The Atlantik Wall In Normandy



St Lô Underground Hospital  Map 1313E

The only real evidence of the German occupation in St Lo is the underground hospital. Built by slave labour and started in December 1943 it was unfinished by the time of the liberation.

In the cliffs that tower over the southern part of the town in the old city walls is a small entrance. The main tunnel runs about 150 meters under the cliffs, protected by typical double steel doors that are of the stable door type. This is normal in most German installations to allow an escape if debris blocks the lower half of the door. The strange thing about the entrance is its height around 1.75 meters. The doors seem to be standard units modified to fit. The hospital wards run off this tunnel at right angles, some with alcoves, may have been operating theatres. These are much wider and higher that the main passage. The toilet block can still be found although without fittings.

At the end of one of the side tunnels is a brick wall, which seems to have a door and window built into it, this may have also been an operating  theatre of office. It is difficult to determine if the underground hospital was finished or not as many of the tunnels just end at a rock face. There is also evidence that the brick lining of the concrete walls was not finished. During the fighting for the town it is known that many hundreds of the town folk sought shelter in these tunnels. The passages are now used as a firing range and are not accessible to the public and visitors are not allowed into the underground passages.




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