Stp125 Prinz Heinrich batterie
Early batterie built following German occupation of France
Stp125 Prinz Heinrich site overview
What to see
Prinz Heinrich was one of the first big batteries built in France following the occupation by German forces and was established in July 1940 with two gun positions planned located to the west of Sangatte near Calais. It is believed that two more emplacements were to be built further west at Framzelle on the Cap Gris Nez.
This Kriegsmarine batterie – designated Stp125 Prinz Heinrich Ost - featured 28cm SK L/45 single barrelled 210mm naval guns in open emplacements and were located so they would be able to fire on England as support for Operation Sealion, the planned invasion of Britain.
Despite firing on England and shipping in the English Chennel, with Sealion cancelled and larger batteries being constructed at Grosser Kurfurst in Framzelle – the location for Heinrich’s two planned western emplacements – and the huge Batterie Lindemann to the east, Prinz Heinrich became redundant. In March 1943 the guns were moved to support the war effort in Russia instead.
Today the sites of the two emplacements have been overtaken by two private farms and at each location you can still see the remains of the positions along with many buildings including bunkers for machinery, storage, and also a kitchen and bathhouse. Entry to the farms is with permission only.
Ammunition for the two guns was kept off site from the gun positions in two special construction bunkers a few hundred metres away. These two bunkers are still visible today from the main road which runs through the site from Sangatte.
These bunkers feature a central passageway - wide enough for a truck to drive through the middle – with three rooms on each side where the huge shells would have been stored ready for transportation to the guns.
To the west of the batterie’s gun emplacements you can find a well-preserved hospital bunker. Again, this is on private land so seek permission before trying to visit.