W56, Widerstandsnest 56 – Corbière
Opposite of Widerstandsnest L ‘Oeiliere lies this gun batterie at the most western tip of Jersey island. Together with the Fire control tower and obsvervation post MP 2 and fire control point M1 they protect the western waters of this United Kingdom Channel Island.
Gun Batterie Corbière
Stützpunkt Corbière or Strongpoint Corbière was a German fortified area with some specialized bunkers. These bunkers seemed to be created by Rudolf Jäger (or Jaeger) to house French 10,5 cm guns. The Jäger bunkers or Jägerstand in this coastal batterie are unique in the Atlantic wall. Some standard “Regelbau” bunkers were redesigned or newly developed for the Channel Islands, giving them the name inseltyp (Island Type) or Guernsey Bunkers.
Only one location outside the Channel Islands is known to have some of these adapted bunkers. A location in Denmark was chosen as test area. This was H.K.B. Nymindegab, but the Island Type bunkers are not visible, they are hidden under the dunes. Different kind of newly developed bunkers were built and tested at the coastal batterie Nymindegab but this is the only location outside the British Channel Islands. Only one of these Jägerstands or Jägercasemates is built in Denmark but there are 28 pieces on the Islands. Next to the Jägerkasematte is the WaKoFest Gruppenunterstand, this is a special personnel bunker for the Channel Islands as well. It is used to accommodate one group of 10 men. There are 30 Island Type personnel bunkers on the islands.
The guns inside the Jägerstands were the 10.5cm K331 (f), original French Schneider guns with a12 km range.
Beside the Island Type bunker regular bunkers were used like the Regelbau 606, 633 and 634 The Regelbau 606 is a bunker for a 60 search light, with two search light positions in front. The Regelbau 633 was a combat bunker which was equipped with a 5 cm automatic M19 grenade launcher. The bunker could accommodate 14 men. The Regelbau 634 was a combat bunker with an armored turret. There were 1 or 2 machine guns in the turret and the crew consisted of 12 men.
There was a tunnel system connecting bunkers. It is known two Regelbau bunkers, the Regelbau 633 and Regelbau 634 are connected with a tunnel.
Close by is the Kriegsmarine Peilstand und Messtellung 2, Naval observation tower MP 2, an observation and distance measuring tower and fire control for the 10,5 cm guns. M1, another but smaller obeservation post can be found near the entrance road and on the other side of the bay is Widerstandsnest L ‘Oeiliere.
As you already could read there is more than one designation for both the gun and the personnel bunker used on the Channel Islands. Starting out with Wa.Ko.Fest which stands for: Waffen Kommision Festungen – Commission for Weapons and Fortifications, a section which developed fortifications and weapons. Then we have Wa.Prüf, Waffenprüfungsamt – Weapon Test Office, this name was used in later war years. Then we have the Jäger designation, we see Jägerkasematte of Jägerstand. It is a bit confusing, it must be the development during the war in bunker types and in the name of the office responsible,
As said we know that in later war years the designation of both bunkers changed to the Wa.Prüf, Waffenprüfungsamt and they were given a number like the standard Regelbau type bunkers had. These are:
– Wa.Prüf. 514 Gruppenunterstand for the personnel shelter for one combat group.
– Wa.Prüf. 692 for the Jägerstand with the 10,5 cm French guns
You can find the Strongpoint easily and enjoy the stunning view of the cliffs and the Light house. There are car parks nearby and a local dining is near the Kriegsmarine Peilstand und Messtellung MP 2. The bunkers are closed but you can check out if the Jersey War Tours give an guided tour inside.
During our research on the bunker typology we used the following sources:
– German Bunkers in Denmark by Jens Andersen and Rudi Rolf
– Regelbauten, Atlantic Wall Typology by Rudi Rolf.
– The Atlantic Wall by J.E. Kaufmann and HW Kaufman, A Janckovic-Potocnik and Vladimir Tonic.