This year 2015 has been a year of historical new discoveries related to World War II. Among which, in this post, WW2live.com wants stress the following:
#1. German Tobruk machine gun emplacement of WWII, long buried in the shifting sands of Juno Beach, Normandy (France).
Dispatches from Juno Beach Centre in France and Nick Logan, Global News, journalist, reported on 4 june, that had been uncovered a German Tobruk machine gun emplacement of World War II, long buried in the shifting sands of Juno Beach. This discovery was made on the site last week by a documentary team from the History program "War Junk" just days before the anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Wayne Abbott, Craig Mitchell and Dave O’Keefe, members of "War Junk" team, found exactly what they were looking for — a long-lost German bunker swallowed up by the sand in the decades since the end of the Second World War. Digging down, the team found the Tobruk to be mostly intact. The bunker Abbott, Mitchell and O’Keefe uncovered rests just 300 metres from theJuno Beach Centre.
"War Junk" is a television History serie that tells the story of war through artefacts found on battlefields. This episode is about Normandy Landings.
The Germans had established what became known as Fortress Europe or Atlantic Wall — a network of 15,000 concrete bunkers that stretched from France to Denmark.
Series Host/Producer Wayne Abbott told: "We were given the opportunity to search the area near the Juno Beach Centre for buried and lost remnants from the battle on D-Day. We had a number of targets we wanted to find but we had no idea if we would locate them. When we uncovered the German Tobruk in pristine condition, the way it looked nearly 70 years ago, it was an incredible moment. Finally uncovering it after so many years buried under the sand gives a haunting reminder of what Canadian troops faced when they landed here. It’s a very significant remnant that truly tells the story of D-Day".
Historian David O’Keefe noted: “We knew that a pillbox like this would have been devastating for the Canadians when they landed. Because of the way it was built it could fire in a 360 degree angle it meant that it could cover all areas of the beach. This pillbox made this part of the Juno Beach sector absolutely treacherous for the Canadians on D-Day.”
Nathalie Worthington, the Director of the Juno Beach Centre, added: “This is fantastic. We live here and we have history under our feet but we don’t necessarily know where. Uncovering this emplacement adds to the story. It adds to the experience of visitors from Canada and from all over the world when they come to Juno Beach. We are going to bring more information because this has it’s own story.”
More than 350 Canadian soldiers who lost their lives that day and more than 5,000 died during the Battle of Normandy. Canada sustained the highest number of casualties “of any division in the British Army Group.”
The 14,000 Canadian soldiers who stormed Juno Beach that day were among the155,000 Allied troops who came ashore that day.
#2. Uncovered German buried bunker of WWII, built in 1943, in Arcachon Basin (Gironde, France).
A German bunker built in 1943 during the German occupation was uncovered in Arcachon Basin (Gironde, France) on past 15th May, 2015 by the Archaeological Research Group for the Atlantic Wall: Arcachon Sector (Gramasa). They had permission to dig and open - for the first time in 70 years - this true witness of history, Le Point reported.
The bunker was part of the Atlantic Wall, a network of 15,000 concrete bunkers that stretched from France to Denmark. The building was responsible for protecting the Arcachon Basin. This bunker of 120 square meters, closed from 1946, although located in the city center, had nevertheless ended up being forgotten. Nevertheless, those who lived through the war were familiar with the location of the underground bunker.
Built by the Germans in 1943, it was buried to protect from the bombardement and direct fire. "It was probably a HQ bunker and central to the defense of the Arcachon basin," said Marc Mentel, Gramasa's President. There is a warning message, written in German, indicates you that if you damage equipment or if you bring down, your act will be considered as sabotage.
Inside, everything remains as it is: nine beds, electric generator, the important telephone system ... It would be really a bunker designed originally for the cantonment about 20 soldiers or two battle groups. Its walls and ceiling are not more than 2 meters thickness, just to resist the bombings and maintaining communication between the different positions of the Arcachon Basin.
The municipality is clarifying its intentions and is talking about restore it to their former glory in the duty of remembrance, for tourism use and for educational purposes.