Stp Berck Nord
Huge beach-side batterie site with rare bunker types
Stp Berck-sur-Mer Nord site overview
What to see
One of the largest coastal gun batteries built in the region, Stp Berck-sur-Mer Nord, also known as Bellevue, is a bunker hunter's dream location with many existing structures and some rare bunker types to be explored.
Stretched over 250 metres of beach and into the dunes behind, the site was planned to feature three Geschutzstellung open emplacements supporting huge, 17cm Kanone 18 heavy guns on concrete platforms surrounded by four ammunition stores per platform.
Of the three built, the most southerly one is in complete ruins and almost buried while the remaining two can be seen up close. Both still feature the heavy-duty bolts which would have attached the weapon to the platform and allow it to rotate through 360 degrees if needed. These guns could fire a 60kg-plus shell over 20km depending on the type of shell and charge used. These platforms and ammunition stores are surrounded by other builds but are easy to spot from our drone images of the location.
The largest casemate at the complex is a R611 which stands at the northern end of the site and faces to the north where the 7.5cm field cannon would have had a commanding view of the beach area. This casemate appears to have been built with a huge amount of foundations but has succumbed to the shifting sands and is now resting at an angle on the beach.
At the southern end of the site is an incredibly rare R127 type group bunker - only a handful of these were built on the entire Atlantikwall - and this one features three escape ladders up the side of the building which is unusual for any type of shelter.
Also worth a closer inspection is the R621 group shelter nearby as this has the perfect example of a brick-built escape shaft and steel-rung ladder still in position. The shaft leads to a small escape tunnel inside the bunker and would have been filled with gravel which could be excavated from inside should the occupants need to get out when the normal routes were blocked.
Berck Nord also features several R630 early-type casemates and a R105 for machine guns, ammunition bunkers, group shelters for personnel, and R600b type ringstand for a 5cm KwK anti-tank gun.
An R636a command bunker and fire control post which directed all this firepower was removed from the beach area many years ago.
The area in the dunes behind the beach-side bunkers is difficult to access but is worth the walk as you can find an old concrete roadway, plus a Tobruk which still features the steel ring on which a tank turret was mounted - a rare occurrence on any bunker site.