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Report - The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Rob, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    On a recent visit to France. I had some time to kill while waiting for the ferry home. So I decided to have a look at a gun emplacement I had passed on a previous visit.

    I found a previous report on the place here:
    http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=316&highlight=todt

    First of all this is a large site. It is situated in an area called Harringzelles near to the village of Audinghen about 10 miles west of Calais. The four casemates (turm's) were spread over a rough crescent of 750 meters. They were numbered 1 to 4 counting from the northernmost turm now a museum. also within the battery area there were originaly 14 air-raid shelters 4 temporary billets a ring of 15 Tobruks (concrete machine gun nest) 3 anti-tank guns facing south 9 flak cannons a water pumping station shelters for gun crews a first aid station and even their own farm.

    So as you can see this was a bit more than a gun emplacement. So there was a lot to explore.

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  2. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    Re: The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007.

    [​IMG]

    First stop was the museum in casemate (Turm) 1.
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    The Germans often called these large casemates "Turm" which means Tower. And was first used to describe the gun turret on German warships.

    I was slightly disapointed at the museum as it had very little to do with the battery itself and just appeared to be a collection of WW2 bit's and bob's.

    Pictures from inside the museum.

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    The guide book however was a mine of information 6 euro's well invested. I have based this report on information from within this book. ("The Battery Todt" Historical Construction and History. by Yannick Delefosse and David Davies).

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    Outside the museum were a collection of vehicles and guns.

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    Including this impressive Rail Gun.

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  3. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    Re: The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007.

    Next stop was Turm 2 This was hidden in a mature wood as you can see in the picture below.

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    This casemate had been sealed up a recent fence has been constructed across the amphitheatre or gun pit and the main entrance has been concreted up but no explanation why.

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    Near to Turm 2 I found this concrete bunker possibly an air-raid shelter.

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    Sadly the entrance had been sealed.

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  4. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    Re: The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007.

    Following on in chronological order. on to Turm 3 the guide book states that it has been demolished. But these are solid structures and much remains of it. From the map I knew it's location but there was no obvious path to it. I had walked all the way around it before I spotted a path I followed it only to be thwarted by a large coil of barbed wire in the undergrowth. I nearly gave up when I noticed some Gorse piled up concealing another path which i swiftly followed (through chest high nettles) Turm 3 was surrounded by a large metal fence the same type as the one at Turm 2. But this time there was a gate in it. And would you believe it it wasn't locked.

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    It appeared that the turm had been Blown up Leaving the remaining stucture in a very dangerous condition (hence the security) So no internal exploration here.
     
  5. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    Re: The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007.

    Finaly down the path to Turm 4.

    [​IMG]

    This was a gem to explore it contained some historical treasures although "Le chav's" had left their mark.

    Inside the main entrance. this door led to where the stairs to the basement area should have been but sadly that appeared to have been filled in or at least capped.
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    The second door led to a corridor which led to two rooms the high explosive store and the shell store. notice the cutout above the door an overhead rail ran through here for transporting shells. also the word "Licht" for the light switch.
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    In this corridor I found this piece of original artwork chaved to death of coarse.
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    Inside the high explosive store. Notice the window at the far end this is where the explosive charges were transported to the main gun turret.
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    The shell transfer window in the shell store. Notice the inscription "WC-WIE LANGE NOCH?" Translated this reads: "Winston Churchill-How Much Longer?"
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    Some other original wall paintings from these two rooms.

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    Underneath this modern day scrawl is the shelling record for Turm 4.
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    "Gegen Engeland" Is a kind of allegory showing aircraft, a u-boat, a factory, a schnellboot, and a coastal battery, formed up behind the war banner of the Reich, and tensed in battle against England. The second E in Engeland is not a spelling mistake but a reference to the lines thundered out in the famous Wehrmacht songs: "wir fahren gegen En! ge! Land! ("we march against England") or "bomben auf En! Ge! Land!" ("bombs on England").
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  6. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    Re: The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007.

    Still in Turm 4. The corridor to the gun pit.
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    From the corridor looking out to the the outer chamber of the gun pit.[​IMG]

    The outer chamber looking towards the windows of the shell and explosive stores. around this crescent shaped chamber ran two sets of tracks one for transporting shells and explosive charges the other carried the lift two lift them up to the gun turret.
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    The other end of the chamber.
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    The flooded gun pit.
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    Marking on the outside wall of Turm 4.
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    One level up from the entrance door I found another entrance. I am not sure what this room was for it seemed a bit high up for an air-raid shelter. it appeared to have a fire place at one end.
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    This balcony gave access to an anti-aircraft gun on the roof. Although I didn't see any access from inside the Turm.
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    The amphitheatre of Turm 4.
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  7. Rob

    Rob 28DL Full Member
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    Re: The Todt Battery. Audinhen France 07/07/2007.

    View from the roof of Turm 1 (1942) Looking towards Turm 2 on the left and Turm 3 on the right The farm is in between.
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    The Casemates.
    Designed by the German Navy, they are 47 meters long 29 wide and 20 high with 10 above ground level. Built to the highest standards, They have a roof and walls 3.5 meters thick capable of resisting shells of 380lbs, bombs of 4000lbs or 2000lbs armour piercing. Each required 12000 cubic meters of cement, representing 800 tonnes of iron rods for reinforcement. Armour plating not of coarse included.

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    Then & Now.

    Shell store window.

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    Turm 1 front.

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    Turm 1 rear.

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    Gun turret in amphitheatre.

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    Damage caused to the battery by Canadian Tank fire in Sept 1944 This was the biggest hole(chip) I could find.
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    Still loads to explore in the area a return visit soon I hope.

    Rob...
     
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