holland. It was quickly baptised National Golden Concrete mixer by local media back then.

The first winner of the price was Stichting Bunkerbehoud for the complete renovation of the artillery observation bunker type 143 at the Oranjemolen in Vlissingen. Later winners were Bunkermuseum IJmuiden and Leo den Dulk.

Written instructions inside an unearther Tobruk. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

Written instructions inside an unearther Tobruk. (Photo: Arthur van Beveren)

In Hoek van Holland a 47 year old man was recently arrested for digging out and redecorating underground bunkers.

The man started in 2009 by digging out a bunker in the centre of Hoek van Holland in the so called ‘Roomseduin’. A park which is now quit popular among dog owners, but in the war held two strongholds for the ‘Marine’ (Wn. 25 M) and ‘Heer’ (Wn. 22 H) with at least 13 Küverbunkers. The first squatted bunker was discovered by kids in 2009 who warned the police, because they were threatened by the man. The kids noticed that the bunker was being decorated with new windows, walls, trenches and even air fresheners… When the man noticed people were on to him he decided to use a new bunker, less then 20 meters away.  There he started all over again, digging new trenches, marking his terrain with barbwire and even laying dangerous booby-traps with sharp long nails for unwanted visitors.

The new bunker, very well hidden under sand and bushes was a Küvertype 450b. The entrance was given a new trench constructed from stolen fences from the nearby soccer club. And for supporting beams wooden poles were used. Inside everything was cleaned perfectly, while one room used to be filled with sand about 1.80m high. All this sand was moved outside and camouflaged with bushes. The windows were given new frames and electricity and sewer pipes were stored ready for use. The entrance was given a new fence, including a lock.

A third bunker was also found, about another 20 meters away. But he only just began digging here, and now stolen material was found.

The police was never able to get the guy until last week after some stake-outs at night. He was caught visiting ‘his’ bunker, but has been released for a lack of evidence and a confession. The main question remains what the ‘crook’ was actually planning with his activities. As also in 2005 a strange camouflaged ‘hut’ was discovered in the dunes, including a self made covered trench and escape motorcycle with prepared route trough the bushes.

These photos are from the first discovery in 2009 and right after the arrest in 2012. The first picture also shows the situation of the first bunker before it was dug-out.
The paintings you see are in the third bunker, which like all the other bunkers, were reused after the war for housing and the boy scouts.

The guys of the 622 personnel bunker near the Moerdijk bridges have made a ventilator driven by motor working again. Here’s a little movie of them.

During construction works on the sea wall in Scheveningen, a part of an anti-tank gun casemate type 625 has been found. It’s been partially demolished just after the war.

It still shows some of its impressive camouflage painting. A part will be further demolished while the rest will be covered under the new dike. More photos here.

Remaining camouflage pattern on the bunker. (Photo: Stichting Atlantikwall Museum Scheveningen)

Remaining camouflage pattern on the bunker. (Photo: Stichting Atlantikwall Museum Scheveningen)

The actual bunker during the war. (Photo: Bundesarchiv, Koblenz)

The actual bunker during the war. (Photo: Bundesarchiv, Koblenz)

This bunker for communications in Schagen, Holland, was unfortunately demolished after the war. Luckily there’s this picture of what appears to be a thirties style house. What an effort to camouflage this bunker!

618, Oude Slotstraat, Schagen, Holland. (Photo: Beeldbank WO2)

618, Oude Slotstraat, Schagen, Holland. (Photo: Beeldbank WO2)A regular 618 without the camouflage. (Photo:


A regular 618 without the camouflage. (Photo:

A regular 618 without the camouflage. (Photo:

Finally some nice news from Hoek van Holland, at least for the moment. An interesting bunker type 634 for Sechsschartenturm was found at Wn 33H near the Oranjesluis in the Landfront.

The bunker’s armoured turret was scrapped just after the war and a part of the roof was demolished. The new dike was built over the bunker. It was long thought that the whole bunker was demolished but some months ago when the rest of the bunkers in the Wn were demolished (134 and 621, one 134 was moved), it looked like the bunker was still there under the dike.

The last days the demolishing company dug it up. It was photographed, documented and remaining fittings and equipment were secured. Because it was under the ground for so long, the bunker was still in nice condition although being flooded for a big part.

Update 11 September:

It’s now covered again. It’s not sure yet if the bunker will be demolished.

Bas de Mos provided us with some extra inside photos.


Digging up the bunker. (Photo: Peter de Krom)

Digging up the bunker. (Photo: Peter de Krom)

The entrance with to the left a small passage under the dike to a Tobruk with tank turret (now gone). (Photo: Peter de Krom)

The entrance with to the left a small passage under the dike to a Tobruk with tank turret (now gone). (Photo: Peter de Krom)

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