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Encyclopedia > Eperleques

Eperleques is a small village in northern France, north of St Omer. Saint-Omer, a town and commune of Artois in northern France, sous-préfecture of the Pas-de-Calais département, 42 miles west-north-west of Lille on the railway to Calais. ...


The blockhouse in the nearby woods is a vast concrete structure built by the Nazis during the Second World War for the V-2 rocket. A 19th-century-era block house in Fort York, Toronto In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. ... The Nazi party used a right-facing swastika as their symbol and the red and black colors were said to represent Blut und Boden (blood and soil). ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... German test launch. ...


It is the largest bunker in northern France and was originally intended as a factory and launch facility for the V2. This function was transferred to the nearby site of La Coupole before Eperleques was completed and the bunker was instead used in producing the liquid oxygen necessary for the rockets' fuel. La Coupole is the name of a Second World War V-2 rocket base constructed by Nazi Germany in the south west of the French town of St Omer, between Lille and Calais. ... General Name, Symbol, Number Oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16 (VIA), 2, p Density, Hardness 1. ...

Exterior of the blockhouse.

120,000 cubic metres of concrete were employed in the construction which was undertaken during summer 1943 using largely slave labour working for the Organisation Todt. A complex system of railway lines brought the workers and concrete on site from Calais and St Omer. Eperleques was designed to be able to launch 36 rockets per day and also make sufficient liquid oxygen to fuel them, a daily requirement of 65 tons of it. By combining the fuelling and launching at the same heavily fortified site, the Nazis were able to avoid the risks of transporting the volatile liquid oxygen. The site was given the codename Kraftwerk Nord West (KNW). Download high resolution version (1248x720, 261 KB)taken by me July 2004 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (1248x720, 261 KB)taken by me July 2004 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Organisation Todt (OT) was a German construction and engineering group. ... The Burghers of Calais, by Rodin, with Calais Hotel de Ville behind Location within France Calais is a city in northern France, located at 50°57N 1°52E. It is in the département of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... Saint-Omer, a town and commune of Artois in northern France, sous-préfecture of the Pas-de-Calais département, 42 miles west-north-west of Lille on the railway to Calais. ...


Four 4-storey high Heyland compressors were intended to be installed to make the liquid oxygen and the rockets were to be assembled in the northern part of the site and moved on trollies to be launched in the southern part.


On 27th August 1943, the USAAF bombed the site and were able to damage the north of the structure sufficiently to make the Nazis rethink their construction plans. They decided to cast a 5m thick concrete shell and lift it up with hydraulic jacks. The final structure built using this method was 28m high with matching vertical walls which were added incrementally as the roof was raised. This technique permitted construction to continue in spite of repeated allied bombings using munitions of up to 1 ton. USAAF recruitment poster. ...


Even so, the Nazi command conmsidered the site too vulnerable and instructed the engineers at Eperleques to concentrate on liquid oxygen production for their new underground launch site at La Coupole, using three Heyland compressors. Eperleques' name was changed to KNW ALT (KNW Old) to reflect this. It seems to have maintained the capability for launch however and some historians believe the engineers at Eperleques still worked on this part of the site as a standby option, with or without official permission.


By 1944, the allies had developed larger bombs and in June of that year a 6 ton RAF Tallboy bomb hit the northern part of the site. The damage was repaired but the D-Day landings and subsequent liberation of northern France ended production at Eperleques and La Coupole before either could launch a rocket. The Nazis switched to mobile launch vehicles in order to fire the V2s. The Royal Air Force (often abbreviated to RAF) is the air force branch of the UK Armed Forces. ... The Tallboy was a bomb developed by Barnes Wallis in 1944. ... Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ...


Eperleques is protected under French law as a historic building and is open to the public.


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Eperleques is a small village in northern France, north of St Omer.
This function was transferred to the nearby site of La Coupole before Eperleques was completed and the bunker was instead used in producing the liquid oxygen necessary for the rockets' fuel.
Eperleques was designed to be able to launch 36 rockets per day and also make sufficient liquid oxygen to fuel them, a daily requirement of 65 tons of it.
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