Marcouf 44

Parking

There is plenty of parking available on site.

Toilets

There are no toilet facilities on site.

Gift Shop

There is a small shop selling drinks and genuine Second World War relics.

Sitting just metres away on the opposite side of the road to the Batterie de Crisbecq, this site was the command bunker for Crisbecq. For many years the exterior was accessible to the public, but the site is now in private hands and you have to pay to visit it. Although it may not sound like it at first, this is actually a good thing, and we were really impressed by the efforts that have been made to bring this building to life.

The new owners of the site have done extensive excavations since taking over the bunker - a task that took them two years. Whereas it used to be possible only to view the outside of the bunker and climb to the roof, visitors are now able to go inside the facility and witness the devastation of the interior caused by American troops exploding ammunition inside. They can also enjoy the fruits of much intense effort by the new owners. Among the tons of debris removed from inside the bunker were wartime relics and unexploded ordnance.

Built in 1943 by Russian and Polish prisoners of war, the command bunker has walls two metres thick and contains eight rooms across two floors. None of the artefacts are in cases, and visitors are encouraged to browse freely and touch the exhibits, whilst they are accompanied by the guide give explanations of the different areas. A typical visit will last approximately 45 minutes and is well worth taking the time, epsecially with its proximity to the main Crisbecq battery across the road.

The command bunker was linked to Cherbourg and Azeville but telephone lines buried in steel tubes. Despite the massive Allied aerial bombardments the line to Cherbourg was not damaged, and on the morning of 6th June 1944 it was Captain W. Ohmsen at this bunker who first reported the Allied invasion fleet at 05:20hrs - giving inspiration for the famous scene in the film The Longest Day. Despite fierce fighting, the site remained under German control until the 11-12th June, when the defenders escaped after running low on ammunition and men capable of resisting.

The team at Marcouf 44 are friendly and keen to tell the story of the site. A guided tour (available in English) provides some real colour over the story of the bunker befoer and after D-Day, and what happened to those manning the position. One such story describes how, after the area had been captured, the Crisbecq battery was used to test demolition methods against German fortifications. In one incident, 12 American soldiers were killed when a large amount of explosvies which had been placed inside the nearest of the gun casemates across the road were detonated, sending some huge concrete lumps skyward whcich landed on top of the nearby group.

There are a number of items for sale, such as spent bullets and other artefacts, although they don't originate from Crisbecq itself. In the ticket office you can also buy drinks and there are several tables and chairs dotted around outside. If you are planning a visit, please check the Marcouf 44 website for opening times, as all visits are accompanied by the guide. It's definitely worth stopping here for a visit, and even better if you can combine it with a visit to the newly expanded Batterie de Crisbecq across the road.


Updated: July 2018



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