Background information | Contact details

Fortress de Mimoyecques
Base for the V3 secret weapon


Entrance to the tunnels, quarried into the chalk hills justinland from the coast

The deep tunnels stay cool all year round. They cost the lives of thousands of slave labourers to build.

The “Cannon of London”
More than half a century ago, thousands of slave labourers were camped on the windswept hills near Marquise, toiling round the clock to dig out five long tunnels in the chalk.

Biggest guns ever built
These were intended to contain 25 enormous gun barrels, 130 metres long, and with a calibre of 150mm. They would have been the biggest guns in the world. Between them, they could have fired a barrage of rocket-assisted shells* with fins, capable of reaching London, one every 12 seconds.

"Last hope" weapon
Like the V2, this was one of Hitler's “secret weapons” - a last-ditch attempt to reverse the impending defeat of Nazi Germany in 1943-44. The base was never completed: it was bombed by the allies on 6 July 1944, using the powerful “Tallboy” bomb to penetrate the rocks.

Soon after, the site was captured by the advancing troops liberating northern France after D-Day. It is now a memorial to peace.

* Thanks to Tim for this information.

Background information
Second World War
V1 & V2 "vengeance weapons"
Operation Fortitude South

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Location: Fortresse de Mimoyecques, 62250 LANDRETHUN-LE-NORD.
Directions: Exit 7 from Calais-Boulogne autoroute; follow D231 to Landrethun, then signs to Mimoyecques.
Rough guide to opening: 1 Apr- 11Nov: every day 11.00-18.00 (incl.Suns and holidays); 1 Jul-30 Aug: 10.00-19.00.
Information/ reservations:
Tel: 00 33 (0)3 21 87 10 34 - Fax: 00 33 (0)3 21 83 33 10
Email: Mimoyecques@wanadoo.fr

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