Stp 140 Osnabruck

Map number

- 

Location

The best way to reach this strongpoint is to leave the A16 motorway at Saint-Inglevert. At the town's main crossroads take the Rue de Hauteville going south. Drive through Hauteville. When the road bends right and then left again, park your car (where the road bends left again). On your right (at the highest point) you will see a path leading westwards. First, you will come past the large headquartersbunker/air control tower of Stp 140a Godesberg. After the path takes a sharp turn right and then left again, you will arrive at where Wn 530 Schneeberg once was. If you see an open flak emplacement on your left, you have Wn 141 Magdeburg. The remains are located around the T-junction. Proceed towards the next crossroads. You have now reached the location where the strongpoint was once located. If you turn left and go down the hill, you will see the bunkers of the southern part. Proceeding along the main track, you will find the bunkers of the northern part, initially on your left but later (when you see the antenna) on both sides.

Tactical function

The strongpoint was managed by the Luftwaffe and offered radio guidance to the German bombers attacking Britain, as well as enemy radar jamming. In addition, the strongpoint was also able to monitor and jam enemy communications.
Unit(s) 1940:
Luftnachrichtenregiment 3
25.03.1943: At this this time the strongpoint was coded Stp 148 Osnabruck
6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West
1 Zug/3Batterie/Flakabteilung 765
Zug/Landesschützenbataillon 214/XI
Beobachtungsstelle B/Artillerieregiment 107/106 Infanteriedivision
4 Kompanie/Reserveregiment 26/156 Reservedivision
1944:
6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West
3 Kompanie/Grenadierregiment 558/331 Infanteriedivision?
Troops 25.03.1943: At this time the strongpoint commander was Leutnant Heiks
1/13/64= 78 Mann

6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West: 0/4/11
1 Zug/3Batterie/Flakabteilung 765: 1/3/11
Zug/Landesschützenbataillon 214/XI: 0/4/33
Beobachtungsstelle B/Artillerieregiment 107/106 Infanteriedivision: 0/1/3
4 Kompanie/Reserveregiment 26/156 Reservedivision: 0/1/6
1944:
6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West: 0/4/11
3 Kompanie/Grenadierregiment 558/331 Infanteriedivision: ?

Weapons

25.03.1943:
6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West: sGrW (f), 2x lGrW 36, 4x lMG (t), MP 40, 3x Pistole 7.65mm, 2x Pistole 08, 14x Gewehre
1 Zug/3 Batterie/Flakabteilung 765: 3x 2cm Flak, 2x lMG (t), 2x MP 40; Pistole 08, Pistole 7.65mm, 13 Gewehre
Zug/Landesschützenbataillon 214/XI: 2x lMG (t), 4x MP 40, 3x Pistole 08, 35x Gewehre
Beobachtungsstelle B/Artillerieregiment 107/106 Infanteriedivision: 1 Pistole 08, 2x Gewehre
4 Kompanie/Reserveregiment 26/156 Reservedivision: 2x Pistole 08, 5x Gewehre
1944:
6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West: sGrW (f), 2x lGrW 36, 4x lMG (t), MP 40, 3x Pistole 7.65mm, 2x Pistole 08, 14x Gewehre
3 Kompanie/Grenadierregiment 558/331 Infanteriedivision: ?
Bunkers Barracks (5x), bunker for generators (2x), light bunker (3x), ruins, 2x tunnel, 2x water reservoir

