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U-Boat Bunker Bruno

Discussion in 'German U-Boats' started by Jim, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Bergen Bruno
    Shortly after the invasion of Norway in 1940, the Germans established naval bases at several ports, Bergen being one of the most important. In May 1942 work commenced on the construction of a U-Boat bunker at the Norwegian port. The bunker was built on a rocky outcrop in a small bay to the west of the town. The bunker was planned to consist of ten pens, three of which would be wet and six dry. The tenth would be used for fuel storage. In the event, just seven pens were constructed: one of these was used for fuel storage, and of the remaining six, three were wet and three dry. The roof was up to 6m thick in places and the walls up to 4m thick. A further mezzanine level was built above the main bunker to provide additional storage space. This also had the beneficial effect of enhancing the level of protection against air attack for the bunker interior. The overall size of the Bruno bunker was 130m by 143m. Unusually for such construction projects outside Germany, responsibility was not in the hands of the Organisation Todt. Instead a commercial construction firm, Wayss & Freytag AG, which had also worked on similar projects within Germany, was the main contractor. Each of the three wet pens, on the north side of the bunker, was 11m wide, and the dry pens 17m wide. Their entrances were protected by 3cm-thick steel doors formed by hanging, overlapping plates. The base was to be the home of 11 Unterseebootstlotille for most of the war and following the Allied invasion of Normandy took on an even greater strategic importance as the French bases were, one by one, closed down and abandoned. Work to enlarge and improve the bunker continued throughout the war. As the importance of the Bergen U-Boat base grew, so did the Allied determination to destroy it. The first major bombing raid, comprising over 130 RAF bombers, took place on 4th October 1944. Although the RAF raid caused widespread destruction to the surrounding area and serious civilian casualties, its effect on the bunkers was minimal. Direct hits were achieved, but none succeeded in penetrating the thick, reinforced-concrete shell. A further attack on 29th October saw almost 250 RAF aircraft involved, though less than 50 eventually found and bombed the target. Not one German casualty was inflicted though once again there was considerable loss of civilian life. No damage was suffered by the bunker interior, all of the blast effect being dissipated in the space between the outer and inner roof levels. A third and final raid on 12 January 1945 was launched by 32 RAF bombers carrying Tallboy bombs. The bunkers at Bergen survived the war intact.


    Bruno bunker, Bergen, Norway
    The Bruno bunker at Bergen was originally intended to comprise a total of ten pens but in the event only seven were constructed. Of these, six (A-F) were used to accommodate U-Boats, whilst the seventh (G) was used for fuel storage. The complex covered an area of around 18,600m2 and was protected by a roof almost 4m thick. On the roof, a number of storerooms were built and even a cafeteria. The floor to this mezzanine level added an additional 1.35m to the overall thickness of the roof, increasing protection for the boats inside. Although entrances to the three dry-dock pens (D. E and F) were protected by vertical, overlapping steel plates, the wet pens (A, B and C) were open to the harbour.

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    Ground floor
    I: Gunnery workshop
    2: Ship repair workshop
    3: Blacksmith and welding shop
    4: Mechanical workshop
    5: Torpedo store
    6: Torpedo store
    7: Battery store
    8: Emergency generator
    9:Treibol-Schmierolloger pump room

    First floor
    1: Signals workshop
    2: Periscope repair workshop
    3: Ship repair workshop
    4: Engineering workshop
    5: Engineering workshop
    6: Electrical workshop
     

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