The Lost Flak Of Strongpoint Butts

Whilst working on clearing MP3 and preparing the site for visitors, we have studied the general area to see how it all worked together. One thing worried us though, why were there only two flak emplacements to defend Stp. Butts from the air? All the other sites have three. In particular we noticed there was nothing close to the Freya Radar position, the flak to the north of MP3 could cover the Freya but would that cover be adequate? We studied the aerial recons taken during the occupation, the early ones didn’t really show much, then we looked at one from 22nd March, 1945. This showed a small circular structure almost directly in front of the Freya Radar, along with a couple of trenches. So if this was a flak position, why had we never seen it before, after all we have spent a lot of time up there! Perhaps this flak position was a simple field position, made from wood and sand bags which would have completely disappeared by now.

After more research we came across a document by the Royal Engineers, “Rehabilitation of the Channel Islands Engineer Appreciation”. A study of work, labour and time involved in rehabilitating the islands at the end of the war. This had a long list of bunkers which were earmarked for destruction during the post occupation clear up. Not every bunker on the list was demolished as the man hours needed proved too costly.

In this document we found listed an AA Bunker at Les Landes with the following info:- Size 3 yards diameter, Type of Construction Concrete Floor with Earth and Timber Walls, Nature of Ground Pasture, Man Hours for Removal 24. The map references point to the area we noticed on the recon. Was there any evidence left of this bunker?

It was time for a field trip. When we reached the site, in front of the Freya Radar position we discovered a large horse shoe shape hole cutting into the bank, it looked to be about the right size. Was this where the flak position was?

A closer inspection revealed the remains of concrete

So we have found the third flak emplacement, it wasn’t as well built as the other two and certainly not to ‘Fortress Standard’ but it was there and we now have a little extra piece to add to any future tours.

Although does leave us with a few unanswered questions:-

  1. We know the area was attacked by RAF Typhoons from 263 Squadron on 10th June 1944, they claimed to have hit at least one target, a claim denied by the Germans, we have looked for damage and have found craters in the ground by nothing on a structure. Was this now demolished structure the one damaged by the RAF?
  2. Did the Germans attempt to repair the damage? It is certain that at the time materials were getting short as they needed to strengthen the east of the island, so maybe they left it and used machine gun nests instead.
  3. If so, was that the reason the Royal Engineers demolished it due to it being unsafe because of the Typhoon damage or perhaps this was used to test the demolition techniques?

Text and images by our Battery Moltke crew. Have a read and if you can help answer the questions raised here please contact us.