The Atlantik Wall In Normandy

 

 

Bricquebec

The site here at Bricquebec was the last installation to be built to handle the V1 flying bomb in the area. By early 1944 two major factors had influenced the handling and launching of the V1. Firstly, the Allies had discovered and bombed most of the early launch sites. These sites were called "Ski Sites" by the Allies because the main storage buildings (of which each site had three) looked like skis placed on their sides when viewed from the air. Secondly the SS had by then taken control of the "Vengeance Weapons" and had realised that these weapons needed to be more mobile if they were to have any chance of success.

This site, like its sister site at Valognes, was composed of many buildings made from red concrete blocks, faced with plaster dispersed over a large area. Also, like the site at Valognes, it was situated next to a railway line enabling large numbers of V1's to be brought in at once. The train bringing the V1 flying bombs would have had thirty three wagons, each containing three almost completed missiles, the wings being carried alongside the missile. I think they would have been unloaded from the train at Bricquebec Station, the first photo on the right shows what could be a concrete unloading ramp.

The final assembly was intended to be carried out on both these places and the completed weapon sent on to the launching ramps. At the V1 depot at Bricquebec you can still see the road infrastructure built by the Germans, and although most of the site has reverted to farm usage, a scrap yard and rubbish collection site still occupies two areas that the Germans concreted over to form large reception areas. It is thought that these two areas could have also been used to launch the V2.

The most interesting building remaining is the little T-Stoff storage bunker just inside the site. Although stripped of its fittings you can still see the two reception areas where the trolley would be filled. Around thirty gallons would have been needed for each launch. HTP or T-Stoff, in reality Hydrogen Peroxide, was a nasty chemical and needed careful handling. At the rear of this small building you can see the control gear needed to fill the two small carts and as a safety measure the connection would have been made from outside. After the liberation, the depot continued to play an important role, handling American supplies brought in by both road and rail. They are the last three photo's to the left.

Most of the assembly buildings have been put to good use by the local's, one is a Garage workshop, another is a Builders Merchant and two have been converted to homes.

 

 

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