" Wartime memories"

Malcolm Chant

Joined September 2008

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Before the Second World War, Saint-Nazaire was one of the largest harbours of the Atlantic coast of France. During the Battle of France, the German Army arrived in Saint Nazaire in June 1940. The harbour was immediately used for submarine operations, with U-46 arriving as soon as 29 September 1940.

In December, a mission of the Organisation Todt (Oberbauleitung Süd) inspected the harbour to study the possibilities to build a submarine base invulnerable to air bombing from England. Work soon began under the supervision of engineer Probst.

The selected space was that of the docks and buildings of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, that were rased. Building began in February 1941 with pens 6,7 and 8, completed in June 1941. From July 1941 to January 1942, pens 9 through 14 were built; and between February to June 1942, pens 1 through 5. Work was eventually completed by the building of a tower.

Between late 1943 and early 1944, a fortified lock was built to protect submarines during their transfer from the Loire river and the pens. The lock is 155 metre long, 25 metre wide, and 14 metre high; the roof features anti-aircraft armament

How easy it is to forget that so many lost their lives trying to destroy these pens, the Cockleshell heroes, Hms Campbell Town filled with explosives, The R.A.F was unable to destroy these buildings.

Fuji X-S1

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Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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