Tuesday 25 March 2014

A day in the Salient, Part Two - Bayernwald

After visiting Locre we drove on the short distance into Kemmel, as you have to buy your ticket for the Bayernwald trenches in the tourist office in Kemmel. The trenches are half-way between Kemmel and Wijtschate (known as Whitesheet to the Tommies) and are based on original trenches excavated in the 1990s. They were restored about ten years ago and now give a really good idea of a German trench system complete with four bunkers. These were not MG bunkers but were used as shelters for the troops in a heavy bombardment (the only time they were allowed to use them, to maintain a martial spirit!).

The trenches are excellent and well worth visiting if you are in the area. One additional point is that it is known that Hitler served in this area at one time during the war so he may well have been in these trenches at some point. Here's what they look like from the ground:

One of the bunkers:
And the view from the trenches towards the British lines, which were between the house (not there at the time obviously!) and the wood:
They also found a couple of shaft entrances to underground bunkers - now filled with water as they are no longer pumped out:

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