Today I got the unfortunate news that demolishing works have started on the bunkers of the beautiful and famous Stützpunkt 120 “Pommern” on the beach south of Wissant.

2,5 years ago the local government decided to demolish the bunkers. Now, all the bunkers on the beach including the iconic Regelbau 600 with stairs, 630 in the anti-tank wall, 501, 612 and all other concrete remains will disappear. A real loss to the Atlantikwall..

Demolishing works started on the blown up 612. (Photo: Hervé Olejniczak)

Demolishing works started on the blown up 612. (Photo: Hervé Olejniczak)

Alberto Tabone contacted me about a project he has been working on and is now released to the public. A DVD series about fortifications, starting with the fortified island of Alderney.

I asked Alberto a couple of questions about his project and his love for Alderney.

You’re an Italian, how did you end up in Alderney?

I am Italian but I currently live in the UK. I have always had a passion for fortifications, especially bunkers and coastal batteries, since the age of 14. The first coastal battery I visited was in Italy and had been used and modified by the Germans with the building of a double Schartenstand over the existing emplacements, and had seen a lot of action during WWII. I was totally fascinated, to be there and see the remains of fortified combat after so many years. Since then I have explored many other fortifications, and given my profession (I come from TV and multimedia production) I always thought that I could make a documentary on fortifications and that it would work well. I also had an urge to ‘fix’ the bunkers on video, before they were erased from memory. So last year I decided to push the idea with TV broadcasters, and being in the UK and knowing about the Channel Islands’ fortifications, I thought they would make a suitable subject for a UK audience. When I started researching more in detail, I soon came to the conclusion that Alderney offered more compared to Guernsey and Jersey, both in terms of ‘genuine’ abandoned fortifications to show, and in terms of unique and less known history. I also realised that the historical heritage with forts and bunkers on this island was worth an international awareness. Alderney is just amazing for a fortification enthusiast like me, and it absolutely fitted the bill when I decided that I was going to do a series just on fortified islands, hence the title ‘Battleship Islands’.

Tell me a little bit about the documentary, what can the viewer expect?

The documentary, which is feature-length at 87 minutes, has been scripted and ‘designed’ to satisfy as wide an audience as possible. That means that it contains enough technical and historical detail for the bunker-passionate but not so much to alienate the less knowledgeable public. It is made in the style of modern British TV, with a first-person approach and a strong narrative, with me presenting and exploring the bunkers and practically taking the viewer with me. It isn’t the typical ‘academic’ documentary with tons of archive footage and a patronising voice-over – although there is plenty of rare colour footage from the war, as well as some rare samples inside and outside bunkers. It’s more ‘hey-ho-let’s-go’ and the viewer at the end will feel like they have been on the island visiting most places like I have. There is however plenty of technical information, some delivered using 2D animations, and some clever now-and-then effects using old pictures, which kind of works like a time machine – something I would love to have!

Finally, I have used some music tracks from famous artists, to give more of a ‘human soul’ to what many people otherwise regard as ‘old concrete’. The documentary has a ‘travel’ slant to it, like for instance an interactive map on the DVD, so it is also an excellent introduction to Alderney for those who are planning to visit the island, or for those who just like to ‘travel from the armchair’.

The documentary is technically and historically accurate (apart from a minor mistake), and is the result of a very extensive research.

At the end of the documentary the viewers, be they bunker experts or the general public, will feel like they have learnt and seen quite a bit and certainly like they just stepped off from a trip to Alderney, hopefully an enjoyable one!

What do you think is so special about Alderney and its defences?

I think this question is very well answered in my documentary, so go and buy a copy to find out! 😉

Joking apart, and without spoiling the story too much, there are many reasons why I (and many others) think that Alderney is special by itself and for the fortifications, and they are all shown on the documentary.

First of all it is a beautiful small island, with a very unique and slightly ‘wild’ character.

Secondly, it has an amazing history: it was inhabited by the Romans, then by the Normans, then it was a fortified base during Victorian times (and plenty of interesting traces there!), then occupied by the Germans (and you will see the extent of that), with also a dramatic and dark aspect to its fortifications that many simply do not know, neither did I until last year, and it was also involved in the Normandy campaign in 1944, something else that not many people know. There are many more fascinating aspects about Alderney’s history that are dealt with in the documentary, as well as the reasons why Alderney was so heavily defended.

