Sunday, May 13, 2012

The German bunkers at La Línea de la Concepción

1. Model of bunker 163, Isthmus Museum, La Línea (1940)
2. Model of German bunker 163 (detail)
[Isthmus Museum, La Línea de la Concepción]
3. Gibraltar from Princess Sofia Park, La Línea
[During WW2 there were no trees obscuring the view]

4. One of the German bunkers that can still be seen today
[Princess Sofia Park, La Línea 
de la Concepción]
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For additional information click on 'Comments' below.

3 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

The Battle for Gibraltar

After the fall of France and the Low Countries in 1940 Gibraltar was the only place on continental Europe that remained opposed the Axis Forces. Some countries remained neutral or non-belligerent. Spain, under General Franco was initially a non-belligerent country but sympathetic to the Axis powers of Germany and Italy.

Both the German and Spanish intelligence services regarded the military and naval facilities at Gibraltar as important strategic targets for sabotage. The Spanish and German intelligence services had a close working relationship throughout the war.

In the first months after the fall of France in 1940 and before the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 plans were drawn up by the German High Command for a joint German and Spanish assault on Gibraltar, codename “Operation Felix”. No firm agreement was ever made as to go ahead to implement “Felix” but the German and Spanish authorities co-operated on intelligence gathering and sometimes in sabotage.
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Saturday, 28 March, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The German bunkers in La Línea

In the 21st Century there remain some concrete reminders (literally) in the Spanish town of La Línea which has a land border with Gibraltar. In the Princess Sofia Municipal Park are a number of seemingly-impregnable bunkers built by German engineers early in WW2. These bunkers are no longer used for any military purpose. Yet, during WW2 they were used by the Germans and sometimes the Spanish to observe what was going on inside the British fortress of Gibraltar.

A model of these bunkers can also be found at La Línea's Isthmus Museum (‘El Museo del Istmo’) in the town centre, Plaza de la Constitucion [Photographs No. 1 and 2 (above)]. The museum is housed in the former military headquarters of the district. The model shows German military engineers building the bunker with the assistance of Spanish civilians.

Because 'Operation Felix' was never implemented it meant that for about four years, between 1940 and 1944, the Germans inside the bunkers at La Línea looked out on British-held territory. As the area has been developed as a park and used for recreation purposes the modern-day view of the Rock of Gibraltar is partly obscured by trees [Photograph No. 3]. Nevertheless most of the bunkers are still in good condition and are significant features of the park [Photograph No. 4].

While the Germans and Spanish looked out from the bunkers throughout the war, the British looked out from observation posts on or even inside the Rock towards the bunkers at La Línea. In the end, events moved on here and elsewhere. Neither the Germans nor the Spanish ever attempted an assault on the Rock during WW2.

By early 1944 it became clear to General Franco that tide of war was turning against the Axis powers and in favour of the Allies. Consequently, on 3 February 1944, the Spanish government issued a statement of "strict neutrality" rather than “non-belligerence”, with “… the fulfillment of duties appertaining to such strict neutrality, both from Spanish nationals and from foreign subjects." As a result, the German intelligence operations in southern Spain were scaled down and eventually closed down.
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Saturday, 28 March, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Acknowledgement

The Isthmus Museum (Museo del Istmo)
Plaza de la Constitución,
Antigua Comandancia Militar
11300 La Línea de la Concepción (Cadiz)
Spain

Website: www.museodelistmo.tk
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Saturday, 28 March, 2015  

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