Bunkermuseum ZoutelandeBack Duinweg 40, 4374 EG Zoutelande
Bunkermuseum Zoutelande tells the story of the German coastal defense in Zeeland during World War II (Atlantikwall). Also much attention is given to the Allied landings during the Battle of the Scheldt in November 1944.
- Year of construction
The Bunker Museum Zoutelande is located in two bunkers that were part of Stützpunkt Lohengrin during World War II. The museum was officially opened on the 21June 2002. In one of the bunkers visitors can see and feel how German soldiers worked and lived during World War II, in the other bunker people can get information about the liberation of the island of Walcheren.
Bunker number 1 is a type 502 staff shelter for 20 men. This bunker is a standardized design with an official nomenclature “Regelbau 502 Doppelgruppenunterstand” (standard structure 502 with a double group capacity). The roof and its walls have been made out of two meters (approx 6 ft) thick armed concrete, which made the bunker bomb proof.
Bunker number 2 is an artillery observation post of type 143 with an armoured cupola for a periscope (“Artillery Bobachtungsstand mit kleinem Artilleriebeobachtungsturm”). The heavy armoured steel observation cupola (weighing 20 tons) has been integrated into the roof. By means of this periscope the surrounding area could be watched. In case of an Allied invasion the coordinates of the enemy troops could be calculated in the calculation room and transmitted by radio or by telephone to the batteries in the hinterland.
An important part of the Atlantikwall was the artillery with which the possible Allied invasion fleet could be annihilated both on sea and on the shores. The targets at sea would be fired at by batteries of coastal defense that had been placed in the dunes. Transports that actually would land on the beaches could be fired at by the batteries of field artillery. These batteries had been placed behind the dunes on the country side, amongst others at Westkapelle, Zoutelande, Koudekerke, Buttinge and Vlissingen (Flushing).
Because these batteries didn’t have a direct visual impairment on the beach, observation posts were established in the dunes and on the dykes.
Also in Zoutelande two of those observation posts had been established on the high dunes, south of the village. On these spots one did not only have an excellent panoramic view over the mouth of the river Scheldt and the beaches, but also over the whole of the Isle of Walcheren.
Zoutelande was defended by two strong points which were code named after the operas of composer Richard Wagner as “Meistersinger” and “Lohengrin”. These strong points consisted of over 100 bunkers.