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…

Maisy Battery, Normandy

The Maisy Battery is a privately owned museum in Normandy located between Omaha and Utah beaches in the American D-Day sector. It was a substantial gun battery site equipped with howitzers which could fire onto both beaches and posed a serious threat in the early days of the Normandy invasion. It was bombed from the…

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…

Siegfried Line, Aachen

The Siegfried Line, or Westwall as the Germans called it, was a 390 mile long defensive wall built in the 1930s to screen Nazi Germany in from an attack from the West and was partially built in reaction to the construction of the French Maginot Line. During the Phoney War in 1939.40 it inspired the famous song…

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…

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…