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The fort of dunes

Built in 1878, this fort was made responsible for the defence of emerged grounds along the littoral after strategic flooding on the coastal plain.
The progress of the conflict during the first war lead to the fort being used only as a shelter for the population and as a reserve.
In 1940, the fort became the headquarters of the 12th french division of infantry motorized which protected the east flank of the re-embarkation beaches.Severely bombarded on the June 2 and 3, 1940 by the german air force and artillery, a great number of soldiers died among whom Gen. Janssen, who was buried in the military cemetery next to the fort's glacis.

Entry of the Fort June 2, 1940 (collection Fort des Dunes)

During the occupation, a radar was installed at the top of the powder magazine. The barrack buildings served as a stocking place for the submarine base of Dunkirk's harbour. On september 6th, 1944, 7 resistance fighters were shot in the ditch next to the north undergroundshelter where so many soldiers had been killed in june 1940.

(7 résistance fighters + 1 was shot down at the coastal battery on september 5th, 1944, when trying to escape)

After the war, the fort was put back to customs. Since its construction, it was the first time that it lost its military vocation. In 1955, the French army took possession of places and it became innocuped during about twenty years. In 1978, the reserve settings and members of the society " The Jean Bart " undertook to preserve the fort and to restore it under the impulse of the colonel reserve honorary Jean Caenen.

Then the ministry of defense gave up the land of maneuver to the conservatory of the coastline. The city of Leffrinckoucke, conscious to preserve such a heritage bought it in September 1998

The interior planning

The casernement divides in three parts constructed each around a court and hardback between them by the arched. The fort of Dunes could welcome 13 officers, 22 non-commissioned officers and 416 soldiers. The barrack was composed of eight rooms of 80m2 and three another one of 40m2. To the south, there was the building of managers and to the north buildings of services.
it was equipped of sanitary, water-closets, but also of a slaughterhouse, of a pantry, of a kitchen, of a bakery, of an oven of a capacity of 200 rations, a well and an underground cistern of 405m3, of a stable,...
Under the central massif was the store of artillery and a powder-keg of a capacity of 70 tons that included a double masonry limiting so effects of a possible explosion.

conception JLBPHOTOS

1:the entry drilled by the bomb 2:The building of troops and the central court 3:The infirmary where a bomb collapsed the ceiling 4:entrances of the slaughterhouse, pantry and the kitchen / sinks 5:the north court with the bakery 6:the blockaus where a couple of inhabitants let her mark
7:the powder-keg transformed in theater room by the Germans 8:street of battlements with the entrance of the simple caponnière 9:street of battlements with a shelter of crossbar transformed in jail 10:street of battlements toward the access of the double caponnière 11:the double caponnière 12:exit of the double caponnière to the path of belt
13:trenches achieved by the Germans 14:the building of managers 15:kitchen and room of the building of managers 16:views of the top of the troop building 17:passage bombarded between the central and south courts 18:exit to guard office

New 2006

cannon of Bange' copy by the colonel reserve honorary Caenen

Visits guided of the Fort are organized in summer the Saturday to 14H15 and 15H15

- in July, from the second weekend

- in August, until the next to last weekend

On documentation provided by the office of tourism of Leffrinckoucke and the association Fort of Dunes

To home of the operation Dynamo

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