Stp Bruchmüller (Ost-O 016) - Stp von der Goltz
Eisenbahnartilleriebatterie 690
COMOPSNAV - Signal transmission (Cold War)

Map number

-

Location

This strongpoint is located in the dunes of the seaside town or Bredene (not to be confused with Bredene-Village further inland). For the best way to approach the R636 observation bunker, see the Google Earth view below. For easy refeence the R636 observation bunker is situated at the front of the dunes more or less in straight line with the church tower, which can easily be seen.

Tactical function

Railway artillery battery
Unit(s) early 1941
1. Batterie/Eisenbahnarillerieabteilung 679
2. Batterie/Eisenbahnartillerieabteilung 679

from March 1941:
Eisenbahnartilleriebatterie 690
Eisenbahnartilleriebatterie 694

from October 1942
Eisenbahnartilleriebatterie 690
For the units to which the above batteries were subordinated we refer the reader to the Comments section below.
Troops In 1943 the battery had a complement of 199 soldiers.

Weapons

1 December 1943:
4x 28cm SK L/40 Kurze Bruno, 2x 155mm sFH 414 (f), 4x 20mm Flak, 1x 20mm Flak Vierling, 2x 5cm KwK L/42, 1x 5cm KwK L/60, 3x MG, 3x MG (p), 2x mittlere GrW (t), 2x mittlere Flannwenwerfer, 1x 60cm Scheinwerfer.
June 1944:
4x 28cm SK L/40 Kurze Bruno, 1x 155mm sFH 414 (f), 2x 100mm 14/19 (t), 5x 20mm Flak, 1x 20mm Flak Vierling, 2x 5cm KwK L/42(?), 1x 5cm KwK L/60(?) (possibly as many as 5x 5cm KwK were present), 1x 60cm Scheinwerfer.

Bunkers

Stp Bruchmüller: R612, 2x R667, Bunker LAG, R636, 4x R622, 3x R502, 5x R621, R607, R134K, R613(?), R680(?)
Stp von der Goltz: R612, Bunker LAG, 2x R502, 7x Vf2a
Remaining bunkers R636 (Ost-O 016-73), R621(Ost-O 016-68)
Radar -
Comments WORLD WAR TWO

This strongpoint was established farily early in the war for the protection for the protection of the Schnellbootbunker in the port of Ostend. It was the heaviest battery located at the Belgian coast. Observation posts for the battery were located in Raversijde (R637) and Wenduine (R636). The battery was spread across two strongpoints. The remaining observation bunker was located in Stp Bruchmüller (Ost-O 016). For easy reference this strongpoint was directly opposite the road (still existing today) leading from the seaside town of Bredene to the actual village of Bredene further inland (another point of reference today being the church tower, which is located directly opposite the strongpoint). Adjacent to the west was Stp von der Goltz.
1941
In early 1941 4 heavy railway guns were installed here. Interestingly, the regiment to which they belonged (Eisenbahnartillerieregimentsstab zbV 784, with headquarters in Wimereux) was actually tactically subordinated to the Marinebefehlshaber Kanalküste (administratively though to the Artilleriekommandeur 104). On 25 May 1941 the regiment was withdrawn to the East to take part in the Russian campaign at Sewastopol.
In March 1941 two new units arrived, the Eisenbahnartilleriebatterien 690  and 694, each with 2x 28cm SK L/40 Kurze Bruno. The numbers of the four guns were 918 061, 918 062, 918 06, 918 064. Their maximum range was 29.5km.
1942
From 1942 to 1943 some 30 bunkers were added, complementing the first constructions of 1941
From 1 August 1942 the Eisenbahnartillerieabteilung 676 with headquarters in Heist was established as the superordinate administrative command for the railway artillery batteries at the Belgian coast.
In October 1942 the Batterie E694 was absorbed into the Eisenbahnartilleriebatterien 690 and only this unit remained in operation.
An overview of the Heeresartillerie on 25 October 1942 indeed shows only the Batterie 690, tactically subordinated to the Marineartillerieabteilung 204 and administratively to the EAA 676.
An overview of 19 November 1942 shows the same, but now also places the battery tactically under the Untergruppe Ostende (commanded by the MAA 204), itself subordinated to the Heeresküstenartillerieregiment 940 (with headquarters in De Haan) for naval use (Seezielbekämpfung) and under the Artillerieregiment 139 (directy subordinated to the 39 ID) for land use (Landzielbekämpfung). It was standard German practice to tactically subordinate the same artillery units to a naval commande( (for naval use) and to a land commander (for land use). Needless to say that this ambiguous command situation was undesirable, but reflected the power struggle between the Heer and the Kriegsmarine with respect to land-based artillery and the possibility of an allied attack from the sea.
The above organizational change had an important consequence for the firepower present in Bredene: the number of guns was reduced from 4 to 3. Since a German map of 19 November 1942 shows three guns, the change must have occurred before this date. This is confirmed by an overview of the KVA A3 on 20 November 1942.
1943
An organizational overview of 26 January/1 February 1943 shows the E690 battery to still be a part of the Artillerieuntergruppe Ostende (commanded by Korvettenkapitän Witt of the MAA 204), itself a part of the Artilleriegruppe Belgien, i.e. the HKAR 940.
A similar overview of 6 February 1943 is interesting in that it it shows the organizational structure again in three perspectives: naval attack, land attack and administrative:
- naval attacl (Seezielgliederung): unit subordinated to the MAA 204 - HKAR 940 - Seekommandant PdC
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land attack (Landzielgliederung): unit subordinated to the MAA 204 - AR 139 - 39 ID
- administratively: unit subordinated to the EAA 676
This was still the case on 1 April 1943 with the only difference that the 171 RD had now replaced the 39ID.
On 15 November 1943 a fourth Kurze Bruno gun was added to the battery.
An overview of 1 December 1943 is interesting in that it also shows the complete armement of the battery (see above).
On 21 December 1943 the battery was inspected by Generalfeldmarschall Rommel.
1944
An overview of June 1944 shows the complete armement of the battery (see above). It was intended to protect the guns by the construction of Dombunkers, as they were built in the Pas-de-Calais. Even though these bunkers were planned in Bredene, the plan were never carried out.
In the first week of September 1944 the battery left Bredene. On 14 September 1944 it was transported from Sas van Gent to Dordrecht.

