Auteur Topic: German observationbunker (for bomb targetpractice) Casteren  (gelezen 2008 keer)

Offline _Arthur

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German observationbunker (for bomb targetpractice) Casteren
« Gepost op: april 20, 2013, 22:56:58 pm »
German observationbunker (for bomb targetpractice) in Casteren.

After Holland was captured by the Germans, the small grass airstrip "Welschap/Eindhoven" was converted to a Fliegerhorst (airport). The landingstrip was hardend and the airstrip was soon used for trainingpurposes for German bombers.

Camouflaged building on the airport.

A practice area was also needed.

Just 7 kilometer to the west of the airstrip was a large heath. In this area 5 'landships' were erected, each over 50 meters long, 7 meters wide, around 50 or 60cm high with a small ditch all around. Even a small wooden cabin was constructed to act as the wheelhouse. On the pictures of one of the 'ships' you can see still the ditch filled with water. 3 of the 5 ships are still visible. The other 2 are 'lost' in what is now farmland.

Have a look:

The area was flat and the waterlevels were high: it was easy to inundate the area to create an artifical harbor.

2 kilometers to the south an observation bunker was build. This observationbunker is the only type found in The Netherlands. If more exists elsewhere in the world is now known to me.

So, what is their connection? The 'landships' were the targets for the men who aimed the bombs in their bomberplanes. They used concreted, 200kg, bombs with small glass tubes filled with phosphor. While the bomb was failing to earth, the phosphor would start burning and leaving a smoke/fire trail. So it was easy to spot where the bomb fel.

Practice bomb with in the distance the observationbunker. Notice the slits where the phosphor was put it. The big round opening was used to attach the bomb to the plane.

In the observation bunker the spotter noted where the bomb had fallen. And this was telephoned back to the Fliegerhorst. This telephone line was quite often targetted by the local resistance and cut.

The bunker had a special mirror-system to view the area behind the bunker, as the bunker lacked a 360 view by construction-design. Also there was a toilet in the bunker and not much more.

Mirror system. Farm located on the otherside of the bunker.

Mirror system. Piece of the roof and back of the bunker.

Returning bombers also used the practice-area to dispose their unused (real) bombs, leaving large craters which were used after the war as swimming pools by the local youth. If your search the heath, you can still spot some small and one very large 'pool'.

Have look yourself:

Local farmers found practice-bombs after the war while working on their land. They use them now as garden decoration.

Interesting detail: this observationbunker is just 1500 meters from the hideout in the woods as told of in the "Liberationroute 103" thread.

More extensive information regarding this observationbunker can be found here:

Hopelijk is het geen probleem dat het in het Engels is. Aangezien ik het stuk ook op andere (buitenlandse) sites plaats.