logo


©2004-2019 F. Dörenberg, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be used without permission from the author.


Latest page update: November 2019 (added & used ref. 179 & 252A-252C)


red-blue line

BERNHARD INSTALLATION BE-3 AT LE-BOIS-JULIEN (France, dept. 62)

Map

The Bernhard station at Le-Bois-Julien is located ca. 35 km south of Calais and ca. 18 km southeast of Boulogne-sur-Mer. This is only 64 km (40 miles) southeast of Dover, England! There is no other high ground between the station and the Channel. This site is also referred to as Mont Violette - Desvres. However, Mont Violette is a hill about 10 km southwest of the town of Desvres, whereas Le-Bois-Julien is actually 3.5 km to the southeast of Desvres. Knickebein station K6 was located 10 km west of Be-3, at Bois-de-la-Motte.

There were several Luftwaffe airfields in the region, with fighter squadrons, e.g.:

  • Desvres, 3.5 km to the northwest
  • St. Omer, 33 km to the east-northeast
  • Wissant, 30 km to the northwest
  • Calais (multiple), 35 km to the north
  • Abbeville, 60 km to the south

The street that now leads to the Bernhard site is called "Impasse du radar", that is: "radar alley"...

The British discovered this station mid-April 1942: aerial photos showed the ring, the cabin across the ring, and the monitoring antenna mast at an estimated 600 yards [550 m]. Photos of mid-June 1942 showed addition of the upper antenna array. Ref. 172A. In RAF aerial photos of June 1942, the station comprised the ring-with-turntable with an (incorrectly) estimated diameter of 98 ft [30 m, instead of 21.5 m = 71 ft], two underground shelters, and a group of huts. The largest huts measured an estimated 175x70 ft [53x21] and 70x63 ft [21x19 m]. An underground cable ran 700 yards [640 m] eastward to a small transformer house, and from there to local power-grid along a north-south road 1.7 km east of the station. In photos of mid-November 1942, small additions were noted, as well as trench. Ref. 174D-174F, 252A.

The French resistance explicitly reported in 1943 that this station rotated not twice, but only once per minute (p. 62 in ref. 91). A British 10 cm [ = 300 MHz] radar station at Fairlight (on the East Sussex coast, east of Hastings, 87 km [54 miles] northwest of Le-Bois-Julien) also concluded that the station appeared to rotate once a minute (ref. 173B). Likewise, extensive radar measurements early-June 1944 also concluded on a rotation period of 52-60 sec (ref. 173A). However, all official German documents clearly states that the system rotated twice per minute (e.g., ref. 15, 181, 183; also see the system speed section). Moreover, the printers were not compatible with antenna rotational speeds that deviated more than a couple of percent from the nominal speed.

The dismantling of Be-3 was ordered on 22 June 1944 (ref. 179).

Berhard station

Fig. 44: Aerial photo of the Le-Bois-Julien site (3 November 1943)

(source: US government = no copyright; severe perspective distortion corrected by me)

Berhard station

Fig. 45: June-1941 aerial photo and part of resulting site layout made by British War Ministry Central Interpretation Unit (C.I.U.)

(source: adapted from ref. 252A)

Berhard station

Fig. 46A: RAF overhead aerial photo of the Le-Bois-Julien site (20 June 1942)

(source: ref. 174F)

Berhard station

Fig. 46B: RAF overhead aerial photo of the Le-Bois-Julien site (10 November 1942)

(source: ref. 174D)

Berhard station

Fig. 47: Aerial photo of the Le-Bois-Julien site (5 October 1947)

(source: geoportal.gouv.fr; full-size photo C2104-0061_1947_F2104-2304_0087, 9 MB)


Berhard station

Fig. 48: Satellite image of the Le-Bois-Julien site (ca. 2011)


Berhard station

Fig. 49: The round building at the center of the concrete ring

(photo ©2006 T. Oliviers, used with permission)


Berhard station

Fig. 50: Ceiling of the round building - the mounting brackets have found a new purpose in life!

(photo ©2006 T. Oliviers, used with permission)

Since the two photos above were taken, the door has been replaced. Also, a mast has been installed on the round hut at the center of the ring. The cantilever boom at the bottom of the mast extends beyond the concrete ring.

Berhard station

Fig. 51: Entrance to the round central structure

(photo ©2009 H. Adriaanse bunkersite.com; used with permission)

Berhard station

Fig. 52: A side-view of the round building

(photo ©2009 H. Adriaanse bunkersite.com; used with permission)

Berhard station

Fig. 53: The back side of the round building

(photo ©2009 H. Adriaanse bunkersite.com; used with permission)

The inside rail of the circular track is slightly raised. Two out of every three rail ties has bolts for a rail-chair (clamp) on the inside rail. Every third tie has a rail-support block without bolts.