COLD WAR

After WWII the German command bunker was re-used by the Belgian navy. At the same time a brick construction connecting with the bunker was added. The location, known as Point 50, housed the signal transmission post of COMOSNAV,  i.e. the Operational Navy Command Ostend, in the event of a war. From this location the Belgian Navy could be commanded when execuring its war-time role of controlling and defending (a portion of) the North Sea. The signal reception site for COMOPSNAV was located at the former Germany navy strongpoint Hundius in Ostend.
Etude de Logistique
EM d/l Destruction 
Resistance
Please note that the information below is based on reports and not necessarily accurate.
A German map of 3 November 1942 shows the German railway battery, but does not contain the Stp Bruchmüller or von der Goltz. Rather, the latter strongpoint was called Stp Schwan and the railway battery strongpoint was, as yet, without name. According to the Etude de Logistique the Stp Schwan consisted of standard-type bunkers and MG positions. An observation post stood on one of the dunes and war oriented towards the sea.  Another fire position on top of a Tobruk existed, with on top of that a steel cupola. Four machine guns were sheltered in brick constructions and there were also three concrete constructions with 37mm Flak mounted on top. Another bunker served as shelter and first-aid post. All constructions were said to be embedded into the sand, painted green and connected by trenches.
The resistance group Service Marc also observed the strongpoint, also calling it Stp Schwan. They distinguished the following bunkers: 1x water bunker, 1x Vf1a, 7x Vf2a, 3x Vf7a and 2x R502 (note the discrepancy with the info under Bunkers above). The Google Earth animation below shows the bunkers on the basis of the records of the Etat Major d/l Destruction
Let's now shift our focus to the arilway battery position. This was identified by the Etat Major d/l Destruction as consisting of some 80 constructions, of which 29 in concrete (for the constructions: see the Google Earth animation below) The Etude de Logistique described the position as follows:
In 1941 an emergency railway line was constructed in the dunes near Bredene. Then, 5 (?) heavy railway guns were stationed there, with the guns some 15 metres apart  They were stationed close to the road leading towards Bredene-Village and at a location some 150 metres away from the coastal road. An ammunition wagon was stationed  next to each gun with 150 shells each. An important bunker also contained ammo. In addition, there were also personnel bunkers. Numerous MG positions defended all approaches from the sea and inland. These were not always occupied. In January 1943 2 guns left the location for the East (according to a soldier). A 50mm AT-gun was in a bunker was oriented towards Ostend. Five Flak guns defended the position. One of these stood on the roof of the hotel where the battery commander was lodged, while another was also situated on top of another hotel  some 200 metres further.
In January 1944 the resistance group Service Marc also identified 5(?) 28cm guns, as well as the following constructions:
1x R134K, 1x R134 water bunker (?), 2x R502, 1x R607, 1x R613 (?), 5x R621 and 3x R622.. Another resistance document of 12 June 1944 (based on an observation of 20 May 1944) suggests that the 28cm guns were replaced by other less expensive and less effective guns, notably 4x 150mmrailway guns (?). Further, Flak and Pak guns were located in the dunes, together with personnel bunkers. According to the report the coastal road was also mined. In this line of thought the 28cm guns would have left between April and September 1944, as in in January there were between 3 and 5 guns, according to Marc. Furthermore, this reasoning also assumes that the E690 battery was replaced by another unidentified battery
Additional information A great webpage which also offers a pictorial history of the site is this one.

 

See this strongpoint on Google Earth



Yellow indicates existing constructions
Red indicates
disappeared or more or less invisible constructions. Some positions may be approximate only.
Nos 1-17 = Bruchmüller
Nos 18-30 = von der Goltz
 
Below are some impressions of this strongpoint
The numbers below refer to the above Google Earth map
1. R636
The R636 Befehlsstand für Heeresküstenbatterie still sits majestically on the dune. A rare sight at the Belgian coast.
On top of the bunker was the open emplacement for the telemetre. The pole bases which are still visible today actually date back to the post-war Cold War period, when they supported a large antenna.
Here we see the access to the platform
This is where the telemetre was fixed to the floor of the emplacement
The original entrance to the bunker with the overhang protecting it and the embrasure of the close combat room. All entrances have been closed off. The bunker number is Ost-O 016-73
The side of the bunker
Here we see the outside of the observation room. All observation slits have been closed off.
View of the construction added by the Belgian army during the Cold War.
 
Details of this construction
2. R621
The R621 Gruppenunderstand was more or less located here. For a long time an entrance was visible but this has now completely been covered by sand for security reasons. The number of this bunker is Ost-O 016-68
Remains
These pictures show remains in the dunes on the sea side.
On the land side we find these remains. The pictures on the left and right show what would appear to be steps leading up the dune.