Nachrichten im Bereich Armeeoberkommando 15

   

 

Within the general staff of the Armeeoberkommando 15 all matters relating to (non-divisional/corps) army communications were the responsibility of the Armeenachrichtenführer, located at the AOK 15 headquarters in Tourcoing. The post was held by Oberst Karl-Albert Mugge.

 

The army unit implementing the decisions was the Armeenachrichtenabteilung 509, also headquartered in Tourcoing. This unit was established on 19 December 1940. It consisted of four companies:

 

ARMEENACHRICHTENABTEILUNG 509

1 Kompanie Betrieb
2 Kompanie Funk
3 Kompanie Bau
4 Kompanie Bau

In February 1945 the unit was redesignated Armeenachrichtenregiment 509 and was given an additional construction company, so that it structure was as follows:

ARMEENACHRICHTENREGIMENT 509

1 Kompanie Betrieb
2 Kompanie Funk
3 Kompanie Bau
4 Kompanie Bau
5 Kompanie Bau

 

Throughout the war the communications units mostly operated behind the scenes and their presence, or rather absence, was only felt when communications broke down. However, these troops, just as the others, also constructed bunkers. Such bunkers were mainly of three types:

a) Communication bunkers with communications personnel of the Regelbau types. These were generally part of strongpoints
b) Kabelschaltstellen (Kss) or cable relay bunker. This was a small bunker (4.75m²) constructed above the ground, usually away from any strongpoint. Access to the bunker for technicians was possible through a door.
c) Kabelschaltbrunnen (Ksb) or cable relay pit. This was a very small bunker (2.30m²) usually constructed below the ground, usually away from any strongpoint. Access to this kind of bunker for techniciansd was possible through an opening above the ground with climbing irons taking the visitor down into the bunker.

The cables themselves were usually buried 90cm deep into the ground to ogffer protection against shells and bombs. The cables entered the bunkers through an opening in the floor or low in the wall. In the actual relay part of the bunker, the loose pairs of veins of the cables were separated in a special box, called the Kabelendverschluss.
The cable bunkers were not crewed and were only visited by technicians when cbales had to be rerouted or repaired. All cable bunkers possessed a connection board for two-veined cables on the outside. This enabled units which were located in the area only temporarily to tap into the network in a very simple way. The cable bunkers were, therefore, located in places where cables were already present or where there were no connection possibilities, but units had to be connected anyway.

Fortunately, for us many of these communication bunkers still remain today. Within the area of responsibility of the Armeeoberkommando 15 the following bunkers have already been visited:

 

NAME LOCATION in KVA B
Wn V4 Rue Ravin Blanc, Cité des Cheminots, Cappelle-la-Grande

Kss

Rue de Moulin, Loon-Plage
Kss

Rue du Banc à Groseilles, Grand-Fort Philippe

Kss Route de Peuplingues, Haute Escalles
Funkmeldestützpunkt Pittefaux (Stp 620 Stahl)
Kss Olincthun
NAME LOCATION in KVA A
Ksb Lissewege
Kss Nieuwvliet
Vermittlung Roeselare
Vermittlung De Panne (Wn Kerkepanne)
Kss Ritthem

When the communications network involved static bunkers as part of the coastal fortifications and later the Atlantikwall, we cannot but talk about the Festungsnachrichtentruppe. Little is known about this specialised subject and this page is an attempt to reconstruct its history.