Marineküstenbatterie Hundius (Ostende 01/II)
COMOPSNAV - Signal reception (Cold War)

Map number

-

Location

This strongpoint is located to the east of the port entrance of Oostende, between the current lighthouse and the Fort Napoleon. The closest street, where cars can be parked, is the Vuurtorenweg. The strongpoint lies north of this street.

Tactical function

In WWII the strongpoint was initially an infanty strongpoint to defend he beach (Stp Hartwig), but as of 1 July 1943 became a naval artillery strongpoint. After WWII the site became the Cold War headquarters of the Belgian Navy (see below)
Unit(s) As of 1 July 1943:
1.Batterie/Marineartillerieabteilung 204
Troops 115 men (1943)

Weapons

4x 7,5cm FK 02/26 (p) (1.2.1943), 4x 10,5cm SL L/40 (1.7.1943), 1x 15cm schw. FH (als Leuchtgeschutz)
1x 7,62cm FK (r), 1x 2cm Flak, 2x 4cm Flak (later 3x 2cm Flak?), 5x sMG (b), 2x sMG (f), 1x sMG 08, 2x lMG, 2x 5cm lGrW 36, 3x Scheinwerfer (150cm, 110cm, 60cm)

Bunkers

4x R671 (May 1944), 5x Vf52aSK, 3x R502, M157, M270, 2x L409, 2x flanking bunker, 2x bunker (unidentified)
Remaining bunkers 4x R671 (May 1944), 5x Vf52aSK, 3x R502, M157, L409
Radar -
Comments June 1944
At the highest level of fortfication Oostende was a Stützpunktgruppe, NOT a Verteidigungsbereich or Festung. The main reasons for this were the limited unloading capacity of the port, the navigationally unfavourable waters in front of the port/city and the many inland waterways, which meant access to the city from the interior could easily be blocked.. Yet, the city and port installations were deemed important enough to further divide the Stützpunktgruppe into 3 Panzerstütspunkte:
- PzStp Ostende-Hafen
(probably coded Ostende 017)(defending the port)
- PzStp Blaue Schleuse (coded Ostende 015)(defending the eastern land access)
- PzStp Stene (coded Ostende 014)(defending the southwestern approaches)
In what follows we will only concentrate on the Stp Ostende-Hafen. This strongpoint was delineated by the outport in the west, the sea in the north and the Spuikom in the south. The eastern boundary of the strongpoint was constituted by an anti-tank wall between the Spuikom and the sea. There was also an anti-tank ditch running from the Spuikom past Stene to Mariakerke at the western side of Oostende. The relatively high level of fortification was due to the presence of important naval installtion, notably the Schnellboot base and the naval battery Hundius.
The most important strongpoint within the Panzerstützpunkt Ostende-Hafen was the Stp Hundius, coded Ostende 01. This large strongpoint was itself subdivided in (probably) 5 sectors:
- Ostende 01/I located around the maritime hospital
- Ostende 01/II with the Marineküstenbatterie Hundius
- Ostende 01/III and Oostende01/IV, which have not yet been located with any certainty.
- Ostende /V encompassing the site of the Halve Maan
1940-1 July 1943
Before 1 July 1943 the site was the location of an infantry strongpoint, Widerstandsnest Hartwig. As such it provided a flank defense for the Stützpunktgruppe Oostende.
In the spring of 1943 it was decided to move the existing naval battery Batterie Hundius from the nearby Halve Maan site to a new location here and construction work was begun. On 1 July 1943 the battery took up positions in its new location.
1 July 1943-June 1944
The Marineküstenbatterie Hundius was originally equipped with 4x 10,5cm SK L/40 guns, located in open emplacements in a semi-circle around the fire-control post. Later, they were moved to the front of the dunes.
In May 1944 4 R671 gun bunkers were constructed to provide protection against air attacks for the four guns, though one of the guns is said to have remained in an open emplacement.
POST WW II (COLD WAR)
The site continued to have a military use after the end of WWII. In the period 1954-1978 the Belgian Navy used the site, known as the Point 147, as the location of  COMOPSNAV, 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. For thus purpose the German M157 bunker was refitted to function as the receiving station (the sending station was the R636 bunker of the railroad battery at nearby Bredene). Some 60-70 soldiers worked here during exercises. In order to offer protection in case of a nuclear attack a tunnel was constructed from the entrance to the site to the M157. Finally, the M157 bunker also functioned as a communications station (equipped with telex machines and encoding and decoding facilities. In 1978 the unit moved to a purpose-built bunker in Vlissegem (De Haan).
For years the site, though state property, was freely accessible, but it has now been fenced off to prevent further deterioration. Consequently, official permission to enter the site is required.

 

See this strongpoint on Google Earth


 

Below are some impressions of this strongpoint
The numbers below refer to the above maps
1. Central passage
The central passage divides the strongpoint into 2 halves.
2. R671
Here we see the westernmost R671 Schartenstand für Geschütze auf mittlere Sockellafette (120°) ohne Nebenräume. The Scharte has been bricked up.
The sides of this bunker
The entrance for the gun/crew has also been partially bricked up.
3. R671
The second R671 is located really close-by.
The back entrance
A view of the inside towards the (bricked-up) Scharte.
Pictures showing the small Munitionsraum on either side.
Some details. Left part of the ventilation equipment for extracting the toxic fumes after the gun was fired. Right, the hooks on the ceiling to enable the crew to handle the gun.
4. R502
The westernmost R502 Doppelgruppenunterstand is located right behind no. 3
Only one entrance is open.
View of the Eingangsverteidigung
The entry corridor with the gas lock. The pictures also show remains of the ventilation equipment installed by the Belgian Navy after WWII.
Here we see the first Bereitschaftsraum or crew room. Note that a separating wall was built and a large water tank installed after WWII.
View of the water tank
The other crew room has a more regular lay-out. Again, though, we find evidence of post-war modifications to the interior. Also note the absence of the small side room for a periscope.
The Scharte of the Eingangsverteidigung in this room
Details showing post-war modifications
The floor of this room
View from this room towards the other room and the entrance/exit
The well-preserved bunker number: Ostende 01/II-99
5. Brick quarters
After WWII a brick quarters was built adjacent to the bunker.
6. M157
The most dominant feature in the strongpoint is undoubtedly the M157 Leitstand für mittlere und schwere Batterien with three observation levels.
 
