On 4th June 2015, dispatches from Juno Beach Centre in France and Nick Logan, Global News, journalist, reported 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 had been 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 know 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 da