Batterie Todt

Pictured is a big round bunker — a bit like a giant Camembert cheese, but made by the Germans rather than the French, and far less desirable to chance upon during World War II. This is Batterie Todt, on the French coastline closest to English land. On the other side of the bunker is a massive hole that once housed a very large gun. There were lots of interesting things inside here, such as a motorbike that was parachuted out of planes for the parachuters to use and really innovative contraptions to make the best use of space, time or multi-functionality. The living quarters downstairs were cramped, and the museum of war-time propaganda on the ground floor really made this place worth the visit.

Batterie Todt bunker French coast

Some relics caught my eye more than others. For instance, check out this baby gas mask below. Freaky or what? Okay, it’s best to be safe and have these available but seeing a fake baby inside this was a bit strange (a real one would have been stranger, obviously!). Note also that there’s a foot pump to keep your baby’s air fresh and flowing. Next in the gallery below is a sausage vest. Okay, maybe it wasn’t used to store sausages, but maybe it was. Why not? Next up is a string vest that wouldn’t look out of place in some parts of big cities today. However, it’s probably the only one that unravels and can be relied upon to get you out of a tree if you happen to parachute out of a plane and land in the wrong spot. Handy eh? Last up is the big canon stationed outside the bunker. This thing was aimed at England, but it never actually bombed its target. Just imagine how things could have turned out had the engineer made a better-designed canon. Thank you, engineer.

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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