An insight into some of the Guernsey WW2 fortifications that today serve a very different purpose.
Construction of this tunnel originally began in the 1800’s and was further developed during the Nazi occupation, by the Organisation Todt, a Third Reich civil and military engineering group, who added on a number of storage galleries for use as a temporary auxiliary munitions store. In 1967, Guernsey Aquarium moved in and transformed it into the specialist, local water and fish sanctuary aquarium it is today.
Situated in Guernsey’s smallest parish, Torteval, this L407 type bunker was used to house the reserve ammunition for the battery. For many years now, it has been used for the much happier purpose of local bands practising their music.
Originally a type L409 bunker for a 3.7cm Flak (a series of Nazi anti-aircraft cannon), this fortification situated at Castle Emplacement was part of ‘Resistance Nest Modelhafen’ and during Nazi Occupation was manned by Luftwaffe troops. Now, the concrete fortification is used by scuba diving centre, Dive Guernsey, offering courses with experienced instructors.
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HOT SOURCE AUDIO PRODUCTION
The studios of Source, a team of composer/musicians who specialise in music and sound production for TV, film and radio was once a Type M172 bunker. Based in St Peter Port, this former home to the headquarters of the Naval Commander Channel Islands – SEEKO-KI, was the control centre for all wartime naval operations in the Channel Islands.
BAND PRACTICE BUNKER
A type 676 casemate for 4.7cm anti-tank gun, this bunker would provide enfilade fire along the length of the beach in the event of an enemy landing. Post war into the 90’s the bunker was used by the police to store bomb disposal equipment. Today, as a venue for band practice, it’s use couldn’t be more opposite to the brutality of weapons and war.
RED 72 RECORDING STUDIO
This two-level bunker, now home to Red 72 Recording Studios, was a design based on a Type 617 telephone switching post, which provided the main communications centre for the Artillery, 319 Infantry Division and Fortress Kommandant whose headquarters were situated in two nearby bunkers.
A former army artillery observation post M6 which used to relay information back to the coastal gun batteries on target. Today, it has been reclaimed by Islanders and tourists alike, as the perfect location for watching the varied species of birdlife off the coastline of Guernsey.
Fort Hommet near Vazon was a heavily fortified headland with 12 German defensive structures. Years after the war, in the 1960’s, Hubert (Bert) Le Galloudec created a shrine within the bunker, decorated entirely with shells from local beaches. His elaborate designs depicted stories of the Bible and Christian symbols. Over the years the shrine fell into decay from weather damage and vandals, but in 2005, volunteers inspired by Hubert’s work and with support from Guernsey Museums, restored and re-opened it to the public. The shrine is opened by Festung Guernsey on the first Saturday of each month from April – October, 2 – 4pm.