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.