The special constructions
In 1943, the Todt Organisation, responsible for the Nazi State's major works, received the order to build "special constructions" (Sonderbauten) in France. These were protected facilities for the deployment of the new German weapons. Nine enormous projects were undertaken, five in Pas-de-Calais and four in Cotentin.
The five "special constructions" in Pas-de-Calais were designed for three new weapons systems:
- V1 : the flying bomb. The Siracourt bunker, the Lottinghem bunker
- V2 : la fusée A4. The Éperlecques bunker, La Coupole in Helfaut-Wizernes
- V3 : the multiple charge gun. The underground facilities in Mimoyecques
None of these "special constructions" was able to be put into operation. Bombarded for months by the Allied bombers, they were abandoned in the summer of 1944, a few weeks before their theoretical start of operations. Despite the vast tonnage of bombs discharged (5,000 tonnes in Siracourt, 4,000 in Mimoyecques, more than 3,000 in Éperlecques and La Coupole), the massive concrete structures for these facilities (the protective walls are 5 metres thick) remained intact and can still be seen today.