Fort of the Dunes

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A superb example of 19th century military architecture, it is now a cultural and heritage site as well as a place of memory devoted to the Second World War.

With its buildings buried under the sand, the Fort des Dunes is a remarkable example of a military installation designed by General Séré de Rivières. It was built in 1978, at the same time as the Zuydcoote Battery, to protect Dunkirk and its port from any attack from the east.

Following the invention of a new type of explosive, the fort lost its strategic importance and was then used as barrack accomodation, able to house 450 soldiers.

During the Second World War, the Fort des Dunes was at the heart of Operation Dynamo, the largest embarkation in history, which evacuated 338 000 allied soldiers. A hundred or so soldiers perished under the intense German bombing and among them was General Janssen, commander of the 12th Motorised Infantry Division. Other dramatic events took place during the war, in particular the execution of 8 members of the Resistance in 1944.

After the war, the fort had a variety of roles and was abandoned for many years before being bought by the City of Leffrinckoucke in 1998.

A superb example of 19th century military architecture, it is now a cultural and heritage site as well as a place of memory devoted to the Second World War.

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