Sottevast Bunker - Cherbourg
Reservelager West RLW
Bauvorhaben 51

Sottevast.The two massive German works projects in the Cherbourg peninsular were intended for the launching of V-weapons toward England. The Germans had started construction of a protected launching site at Brecourt and like the giant V-2 launching bunker near Sottevast, both were captured by advancing Allied troops before their completion.

The site at Sottevast was intended for operations of the V-2 in much the same way as the Watten site. The bunker would be built using the "Verbunkerung" system for testing, fuelling and servicing of the V-2 in a hardened, bomb-proof shelter. Construction was started at Sottevast in October of 1943 and continued through the Spring of 1944. Work on the site continued even while under the constant threat of Allied bombardment (bombing of the site began in February of 1944).

In the book "Vengeance" by Philip Henshall, there is speculation that the original intention of these sites, especially at Brecourt, was for the use of a modified V-2 that would carry radioactive material in a protected compartment. In theory, the radioactive material would have been spread over a wide area upon impact in England causing many to become contaminated. Many rumors and claims abound that the "silo" sites near Cherbourg were intended for V-2 attacks. These claims are highly suspect and many believe the "silos" were just unfinished, abandoned gun batteries. The dimensions and construction of these massive holes match German coastal batteries found in northern Poland.

Sottevast site shown in low level recon photographs.

Sottevast as seen today. The three photos above were sent by Stefano Berti. He reported unfortunately that the bunker is in the middle of a farm and the farmer does not allow visitors currently.

Construction was ongoing when the Sottevast site was captured shortly after the Normandy invasion.

Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower and General Bradley tour the captured Sottevast construction site.

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