Remaining bunkers

Barracks (5x), bunker for generators (2x), light bunker (3x), ruins, 2x tunnel, 2x water reservoir
Radar X-Gerät Vielstrahlbake, Nachtfalter
Comments The history of this strongpoint is very rich. Already in 1940 the Luftwaffe selected the strongpoint for installing its X-Gerät Vielstrahlbake offering radio guidance for German night bombers. Developed as a successor of the short-range Knickebein system. The X-Gerät used a series of beams to locate the target, each named after a river. The main beam Weser was located just to the West of Cherbourg. When the aircraft was riding the beam, it would encounter the cross signal. The latter consisted of three separate beams, called Rhein, Oder and Elbe. These were operated from the strongpoint. About 30 km from the target, the radio operator on board the aircraft would get a signal from Rhein and set up his equipment. This consisted of a special stopclock with two hands. When the Oder signal was received the clock automatically started and the two hands started to sweep up from zero. When the signal from Elbe was received the clock reversed, at which point one hand would stop and the other would start moving back towards zero. Oder and Elbe were aimed to be roughly 5 to 10 kilometres (3.1 to 6.2 mi) from the bomb release point along the line of Weser (the exact distance depending on the distance from the transmitter), meaning that the clock accurately measured the time to travel between the first two beams along the flight path. Since the time taken to travel that distance should be the same as the time needed to travel the last 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Elbe to the target, when the moving hand reached zero the bombs were automatically released. To be exact, the Elbe signal was adjusted to correct for the distance the bombs would travel between release and impact. X-Gerät was used to great effect in a series of raids known to the Germans as Moonlight Sonata, against Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. In the raid on Birmingham British post-raid analysis showed that the vast majority of the bombs dropped were placed within 100 yards (91 m) of the midline of the Weser beam, spread along it a few hundred yards. This was the sort of accuracy that even daytime bombing could rarely achieve. A similar raid on Coventry with full support from other units dropping on their flares nearly destroyed the city centre. X-Gerät was eventually defeated by way of a "false Elbe" which was set up to cross the Weser guide beam at a mere 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) after the preceding Oder beam — much earlier than the expected 5 kilometres (3.1 mi). Since the final stages of the release were automatic, the clock would reverse prematurely and drop the bombs kilometres short of the target. Setting up this false beam proved very problematic as the Germans, learning from their mistakes with Knickebein, didn't switch the X-Gerät beams on until as late as possible, making it much more difficult to arrange the "false Elbe" in time. Consequently, in early 1941 the system was gradually given up and eventually dismantled.
However, from September 1940 another system was introduced on the Mont de Couple. This was the Nachtfalter system designed to jam English radars. The system was operated by a special group of the 3 Luftnachrichtenregiment. The emitter station was connected with a Beobachtungszentrale near Calais, which collected and processed all information received. The system was successfully deployed in operation Donnerkeil, the escape of the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen through the Channel.
In 1943 the strongpoint was occupied by the 6 Kompanie/Luftnachrichtenfunkhorchregiment West. The companies of this unit were located along the entire Atlantikwall, while the regimental headquarters were located in Paris. The regiment's main function was to listen in on enemy communications and possibly also jam them, since one source refers to its function as Funkstör.
In 1944 important changes affected the strongpoint. Firstly, the coding was changed from 148 to 140. Secondly, installations to the east of the strongpoint became independent strongpoints (Wn 141 Magdeburg, Wn 530 Schneeberg, Stp 140a Godesberg). Also, a German map of 20 May 1944 reveals the strongpoint to be a Heer strongpoint and not Luftwaffe.  However, Luftwaffe units were still present.
The allies were well aware of the importance of the installations and bombed them on 20 May 1944, and again on 31 May 1944, destroying the antennae. Of the bunkers, only the generator bunkers were destroyed (see below), depriving the installation of electricity.

 

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Below are some impressions of this strongpoint.
The numbers refer to the maps above.
27. Quarters
The entrance to the bunker
More views of the outside
Remains of trenches are still visible.
29. Light bunker
The antenna looks real enough, but is it?
Next to the antenna is this light bunker.
30. Quarters (kitchen + canteen)
First view of this two-part construction
The entrance to the passageway which divides the construction into two.
One side of the construction, which we believe to have been the kitchen
32. Machine bunker
Pictures showing the various sides and roof of the bunker.
The bunker can only be accessed through this emergency exit.
34. Machine bunker
The second machine bunker on the site has a very nice entrance. Note the special stairs enabling equipment to be moved up or down the stairs.
35. Water reservoir
The water reservoir provided water in emergencies.
37. Generator bunker
This is the fisrt of two generator bunkers on the site. These bunkers provided the electricity to power the radio guidance equipment,
if normal power supply through the electrical grid was cut.
This is one of the entrances to the bunker.
Inside we can see that the bunkers were badly damaged by bombs.
The thin walls were undoubtedly a major weakness of these bunkers.
38. Water reservoir
The second water reservoir on the site
40. Generator bunker
The second of the generator bunkers sis situated close to the first.
Entrances and windows.
Inside again the same destruction caused by allied bombs.