Thirdly, it is perhaps the only place that offers so many remains of fortifications from so many different eras, and many left as they were when they were abandoned. For example, in some places you still see the original wood planks lining the machine gun pits from 1945!!! I have seen many bunkers from WWII, but unfortunately so many now are either reduced to their bare concrete, or even rubble, spoiled by the weather or by vandals, or converted to civilian use, that they lose the original ‘feel’ and impact from a true war relic. Others have been restored, and personally I find them less fascinating. Alderney on the other hand, offers loads of fortifications left as they were in 1945 (or earlier), it really is like going back in time. There is so much on Alderney that I struggled to keep the documentary to under 1.5 hours, and I still have plenty of unused footage left over!

How did you prepare the documentary, who did you talk to/interview for it?

Well, first of all I have a knowledge coming from decades of passion for and study on fortifications. Then of course I read many (if not all) books on the Channel Islands’ fortifications and especially on Alderney. I then scoured the Internet and gradually wrote the backbone of the script as I was ‘remotely’ discovering the island. I did a lot of planning and cross-checking and I went twice to film, as the first time many things were new to me and there simply wasn’t enough time to record them all. Going there again allowed me to expand and refine the content and complete the script.

I soon got in touch and became friends with Trevor Davenport, who is the island’s main expert on fortifications, and he is widely featured and interviewed on the documentary, guiding us and talking about the various defences. He is actually seen more often than me! There is also an interview with Louis Jean, a native who also has a very interesting collection indeed!

What’s your favourite place on the island?

To be honest I don’t have a clear favourite, all of the island is very dear to me and all its fortifications have something interesting or particular. If I really must make a single choice I’d say Stutzpunkt Sudhafen, which is on the cliffs of the southern coast. The views from there are just spectacular, and I was lucky to be there on a beautiful day. I didn’t actually explore all of it, as it can be dangerous due to the steep cliffs (there’s a searchlight bunker that is excavated INSIDE the cliff’s double edge), and some of it is hard to explore underground due to entrances becoming obstructed, but the bunker for the 10.5cm gun is in very good shape (it is shown as a good example in the documentary), and generally the stronghold offers a good mix of fortifications and beautiful views, with a very peaceful atmosphere. There are of course other places that I really like, like Fort Albert, Fort Grosnez (not open to the public), Fort Doyle, Battery Annes, Stuzpunkt Biberkopf (probably the most interesting bunker complex), the Nunnery, Longis Lines, and all featured in the documentary, but perhaps I would make a special mention of Fort Houmet Herbé, which is an abandoned Victorian fort on a tiny islet (not used by the Germans), which is cut off during high tide. It is a beautifully shaped fort, in good condition and with some surprising remains, and visiting it is a must just for the experience.

Are you planning on more documentaries about the Atlantikwall?

Well, this is supposed to be the first episode of a series on fortified islands, so it isn’t necessarily going to be about the Atlantic Wall all the time. There are indeed a few islands, related to the Atlantic Wall, that are on my list of likely candidates for future episodes, but a lot depends on their current state and the actual useable content that I can make out of them. I think it’s more likely that you will see the next episodes of this series further away from the Channel Islands and possibly in places not related to the AtlantikWall. This series is entirely and solely my effort, there is no big business or external money funding this, and I am not a rich person, so the future of the series depends heavily on the success and sales of the first episode, as well as my future ability to set aside time and resources to this project. I have every intention to complete it with at least five more islands (six in total), and I do have a very interesting and varied list, but it doesn’t just depend on my goodwill. Suggestions from viewers about likely places are very welcome, and frankly I would do every single fortified island in the world if I could, if not more, but making a documentary is an expensive and time-consuming business, so hard choices will have to be made. That’s unless I win the lottery! 😉

I do have plans to somehow broadcast Alderney or future episodes on television (even just local ones), but it is very complicated, both from a technical and marketing point of view, so it’s possible it may only be on DVD in its current form, we’ll see. That’s why for now it is only a Limited First Edition, and I don’t think I will ever do a re-print, so my DVD on Alderney could become a collector’s item.

