Blockhaus d'Éperlecques

Watten, France

The Blockhaus d'Éperlecques is a Second World War bunker, now part of a museum, only some 14.4 kilometers north-northwest from the more developed La Coupole V-2 launch facility, in the same general area.

The bunker, built by Nazi Germany under the codename Kraftwerk Nord West (Powerplant Northwest) between March 1943 and July 1944, was originally intended to be a launching facility for the V-2 (A-4) ballistic missile. It was designed to accommodate over 100 missiles at a time and to launch up to 36 daily.

The facility would have incorporated a liquid oxygen factory and a bomb-proof train station to allow missiles and supplies to be delivered from production facilities in Germany. It was constructed using the labour of thousands of prisoners of war and forcibly conscripted workers used as slave labourers.

The bunker was never completed as a result of the repeated bombing by the British and United States air forces as part of Operation Crossbow against the German V-weapons programme. The attacks caused substantial damage and rendered the bunker unusable for its original purpose. Part of the bunker was subsequently completed for use as a liquid oxygen factory. It was captured by Allied forces at the start of September 1944, though its true purpose was not discovered by the Allies until after the war. V-2s were instead launched from Meillerwagen-based mobile batteries which were far less vulnerable to aerial attacks.

Today, the bunker is preserved as part of a privately owned museum that presents the history of the site and the German V-weapons programme.

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Watten, France
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Details

Founded: 1943
Category: Museums in France

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Neale (13 months ago)
Interesting historical significance of the german plans to smash English resolve.
Koen De Smet (13 months ago)
Many go only to 'La coupole' and forget this mastodont at the end. Ths incredible location is a must see if you want to know on V2 missiles.
Peter Wilhelmson (15 months ago)
Lovely, informative forest walk around a giant bunker. Recommended for those interested in 3rd Reich cutting-edge technology. Much better balance of the site's history vs unrelated war history compared to nearby Cupola.
Derek Morris (15 months ago)
A very good place to visit well worth going. Be prepared to listen to the French versions as even though there is English there are a lot more French.
David Sharp (15 months ago)
Being interested in the history WWII I thought this a good place to visit..UNDERSTATEMENT..and just a 2 minute drive from the campsite. Stand next to a V2 rocket stood erect inside the wrecked (but safe) concrete complex makes ones jaw drop!.... PS its hidden in the woods so you cant see it from the road, just follow the signs...
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