defensive architecture
April 21, 2007 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Between 1942 and 1944 the German military erected a gigantic defensive wall along the Atlantic coast, running from France to Norway: more than 12.000 concrete bunkers were built. What remains of the Atlantikwall in Normandy. The Atlantic Wall Linear Museum. The Atlantic Wall and D-Day.
posted by nickyskye (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Wikipedia information about the Atlantic Wall.
posted by nickyskye at 8:30 PM on April 21, 2007

I can highly recommend a visit to Normandy and the D-Day beaches, cemeteries (Allies and Axis) and fortifications.
While there, go to Bayeaux and check out the Tapestry (it is only 900 years old).
Drink Calvedos, eat Camenbert and enjoy the seafood.
posted by davebarnes at 8:45 PM on April 21, 2007

(Sign of the times?) The pictures mainly remind me of playing Medal of Honor on the PS2...
posted by damo at 9:04 PM on April 21, 2007

great post, thanks. The Brits also had substantial coastal defences, e.g.
posted by Rumple at 1:35 AM on April 22, 2007

Rumple: Here are (1,2) photos of the pillbox situated in Newcastle, N. Ireland, very close to where I used to live. (One of the red dots in the SE corner of NI on that map you posted.

Taken from the Defence of Britain Project - and I've just noticed that's where the map came from...
posted by knapah at 2:25 AM on April 22, 2007

When I was a kid, my parents used to rent a little cabin in Britanny during the holidays. It was on the seafront, above the beach, and there was a small German bunker in the garden (it looked very large at the time of course). It was a great playground, nicely cool and damp in the summer. There were little toads living there, and I had a German bunker all for myself.
posted by elgilito at 2:32 AM on April 22, 2007

The North Sea coat of Denmark still has many of these. They're rather squat and weatherbeaten. You can make some of them out on Google Earth/Maps, like this one near Søndervig: 56° 7' 5.44" N, 8° 6' 30.18" E.
posted by scruss at 4:12 AM on April 22, 2007

Very cool. Thanks for th post. Now I want to see the American Mech from Nazi Robot Attack storm the beaches.
posted by MarshallPoe at 5:13 AM on April 22, 2007

Mmmm, Viriliesque...
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:54 AM on April 22, 2007

I second the trip to Normandy thing. Very powerful, to look at the beaches/cemeteries. Far from Normandy, in Biarritz (close to the Spanish border) you can see these bunkers dug into the caves. Much of the labor to make these were from local French male citizens, and I find it amazing they let they lie where they are, nested in the cliffs of a swanky resort town. And awesome. thanks for the links.
posted by Busithoth at 6:28 AM on April 22, 2007

Busithoth - I've seen a couple of beach bunkers near the Spanish border, but can't for the life of me remember the name of the city. (I was 16 at the time, so it's been a while.) I remember thinking it was pretty cool to be that close to history - but the local people pretty much ignored it. Guess for them it wasn't such a novel thing.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:12 AM on April 22, 2007

Thanks for the additional interesting links and your memories. This June 6th it will be the 63rd anniversary of D-Day, a critical day in liberating Europe from the tyranny of Nazi occupation. As an American it was hard for me to begin to imagine what that hell was like until I visited the small beach resort of Westende Bains in Belgium. There, along the dunes are concrete Atlantikwall bunkers, It was such a stark and nightmarish contrast between the kids' bicycles on the boardwalk.

Recent events prompted me to think of this old WWII wall with its thousands of bunkers along the European coast: the 12-foot high, three-mile long wall surrounding the Sunni enclave of Adhamiya in Baghdad and the Israeli West Bank barrier, which is a 703 kilometers (436 miles) long wall.
posted by nickyskye at 8:23 AM on April 22, 2007

Mmmm, Viriliesque

posted by 3.2.3 at 8:58 AM on April 22, 2007

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