Every contribution to this series, be it the purchase of a DVD or simply spreading a good word or providing valuable information, is a step forward in making the next one. I do hope you will buy the DVD (it is available on most Amazon European websites), and I am confident that you will enjoy it.

Thanks Alberto and good luck with your future projects!

More information on the DVD including a trailer and where to buy can be found on the website .

Battleship Islands DVD

Battleship Islands DVD

A, for me, unknown Sechsschartenturm 35P8 possibly on a 632 (where only three Schartes were used) was reveiled on

Trondenes peninsula is a real heaven, with of course the famous ‘Adolf’ gun, a 40.6cm naval gun. The now reveiled turret covers the entrance road to the battery. The setup of a Sechsschartenturm covering a heavy battery can also be found at MKB Fjell and Ørlandet. Another beauty is the remaining turret for a 10.5cm SK C/32, which lies nearby.

The turret was made by Krupp in 1938 and it’s number 5 made that year.

What a sight. 35P8 turret with 10.5cm Flak turret in the back. (Photo: Erik Hårberg)

What a sight. 35P8 turret with 10.5cm Flak turret in the back. (Photo: Erik Hårberg)

The Fördergruppe WH 316 has generously provided Dooms day believers (or bunker enthusiastics) a sleeping place from 20 until 22 December to survive this scary day. Who doesn’t want to live and sleep inside a Regelbau 108 and enjoy a dinner prepared on a WT80 bunker oven for a day?

Hello doomsday theorists and Westwall friends
Matching the doomsday on 21/12/12. We have a few “Schutzplätze” in WH 316 at Saarbrücken, Germany … * WARNING * IRONY … so that everyone the end of the world is about healing, wants the …
In order not to miss the end of the world, the Bunker will be open already at 20/12/12 from 8.00 a.m. Sleeping Places are available, but limited, so is a binding registration for the night necessary-for guests this is not necessary. End of the event is either the incoming doomsday, or the 22/12/12, at 10.00 a.m.
For drinks and foods are provided and of course the stove is well heated
Here the whole again in the short profile: Start: 12/20/12 from 8.00 p.m. End: 22/12/12, 10.00 a.m
* 12 people can sleep in the bunker WH 316. We must have 10 Euro per Person and Night for the sleeping place (the Generator has also thirsty …) sleeping bag, blanket and pillow are not included and must be brought himself
* Hosting with beer, Bock Beer and Glühwein- goulash soup or noodle pan (from a can) on the WT 80 cooked in a tin can
* Get together and interesting technical discussions, possibility a guidet tour on the Halberg-Stellung
* Breakfast on orders with a French baguette and Croisants on 21 and 22.12. in the morning
At this event, we can not offer all the comforts of a “Day of the reinforced door open” But even this small part will be guaranteed interesting.
Meals are offered at moderate prices-
Messages and request by PM to me, I post it always up the remaining number of places.
We are glad to see you ther Fördergruppe WH 316 e.V.

Enjoying dooms day together in Saarrbücken. (Photo: NARA)

Enjoying dooms day together in Saarrbücken. (Photo: NARA)

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)

On the coast of Constanza in Romania near the old casino some MG bunkers were built during the war. One of them is a Tobruk bunker, covered with a hood and attached to an underground tunnel system.

More on bunkers in Romania. See

Covered Tobruk on the coast of Constanza.

Covered Tobruk on the coast of Constanza.


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:


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)

Help the Museumscenter Hanstholm find this stolen piece of a German 10.5 cm S.K.C/32. Earlier in August it was stolen.

Earlier this month a part of one the 10,5 cm S.K.C/32 in our outdoor display at Museumscenter Hanstholm was stolen.
It is somewhat large gearbox of iron with a brass disc on it – see photos.
On the brass disc there is following inscription: “10,5 cm Ubts. u. Tbts.Flak L/45 … in M.P.L. C/30 Nr. 1122”.
As it has been dismantled without the use of a disc grinder, I presume it has been stolen by a collector.
It ought to be easily recognisable due to the serial number, so if you should come across it IRL or on line, please notice me.
Best regards Jens

The stolen part. (Photo: Museumscenter Hanstholm)

The stolen part. (Photo: Museumscenter Hanstholm)