La Coupole

Back Rue Clabaux, 62570 Helfaut

Today a Museum, it was supposed to be a major site to lauch V2 missiles to England

This bunker, going by code names Bauvorhaben 21 and Schotterwerk Nordwest, was designed as a place in which to produce, store and launch V2 missiles.

Construction on the site started in 1943, after the Eperlecques blockhaus had been identified and destroyed by the Allied Forces. The Nazis needed a site nearby to handle the same functions.

It was named after the largest structure on the site, a gigantic concrete dome, carved out of a chalk quarry.

However the site was often heavily bombed during Operation Crossbow, targeting V1 and V2launch pads, and the project was never completed.

The Allied Forces seized it during the Liberation in September 1944. Churchill ordered its partial destruction, so that not even the French army could use it as a base. The base was abandoned until the 1990s.

Since 1997, it has housed a museum, staging exhibitions mainly on the Occupation, technological progress made during the war, and its impact on the space age.

La Coupole d'Helfaut. image par Thibault Delattre, SMCO

La Coupole d'Helfaut. image par Thibault Delattre, SMCO

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