Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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When we visited the site of Wn140 and had no idea what we were going to find here. First we walked into dense woodland just off the track and found a water reservoir, then continuing down an anti-tank ditch. After that, lots of bomb craters and a track. Next two Generator houses and then several flat roofed large buildings for offices, living and feeding. Finishing up with some sort of radio mast. Since arriving home and searching through the Internet and books we have found it was the site of the X-Gerät, a bombing radio control aid telling the best bomber crews of KGr100 where to drop their flair markers so that the main force following where to bomb. Coventry was one of their major successes.
When the British had managed to jam the signals X-Gerät, the system was shut down.
September 1940 and another Luftwaffe unit moved in and started to jam British/Allied radio and radar signals. Nachtalter (Moth) Jamming station. The unit that moved in was the 3.Luftnachricht-en-Regiment. Connected with the HQ in Calais via a Quadruple cable. Its main claim to fame was the jamming of British radars/Radio at the time of Operation Donnerkeil, the day Sharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen.

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X-Gerät Vielstrhlbake..

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X-Gerät

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He111 of KGr100.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Luftwaffe Station Elbe Oder Rhein X2-X3-X4.
3./le.Flak.Abt.765.
Stab (HQ) Flak.Abt.29
6./Luftnachr.Funk.West.

2 x Vf/Schartenstand MG
1 x SK
2 x Maschinenbunker.
6 x Feldm
3 x 2cm Flak30.
6 x X Verfahren Wotan I.

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Generator.

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Fixed X Verfahren Wotan I.

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Mobile Wotan I at Audembert.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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The junction at the top of the ridge.
X-Gerät
X-Gerät, also know as Wotan I, was a radio navigation system used by the Luftwaffe early in World War II to aid bomber navigation. It was preceded by the Knickebein system and was replaced with the Y-Gerät system.

From ´The Spooks Newsletter´ (also from From Wikipedia).

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Parachute flairs.

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More flairs.

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He111 crew.

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16 May 2018

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First we went to the left of the last picture and through these trees and bushes.

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Plan

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Luftwaffe troops.

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Water reservoir.

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It gets rather thick in there and climbing through we found this a water reservoir used to cool machinery. Some machinery at the time was cooled by water flowing through it and the water lost at the outlet. Others used radiators and just needed topping up.

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An RAF Emergency Water Supply.

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Anti-tank ditch.

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The whole of Wn140 was surrounded in an anti-tank ditch, barbed wire and a minefield. The ditch here would probably not be water filled as it was on quite a steep sloping hill.

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Cross section of a V type anti-tank ditch.

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V type ditch on Omaha beach.

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Another water filled ditch.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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Geoportail 1950/1965

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Anti-tank ditch

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This 1950's aerial photo shows the anti-tank ditch (red line) running right around the defended area and three half round sections which may have been machine gun defence.
There were 2 x Vf/Schartenstand MG somewhere around the outside + barbed wire and a minefield..

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Barbed wire.

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Heavy Bombing

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The area was heavily bombed.

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Halifax bomber.

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Heavy bombing.

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German Plan

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
German Plan

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The German plan of the defences with Wn140 Osnabrück in red.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Anti-tank ditch

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More ditch running down the slope.

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Anti-tank ditch.

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Staff car.

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16 May 2018

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Back onto the track.
X-Gerät
X-Gerät, also known as Wotan I, was a radio navigation system used by the Luftwaffe early in World War II to aid bomber navigation. It was preceded by the Knickebein system and was replaced with the Y-Gerät system.

From ´The Spooks Newsletter´ (also from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

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X-Gerät,

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X-Gerät radio receiver.

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This is the bunker in Normandy used to send out the main signal.

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The Luftwaffe's badge made in concrete on the wall.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Vf Generator

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The first of two generator houses made of brick and concrete, brick rendered over.
X-Gerät
The previous system used by the Luftwaffe called Knickebein was never intended to be used in the long-range role. Efforts had been underway for some time to produce a much more accurate version of the same basic concept, which was eventually delivered as X-Gerät (X-gadget).

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Plan.

