Batterie Moltke opened for its first 2016 open day yesterday - and what a great day it was with a total of 73 visitors exploring the extensive underground bunker complex at Les Landes. The interior gun pit circle has had a fresh coat of paint, while new photographs, information panels, and showcases were unveiled to the public.
Very complimentary remarks were received about the new Red Cross display. Some visitors even brought in a few new items to include in the displays. The team were very pleased to welcome a great mix of old and young friends, intermingled with CIOS members returning to see the new displays.
The 2cm Oerlikon Flak display room had some admirers . Pictured here are crew members Gary Quenault & Shane Boschat passing on their knowledge. The Batterie Moltke team would like to thank you all for visiting , and we hope to see you again soon.
The next open day is Saturday 23rd April. A warm welcome awaits, with plenty of expert knowledge on hand ready for all your questions.
The Society have a new project at Les Landes, at the Kriegsmarine Strongpoint Butts. A Naval Type Fl 242 anti-aircraft gun bunker (for a 2cm Oerlikon emplacement) is currently being excavated. Work proper started on Good Friday, and since then over nine tonnes of waste builders spoil has been excavated by hand! This was done to ensure the local environment and bunker exterior are protected from any unnecessary damage.
This bunker is one of two built to protect the Gema Seetakt radar mounted on the adjacent tower MP 3. A total of twelve anti-aircraft positions were planned, with six having been completed by mid-1944. Eight can be found today with six at Noirmont Point's Batterie Lothringen. This particular bunker was one of three constructed with crew quarters beneath, built to Fortress standard. The majority of the AA gun mountings consist of a central concrete pillar upon which the weapon is mounted, and a wooden platform encircling it for the gun crew - who are protected only by a low concrete wall.
The Society hopes to have this bunker ready for group tours some time this season, and we will further document any findings as the interior excavation work continues. The project is lead by CIOS Commitee member Tony Pike.
CIOS Members are invited to attend a talk this Saturday 2nd April at the Société Jersiaise Members Room at 7:30pm.
Dr Gilly Carr, Senior Lecturer at the university of Cambridge, is back in Jersey with her team for the third and final season of excavation of Lager Wick, a forced labour camp in Grouville. She will be revealing to the audience the discoveries of the dig to date, and giving the audience a chance to see and handle the key finds, including the base of a mug showing an eagle and swastika, a schnapps glass and the button from an OT overseer uniform. She will be talking about how these objects and others have informed her interpretation of the site, and will be discussing current and future plans.
Gilly Carr is an archaeologist and historian at the University of Cambridge. She has been carrying out fieldwork in the Channel Islands for the last 10 years and is the author of over 50 academic publications, including 'Legacies of Occupation: Heritage, Memory and Archaeology in the Channel Islands', 'Protest, Defiance and Resistance: German Occupation in the Channel Islands' (with Paul Sanders and Louise Willmot), and, most recently, 'Heritage and Memory of War: Responses from small islands' (with Keir Reeves). She regularly speaks at international conferences, and her research specialisms include POW archaeology, Heritage Studies, and WWII archaeology.
A word of warning to those who may wish to visit the Channel Islands’ Occupation sites. Most of the bunkers, gun pits and defences are on private property, and if you want to have a look, first obtain permission from the owner. Do not enter without a strong torch or lamp. There are different designs of defences that, from the outside look the same, but once inside, passages may descend without warning. Also wellington boots may be needed as over fifty years of dirt and dust will have blocked up the drains. We would warn you that bunkers on the coast will have been used as unofficial toilets - so beware! Young persons should not enter without an adult, as many bunkers have awkward steps and hidden ducts that can trip the unwary. Bunkers and tunnels that are sealed have been blocked up for this reason and for no other - those of you who hope to find an “Aladdin’s Cave” of war relics are too late, having been beaten to it by the scrap metal drive of the early 1950s.