FESTUNG GUERNSEY - PERSONNEL SHELTER

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#1
Hi all
I am shoehorning this into the 'weopons' reference section because there is not a buildings section that I could see. If it is in the wrong place perhaps a moderator can move it?

Festung Guernsey is a group of people who are restoring German fortifications, one of which is a personnel shelter. Although not finished it was open to the public today and I thought some photos may be of interest.

A plan of the shelter:

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Some bunks being restored. In the main crew room. There would have been 12 in all.
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Original art work in the crew room:
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Restored telephone in the crew room:
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The armoured door from the store room into the escape shaft. This was a vertical shaft to be used if the main door were to be blocked. The bottom 3 feet or so of the shaft, to above the level of the armoured door, would have been filled with sand to stop exploisives being dropped in an attempt to blow the door open.

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An original stove, yet to be fitted in place with the chimney pipe yet to be added:

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One of the original crew store cupboards. Quite a few remain in good condition because many dozens of them were aquired by one of our local colleges, being used as student lockers for many years.
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Two photos of the main, gas proof door. Solid steel and very heavy!

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Any guesses what this is?

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It is the top of this ...

... a periscope.
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Here is a (poor) photo through it

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Peter
 
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Jim
#3
Hi Peter,
I am always fascinated with these structures and hopefully I'll get over to see it in the flesh.
many thanks Jim
 
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#4
Hi Jim

It is a shame that because Britian was so short of steel after the War almost all of them had their metal parts and equipment ripped out by scrap metal merchants, so it is good to see many of them being restored.

If members are interested I can post some photos of some others which have been restored, in particular a communicaions bunker. What is nice about that one is that the German officer who was responsible for commissioning it was located and he advised on its resoration, so it is as accurate as his memory.

Peter
 
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#5
Hi Peter,
I for one would be interested in seeing more, I bore my wife rigid on holidays looking at everything from hill forts to disused modern instilations.
regards JIM
 

John Race

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#6
Peter.
Thanks for posting.
Yes please, would love to follow this .
All built by slave labour, so pleased that they are being saved . Could been seen as a tribute to them in a way .
John
 
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#7
Hi John

Nice to hear from you.

You may be interested in these two links:

The first,
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, is to the Festung Guernsey website - not brilliant but gives an idea of the work they are doing.

The
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is a video which provides an explaination of the many structures which formed an anti aircraft batterry called Batterie Rabenstein. It is surprising just how many buildings were built to support six 88mm Flak.

Peter
 

colin m

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#8
If members are interested I can post some photos of some others which have been restored, in particular a communicaions bunker.
Hello Peter, and yes please I would love to see some more pictures. We've spent a bit of time in Jersey and seen a couple of the restored 'bunkers' including the famous hospital.
 

Jim R

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#9
Hi Peter
Very interesting. The whole story of the Channel Islands during the war is fascinating.
Jim
 
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#11
Hi Guys

Thanks for the interest, not surprising the Occupation is close to my heart. I will post some more photos over the next couple of weeks, which is timely since this Wednesday is 9th May - Liberation Day.

I know that VE day was 8th may, but it was not until the 9th that the surrender of the Islands was signed aboard HMS Bulldog (the same HNS Bulldog which recovered an Enigma machine off a U Boat), and British troops arrived on the island. It is our most celebrated public holiday in Guernsey and propbablly aimilar to 4 July in the USA.

John is not entirely right in saying the fortifications were all built by slave labour. An awful lot of slave labour was used but also Some paid labour.

The overall control of construction programme was Organisation Todt. Small field works were often constructed by the actual troops whereas the larger works were sub-contracted to German construction companies. Labour was therefore a mixture of German employees, forced/slave labour, paid labour and imported labour from occupied countries.

Surprisingly, two of our largest post-war construction companies; Meerveld and Flouquet, were both set up after the war by people who were brought to the island by the Germans from Holland and France respectively.

One final thought - the Atlantic Wall defense system stretched from Norway to the French/Spanish border and it is estimated that of all the concrete used in it, 10% was used in the Channel Islands.

Peter
 

Peter Day

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#12
Very interesting Peter, many thanks for posting it. The German (and Napoleonic) fortifications are something I remember very well from my visit to your wonderful island many years ago (plus shell churches, Renoir and Moulin Huet, Hugo and 'Toilers of the Sea', Castle Cornet, prehistoric barrows etc etc etc...).

Peter.
 

Richard48

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#13
I spent 4 or 5 holidays in Guernsey just on battlefield and bunker hunts.I stayed at hotel.Hougue de pommier.We hired the minibus for an afternoon and the hotel driver who was local.and a boy in the war gave us a lovely tour of the island.Showing me where the Mirus battery was located and the underground hospital.Its nice to see the Work Festung Guernsey are putting in.Ive not been to the island since 1996.I must come back someday as i love the place.Need my fix of ice cream and lunch at Castle Cornet.
Very interesting and nice of you to post Peter.
Richard
 
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