The « Site du Bego » has approximately 180 pillboxes hidden in the dunes in Plouharnel. This coastal defensive line was designed for two reasons during the Second World War: to protect Lorient’s harbour and Admiral Dönitz’s U Boat and to protect the Atlantic coast from allied invasions.
The Plouharnel site, reserved as a defense base in 1940, is composed of 3400 acres of dunes which already served as a firing range and had never been inhabited. In the spring of 1941, building work began. Locals were called on to work on the site, as well as foreigners, volunteers and prisoners from concentration camps… It took two years and 2 000 people to build this battery which is considered to be one of the most powerful on the Atlantic Wall. A fine example of Germany’s military engineering ! Imagine an army of workers setting to work. An animal and vegetable farm was built on the dune to produce all the necessary food. On 13 March 1944 General Rommel visited the Bego site during an inspection in Brittany and ordered defenses on the beach and reinforcements of the mine fields. The General’s visit indicates the strategic importance of the site.
Almost all of the bunkers used to shelter 700 German soldiers are still visible today. Each one includes a 50m3 tank, a shelter for a generator, ammunition storage and a shelter for 60 servants. The look-out tower on the dune stands 21m tall and can be seen from afar.
Report HD – Bretagne Télé – June 8,2016