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Lorient Submarine pens

Article about: trying again for upload

  1. #1

    Default Lorient Submarine pens

    I have just been able to visit the submarine pens at Lorient. Most of the pens are now used by industrial units and are not accessible.

    The doc shown in the pictures is called Keroman one. Admiral Doneiz had his headquarters based close to the at Kernevel until the Dieppe raid by British forces in 1942. He then moved his HQ to Paris.

    The concrete is over three meters thick in places. The roof has large air gaps which you can walk through. This is what made the pens so effective against allied bombing.

    Allied bombing was ineffective and the town of Lorient was reduced to rubble. A 'tall boy bomb' was dropped on the roof of the 'dome' (i have no picures) and this just practically bounced off causing no damage.

    The pictures do show some bomb damage to parts of the building. As you can see alot of the original fixings are still in place.

    One of the pictures shows a part sunken ship in the harbour. This was done by the Germans to prevent torpedos being dropped by allied fighters.

    The memorial is for Jaques Stosskopf (27 November 1898 1 September 1944) held the post of deputy director of naval construction at the Lorient arsenal. From September 1940, under the guise of collaboration with the Germans, he used his position to inform Allied forces of submarine movements at Lorient. He was denounced and arrested by the Gestapo in 1944. He was executed at Struthof camp in Alsace. He was posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour in 1945. The submarine base at Lorient was given his name in July 1946.

    Unfortunatly I could not do the whole tour as I had a young family in tow!! I did get chance however to look in a French submarine that was used during the cold war. (I will upload the pics) The French after the war took over the base and used it themselves.

    I hope the pictures give a good understanding of the size and scale of the building as they were so big. Hope this is of some interest. It is well worth a trip but they only do English speaking tours on certain days.
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    Last edited by davesap250; 08-07-2011 at 11:05 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Hi davesap250,

    I would love to have some of your pictures on my website: Keroman uboat-bunker
    Of corse with your name and you permission...
    Would that be okay with you?

    Best regards,


  3. #3

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Hello Dave,

    Super photographs thank you for sharing them. It looks like a good tour. You may well know about it already, but if you don't, I'd suggest you take a trip over to Birkenhead sometime. The "U-Boat Story" exhibition there is superb. Check it out online and I'm sure you'll like it. For anybody interested in the Atlantic War then Merseyside is a great place to visit. As well as U-534 at Birkenhead there are the Western Approaches and Maritime History museums. All worth a visit.



  4. #4

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Martin you can use the photo's. They are only 'touristy' photos so crack on.

    Thanks for the info Carl. Its not really an area that has interested me before. I was impressed with the size and scale of the area. If I can get across at some point to Birkenhead I will go and have a look.

    There is a main tour at this place that I did not go on and you are allowed access to the roof where AA gun emplacements were. Would have liked to have done it but, maybe another time.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Thanks, If you would like your name as , just sent it to me...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Hi Everyone,
    Just went there not very long ago, I come from Brittany but do live in UK not far from Birkenhead actually ! Here's the picture of one of the two boats the german sunked to protect the base from plane launched torpedoes. Will come back and post more pictures and more stories.
    Cheers, Reg

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Fascinating pics ! I would love to see them!

    I went to Birkenhead about 10 years ago when U-534 was in one piece and you got a guided tour inside her. Unforgttable!

    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Quote by Stickgrenade View Post
    Fascinating pics ! I would love to see them!

    I went to Birkenhead about 10 years ago when U-534 was in one piece and you got a guided tour inside her. Unforgttable!

    We are amongst the lucky few who got to walk through the boat Nick. I did that tour about five times because it was such a memorable experience. It's a damn shame that she was cut up, even though it's still a very good attraction. A roof and basic enclosure would have been much better in my opinion but at least U-534 can still be appreciated today.



  9. #9

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Very interesting! Thanks for showing these great pics.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Lorient Submarine pens

    Went to the Warships trust at Birkenhead a few times, but I always promised my eldest son I would wait until he was old enough to join me on a tour inside the U-boat (they had an age limit) - they closed just before his 16th birthday :-(

    We managed to go on one of the first tours of the Lorient base a few years ago, just after the French navy finally moved out - they still had an armed guard on the gate which got us worried as the guide we had contacted told us to meet her in the base early on a Sunday afternoon and the place was otherwise deserted - but he just waved us through!

    Some of my photos on Flikr at: Lorient U-Boat Pens - a set on Flickr

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