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Report - Hennocque Quarry - France - May 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Paradox, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Carriere Hennocque - France - May 2015

    Sooo being the lazy arse that I am I haven't done a proper report on this place before, there are a couple of pics as comments on other reports but having actually made the effort to edit my pics from the last visit, I thought it rude not to share lol.

    I first visited here with a load of folk both from here, there and everywhere for a bit of a party. I only took a couple of pics as to be honest, we'd just come from the catas and I couldn't be arsed going for a wander and so stopped at camp and have one or two beers with a plan to get up early to take pics. Yeah I forgot we had to leave at 8.00am to get back to the ferry! Bit of bad planning on my part for booking such an early ferry home :mad:

    February 2015 - visited with Bigjobs, Forty Two, Hydra, SirjonnyP, AndyJ, Oxygen Thief, Idavoll, FB, Maniac, Adders, Speed, Dmax and a shed load of other people (sorry if I missed you off the list!)

    We had another trip over with a different crew but again we had already done a couple of other mines and by the time we found somewhere to set up camp all I wanted was some food, port and my hammock! I did take a few pics but as you will see it was just from the room we stayed in. Thats not to say it wasn't eventful, what with Mr Pink drunkenly sleep peeing all over Bigjobs clothes that had been left on the floor and later on waking up to Motionless Escapes yelping and swearing as some random french dudes clambered through our little set up.

    April 2015 - Visited with Bigjobs, Morse, Stonemonkey, Mr Pink, Motionless Escapes, Hydra and AndyJ.

    My last escapade here was simply down to the fact me and Jobs had nothing planned for a Bank Holiday weekend. So with a last minute ferry booking and an opportunity to test out the MPG (or for us pence per mile :p) of the replacement for my recently deceased VW Golf......10p a mile for the win!! The trip was on :D

    May 2015 - Visited with Bigjobs.

    History

    Hennocque is a limestone quarry with an area of approximately 35 hectares. The name originates from the Hennocque family, who exploited the quarry for three generations.

    During WW2 the Germany army occupied the quarry, their objective was to develop it as a rocket store. The Germans had developed a long range rocket named A4. The A4 rocket was 14.5m long with a diameter of 1.80m and weighed 14 tonnes, of which 910kg was explosives. The rocket had a range of 300km with an accuracy of 8km.

    Following the first German defeat, on 22 December 1942 Hitler began the Industrial Production Program for the rocket A4, later known as the V2. This name is short for "Vergeltungsawaffe 2", which means "retaliatory weapon No. 2" (the first being the V1 rocket). Hitlers reason for Choosing this weapon, rather than another, was that it was easy to construct. Moreover, it could be fired from mobile launch site and therefore was difficult to locate.

    The organization Todt (now the engineer Fritz todt) supported this construction plan and so the Germans decided to create three types of V2 plants: assembly plants, liquid o2 production plants and storage sites. The assembly of the V2 was directed by the SS. The workers of these factories were mainly prisoners of war working in very precarious conditions.

    The town of Méry-sur-Oise was directly integrated into the V2 program. The aim was to build a V2 store in the underground quarry of the Hennocque family, but the site was never completed as evidenced by the visible remnants.

    The history of this site dates back well before 1942, when the V2 underground bases construction program began. Mr. Petofi, whose ancestors, father to son, worked for three generations of Hennocque, allegedly reported his father met one of 1938 disembarkments of the German civil front at Hennocque quarry. They presented themselves as interested in the industrial aspects and were interested in the exploitation techniques of stone in France. The workers interpreted this visit, much later, as a way to identify potential underground sites.

    What is certain is the Hennocque quarry was reports as a potential for geological services of the Wehrmacht (German army name during the Second World War), which took stock and status of all underground sites in France.

    In December 1942, Hennocque quarry was selected to serve as a storage site for V2, or called "Zwichenlager" because it had several advantages:

    - The quarry was underground
    - It was large enough to accommodate a very large complex
    - The mass of limestone was thick enough and good quality to be regrooved as required.
    - Quarry exits were located near a railway line (Line-Ermont Valmondois) to enable the delivery of V2.
    - The town of Méry-sur-Oise was located far enough from the frontline of warfare to go undetected

    The Germans quickly occupied Méry-sur-Oise. When they decided to start building the base storage, the Aubin-Hennocque company that mined here to cut stone for construction, was expropriated.

    The army forcibly recruited workers from the village. They employed priority quarrymen. A Mr. Peuton, a local quarryman, reported that he and his brother were appointed automatically. His brother refused and was deported to a labor camp.

    One of the first things the Germans did was to install the electric in the quarry. Colonel von Borries' report dated 01.02.1944 confirmed the presence of electrical current in Mery writing "The batteries are ready and already functional." Indeed although electric was already available, additional current was needed, to run the tools that were used to dig the base. This is evidenced by the numerous remain of the the electrical system that was in place.

    You can still see electrical wires hanging from the quarry ceiling, as well as numerous porcelain insulators. There are also small, relatively discreet cement niches that housed the switches.

    After the liberation, Hennocque quarry resumed the operation of the quarry and benefited from the electrical installations left by the Germans, including the ability to mechanize the extraction of the stone. Eventually the quarry closed due to the construction industry turning away from stone, preferring to use concrete instead.

    So here is a few pics of varying degrees of quality :p Hope you enjoy :thumb

    February 2015

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    April 2015

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    May 2015

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    As you can see there are still no photos of the V2 tunnel.....guess that
    just means I need another trip :p
     
    #1 Paradox, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
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  2. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Looks well nice in there! Love those carvings :)
     
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  3. Tomw1989

    Tomw1989 28DL Full Member
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    That is bloody awesome! As Raw said, those carvings are sweet :)
     
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  4. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Excellent report there.good write up I'd like to do something like that :thumb
     
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  5. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Epic hills, some cracking snaps there :)
     
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  6. The Franconian

    The Franconian 28DL Regular User
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    That looks an interesting quarry, not that vandalised yet, as the Paris Katacombes are, and some interesting left behinds.
    It's a fine report you made, thank you.
    Thanks also for the history with the Wehrmacht, I couldn't find any for my reports on "Carrieres des Euville", where they also had been.
     
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  7. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    nice report pal thos carvings are mint:thumb
     
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  8. Paradox

    Paradox 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks for the comments everyone, it is an awesome place to spend some time in. There is loads I haven't seen or taken pics of. Its well worth a look if you get the chance :D
     
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  9. merryprankster

    merryprankster formerly oakleyframer
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    looks ace does that!! top stuff hill fairplay :thumb:thumb
     
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