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German WWII bunker dug out to house exhibits

Remnants Atlantikwall

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WIJK AAN ZEE - Volunteers and members of a regional bunker research association recently dug out the entrances to two huge bunkers built by the Germans during the war. These remnants of the WWII Atlantikwall will be restored to become the home of a museum dedicated to the immense concrete defense system.

The complex of dozens of pillboxes, casemates, gun battlements, ammunition depots, dormitories and other bunkers was part of the coastal battery Wijk aan Zee, itself a section of the much larger Festung IJmuiden, just to the north.

Two entries to what is known as the M151 bunker, built to house soldiers, were cleared and new doors installed. Debris and accumulated rubble was moved to a third bunker. Some of the other bunkers in the complex already have been made visible, and the commandpost, used to coordinate the guns in times of attack, has been under restoration for a while.

The other bunker, partially cleared by the IJmuiden enthusiasts, is a 3,000 sq. ft. so-called V143 Mammut radar bunker. Most of the concrete structures will remain embedded in the dunes, but the inside will be cleaned, restored and prepared for its new use as a war museum. Volunteers hope to acquire some of the former equipment of the bunker to add authenticity to its interior.