Towering over visitors and the Forest that it is hidden in,
the bunker is now classified as a national historic
1943 construction site: note giant excavator in the
Original launch base for
You stand in the peaceful forest of Eperlecques near Watten,
gazing up at the enormous threatening concrete bunker that
looms over you. It was intended to shelter a factory for
manufacturing liquid oxygen rocket fuel, and for assembling,
fuelling, and launching V2 rockets.
Why the site was
In early 1943 the Nazi Todt
Organisation looked for somewhere with a good electricity
supply for the oxygen compressors, that could be supplied
with materials by railway and canal barge.
Here was also hidden in the forest and away from the coast.
Thousands of slave labourers were drafted in to a gigantic
The V2 was Hitler's "retaliation weapon" -
Vergeltungswaffen. - to be aimed first at Britain,
and then later perhaps improved to reach the USA.
It could have changed the course of the
war, if Allied bombing raids had not been targetted to put
it out of action in September 1943 - thanks to intelligence
tip-offs from the French Resistance.
Hitler's change of
Following bomb damage to the Blockhaus, more resources were
poured into another underground rocket launch base a few
miles away. Now known as "La
Coupole", this is also open to
the public. Meanwhile the roof of the damaged Blockhaus was
strengthened, so it could still be used for making vital
liquid oxygen. The Allies tried to devise a special bomb
that could pierce 5 metres of concrete. As you can see,
despite raids in June/July 1944, they had only limited
The Blockhaus from the
Inside the Blockhaus bunker, you are given a guided tour.
This includes a projected video of photos from the Wehrmacht
archives, showing the history of German wartime rocket
You can buy a CD-ROM copy to bring
Today the bunker is an historic monument
commemorating peace in a woodland park.
Unique in Europe, see a complete V1
launching ramp - 45 metres
long (Not originally used on this site).
© Copyright 1999-2002 Invicta
Media. Last updated 12th July 2002 /10th
places to visit:
Coupole Rocket Museum
- near St-Omer
Omer Blockhaus - An excellent range of presentations bring
this Rocket base to life. Students found all aspects of this
site very interesting. Sadly the shop had no English
language resources for teachers to buy, other than that this
site is one that I'd highly recommend to anyone
investigating the Second World War.
not send in your review?..
Reviewer - D Moorhouse, Head of History
Blockhaus, 62910 EPERLECQUES
Exit 2 "Nordasusques/ Eperlecques" from A26
Calais-Paris Autoroute, or follow D600 St-Omer - Bourbourg
4km walk from Watten, 3km from Watten Station.
Rough guide to
Open 1 Mar-30
Nov. Hours: July/Aug: 10.00-19.00; Mar-Apr 14.15-18.00;
May-Jun and Sept: 10.00-12.00, 14.15-19.00; Oct-Nov:
Tel: 00 33 3 21 88 44 22 - Fax: 00 33 3 21 88 44 84
- the park includes the forest around the bunker.
Information on walks and cycle paths from Park
Fortitude South and the Atlantic
V2 and V3 rockets -
Hitler's secret weapons