Fortress of Mimoyecques
Fortress of Mimoyecques - Entrance to shafts - © CEN NPDC - Source: http://www.reserves-naturelles.org
The fortress was a military base for German secret weapons, destined to be launched on London.
In Landrethun-le-nord, in a place called "Mimoyecques", a secret base was built underground. It was intended to launch hundreds of V3 missiles per day on London. It was destroyed on 6 July 1944 with Tallboy bombs.
Excavations have uncovered an entrance, and some of the shafts can be visited. The V-3 (Vergeltungswaffen) was planned to bombard England, and more precisely London, its only target. But the lack of mobility of this kind of weapon made it extremely vulnerable to bombarding and air raids. This is why it had to be contained in a fortified system.
Five of these shafts were constructed in Mimoyecques, in the commune of Marquise in the Pas-de-Calais, along with an entire network of service shafts, tunnels and rooms on several levels, essential for troops staying there and for the many technical departments. An interior railway line was even built to provide transport from one end to the other. On the surface, a particularly vulnerable zone, angled drifts opened onto a reinforced concrete slab 5.5 metres thick. The openings in the slab were protected by 20 cm thick steel plate.
The site was chosen due to its proximity to the target (168 km from London), and also to it being set back from the coastline, to avoid any naval attacks. The site also had to be near to a railway line to transport the gun's spare parts and the heavy material necessary for it to work, to evacuate rubble and to provide munitions and explosives, and also had to be near a power line to supply this underground city. The Germans requested 5,000 kilowatts from the North-West electrical power station. 5,000 workers and 120,000 m3 were required for this installation.
Fortress of Mimoyecques
Landrethum-le-Nord 62250 Marquise
Tel.: +33 126.96.36.199.34
Fax: +33 188.8.131.52.10
Opening times From 18 April to 18 October, from 9 am to 6 pm. In July and August, from 10 am to 7 pm. Groups can visit from 9 am to 7 pm subject to booking.
Prices Adults: €5.50. Children: €4.00. Group of at least 15 persons - Adults: €4.50. Children: €3.35. School groups: €3.35
The site is south of Calais on the D249 between Leubringhen and Landrethum le Nord.
Sound projection in 3 languages: French, English and Dutch. The visit lasts around one hour. It is chilly inside, so bring a warm item of clothing. Constant temperature around 8°C
Quizz : Forts and citadels
Rue de la forteresse 62250
Tél : 03.21.87.10.34 Fax : 03.21.83.33.10
Tarifs Individuels : 5,50€ Adultes ; 4€ Jeunes (de 6 à 16 ans) Tarifs Groupes (à partir de 15 personnes) : 4,50€ Adultes ; 3,35€ Jeunes (scolaires) Tarif Famille (2 adultes et de 1 à 5 enfants) : 12,50 €
Ouvert du 16 avril au 14 octobre de 9h00 à 18h00 En juillet et août, de 10h00 à 19h00 Les groupes peuvent être reçus de 9h à 19h sur rendez-vous.