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Generator.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Vf Generator

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Looking in through one of the windows showing the original entrance. The two generator houses powered all the bunkers on the hill.
X-Gerät
X-Gerät used a series of beams to locate the target, each beam named after a river. The main beam, Weser, was similar in concept to the one used in Knickebein, but operated at a much higher frequency. Due to the nature of radio, this allowed its two beams to be pointed much more accurately from a similarly sized antenna, the equi-signal area being only about 100 yards wide at 200 miles from the antenna. The beams were so narrow that a lower power set of beams with a much wider pattern was used to allow the bombers to find the main beam. The main Weser system was set up just to the west of Cherbourg.

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details

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Vf Generator

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A smaller window with a shutter fitting still in the wall.
X-Gerät
The "cross" signal was different in X-Gerät. It used a series of three very narrow single beams, Rhine, Oder and Elbe. About 30 km from the target the radio operator would hear a brief signal from Rhine, and set up his equipment. This consisted primarily of a stopwatch with two hands. When the signal from Oder was heard the operator started the clock and two hands started to sweep up from zero. When he heard the signal from Elbe he "started" the clock again, at which point one hand would stop and the other would start moving back towards zero. Oder and Elbe were aimed to be at exactly 10 and 5 km from the bomb release point at the line of Weser, meaning that the clock accurately measured the time to travel 5 km, and thus calculated the ground speed of the plane. Since the time taken to travel that 5 km should be almost identical to the time needed to travel the last 5 km from Elbe to the target, when the moving hand reached zero the bombs were automatically released.

 

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X-Gerät.

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16 May 2018

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Vf Generator

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The main engine room where about four motors once stood, the equipment that was used here needed quite a lot of power.
X-Gerät
Accuracy of X-Gerät was considerably better than Knickebein, but as it operated on completely different frequencies it required new radio equipment to be used. There was not nearly enough to go around, so instead the experimental unit KGr 100 was given the task of using their sets in order to guide other planes to the target. To do this KGr 100 planes would attack as a small group first, dropping flares which other planes would then see and bomb visually. This is the first use of the pathfinder concept that the RAF would later use to great effect against the Germans only a few years later.

 

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A generator non a concrete plinth.

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 1./KGr 100

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He111 of KGr 100.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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X-Gerät concept.

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Principle of the German night navigation and target-finding system for X-Gerät for night bombing. A bomber of KGr.100 would fly along the Wesser line and hear the Rhine signal and knew they had about 20killometers to go to the next signal. At Oder with 5killometers to go the readied their bombing clock and at Elbe started the clock. At exactly 5killometers the bombs/flairs would automatically drop. Lighting the area up for the main bombing fleet following closely KGr.100 the pathfinder unit.

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8 KW generator.

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Bomber stream.

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16 May 2018

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Vf Generator

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In the corner can be seen several concrete plinths for generators and dynamo sets to produce electrical power.
X-Gerät
X-Gerät was used to great effect in a series of raids known to the Germans as Moonlight Sonata, against Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. In the raid on Birmingham only KGr 100 was used, and British post-raid analysis showed that the vast majority of the bombs dropped were placed within less than 100 yards of the mid-line of the Weser beam, spread along it a few hundred yards. This was the sort of accuracy that day bombing could barely achieve. A similar raid on Coventry with full support from other units dropping on their flares nearly destroyed the city centre.

 

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8 KW generator.

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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Coventry Blitz. link.

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Coventry Blitz

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X-Gerät this is a plan of the attack on Coventry, the British scientists were trying to work out what the beams looked like and by the night of the Coventry raid, they had not found a solution. But the raid on Birmingham was diverted after they had located the beam, the frequency used and the design/layout of the beams. Professor R. V. Jones was the scientific adviser to the War Office (Air Ministry) and his book is a must read. Most Secret War.

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Coventry Blitz.

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Coventry Blitz.

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Coventry Blitz.

