Maginot Line: Villy la Ferte

The Maginot Line was a huge screen wall developed in the 1930s to protect France from future German invasion. While many believe it was military technology that failed and the Germans simply went round it, few realise that in several locations the German Army attempted to breach it during the Blitzkrieg in May 1940 and…

Le Grand Blockhaus

Le Grand Blockhaus Museum at Batz sur Mer was an Observation Post built as part of the Atlantic Wall defences in the area around St Nazaire following the raid on the dry dock by British commandos in March 1942. The bunker was the eyes of a major coastal battery and later formed part of the St…

U Boat Pens, Saint Nazaire

The German U-Boat fleet which fought in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War operated out of a number of bases on the French coast which included Saint Nazaire. Immortalised in the film Das Boot, casualties among the Kriegsmarine who operated the U-Boats were high: a staggering 3 in 4 of the…

Fort d’Aubin-Neufchâteau: Bunker Busting Test Site

  While the existence of the Maginot Line in France is well known, but the French were not the only ones to defend their border line with forts. In Belgium a series of forts dated back to the nineteenth century and had been fought over in WW1. In the 1930s the defences were updated and…

Maginot Line: A2 Fermont 1940

The Maginot Line was a defensive structure built along the French border in the 1930s named after the Minister of War, Andre Maginot. In Eastern France there were a number of systems and the A2 Ouvrage Fermont was built from 1931. This was a major section of the Maginot Line and Fermont consisted of two entrance…

Leopold Canal, Belgium

  The Leopold Canal runs just short of the Belgian/Dutch border and was reached by Canadian troops after the liberation of nearby Adagem in October 1944. The assault was made by units of the 7th Canadian Brigade on the morning of 6th October. At about 5:30 on the cold morning of 6 October, 27 Wasps…

British Bunkers, Gort Line

The ‘Gort Line‘ was a series of concrete bunkers built by the British Army during the Phoney War period in France during the winter of 1939/40. At this time the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) under their commander Lord Gort VC were preparing for a re-run of the Great War and static positions like these were…