Mimoyecques Museum northern France

Written by on June 3, 2015 in Battlefields and War Memorials

mimoyeques-fortressIn the peaceful French countryside of northern France, there are many reminders of the region’s history, particularly during the two World Wars of the 20th Century. About 30km from the charming town of Saint Omer is the Fortress at Mimoyecques, a Germany V3 site.

Mimoyecques Museum

A few kilometres from the cliff tops of Cap Gris-Nez, in Landrethun-le-Nord, on the Opal Coast, the fortress of Mimoyecques was to be used for the Installation of the giant underground V3 super gun.

The V3 weapon was basically a cannon with a towering barrel which had breaches where additional explosives were inserted to accelerate the speed of the main shell. There were 35 of them and each had to be reloaded separately by forced labourers for each main charge to be fired. The weapon was directed across the channel towards London and was intended to fire 3000 rounds a day. Allied bombing however put the firing bunker out of action before any great damage had been done.

The fortress at Mimoyecques is now a museum. It is also home to eleven species of bat and the museum is closed during the winter months to protect the breeding period.

mimoyecques-france-kennedyIt was here that Lieutenant Joseph Patrick Kennedy, the eldest son of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, was killed. Already tipped for greatness and being groomed for and predicted to be a future President of the United States, his life was cut short when his B24 bomber, destined to drop its load at Mimoyecques, accidently exploded. His younger brother John Kennedy took his place in politics.

While you’re in the area, visit the Musée Batterie Todt at nearby Audinghen. An extraordinary bunker museum which looks as though its occupants have simply gone for a wander leaving their belongings behind. There’s a very rare train gun, a German canon “K5” on rails in the grounds.

www.mimoyecques.com
www.batterietodt.com

How to get there: 

P&O Ferries have up to 46 crossings per day between Dover and Calais; crossing time 90 minutes.
Find out more about places to visit in the area:  www.pas-de-calais.com
www.calais-cotedopale.com : Things to do and Musee Memoire 39-45
Loads more to do and see in Nord-Pas de Calais

Where to stay:

www.chateaudecocove.com 18th Century chateau converted into a luxury hotel and great restaurant, set in a gorgeous park at Recques-sur-Hem, close to Saint Omer

www.fermetduvert.com Boutiquey famhouse hotel set on a cheese farm where artisans produce the most delicious fromage. Very good restaurant; located at Wierre-Effroy, between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Saint Omer (some dog friendly rooms available).

Bob Lyons is an ex-pilot turned travel writer.

Related Articles

The Douglas Bader Trail, Saint Omer, Hauts de France

Saint Omer in Nord, Hauts de France is a quintessentially French market town. It has a long and illustrious history. Thomas a Becket AKA Saint Thomas Becket took refuge from Henry II of England in there in 1165. Centuries later, three of America’s Founding Fathers, Daniel, Charles and John Carroll, studied at the Jesuit Chapel. […]

Continue Reading

The Blockhaus Eperlecques, Nord, Hauts de France

Several years ago, on my way south from Dunkirk in northern France, I stopped off at Eperlecques, a small town you access off the main autoroute. A sign for the Blockhaus d’Eperlecques was intriguing enough to lure me from my travel plans. What I discovered, in an area of beautiful countryside where the sound of […]

Continue Reading

Cambrai Tank 1917 Museum Cambrai France

From Lille to Cambrai is just a short trip. Go in time for lunch at Cambrai’s Brasserie Beatus in the Avenue de Paris and you’re in for a real treat.  Peter Jones travelled there to discover more about a World War I tank called Deborah. Not any old tank, but the only one that survives from […]

Continue Reading

Dunkirk the film and the town

It’s one of the blockbuster films of 2017 – Dunkirk (Dunkerque in French), Christopher Nolan’s film about Operation Dynamo, the historic event which saw the rescue of allied forces from the beaches on Dunkirk during World War II. The film Dunkirk Filmed largely on location on the beaches of Dunkirk with a clutch of stars […]

Continue Reading

New Tank Museum to open in Cambrai northern France

Cambrai Tank 1917 Museum welcomes “Deborah”. In June 2017, the famous World War One tank known as ‘Deborah’ will begin her final journey to a purpose-built new home at the soon-to-be completed Cambrai Tank 1917 museum. Deborah, a 26-ton female Mark IV British tank, is the star exhibit at the new museum dedicated to the […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top