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Kwartier Radstabe - COMOPSNAV Cold War bunker

Map number

 

Location

This strongpoint is located in a former navy terrain along the Wenduinsesteenweg, between Wenduine and De Haan

Tactical function

Belgian navy command and communication bunker in the Cold War period (COMOPSNAV)
Unit(s) Belgian Navy

Troops

no exact information available
Weapons no exact information available

Bunkers

Cold War bunker
Remaining bunkers Cold War bunker
Radar -
Comments The bunker came in use in the mid-1980s, replacing the two bunkers in Bredene (point 50) and Oostende (point 147). The bunker combined Tape Relay (RQFN) and radio (before located in the city centre of Oostende). Actually, the bunker at the point 147 was only used during exercises.
Initially, the transmission function remained at Bredene, though. It was only at the end of the 1990s that the reception antennae were installed in Ieper. At present, the transmission antennae are located in Ruiselede and the command and communication facility (bunker) is located in Zeebrugge (since the beginning of this century).
The above information may not be (entirely) correct. A future update will add more information on the bunker and the function of its many rooms. Help by servicemen and women who served here would be most welcome.

 

See this strongpoint on Google Earth



Yellow indicates existing constructions
 
Please note that this visit was carried out with official permission from the naval component of the Belgian armed forces and in the accompaniment of a senior NCO.
1. Entrance
2. Room 1
The room is now being used to store cleaning material.
3. Main staircase
4. Main corridor (ground level - south)
The corridor seen in opposite directions from the main stairs hall.
This level already enables a look down into the main operations room at the undergound level of the bunker. We will visit it in more detail below.
UNDERGROUND LEVEL
Map of the underground level of the bunker
5. Room 2 - Electrical power emergency generator room
We start our journey through this bunker by walking down the stairs to the underground (i.e. operational) part of the bunker. The first room we come cross, facing the staircase, housed the generator, which provided electrical power in an emergency.
First view of this room
The bedieningsbord or control unit
The actual generator
German craftsmanship, of course!
Some fuse boxes in the same room
We follow the corridors from the previous room, first west and then north
Besides the main stairs the bunker has four internal stairs.
Here we see one of those internal stairs.
Room 3 - annex room 1
 
Room 4 - Central bunker room
The room we are about to enter is no doubt one of the highlights of the bunker. It is located at the heart of the bunker and is the largest room.
The room has no fewer than 5 passages, leading to annex rooms (see above and below)
The wiring ran underneath the floor tiles to a switchboard
Room 5 - annex room 2
Inside the room with instructions for operating the Elcrovox 1-4D. ELCROVOX 1/4D was a digital encryption/decryption device for voice and data communication, developed by Siemens and AEG Telefunken in the late 1980s, for use by the German Army (Bundeswehr) and NATO. The device is suitable for simplex, duplex and half-duplex at 2400 baud and features the secret SAVILLE encryption algorithm, developed by GCHQ and the NSA. The ELCROVOX 1-4D was succeeded in 2002 by the ELCRODAT 5-4 which is now sold by Rohde & Schwarz.  (Source: www.cryptomuseum.com)
Elcrovox 1-4D with CTI#1
(Source: www.cryptomuseum.com)
Room 6 - annex room 3
This small annex room has a small stage and a set of stairs leading up to it.
Impressive array of piping against the ceiling!
Room 7 - annex room 4
Again a small annex room
Interesting notice board. Some of the call sign abbreviations:
RQFNZ/RQFNC: army HQ Evere
RQFZA: army Belgian airstaff OR Belgian navy
The NATO system is such that the first letter indicates the type of station (R= strategic station); the second letter the country (Q= Belgium); the third letter the operation area (F= Continental Europe) and the fourth letter the military force (A-H= army, I-O= navy, P-V= air force, W-Z= joint forces)
Room 8 - annex room 5
The following room is clearly identified.
Room 9 - annex room 6
This room is actually the second-largest on the undergrounnd level of the bunker.
Corridor
Leaving room 9 we end up in the corridor on the north side of the bunker. Amogst other wre see a paper shredding machine and one of the internal stairs leading to the ground level.
Room 10 - telephone exchange
We pass some smaller rooms to end up in ...
... the telephone exchange room?
Connections with Ieper and Brugge
Coonections with Zeebrugge and Oostende
Room 11
At the other side of the corridor shown above we find this room.
Corridor
Using another corridor we now end up in the southestern corner and the east side of the bunker. This side of the bunker is dedicated to the purely technical functions.
Room 12 - Boiler room (water)
A small room providing the bunket with hot and cold water
Room 13 - Power room
View of the control panels
Room 14 - airconditioning room
Corridor
This corridor brings us back to the central staircase
GROUND LEVEL
The entrance hall at ground level and a map of this level
Room 15
 
Details in this room
Room 16
 
A booth is located in this room.
Corridor
We are now in the western corridor on this level.
At the end of this corridor we turn the corner an come upon another internal staircase.
Toilets 1
The bunker was also equipped with toilets. Here we see the first room.
Room 17
Here we enter another major room
Room 18
Two rooms (nos. 18-19) are located in the middle of the northern end of the bunker (in between the toilets). This is the first room.
There is even a safe still present in this room.
Room 19
The second room is adjacent and has exactly the same dimensions.
Corridor
 
Wee are now in the corridor on the northern side of this level of the bunker.
We find some remains and equipment here.
Emergency exit
At the northern end of this bunker was also the emergency exit.
Corridor
A corridor brings us to yet another internal staircase.
Toilets 2
Here we also find the second toilet room.
Room 20
We now enter a much smaller room.
It has a blackboard and a telephone booth in it.
Room 21
From the previous room we can enter one of the biggest rooms on this level.
Maps of the (ex-)navy bases at Vlissegem, Zeebrugge and Kallo
Room 22 - Dressing room of the DAMARS
Dressing room of the DAMARS (Dames de la Marine). This was the early nickname of the women in the Navy. Indeed, the Belgian navy was the first service to accept women in its ranks.
Main staircase
Having seen all sides of this level of the bunker we arrive again at the main staircase.
THE OUTSIDE OF THE BUNKER
To end our visit we walk around the bunker. Note the camouflage paint still present
The external view of the emergency exit
The impressive array of antennas