Berhard station

Fig. 54: The rail ties are embedded in the top of the concrete ring - the inside rail is raised with blocks

(photo ©2009 H. Adriaanse bunkersite.com; used with permission)

Berhard station

Fig. 55: The rail ties (I-beams) are embedded in the top of the concrete ring - the inside rail (top) is slightly raised

(photo ©2009 H. Adriaanse bunkersite.com; used with permission)


Berhard station

Fig. 56: Some of the rail-chairs are still present - here on the inside rail of the track

(photo ©2009 H. Adriaanse bunkersite.com; used with permission)


REFERENCES

  • Ref. 15: section 4 in "Beschreibung und Betriebsvorschrift für Funk-Navigationsanlage FuG 120" [Description and Operating Manual for Radio-Navigation System FuG 120], Telefunken G.m.b.H., document FN-T-GB Nr. 1932, December 1944, 43 pp. [30 MB]
  • Ref. 91: pp. 60-69 in "Mémoires sans concessions", Yves Rocard, Grasset, 1988, 302 pp., ISBN-10: 2246411211
  • Ref. 172: copy of item in file AIR 29/284 "Central Interpretation Unit (CIU) Medmenham; Interpretation reports and aerial photos (1943)". Item is in the collection of The National Archives; material with UK Crown Copyright, used in accordance with the Open Government License [pdf].
  • Summary of the contents of ref. 172A.
  • Ref. 172A: "German “Windjammer” R.D.F. Stations", part of "Monthly interpretation review for July 1943", 7 pp.
  • Ref. 173: copy of items in file AIR 14/3577 "Signals investigation on 27 to 35 Mc/s "Windjammer" (1943/1944)". Items are in the collection of The National Archives; material with UK Crown Copyright, used in accordance with the Open Government License [pdf].
  • Summary of the contents of ref. 173A-173E.
  • Ref. 173A: "'Windjammer" observation", by R.A. Fareday (Noise Investigation Bureau [Electronic Intelligence], N.I.B., London), dated 20th June 1944, 1 page.
  • Ref. 173B: ""Possible "Windjammer" transmissions", report by Flight Lieutenant Douglas of 192 Sq., dated 16th December 1943, 1 page.
  • Ref. 173C: "192 Squadron Flight report No. 215/43" by F/Lt Robinson to Squadron Leader Burtler, dated 15th November 1943 (actual report by P/O G.F. Evans of 13th November 1943), 6 pages.
  • Ref. 173D: "Windjammer – Arcachon", letter from Air Ministry A.I.4. [intelligence branch section supervising RAF Y Service] to Commanding Officer of 192 Squadron, dated 16th July 1943, 1 page + 1 aerial photo.
  • Ref. 173E: "The Windjammer and Dreh-Elektra", by 192 Squadron Leader J. Whitehead, dated 18th June 1943, 1 page.
  • Ref. 174: copy of items in file AIR 14/3594 ""Windjammer" station: photographs and interpretation reports. Includes vertical and low oblique aerial photographs of 'Windjammer' radar sites in Germany and France (1943/1944)". Items are in the collection of The National Archives; material with UK Crown Copyright, used in accordance with the Open Government License [pdf].
  • Summary of the contents of ref. 174A-174J.
  • Ref. 174A: Letter entitled "W/T Bergen/Belvedere" by Squadron Leader C.W. Swanell on behalf of the Group Captain commanding R.A.F. Station Medmenham to R.V. Jones (A.D.I. Science), dated 9th April 1943, 1 page + 1 photo
  • Ref. 174B: Aerial photo of station "Bergen/Belvedere" [The Netherlands], photo No. 3022, taken 22rd March 1943 by 541 Squadron
  • Ref. 174C: Letter entitled "W/T – Bergen/Belvedere" by Group Captain commanding R.A.F. Station Medmenham to R.V. Jones (A.D.I. Science), dated 9th April 1943, 1 page. (note: photos referenced in letter not on file)
  • Ref. 174D: Letter entitled "W/T Desvres/Le Bois Julien" on behalf of Group Captain commanding R.A.F. Station Medmenham to R.V. Jones (A.D.I. Science), dated 15th November 1942, 1 page + 2 photos.
  • Ref. 174E: Letter entitled "W/T: Desvres/Le Bois Julien" on behalf of Group Captain commanding R.A.F. Station Medmenham to R.V. Jones (A.D.I. Science), dated 29th March 1943, 1 page + 1 photo.
  • Ref. 174F: "Interpretation Report No. G. 308" dated 28th June 1942, of aerial photos taken over Desvres/Le-Bois-Julien at altitude of 20k ft during Sortie A/945 on 20th June 1942, 1 page + 1 photo.
  • Ref. 174G: "Interpretation report No. G.590" dated 6th October 1942, of aerial photo taken over locality Morlaix, W/T station Mt. St. Michel, at altitude of 12k ft during Sortie Q/21 on 24th September 1942, 2 pages + 1 photo.