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16 May 2018

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Vf Generator

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You can see the damage done was by bombing by the RAF on the night of 19/20 May 1944. Aircraft from four squadrons dropped four tons of bombs. A flash was seen by the bombers realising they had hit a power line. The two Generator houses were destroyed. The hill was bombed again on the 31 May 1944.
X-Gerät
Stopping X-Gerät proved to be more difficult than Knickebein. The system operated at unknown frequencies until an X-Gerät equipped Heinkel He 111 ditched on the English coast. Defences against the system were soon developed in a similar fashion as Knickebein, but proved to be unreliable. It was later learned that a new pointing device was being used that automatically decoded the dots and dashes and displayed a pointer in the cockpit in front of the pilot. This device was sensitive to the frequency of the beeps, and the early British signals didn't bother matching this accurately. X-Gerät was eventually also defeated in another manner, a "false Elbe" was set up to cross the Weser guide beam not at 5 km, but at 1. Since the final stages of the release were automatic, the clock would count a very fast "5 km" and then drop the bombs kilometres short of target.

 

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
Vf Generator

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The thick reinforced concrete roof.
X-Gerät
X01 Code "Donau" in Julianadorp (The Netherlands)
X02 Code "Rhein" - in Mont de Couple (France)
X03 Code "Oder" -- in Mont de Couple (France)
X04 Code "Elbe"--- in Mont de Couple (France)
X05 Code "Weser" in Cap de la Haque (France)
X06 Code "Spree" in Cap de la Haque (France)
X07 Code "Isar" --- in Sud Morlaix (France)
X08 Code ??? ----- in La Feuillée (France)

 

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A mobile set at Audembert 1940.

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A fixed set that may have been here.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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Air 40/3051 Report No.12 German X-Beams Policy

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Air 40/3051 Report No.12

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Allied code names for the X-Beam sites..

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16 May 2018

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Back on the track track and continuing down.

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16 May 2018

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The second Vf Generator

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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
The second Vf Generator

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The entrance in with plenty of bomb craters around.

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Bomb craters around the second Vf Generator.

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
The second Vf Generator

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Inside.

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16 May 2018

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est
The second Vf Generator

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The whole of the end wall has been blown out.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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There are many buildings up here and you need a comprehensive plan to understand what is what, the problem is I do not have one.

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Plan.

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Plan.

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How the building at Station Ammer looks today, very like this one.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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This is a sloping entrance into the building. Its very over grown up there.

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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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Another way looking in.

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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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We have managed to get down.

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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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The inside and the two rooms opposite look like toilets?

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Plan.


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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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This is another part completely open.

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Plan.

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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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Steps going out and the two ramps either side are to assist in lowering heavy equipment inside.

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Plan.

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16 May 2018

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Another view down at the entrance and you can see the hooks for camouflage nets.

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Camouflage netting.

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Camouflage netting.

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Here is Mike trying to escape from the clutches of the undergrowth.

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Another roof structure that we found.

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Plan.

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This is an escape route from a bunker.


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The escape..

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Bunker escape.

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The types of escapes.

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Looking along the roof.

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This just shows how dangerous this is, we are only a few feet apart but look at the gap between two buildings, very hard to see and easy to put your leg down and injure yourself.

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16 May 2018

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Steps but to where.

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Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Another roof structure but very badly damaged.

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16 May 2018

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Either this building has been blown up or its been bombed??

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16 May 2018

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This is another slit between two buildings but luckily this one is bigger.

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Plan.


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Barracks.

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Looking down into the doorways.

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16 May 2018

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This is the west side of the anti-tank ditch.

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Plan of an anti-tank ditch.

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16 May 2018

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We managed to get down into these.

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Barracks.

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Some of the rooms inside.

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Who carried on old car seat all the way up here???
Possibly a kitchen area??

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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16 May 2018

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Made in brick and reinforced concrete to a protected building standard not bunker standards.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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This looks like a sink??

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16 May 2018

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The climb out.

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Barracks.

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Back up on the top track.

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16 May 2018

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This looks like a radio aerial for the Luftwaffe site.

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It could have been the site of the beams??

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Bunker, aerial and an aerial tie down.

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Aerial.

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Aerial.

Wn140 Osnabrück, Mont de Couple est

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Another entrance to a bunker.

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More concrete remains.

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Heavily damaged.

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