The zzzland Times

Our travel

Le Verdon-sur-Mer, France

The Atlantic Wall (German: Atlantikwall) was an extensive system of coastal defence and fortifications  built by Germany  between 1942 and 1944, along the coast of continental Europe and Scandinavia  as a defence against an anticipated Allied invasion from the U.K., during WWII

The manning and operation of the Atlantic Wall was administratively overseen by the German Army  with some support from Luftwaffe ground forces. The German Navy maintained a separate coastal defence network, organised into a number of sea defence zones..

Many major ports and positions were incorporated into the Atlantic Wall, receiving heavy fortifications. Hitler ordered all positions to fight to the end, and some of them remained in German hands until Germany's unconditional surrender.

Several of the port fortresses were resupplied by submarines after being surrounded by Allied Forces. The defenders of these positions included foreign volunteers and Waffen-SS troops.

 Labour comprised skilled volunteers, engineers, designers and supervisors, who were paid and treated well. 

Second came volunteer workers, often skilled technicians, such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians and metal workers. Again, these workers were paid, took holidays and were well treated. 

Next came unskilled forced labour, paid very little and treated quite harshly. 

Lastly came effective slave labour, paid little, badly fed and treated very harshly.

This gentleman was a child during the war. His father worked on the first bunker to be built.

As a child he fraternized with the Germans. The bunkers were his "playground".

He decided to try and keep these bunkers as a memorial. 

As the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Germans decided to move the BIG guns from this site to Normandy. However, the French Resistance blew up the train and tracks, so the BIG guns never made it. 

We visited the Arros battery. The best preserved fortified positions realized by the Germans in the Médoc, during World War II. We discovered different categories of works, their functions, their installations, their technique of construction, their armament. 

This forest mysteriously "grew" after the Allied shelling. 

This bunker was as a "DISCO" by the local teenagers in the 70's