Railroad battery at Bredene

The railroad battery at Bredene

On top of the dunes at Bredene lies the remains of two strongpoints of the railroad battery E690.

 

 

 

History

 

From 1941 German maps mention the presence of two railroad batteries at Bredene to protect the S-boat base of Oostende, namely the batteries E690 and E694, each with 2 x 28 cm (E) L/40 KzB (Kurze Bruno) guns.  A map of Nov 1942 shows that battery E694 was incorporated into battery E690.

 

The Bruno guns were placed on a turntable to have a traverse field of 360°.  The preparations commenced in 1941 with the construction of a railway just behind the dunes.  The railway was connected with the station of Oostende.

The commander was Hauptmann Eugen Eimermann who commanded the battery from 1941 till July 1944.  Then Oberleutnant Karl Fusbahn replaced him.  The battery was completed with the addition of  ammunition stores and crew bunkers.

 

The battery was spread over two strongpoints :  Stp Bruchmüller and Stp Goltz.

 

The Organisation Todt completely  changed the Stp between 1942 and 1943.  They built about thirty bunkers.  The battery had  crew bunkers type : 502, 622, 621, a kitchen bunker 134K, observation and firecontrol bunkers , types 613 en 636, and engine ­bunker 607SK and different Vf’s and Wellblech’s added.

For  beach defences they built two 667's for a 5 cm KwK, a 612 for a field gun (LAG) and several Tobruks.

At the end of the summer of 1943 the battery was subordinated to HKAA 676 (E) whereby the command post lay in Duinbergen.

Observation bunkers stood in Raversijde (637) and in Wenduine (636).

In 1943 the battery received 2 x 10 cm Le FH 14/19 (t) light howitzers.

Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, accompanied by General der Infanterie Von und zu Gilsa visited the battery during an inspection tour on the 21st of December 1943.

In 1944 the battery was transferred to the 204. MAA.

Moreover they received AA-guns : 1 x 2 cm FlaK Vierling and 5 x 2 cm FlaK 30.  This set was completed with a 60 cm search-light.

 

In the beginning of September 1944 the E690 left Bredene and moved to Zeeland.

On the 8th of September, the Canadian 12th Manitobe Dragoon entered Oostende at 1300 Hr.  The next day the Canadian tanks advanced further to De Haan.

On the 14th of September E690 was shipped with four guns from Sas-van-Gent to Dordrecht.

After the war the Belgian Navy took over a part of the Stp and installed electronic equipment in the 636.  A generator was placed in a 621.  The rest of the bunkers disappeared.  They called it Punt 50.

 

The Navy abandoned the site in 1998.

 

 

What remains

 

On top of the dunes lies the battery’s  fire control post , a Regelbau 636.  An armoured door 434P01 (the only remaining one ) closes the bunker.   During my last visit the bunker was still accessible.  On top of it there is the pit for the range finder.  The internal situation of the bunker is good because it was in use by the Belgian Navy.

This kind of bunker was manned by 2 officers, 9 to 12 NCO's and soldiers.

 

Next to it stands an empty  brick building.

 

A bit more to the east lies a personal bunker completely under the ground.  It is a Regelbau 621.   The bunker is accessible via a staircase that ends in a mini-basement with two rooms and, of course, the bunker.

The bunker has still a bunker number :

          Ost-O

           016-68

 

 

More to the west of the 636, you can see the edge of a bunker that has 98% disappeared  under the sand.   It could be a 621.

Somebody has said that there must be a fourth one, behind the 636 in the bushes.  Also under the sand.

 

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