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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:43 am 
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Location: Worcestershire
Sea, sun, sand...oh and bunkers..!! Guernsey in the Channel Islands is probably my favourite place on Earth..!!

Every year as a kid I had a holiday in Guernsey, and I think it was all the exploring of German bunkers etc that, as much as anything else, awoke my fascination with all things WW2 German..!!

In July '08, we went back on holiday there and I managed to abandon the wife by the pool for an hour or two each day to visit various bunkers/museums, taking my 4 year old lad (another budding "German nut"..!!).

As I'm sure most of you are aware, Hitler's plan was - whilst other occupied countries were to be handed back after winning the war to "German friendly" puppet governments - to hang on to the Channel Islands (CI) after he had won the war, a bit like a "German Gibraltar". Therefore the CI were far more heavily fortified than any other part of the Atlantic Wall. However, they saw practically no use (Batterie Mirus with it's 35cm guns did fire in anger a couple of times though, plus possibly some of the other Heer/Kriegsmarine Coastal Arty units).

Below are some pics I took last year of "Stutzpunkt Rotenstein". This heavily defended strongpoint consisted of a number of bunkers and gun casemates covering Vason bay which lies to the south (Vason being a large sweeping bay, suitable for an amphibious landing), and was manned by German troops from the Heer's 319. Inf Div.

Like lots of German fortifications on the CI, the defences were based on pre existing Napoleonic wars defences, in this case, Fort Hommet. The main teeth were provided by a mixture of casemates, one armed with a captured Czech 4.7cm PaK36(t) anti-tank gun (in a mounting with a co-axial MG34) - this casemate was shielded from the sea, and provided enfilading/flanking fire along the length of the beach to the south. The other 4 casemates (two pointing seaward from the south of the headland, two to the north) were armed with captured French 10.5cm K331(f) coast defence guns. There were other positions of the headland, including a "Mehrschartenturm" MG bunker (at the tip of the headland), a "Tobruk" pit (which used to mount a a tank turret, probably from a French FT17 with an MG), a 5cm automatic mortar bunker, plus personnel bunkers etc. Also co-located on the same site, but not technically part of the strongpoint, are two bunkers, each for one 60cm searchlight - these were to support the Kriegsmarine's Batterie Mirus with it's 35cm guns (based inland some distance to the SW of this position). The searchlights could be rolled out of their bunkers on tracks.

As I'm new on the forum, I'm not sure how much interest in this there will be, but if people are interested, I've got some good snaps of other German defences/museums etc in Guernsey which I can post, so if you want more, let me know!! Anyway, hope this is of interest - pictures follow!!

Cheers,
Ade


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File comment: Exterior of PaK36(t) casemate.
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File comment: Entrance to restored K331(f) casemate (note MG34 in ball mount - in oblong recess - covering the entrance door)
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File comment: Crew standby room in restored K331(f) casemate
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:48 am 
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More pics, from the K331(f) gun room, in the restored casemate. The captured French guns were modified to "fortress" standard, on a fixed mounting, with a curved shield.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:53 am 
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More pics. The two interior shots are taken in the shell store room. Note on the exterior shot, the sloping wooden lining at the bottom of the embrasure - this was to absorb the impact from shrapnel/small arms fire. The gun has a 90 degree field of fire.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:57 am 
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These photos show the original Napoleonic Fort Hommet that "Stutzpunkt Rotenstein" was built around. On either side you can make out a concrete bunker added by the Germans - these were the 60cm searchlight bunkers..


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