Minesweepers of the GPD Channel of the French Navy in action on the beach of Wissant, in Pas-de-Calais, on July 6, 2020. - Maritime Prefecture

We had to act before the summer period. A group of mine clearance divers (GPD Manche) from the French Navy carried out a particularly delicate demining operation on Monday morning. Three defense blocks of the German army had been discovered, on June 19, on the beach of Wissant, in Pas-de-Calais, thanks to a high coefficient at low tide.

These defense blocks were intended, during the Second World War, to destroy the ships which tried to approach the shore, using a priming system. The striking power of these piles called Rommel therefore required the confinement of all the inhabitants of the sector within a radius of 1.6 km. No travel was allowed.

French naval artillery shell

"This kind of demining operation often happens on the northern coast, but sheltering an entire village according to the shock wave is more rare," said the maritime prefecture. So it took all morning, from 6: 30 pm, to neutralize munitions.

Especially since the deminers were surprised to find artillery shells from the French navy in these blocks built by the Germans: the equivalent of 210 kg of TNT for the three shells. They were joined on the beach by the experts, to be exploded.

The explosion of the three shells discovered in the defense blocks on the beach of Wissant, in Pas-de-Calais. - Maritime Prefecture

"The operation went off without a hitch and the security system was lifted shortly before noon," said the maritime prefecture. Until the next discovery of forgotten ammunition.


He fishes the magnet back and a warhead of World War II


A walker discovers 22 shells on a Médoc beach

  • News
  • Littoral
  • Confinement
  • Demineur
  • Second World War
  • Demining