Bunkers in the north of France

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a war-lover, but while I was in the north of France recently, I was lucky enough to visit some World War 2 bunkers. The first one was Blockhaus d’ Eperlerques, where the V2 rocket was going to be prepared and launched. Many prisoners of war died here while making the building: they started by making the roof, which was then raised up as the layers beneath were built, like jacking up a car. The Brits bombed the site before it was finished and the Germans finally abandoned it. No rockets were ever launched. The photos below have some interesting captions, even if the photos themselves don’t seem all that interesting (click on the caption to enlarge the photo).

La Coupole was the second bunker, and no rockets were ever launched from it either. It too was abandoned after a bomb caused the adjoining quarry to collapse. According to a British soldier, you could fit two entire double-decker buses in the hole left behind from a six-tonne tallboy bomb. The plans show that it was going to be an underground maze with train tracks to deliver rockets for storage, preparation, and finally to take them to one of two planned launch sites outside the bunker. The dome at the top of the bunker is now a museum that houses war memorabilia, various bombs and rockets, and two small cinemas with films. The visit took a good three hours and I thoroughly recommend it.

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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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2 comments on “Bunkers in the north of France
  1. Gilly says:

    How long did it take to see each site separately? Was it 3 hours for the two combined? I’m going in October and will be taking a taxi from St Omer, so need to ask the taxi to come back and get me. Or are there local buses that go from St Omer?

  2. April says:

    Gilly, it was three hours for the last bunker alone. I have no idea about public transport. Perhaps you should get in touch with the tourist office, as I was there just for the day.

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