HKB La Pernelle
Huge batterie with view over St-Vaast-la-Hogue bay
La Pernelle site overview
What to see
Little remains of this once huge gun batterie in the beautiful village of La Pernelle which overlooks the bay towards St-Vaast-la-Hogue from it's position high on the hills.
La Pernelle is an extensive site with a commanding position on the hillside for a gun batterie, observation posts, radar positions, and personnel buildings.
Most German batteries feature a maximum of four casemates but for some reason this site boasted six - all of the R671 type for 105mm captured French field guns. These were supported by a special construction Leitstand observation post and it is only this which remains as the area has been heavily quarried and the casemates destroyed. As this is still a working site, access isn't available to the public.
One part of the site you can discover though is the area near the church where you'll easily spot the raised armoured turret of the R120A artillery observation post on the edge of the hill next to the church and restaurant (highly recommended!).
The R120 is a large, two-storey bunker extending nearly 10m underground and featured multiple rooms for analysing observation info, crew quarters, a boiler room, and comms.
At the end of the garden of the restaurant is a lookout position popular with tourists and this the entrance to a Vf6b - a second, smaller observation post for the site.
Not far to the east of the R120 along the residential road you can find a well-hidden R608 type bunker - a huge underground structure with 13 rooms which formed the headquarters for the battalion stationed in this area.
While the entrance is somewhat overgrown, this bunker is accessible with care and inside you can still see fibre board insulation on the walls of some of the room plus the remains of power and communications cables.
Inland of the batterie you can find a large circular foundation which was the base for a radar station. It was the location for an FuG120 radar - a massive radar measuring over 25m x 25m with the capability of monitoring activity over 400km away. Further inland up the hillside a Mammut radar system was also located but nothing remains of this site today, although there is a modern mobile comms mast in the area it once stood - if it was a good spot in 1940 then it stands the test of time.