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Report - German V3 Supergun site, Mimoyecques - November 2014

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Garou Garou, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
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    Next time you are driving down from Calais, it's worth dropping in to have a look at the German WW2 site at Mimoyecques, the site of Hitler's V3 supergun. Read the details on their web site and Wikipedia. It's open to the public in summer but closed after 12 October so that we don't bother the bats.

    Construction started on a huge scale in 1943. The plan was to build 25 multi-charge "dart" projectile launch tubes, sunk 127m into the ground. Multiple charges accelerate the projectiles more gradually to a higher speed than one big bang and doesn't wear out the barrel as quickly. All 25 were aimed directly at London on a fixed bearing of 299 degrees. Altering the charge and random skew from the wind would drop 600 rounds an hour on a large oval, centred on tower bridge, 103 miles away.

    Fortunately (for Londoners, not the 400 construction workers trapped) our friends in the RAF comprehensively bombed the shit out of the whole site with 4,100 tonnes of bombs, including the 5,400kg Tallboy "earthquake" bombs.

    After hours and after 12 October the museum is closed to the public. The gate leads to a fenced area where the main access tunnel goes into the hillside. This is closed with a proper roller shutter. A massive steel plate in the courtyard shows what a group of 5 barrel exit ports looked like.

    To get a good look at the site, drive round the back and walk over the top. Everywhere there is evidence of massive bombing. Most impressive is where the thick rectangular reinforced concrete slab over 3 of the inclined shafts was persuaded to go away.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There is a point where you can climb down a steep 30m hole into the levels.
    [​IMG]

    Also properly gated at the bottom but it makes a nice photo or two. I worked out later that this is only about one third of the way down the shaft.

    The floor looked pretty solid...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you get time it is also worth visiting La Coupole - a massive concrete dome housing a great museum about the V2 rocket assembly facility there.
     

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  2. Oxygen Thief

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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    Nice one thanks. What is he extent of the tunnels here?
     
  3. bubblehead

    bubblehead you lost the game
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    the main tunnel which the ammo was brought in was 600m long although it has been filled in at one the one end now. That level is is 100ft below ground with two more levels beneath. The lower workings where the breach of each cannon was 320ft underground. Annoyingly our engineers destroyed the lower levels after the war. When we were over there earlier this year we spoke to the people running the place and asked if we could get down there and they said we were more than welcome to dig it out ourselves :D

    [​IMG]
     
    #3 bubblehead, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  4. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    The tunnels are extremely extensive, but we were not able to get into the main complex.

    The tunnel shots above were taken from the first chamber down one of the inclined shafts on this plan (linked from wikipedia). At that point there is a very chunky metal grille.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. bubblehead

    bubblehead you lost the game
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    sorry to hijack your thread, but here are a few pictures of the level that was past the gate you couldn't get past.

    [​IMG]
    The main train tunnel, there was a platform for unloading further into the tunnel

    [​IMG]
    This ran paralell to the main tunnel, and gave access to the slope shafts with the barrels in. It was accessed by about a dozen galleries running perpendicular to the main tunnel.

    [​IMG]
    An example of one of the galleries.



    *EDIT: found an overview

    [​IMG]
     
    #5 bubblehead, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  6. Ordnance

    Ordnance Moderator
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    The idea of an 'Accelerating Gun' was first muted in 1881 and as discussed here 'almost' put into practice by the Germans with the V3 Cannon !

    Canadian-born engineer Gerald Bull later became interested in the 60's of the possibility of using superguns in place of rockets to insert payloads into orbit. He started Project HARP to investigate this concept. HARP was later cancelled, and Bull turned to military designs, eventually developing the GC-45 howitzer.

    Some years later, Bull interested Saddam Hussein in funding Project Babylon. It was intended to develop a gun capable of firing an object into orbit, from where it could then drop onto any place on the Earth. Gerald Bull was assassinated, terminating further development, and the parts were confiscated by British customs after the 1st Gulf War.
     
  7. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    Thanks Bubblehead. Nice hijack. Is the museum worth visiting when it is open?
     
  8. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    Some interesting info there chaps, enjoyed the history lesson :thumb
     
  9. bubblehead

    bubblehead you lost the game
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    It is pretty sparse on artifacts down there but there is a lot of information displayed throughout the tunnels. I did enjoy it, but some may say it is just an empty tunnel. Worthwhile doing it in conjunction with la coupole as both sites are run by the same museum.
     
  10. captainweird

    captainweird 28DL Full Member
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    Re: German V3 Supergun site - Mimoyecques - November 2014

    +1 for La Coupole, I love the spooky approach to the lift through the damp concrete caverns.

    Phil
     
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