  • Ref. 174H: Letter entitled "W/T: Pouzauges/St.Michel-Mont-Mercure" on behalf of Group Captain commanding R.A.F. Station Medmenham to Squadron Leader Whitehead (A.I.4), dated 29th March 1943, 1 page + 3 photos.
  • Ref. 174J: Photos No. 4065 and 4066 of station at St. Vaast / La Pernelle, taken 31st March 1943 from off shore. [station is fully, though vaguely, visible on horizon]
  • Ref. 179: "Votragsnotiz", draft presenter notes addressed to the General-Nachrichtenführer (Gen-Nafü), 3 September 1944, 3 pp.
  • Covers original plans for geographic coverage (France, German Reich) with Bernhard stations, state of completion of the various Be-stations, status of introduction of the Bernhard/Bernhardine method for night-fighters (Nachtjagd).
  • Source: Bundesarchiv (BArch) Freiburg/Germany (Signatur)  file nr. RL 2-V/6, used in accordance with "Erstinformation für Ihren Besuch im Bundesarchiv in Freiburg, Stand Juni 2016"
  • Ref. 181: "Drehfunkfeuer System Telefunken - Teil 1: Verfahrensbeschreibung EC1-4262" [Telefunken rotating radio beacon, part 1: description of the method], Adalbert Lohmann, Berlin, October 1942, 129 pp., copy nr. 29, personal copy of Albrecht Leyn [note: this document was never printed, other than a very limited number of personal copies, individually approved by Dept. LC-4 (Technisches Amt) of the RLM; ref. 183]; source: corporate archives of DTM Berlin, part of file nr. I.2.060C-06172  [file size: 62 MB]
  • Ref. 183: "Das Drehfunkfeuer-Verfahren Bernhard und Bernhardine, System Telefunken" ["Verfahrensbeschreibung Bernhard, Bernhardine", description of the Bernhard-Bernhardine method], Adalbert Lohmann, Telefunken Gesellschaft für drahtlose Telegraphie m.b.H., Berlin-Zehlendorf, Telefunken document EC 1 4310, July 1943, 28 pp., copy nr. 11; source: corporate archives of DTM Berlin, file nr. I.2.060C-04403.
  • Ref. 252: "Rhubarb operations: Appendix V - German navigational beam stations. France, Holland and Belgium", AIR 40/1661, 142 pp., 1942 (with amendments made in 1942 and 1943), Air Ministry, Directorate of Intelligence and related bodies: Intelligence Reports and Papers, deputy Director of Air Tactics. Document pages are not numbered. Item is in the collection of The National Archives; material with UK Crown Copyright, used in accordance with the Open Government License [pdf].
  • A "Rhubarb" was a routine tactical operation, in which a small number of RAF aircraft flew at low-level into France or Belgium, to strafe ground targets.
  • The document covers beam stations (Knickebein, Y, X, and "Knickebeins of a new type" = Bernhard) at Commana, La Feuillée, Lanmeur, Laye, Beaumont-Hague, Jobourg, Sortosville-en-Baeumont, Mt. Pincon, Grény, Mt. Violette, Mt. de la Louve, Cassel/La Croix Rouge, Bergen op Zoom, Julianadorp, Bayeux/Le Mesnil, St. Valery-en-Caux/St. Martin-aux-Bunaux, St. Valery-en-Caux/Conteville de Palleul, Desvres/Le Bois Julien ( = Bernhard station Be-3), Boulogne/Boursin, Petten/Groet, Beaumont-Hague, St.-Pierre-Eglise/Dargougerie, Boulogne/Equihen, Sizun/St. Michel ( = Mt.-St.-Michel-de-Brasparts, Bernhard station Be-2), Morlaix/Plougourvest, St. Vaas/La Pennelle ( = La Pernelle; Bernhard station Be-4).
  • Ref. 252A: "Desvres/Le Bois-Julien (Target V/18)", 4 pp. (including 2 photos  and 1 site/area layout map; pp. 108-111 in the complete document). Observations: circular concrete base appr. 100 ft in diameter. Hut at the center of the array. Mast some 50 ft high at 600 yards to northwest of the installation, connected by underground cable. Photos from recce sorties in March and June of 1941.
  • Ref. 252B: "Sizun/St Michel (Target V/24)", 3 pp. (including 1 photo and 1 site/area layout map; pp. 134-135 in the complete document). Photo from September 1942 recce sortie. Observations: circular concrete base appr. 100 ft in diameter. Hut at the center of the array. Cable trench of ca. 950 ft in westerly direction, to short mast.
  • Ref. 252C: "St. Vaast/La Pennelle (Target V/26)", 4 pp. (including 2 photos  and 1 site/area layout map; pp. 139-142 in the complete document). Observations: circular concrete base appr. 100 ft in diameter. Hut at the center of the array. Photos from recce sorties in April and September of 1942. Note: "La Pernelle" is misspelled as "La Pennelle".
  • The complete 142 pp. document is here [file size: 108 MB].

External links last checked: January 2019


red-blue line