Todt started work on the caves in 1943. French workers were employed to
carry out some of the work before they were replaced by the S.T.O (Service
du Travail Obligatiore) and finally being replaced by Prisoners of War.
Dutch, Belgium and Russians all worked on fortifying the caves (Some POWs
manned the FLAK guns, other escaped during the bombardments).
where built outside the cave entrances, both of which remain today. Electric
generators were installed in the event that the mains power was cut or destroyed.
Air vents which had been built by the French where
modified to prevent sabotage and supply the base with fresh air. A telephone
exchange, garages, offices and other type of buildings were constructed
between the pillars to see the smooth operations of the base. Rest rooms
and kitchens were built inside the base as well as dormitories for the POWs.
Considering the size of the caves, only a portion was used. The rest of
the caves were walled off and land mines where laid.
unloaded, hydraulic hoists would be used to maneuver the V1s inside the
base placing them on their specially designed transport wagons such as
the TW76.The V1s would be stocked until ready, between the giant stone
pillars which supported the massive stone roof.
up power supply markings (G.TAYLOR)
were laid to access the base, one lead down to the unloading sidings. A
branch line was built from the main line and into a pasture where the trains
would be unloaded their secret cargo. The V1s would
arrive from German factories by train such as the Volkswagen Works at Fallersleben
at a rate of 50 a day. The cargo would be lifted off the wagons and the
pallets of 3 V1s would then be placed on to trucks (Opel Blitz and Saurer).
The trucks would then be driven up the bank and into the base. Once inside
they would unload their cargo and return to collect another pallet. To ease
traffic, each pillar had a number from 01 to 600. Arrows were used to signal
either 'in' (painted Red) or 'out' (painted Black). Some of the main galleries
were given German street names, some of these can still be seen today.
of the street names, pillar numbers and arrows (G.TAYLOR)
& TW76 transport trolly, Musee de l'aviation, Le Borget, France. (Volker Pelz)
the hours of darkness, the V1s would be transported under armed guard and
in camouflaged trucks, by road to the launch sites dotted over the north
western French country side. Two fantasic books have been written about
the launch sites by Laurent Bailleul. He has visited many lanuch site and
given details of each.
and further down the hillside past the railway sidings, H2O2 tanks were
set into specially built bunkers 'Valognes type'. One of these has been
converted into a garage by the owner. Uncompleted structures can be found
on his neighbors grounds.
& War time pictures of H2O2 store (G.TAYLOR)
The whole unloading area
of the base was covered in camouflage netting. Sentries had machine gun
nests positioned around the base and barbed wire fences protected from intruders.
The Local inhabitants were imposed a curfew, access was denied to all strangers.
German units patrolled the base with dogs and any person who was needed
to enter the base was issued with a pass (Ausweiss).
Locals: Paul Mercier, Mrs R.Carbon, Mrs.Leclercq, Mr.P.Jouan, Mr.P.Michel, Mr.C.Queffelec, E.Framery & his wife, F.Delaplace, Henri Lesage.
Fifi, P.Crepin, Marcel Mavre, F.Gondron, Volker Pelz, Andre R. Steger, Sylvain S., Hans Scheffer, Alan Bodel.
G.M.O.B n°61-63, 1994
Flying Bombs over England by H.E.Bates
Pages de la Resistance by Paulette Formaux
La Riviere d'Oise by ANACR
Creil & sa region by L.G.Villeroy
Les V1 par P.Houzet & Andre Musette
Les Apprentis Sorciers - M Rival
Le Petit Plus de L'OMEPSJ par Philippe Couderchon
Une Armada contre les bombes volantes par Jerome Glaize
OISE Hebdo n°323, 10 Mai 2000 par Laurent Latruwe
Le Courrier Picard, 2 juin 2004 par Jean-Marc Rocca Serra
Air Commodore C.N.H Bailney, D.C.Burn, D.J.Richards, F.Walley, P.A.Badland, H.Guess, G.Hartley, Lt. Col.F.W.Anderson.