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Bois Carre V1 site 660

Small wood area where the first V1 ‘ski sites’ were photographed

Bois Carre V1 site 660 location

What to see

The aerial reconnaissance images taken over Bois Carre, meaning ‘square wood’, near Yvrench were some of the most important photographs of the second World War.
Taken in late 1943 and early 1944, they showed a large construction site in an around the edge of the dense woodland.
Standing out on the images were three long buildings with curved endings. Allied intelligence labelled them as ‘ski’ sites and although not aware of their purpose of the buildings, it was later discovered that they were a trademark of V1 launch sites.
This knowledge was used to help identify hundreds of similar sites all over the occupied territories. The Abbeville area had some of the highest density of V1 flying bomb launch sites under construction in northern France – all directed to fire upon London.
The identification of the site and the potential threat meant it was subjected to intense bombing raids and due to the damage caused, it never fired a V1 on England.
Today the site is a mature woodland, but you can walk through overgrown concrete paths and see the remains of many of the buildings including two of the 250ft long ski shaped V1 storage buildings, the area where the launch ramp was located and the supporting buildings including the fire control bunker, chemical and fuse stores, workshop, reception building, water storage, and the non-magnetic building where the V1s directional gyroscopes would be set.
Some of the buildings are in a dangerous state with evidence of direct hits by Allied ordnance and internal explosions which may have been caused by advancing Allied troops trying to render the site inoperable. You can also see several areas where the concrete path slopes away into quite large bomb craters.
Other buildings are suffering from the onset of time, with the workshop being undermined by rabbits and badgers. If you’re visiting, please take care.


Directions to bunker sites in this area...

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