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Hochdruckpumpe ("HDP") or V3

Location:

The site is located in a hill, near the little village of Mimoyecques. Mimoyecques is between Calais and Bologne-sur-Mer, near the main road E402. The roads to the site is well singed.

History:

In the beginning of 1942, the German Röchling factory developed a multychambered long range gun, with the codename "Hochdruckpumpe" ("HDP"). At the end of 1943, a working scale model was demonstrated to Hitler. Hitler order that 50 of these guns should be build. Furthermore he wanted a large gunsite in de Pas de Calais in France, in order to shell London (England). The building started at the of 1943.

  A test site of the "Hochdruckpumpe" gun in the German testsite Misdroy, Poland.

You see the barrel of the gun and on the left en right the multiple chambers of the gun. By igniting the charges in the chambers sequential, the 15cm shell was given a speed of 1100 meter/second. The Germans calculated that maximum shooting distance would be 160km. Enough for shelling London.

 

  A cross-section drawing of the complex. On the left side you see the barrels. The barrels were aimed to London.

The complex consisted of three floors. The bottom floor is 80m deep.

It was an enormous complex.

On July 16th, 1944, Allied bombers bombed the installation with Tallboy bombs. One of the bombs went through the barrel shaft and penetrated the complex until the bottom floor. The bomb exploded and caused a flood of the bottom floor, drowning most of the workers. They thought they were safe in the lowest part of the complex.

After this bombardment the Germans gave up the complex, the project was abandoned.

After the war, British forced blew up the entrances to the complex.

Current status:

In the early eighties, one of the entrances was dug open again. A part of the huge complex is currently a very interesting museum. On the complex are several monument build for the victims who died during the bombardment. One of the monuments is dedicated to Joseph Kennedy, a brother of the later president of the United States, John. F. Kennedy. Joseph Kennedy and his crew died during a bombing raid on the Mimoyecque complex.

  An American soldier with captured shells of the gun.
     
  The entrance to the complex (1993).
     
  Part of the tunnels (1993)
     
  A model of the Hochdruckpumpe-gun on it's original position (1993).
     
  The monument for Joseph Kennedy and his crew (1993).
     

References:

 

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