Typology of bunkers

Typology of bunkers and batteries

Atlantic Wall in Normandy

A comprehensive and diversified typology

The defensive constructions of the Atlantic Wall correspond to a set of models predefined by the Todt Organization (T.O.) in works known as Regelbauten. These various models correspond to the needs of the military and are adapted to the environment of these installations.

Several categories of buildings exist and are listed by numbers and letters: from number 1 to number 704 for Army installations (in German: Heer).

Several Regelbauten publications have been published since 1938. The main Regelbaut used by the workers of the T.O. for the construction of the Atlantic Wall corresponded to the 600 series, available from November 1942 and comprising 108 construction models (see the list of models below).

 

Image : Vestiges du Wn 66 visités par un soldat américain après le débarquement Remains of the Wn 66 strongpoint (Omaha Beach) visited by an American soldier after D-Day.

Through the generic term of bunker, one must understand a set of buildings made of reinforced concrete, of different sizes and functions. There are observation posts, individual combat stations, artillery sites, shelters or ammunition bunkers.

These various structures are generally grouped together to form what is commonly referred to as a strongpoint. Among the nearly 700 strongpoints along the Atlantic Wall from Norway to the Spanish Basque Country, role and structures are different from each other.

Image : Plans et caractéristiques de la casemate pour canon de campagne H669 Plans and characteristics of the H669 howitzer bunker.

Strongpoints of the Atlantic Wall

The strongpoints are grouped under the terms of divisional, coastal, railway and Flak batteries.

Divisional batteries, which are only armed by the Heer (German Army), can be protected by concrete constructions (such as field batteries) or disposed at temporary points without strong protections (batteries in field position).

Coastal batteries are armed both by the Heer (HKA: Heeres Künsten Artillery) and by the Kriegsmarine (MKA: Marine Künsten Artillerie). The artillery guns are placed into open-air concrete structures before the allied bombardments forced the T.O. to build casemates.

Image : Plans et caractéristiques du poste d'observation de la batterie de Longues (modèle M262a) Plans and characteristics of the Longues-sur-Mer battery observation post (model M262a).

Batteries positioned on tracks, also called Eisenbahn Batterie, have the advantage of being able to be equipped with large caliber guns and are supposed to protect particular points like estuaries and ports.

Finally, the Flak batteries (Flak Abteilung) ensure the protection of particular points against the adverse air attacks.

Image : Plans et caractéristiques de la casemate pour canon sans affût avec embrasure R671 Maps and characteristics of the R671 model for gun without carriage with embrasure.

600 Series Construction Models

600: 50 mm KwK on shelter / bunker
601: shelter for Pak with armored roof
602: shelter for armored vehicle
603: shelter for two armored vehicles
604: gun shelter I
605: gun shelter II
606: shelter for 600mm projector and machinery
607: ammunition bunker II
608: battalion or regimental command post (1 floor)
609: battalion or regimental command post (2 floors)
610: reinforced company command post or battery
611: casemate for field gun
612: casemate for field gun, without auxiliary premises
613: artillery observation post with round shooting protection
614: artillery observation station with round shooting protection (2 floors)
615: artillery observation post with armored roof
616: large link station
617: signals station
618: signals center for staff
619: machinery shelter
620: casemate for MG under armor on slope
621: shelter for a group
622: shelter for two groups
623: casemate for MG under armor
623: casemate for MG under armor
624: casemate for MG under armored casemate
625: casemate for 75 mm Pak 40
625b: casemate for 75 mm Pak 40
626: casemate for 75 mm Pak 40 with shielded roof
627: artillery observation post with armored shield
628: shelter for a group on slope
629: shelter for Pak
630: casemate for MG under armor
630b: casemate for MG under armor
631: casemate for 47 mm Pak K 36 (t)
631b: casemate for 47 mm Pak K 36 (t) with rear inlet
632: shelter with round firing protection with 3 embrasures for MG
633: shelter for M19
634: shelter with round firing protection with 6 embrasures for MG
635: shelter for two groups on slope
636: shore steering position for coastal battery
636a: shore direction station for coastal battery
637: measuring station for coastal battery
638: small sanitary shelter
639: large sanitary shelter
640: casemate for 37 mm Pak under armored shield
641: bunker with ammunition III
642: casemate for 47 mm Pak 36 (t) and MG
643: shelter with round firing protection with 3 embrasures for MG in A
644: shelter with round firing protection with 6 embrasures for MG in A
645: shelter for a kitchen
646: shelter with tank
647: shelter with 2 round firing protections with 1 embrasure for MG
648: shelter with 1 round firing protection with 1 embrasure for MG
649: gun on barrel casemate with embrasure of 90°
650: gun on barrel casemate with embrasure of 120°
651: gun on barrel casemate with embrasure of 90°, without housing
652: gun on barrel casemate with embrasure of 120°, without housing
653: casemate for 50 mm KwK gun
653b: casemate for 50 mm KwK gun
654: casemate for 50 mm KwK gun, without auxiliary premises
655: shelter for 6 men with dump
656: shelter for 15 men
657: shelter for two kitchens
658: shelter with tank
659: shelter with tank in A
660: shelter for battery chargers
661: health shelter
662: casemate for field gun in A
663a: casemate for 100 mm KK gun and MG – right flank in A
663b: casemate for 100 mm KK gun and MG – left flank in A
664: shelter with round firing protection for light howitzer in A
665: infantry observation post with round firing protection
666: infantry observation post with small round firing protection
667: small casemate for 50 mm KwK gun
668: small shelter for 6 men
669: casemate for field gun, without auxiliary premises
670: casemate for gun on carriage with embrasure of 90°, without additional premises
671: casemate for gun on carriage with embrasure of 120°, without additional premises
672: shelter for canon I, without attached rooms
673: shelter for canon II, without additional premises
674: small ammunition bunker
675: small shelter with cistern
676: small casemate for 47 mm Pak K 36 (t) gun
677: casemate for 88 mm Pak 43/41 gun, without auxiliary premises
678: casemate for gun on carriage with embrasure of 90°, without additional premises
679: casemate for gun on carriage with embrasure of 120°, without additional premises
680: casemate for 75 mm Pak 40 gun, without auxiliary premises
681: casemate for MG under armor, without auxiliary premises
682: small shelter for machinery
683: casemate for 210 mm gun with embrasure of 120°, without annexed premises in A
684: casemate for 210 mm gun with embrasure of 120°, without additional rooms
684a: casemate for 210 mm gun with embrasure of 120°, without annexed premises in A
685: casemate for 210 mm gun with embrasure of 60°, without annexed premises in A
686: casemate for 194 mm gun with embrasure of 120°, without auxiliary premises
687: small shelter with
Panther tank turret
688: casemate for 170 mm L/50 gun with embrasure of 120°, without annexed premises in A
689: casemate for 170 mm L/50 gun with embrasure of 120°, without annexed premises in A
690: casemate for 170 mm L/50 gun with recess of 90°, without annexed premises in A
691: communications center for High Command
692: casemate for 76.2 mm / 88 mm Flak (r) gun, without additional premises
693a: small shelter for optical signaling
693b: small shelter for optical signaling
694: casemate for gun on rack, without auxiliary premises
695: small casemate for MG
696: small casemate for MG on slope, without additional premises
697: small measuring station for coastal battery
698: casemate for 105 mm K408 (i) gun on outskirts, without auxiliary premises
699: casemate for 88 mm Pak 43 gun on rack, without auxiliary premises