Views of the side of this construction
7. Vf52aSK
This is the westernmost of the ammunition bunker. Despite the wall thickness of 2m the bunkers are, in fact, reinforced Vf52a bunkers with 2 ammunition rooms.
The inside of the first ammunition room
The entrance to the second room
The inside of the second ammunition room.
The other entrance has been blocked by sand.
8. Light MG/Observation bunker
Just east of the M157 we find this rather large light MG/observation bunker.
It is the biggest present on the site.
The entrance is typically in the form of a chicane,
so that we are confronted by a shielding wall.
This room was intended for the crew, but also for processing any data from the observations.
The entrance to the actual observation room.
This stone base can be found here. Its exact function is unclear.
Help would be appreciated in this respect.
A view outside from within the observation room
9. Vf52aSK 
 
An entrance to another Vf52aSK. This bunker is similar to no. 7
10. R671 
 
The third R671 gun bunker
 
The entrance for the crew.
The inside of the Kampfraum
One of the small ammunition room. There was one room on either side.
11. R502 
The second R502 is the last one to be located at the front end of the strongpoint.
The Scharten of the Eingangsverteidigung
Pictures of the entrance corridor and the gas lock 
The number of this bunker is more difficult to read 
Pictures taken inside the first crew room. Note the techical text warning the soldiers to avoid making smoke during daylight hours and full-moon nights.
Pictures of the second crew room. 
12. MG position
This MG position was constructed from bricks and reinforced with some concrete. 
An open trench leads to the entrance to this MG position. 
View of the inside of this position 
13. Covered trench (western entrance)
Some trenches on the site are covered and run underground.
This is the entrance to one such trench. 
14. Open emplacements
These 2 open emplacements are still present. We don not know exactly what could have been positioned on these. Help would be appreciated here. 
15. MG position
Slighty more to the east is another clearvy visible MG position, part of which has collapsed. 
16. MG position
On the way towards the easternmost R671 we find yet another MG position. 
17. R671
The easternmost. Interestingly, the distance between the two eastern gun bunkersis about twice the distance of that between the two western bunkers. 
The entrance has been bricked up. 
18. Vf52aSK
Behind the R671lies Vf52aSK number 3. The pictures above show the entrance (corridor). This bunker is actually located close to where one of the original open emplacements for the guns was.
Pictures of the first ammo room ... 
... and of the second. 
Always a blessing for bunker enthusiasts: a clear bunker number: Ostende 01/II 105 
The other entrance to the same bunker 
19. Brick quarters
A brick quarters was constructed just behind no. 18. 
The quarters is located halfway underground. Hence the entrance leads down. 
The constructed was subdivided into 3 rooms on the southern side. 
Detail of some of the tiling still present. This would suggest a sanitary or kitchen construction. 
All three rooms connect with a long corridor at the northern side of the building. 
Detail of the floor of this corridor 
The other entrance to the building was bricked up. 
One part of the above corridor leads to the exit/entrance that we saw earlier.
Another part, however, continues into a covered trench. 
Another entrance to a covered trench 
This looks like a disconnected Überdrückventil.
20. Open trenches connecting the MG positions
There are quite a few open trenches connecting the MG positions see above.
The trenches show a zigzag pattern for extra safety. 
21. Brick quarters
This brick quarters is located in the southeastern corner of the strongpoint. 
22. R502
The third and last R502 is located at the very back of the position. It is somewhat hiding behind a brick construction built against it. 
A plaque with explanation about the strongpoint, clarifying the origins of the name Hundius.
Also note that the strongpoint was constructed by Ukranian and Russian forced labour. 
23. Tunnel entrance 
From here, an underground tunnel (constructed by the Belgian Navy) runs to the M157. 
24. Brick quarters
In the southwestern corner of the strongpoint we find yet another (large) brick barracks , which looks decidedly post-war.
25. Vf52aSK
The fourth Vf52aSK ammo bunker can be found at the back of the position. It has been turned into the 'headquarters' of the Royal Naval Cadets.
26. Brick quarters
Northwest of no. 25 lies this brick quarters 
The inside has been burnt. 
A peak through another opening. 
27. Vf52aSK 
The fifth and final Vf52aSK is located in the west of the position. Its position here can be explained by the fact that one of the original open emplacements for the guns is located nearby.
The entrance 
Some sort of drawing? 
Details of the inside of the first ammo room. 
The inside of the second room 
28. L409 
The Flak section of the battery was located near (and partly on) the nearby Fort Napoleon.
On the pictures above we see just the top part of a Flak bunker, type L409, still sticking out. 
29. L409 (invisible) 
The other bunker was presumably located about here,
but is completely buried under the sand. 
30. Flak position (disappeared) 
A third and final flak position wzs located on the roof of the Fort Napoleon. 
31. Flanking bunker (disappeared) 
The strongpoint possessed 2 flanking bunkers overlooking the beach. The pictures above still show the place where the western flanking bunker was once located.