Stp Graf

Map number -

Location

This strongpoint is located in Koksijde, more specifically mostly on the grounds of the military camping 't Liefoord (though some bunkers are situated just outside), located north of the Belgian military airfield. The camping is military domain, so permission must be asked. Our many thanks go to the management of CDSCH and that of the camping for giving us access to the grounds and the constructions.
Tactical function Luftwaffe strongpoint adjacent to and supporting the German WWII military airfield at Koksijde.
Units Flugplatzkommando B64/XI (10.42-4.44), 1.4.44 renamed Fliegerhorstkommandantur E214/XI - Platzkommando Coxyde. The parent unit was located at Chièvres, but Koksijde and Wevelgem were attached units. The Platzkommando Coxyde was disbanded in 9.44.
Troops no information available
Weapons No precise information

Bunkers

At least 2x Vf bunker, Vf generator bunker, 5x bunker (feldmässig), 2x bunker, remains, building
Remaining bunkers 2x Vf bunker, Vf generator bunker, 5x bunker (feldmässig), 2x bunker, remains, building
Radar -
Comments Airfield construction at Koksijde began in Aug-Sep 40, but its intended use as a major bomber base was never realized due to the progress and shifting priorities of the war. In fact, no operational units were ever stationed there except for one Gruppe of fighters for a few days in February 1942, and it seems to have been mainly used for emergency landings by aircraft returning from operations that could not make it back to their base.
Defenses: there was 1 heavy and 8 light Flak positions in Jan 44, two of which were mounted in Flak towers. Ground defenses consisted of 7 fortified strongpoints in the vicinity of the runways and the dispersals. Belts of barbed wire ran from the North dispersal along the E boundary.
Remarks:
Jul 43: landing area obstructed with trenches, portable obstacles and reportedly mined.
25 Jan 44: WNW/ESE runway cratered during the attack of 21 Jan 44 and unserviceable.
21 Feb 44: bombed by 18 B-26 Marauders from 9th AAF.
15 Mar 44: bombed by 10 9th AAF medium bombers using radar – bursts observed on the already unserviceable WNW/ESE runway.
8 Apr 44: bombed by 9th AAF Marauders.
10 Apr 44: bombed by 9th AAF Marauders.
12 Apr 44: bombed by 9th AAF Marauders.
8 May 44: bombed by 9th AAF mediums – raid photos showed nearly all of the aircraft shelters in the South dispersal had been destroyed or damaged in previous attacks and the S end of the NNE/SSW runway was obstructed.
15 Jun 44: demolition mines detonated on both runways.
30 Jun 44: bombed by 11 8th AAF B-17 Fortresses
(Source: Henry L. deZeng IV. Luftwaffe Airfields 1935 - 1945. Belgium and Luxembourg)
Many thanks go to colleague Pierre Nowak for his assistance in clearing up some matters for me.

 

See this strongpoint on Google Earth



Yellow indicates existing constructions
Red indicates disappeared or invisible positions
 (approximate locations)

Maps/Photos of this strongpoint
(internal use pnly)
 
Below are some impressions of this strongpoint
The numbers below refer to the above Google Earth map
1. Vf bunker
Our location
In the dunes just south of the Robert Vandammestraat we find this partially buried Vf bunker. Its top is already visible from a distance.
The same structure as above but this time seen from the top
A closer view reveals a brick superstructure protected by a concrete roof. This was the emergency exit of the bunker. After 2007 the bunker was fitted out to accommodate bats. At this time the opening of the emergency exit was bricked up and a concrete slab was poured over it (Thanks to P. Nowak for this info).
Looking around we find some chimneys. While the one on the left looks authentic, the brickwork on the right looks surprisingly modern.The Vf3 had a bunker with some rooms connected with it.
Photos of the actual bunker buried underneath the dune.
2. Bunker (feldmässig)
Not far from the location of no. 1 above we find the remains of what was another bunker.
3. Remains
Possible remains of a construction here 
Did the building on the right also play a role? 
Other possible building remaining 
4. Ammunition bunker (feldmässig)
This field bunker stands very close to the reception building of the camping. Note the hooks for the camouflage netting on one of the photos. The bunker was probably used to store ammunition.
5. Vf generator bunker 
First view of this stronger bunker 
The entrance and entrance corridor.
There are two passages to other rooms, one to the left and one to the right. 
Detail of the above 
The small room to the left with the water evacuation, ventilation opening in the corner and the reinforced ceiling.
Turning now to the right we find a small corridor with another passage to the right.  
We now have access to 2 more rooms,
one to the left and one straight ahead (right in the picture) 
Let's first visit the room to the left 
The room contains a chimnet, suggestion a function as personnel bunker.
Note the small raised concrete platform.
The room also has a large-diameter ventilation opening
Small cavities in the wall close to the entrance to this room
Remains of electrical wiring
Moving into another room we find these rack rests
Also present is what looks like an emergency exit, though a bit small.
So maybe it had a different function.
Part of the lower wall as removed at some point.
Further remains of electrical wiring
The second room has a passage to a third and last room.
Inside this room
This room, too, contains a chimney, albeit a single one.
Interesting view of the ceiling and another large ventilation opening
Details of the lower wall in one of the corners of this room
Another corner of this room
Looking back into the corridor visited earlier
6. Ammunition bunker (feldmässig)
The next bunker comes in sight.
It is a brick construction with three small rooms, probably for ammunition.
Quite remarkable is the thickness of the roof, but appearances deceive (see below)
Inside one of the rooms
Detail of the ceiling in this room
Interior and ceiling of another room
These pictures show that the actual roof is not as thick as the front would suggest. The last photo shows the actual thickness of the roof.
7. Bunker (feldmässig)
The following bunker is again of the field type
The side and rear of this bunker. Its small size would suggest a storage bunker.
The entrance
A peek inside, in a very good and clean condition.
8. Cold War bunker  (Belgian)
The next bunker is still located within the restricted area.
The entrance. The walls have clearby been poured in layers, which would suggest a WWII construction, but this is by no means certain.
9. Bunker (feldmässig)
This bunker is clearly similar, if not identical to no. 7 above.
Let's enter
Inside. It was probably used for storage.
Picture of the ceiling
10. Building (Cold War)
We also took these pictures of a building within another restricted military area.
The building sits on a high hill.
11. Luftschutz
The entrance to the bunker
Inside the entrance corridor
A fairly long and narrow room, even looking like a tunnel.
It was probably used as an air-raid shelter.
The entrance/exit at the other end
12 Bunker (barracks) (remains)
Here we see piece of wall from a barracks bunker
13. Bunker (feldmässig)
The next bunker on the site. This might have been a garage, though this is not certain. The picture on the right is courtesy of Pierre Nowak.
This one is now occupîed by bats (since 2007)
Inside the small room
14. Cold war communication tower
This tower can still be seen in a restricted area.
15. Foundation
Some searching still revealed this construction, mostly hidden. This would be foundation for a barracks or antenna.
16. Ammunition bunker (feldmässig)
A type we have already met above (Picture courtesy of P; Nowak)