These 4 Massive Nazi-Built Bunkers Near Calais Are Both Frightening and Stunning

The Batterie Oldenburg

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By Mark Barnes

During World War II, the Germans built a massive wall of bunkers to ward off the impending Allied invasion, though after the fact we know it did not go so well.

The Batterie Oldenburg was an artillery bunker built by the Germans during World War II. It was part of the massive Atlantic wall and was built east of Calais. It started as nothing more than artillery guns in an open emplacement; it wasn’t until later that the bunker was built around them.

Both of the bunkers are 35 meters long and 15 meters high; the Germans made sure they were positioned slightly offset from one another so they would have a wider range of fire. Each bunker was the home to guns of Russian origin; the Germans had captured them during World War I and then re-chambered them from 255mm to 240mm.

The bunkers were more than just things used for war; they were homes. Each bunker had a hospital – which still contains gorgeous frescos and other works of art – but also living quarters. Behind the bunkers is even more living space where they would have their replacements.

Batterie Oldenburg was also known as “Le Moulin Rouge” and was situated in the Hellfire corner that was part of the Strait of Dover coast defense.

La Coupole

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Exterior view of la Coupole – By Clare Wilkinson 

La Coupole was a World War II bunker in the Pas-de-Calais region of Northern France; it was built by the Nazis, and they used it as a base for the V-2 rockets that were directed at southern England and London.

It was constructed on the side of an abandoned chalk quarry, and its most famous feature was its concrete dome – which its modern name refers to – it is still a sight to behold today. Underneath this impressive creation was living quarters, stage areas and launching points.

It was designed with the plan of storing a massive amount of V-2 rockets, fuel and warheads; they were going to launch enough V-2s at England to sink it into the ocean. They were going to fuel and launch dozens of rockets a day.

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The Ida railway tunnel, where V-2s and supplies would be brought in by train and unloaded –  By Flickr user “Between a Rock.”

After it was repeatedly bombed by the Allies in Operation Crossbow, the Germans abandoned the unfinished site; it was the captured by the Allies in 1944 where it was partially demolished on the orders of Winston Churchill so it would never be used for war again.

The site remained abandoned until it was reopened to the public in 1997 as a museum. The story of Germany’s occupation of France is told in the tunnels and under that dome, you can also see some V-2s and what Germany was planning in terms of space exploration.