Stp Sainte Cecile & Bulldogge
Massive coastal batterie and radar site now largely hidden under housing
Stp Sainte Cecile site overview
What to see
As with many sites along this coastline, the last few years has seen an exponential amount of building going on, mainly holiday high rises and flats.
As of early 2023, there are several construction sites to the north of the coastal town of Sainte Cecile, one of which is now covering over what was once Stp Bulldogge, a Luftwaffe radar and anti-aircraft station.
While some shelters still remain, they are on borrowed time looking at the plans for housing expansion. The only builds left to see are the edge of a R502 twin group personnel shelter at the edge of pine woodland, and an elongated L-shaped storage building within a housing complex nearby.
To the south of the town was once a huge army coastal batterie featuring six 155mm captured French guns positioned in Geschutzstellung open ringstands, and there are two which can be seen from the beach, although they are difficult to access due to the vegetation, a small stream, and fences.
These would have been supported by machine gun and field cannon casemates, dozens of personnel shelters, ammunition stores, and a command HQ bunker with observation posts and a large communications centre. Behind the two remaining ringstands is a toilet block in good condition, although access is tricky due to the scrub.
Today there is little left to see of the bigger buildings, and what does remain has been used as foundations for housing.
A walk along the beach south towards Stp Gabriel is worth it - those with a keen eye will spot the barbed wire fences around the modern sea defences are heavily reliant on a large number of original WW2 German Eisenpfahl spiked fence posts. With their base plates buried in the ground they still perform the same task they did over 80 years ago when first put in.
Mixed in with the sea defences at the edge of the small cliffs are a number of WW2 concrete blocks - with T-shaped cut-outs - and we wonder how many thousands of tourists have walked past these blocks and not realised their deadly secret.
These blocks are part of WW2 German Nutcracker mines, devices packed with explosives which would sit on the seabed waiting for allied boats to pass over. Located in the T-shaped slot on a hinge was a length of steel railway line or wooden post which would point towards the surface and if moved by a craft passing overhead would trigger the mine and destroy the bottom of the ship.
We've spotted 13 of them along a short stretch and these concrete bases are helping to protect the beach and dunes area in a different way.