INFORMATION: Bunkers!

Discussions on the fortifications, artillery, & rockets used by the Axis forces.
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Snorre
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Post by Snorre » 13 Sep 2002 21:41

Indeed!

Attacking a bunker installation with a FlamII or a 38(t) turret was no walk in the park!

I have always regarded the turrets as "left-overs" from old tanks. I didn't regard them as mass produced towers fitted to bunkers. Interesting info!

I'm attaching a winter photo of a 38(t), just to show a different scenery ...



Regards,

s 8)
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A-Bomb
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Post by A-Bomb » 13 Sep 2002 22:44

Question. How common were pillboxes and bunkers?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 13 Sep 2002 23:06

How common were pillboxes and bunkers?


Well A-bomb, you sure knows how to ask difficult questions :)

I think the easiest would be to take Norway as an example.

Coastal artillery was placed so close to each other that their range didn`t make any gaps between them. When coastal artillery was placed somewhere, there were allways a lot of supplies and technical equipment. In order to protect these sites, a stong fortification was built around it for close defence. This close defence consisted of anti-tank and anti-personell mines, bunkers for anti-tank weapons, pillboxes, trenches, air defence, and often flamethrowers.
As an example of typical armament for a Coastal Fortress:
5 machine guns (Norwegian)
1 Field Gun (7,62 cm Russian)
1 AT gun (7,5 cm German)
1 mortar 81 m.m
4 mobile flame-throwers
6 x 20 m.m. FLAKs
3 x 37 m.m. PAKs
3 x 8,8 cm FLAKs
4 floodlight units, (3 x 60 cm, and 1 x 150 cm).
This gives us about 20 bunkers for this fortification.
If you multiply 20 with the number of coastal fortresses in Norway (221)
You get over 4000! In addition to these there are airport defences, radar installations, anti-aircraft batteries, harbour defences+++
A wild guess would give some 10-15000 bunkers in Norway. In France and the "low-countries" these fortifications were even stronger.......

EE

A-Bomb
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Post by A-Bomb » 13 Sep 2002 23:09

Wow. But, if these forts were so common, how was the majority of France taken so easially and quickly? How come lots of ships didin't get sunk off the coast from that big artillery?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 13 Sep 2002 23:28

In France, the fortifications were bombed to pieces before the invasion. In some occations, commando`s were sent to sabotage the guns before the main force arrived.

Here is a photo from Point du Hoc. Look at all those craters! 8O
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A-Bomb
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Post by A-Bomb » 14 Sep 2002 00:09

I thought bombs couldn't pierce the thickness of the big casemates?

Hey awsome friggin sites, best Ive seen
http://www.atlanticwall.dk/
http://www.wovij.vuurwerk.nl/

The attached picture is a bunker designed for 6 men. Do they fire out of those window slits?

Also, the site where I found this only has pictures of Denmark bunkers, but were they everywhere? All over the western front? Not only on the coast?
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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 14 Sep 2002 00:27

Do they fire out of those window slits?

The closest door you see on the photo, leads up to a "ringstand" (pillbox)
The "windows" were mainly used to see who came at the door, and second to fire out of. this bunker is not made for direct fire, but just shelter for personell.......

Bunkers are most common along the coast. In addition there are several defenceline within Europe, like the westwall and the Ostwall. In cities like Berlin, you can still se the massive Flak towers and shelters.

EE

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Post by A-Bomb » 14 Sep 2002 00:38

Ok. What about the bunkers you see on Saving Private Ryan? What type are those?

*On the Siegfried line did they have lots of pillboxes? Or mostly tank traps and mines?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 15 Sep 2002 18:06

What about the bunkers you see on Saving Private Ryan?


The only bunker I can remember, was the one at the beach shooting at the landingcrafts. I have never seen any MG bunkers looking like this. The design looks like it could be used for a rangefinder of fire control.
There is also something missing on the backside:
All bunkers in frontlines had hatches called "Eingangsverteidigungscharte"
These were used to defend the entrance. Inside there would be atleast 2 doors maybe even 3, before you could enter the main room.
When opening the main door, you get into a small room called "Kampfraum" (battleroom) before you can enter the next room, you will have to pass anoter hatch, similar to the one outside. After this you end up in a corridor leading to the mainroom and ammo stores.
As far as I remember, in the movie they enter the bunker after one explotion......
In short: I don`t think Spielbergs crew studied the "regelbauten" before they made their bunker! :P

EE
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A-Bomb
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Post by A-Bomb » 15 Sep 2002 20:20

So what type of pillboxes were firing at the troops on the D-Day beaches?

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