Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Battery Moltke Flak Triangle

Near the end of the track to Batterie Moltke at Les Landes, lies a trio of Flak gun bunkers - forming the triangle of positions on the right side of this Google Maps shot. All three are similarly aligned, but not quite exactly.

Plan of the 3.7cm Flak 37 bunkers - steps each side lead down to a crew room.
The first one to visit (most easily found via the 'beaten track') has a view of St.Ouen's Bay...
.. looking back. Nice and clean, because so many people have a wander about.
The north steps are filled in...
.. but the south steps look promising after we'd cleared away some greenery...
.. going down...
.. ah. Who wants to crawl over this? My nimble assistant volunteered...

.. and turned right to find the crew room fairly clean of graffiti or trash - just a bit of rubble.
Looking back.
The north end...
.. and the rubble filling in those steps. A human chain could probably clear most of this in a couple of hours :)
And so, another crawl back to daylight.

Looking east from this first bunker, a grassy mound from where rifle enthusiasts shoot at...

.. targets 1000 yards away over the model aircraft site and a ringstand ("Tobruk") bunker. I'd be lucky to hit the target at all, let alone a bull's eye!

The second position is just off the north side of the road, a few more weeds to battle through to get here. No-one seems to wander around in this one, so it's getting slowly covered over by nature. Both sets of steps are well filled in.
The third bunker is just west of another grassy patch which is the 900 yards part of the shooting range. Mostly surrounded by gorse, you can reach this one from the model planes runway direction (just left of center in this shot). The two short walls giving a zig-zag access are free standing, not tied into the rest of the structure, and some of them are leaning a little. I speculate that they were built after the guns were put in place, sealing them in somewhat?

This one might be crawl-able too, but, you know, seen one and you've seen 'em all ;)
It was at this point that I finally noticed the groove in the gun mounting.

Return to bunkers index page

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

WN Fliquet and Batterie Haeseler

WN Fliquet/Flicquet

(never did work out whether the C is required or not, although recent roadsigns suggest no C)
This was located in the peaceful bay...

.. behind St.Catherine's breakwater.

The Resistance Nest was tasked with defending the island from a liberating invasion as always, and also to protect the building housing the Jersey end of a telegraph cable to France which was still operational and useful to the occupying forces.

The excellent WN Fliquet page (I can't compete without a drone!) tells us there were two machine guns, a mortar, a 10.5cm field gun and a small searchlight here.

A truncated Conway tower (1780s) was put into use by the Germans - spot the door a little stronger than the original 18th century ones!

.. and another doorway on the inland side.
Just to the left...

.. an entrance to a shelter.
And up on the bank there...
.. this.
A little way up the lane is the cable house. Someone doesn't want you to look inside.

On the other side of the tower is this small concrete structure...
.. but it's not worth borrowing their garden for a few moments, as there's nothing much to see up there.
Next, we headed up the hill.
"What an anchor", she mumbled. I may have misheard.

A little higher, we had a view of the sealed up top of the tower, that requires no drone to see :)

Batterie Haeseler

Again, do check out Batterie Haesler for information on"14./ HKAR 1265" and its 4 x 15cm K18 field guns with a 15.5 mile range, and the multi purpose defence gun now on display outside the Jersey War Tunnels.

The battery was situated in fields on the headland between Rue de La Coupe and Rue de La Perruque, to deal with any threat coming from the nearby French coast from the summer of 1944 onwards. Until August '44 the batterie had been in Guernsey (Batterie Scharnhorst). There were 2 heavy and 4 light machine guns to defend the battery, along with 3 x 5cm mortars and 2 x 2cm Flak 38 guns, also a 1.1m searchlight.
Locations of all the bits and pieces. The obs post looked like it might coincide with a structure I found on an old map, the site of a promising bulge in the hedge seen on aerial maps like this. We decided to pay a visit so that you don't have to...
.. and found just wooden ruins of an old shed! Didn't spot anything else of interest...
.. except nice views of the breakwater...
.. closer.

So, this is one of those batteries where there's no point 'trespassing' (we broke no laws) because there's not a lot to see!

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Willow Crapaud

It's like looking in the mirror, but I don't remember sitting for this portrait :)
It's in Waterworks Valley - Le Don Sinkins to be precise - and designed to be the climax of 1km trail featuring other willow works of art depicting the life cycle of the crapaud.
It was created by willow sculptor Michelle Caine and Alcindo Pinto, a local naturalist who also works with willow, in conjuction with National Trust for Jersey.
12ft high, and very impressive!

Find it here.