Tre016 Le Treport
Clifftop batterie site with plenty of concrete to visit
Tre016 Le Treport site overview
What to see
There’s a lot of concrete to observe on the cliffs at the eastern side of the port town of Le Treport, and a lot more was constructed here which no longer remains.
Known as HKB Mers les Bains, this huge bunker site was based around a plan for four R671 casemates for 10.5cm Czech-built guns, but also included a R612 casemate for an assault gun, machine gun Tobruks, and emplacements for anti-tank weapons.
In support were more than a dozen personnel shelters and bunkers, ammunition storage bunkers, and observation posts.
Today the site can be visited via a popular coastal path which grants you incredible views over the busy town, port, and beach areas. In late 2023 some of the cliff faces in this area suffered from extensive rock falls and as a result the path is in the process of being diverted and fences erected for safety. This has meant that several of the building on the upper levels of the site are now only viewable from a safe distance.
From the base of the cliff walking uphill the first obvious construction is the Vf6b type observation post which is angled to look along the beach in front of the town. This small bunker features a crew room and observation position and the classic Organisation Todt-style domed nose.
As you walk up the cliff you can see the embrasure and flanking wall of the R612 casemate neatly cut into the hillside. The embrasure of the casemate follows the same direction as the Vf6b suggesting it was designed for firing along the beach rather than out to sea.
Behind the R612 is a small concrete enclosure which could have been a crew shelter or an early position for a field gun, constructed before the casemate for the 7.5cm cannon was in place.
There are three buildings closely positioned here, the R612 plus a R134 ammunition storage bunker and a R621 group shelter. The latter are both buried under the footpath, but you can see the defensive Tobruk from the R621 above the ground.
As you continue up the hill there’s a large area of grassed farmland and this was an area where there were a number of Wellbelch troop shelters, R502 underground shelters, an anti-aircraft position and defensive Tobruks, along with one of the four planned R671 casemates.
It would appear that only two of the four R671s were ever built, and both can be seen at the top of the cliff. The first is easy to spot as it sports a religious monument and statue on top known as Notre-Dame des Flots, Our Lady of the Waves.
The second R671 is at the pinnacle of the site and currently has a tourist’s viewing telescope on top. The large cracks in the roof and rear wall of the building, and its proximity to the cliff edge suggest that it may not be accessible for much longer.
Between the two casemates stands a special construction R636 command post which would also act as a fire control and range finding position. This now stands right on the edge of the cliff and is in the process of being fenced off.