A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

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A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:22 pm

Hi guys, recently back from a nice little vacation in France and managed to squeeze in a visit to the former U-Boat base at Lorient.

It was always a naval port and the German Navy decided to use it as a base for their Atlantic Wolf packs during the war. There are three large bunkers that are still standing. After the war the French navy took it over as a submarine base themselves and up to 1998 it was still used as such.

Fascinating trip and most eerie to actually step inside, I'll post up a few Pics for you all to have a look.


Last edited by murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:46 pm

I took this one for scale, it's called K1 and was where they had a kind of dry dock, the subs were lifted out of the water and transported to this dock on a kind of railway. They abandoned it for this express purpose after too many of the subs were damaged by Air raids and ultimately built K3.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:51 pm

The side entrance to K1, note the blast doors and the guard house on top, it looks like the guard house was an after war add on by the French.




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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:56 pm

This is the former French Navy submarine or 'Sous-Marin' called the FLORES. She is on permanent show now at the museum. Built in the early 1960's and served up to 1995 or so. Diesel powered with a crew of 50, her main job was to shadow the WARSAW PACT Navies in the Med. on behalf of France and NATO. It gives some idea again of scale. she is resting on one of the railway cars that were used to move the subs from the water into the works building, out of sight are the main hanger doors hidden behind the conning tower. In the background is building K2 where they also worked on the U-Boats. Now you can see how vulnerable they were to air attack.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:05 pm

Inside the FLORES....Bunk space, all the crew with the exception of the captain had to 'hot-bunk'. These bunks are in the forward torpedo room, imagine having no concept of day or night for up to a months active duty tour!




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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:07 pm

Part of the main control room, the plotting table is in the foreground and the black bicycle seat is part of the attack periscope mounting.


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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:09 pm

The way out!


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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:12 pm

The business end of things, note there is one up the spout waiting to be locked away.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:15 pm

The other 'business-end'! One of only two between 50 men. Apparently if the sub passed below 30 metres you had to vacate the area because if you were using it the pressure equalization between the hull and the water caused some splashback...



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:19 pm

This is the galley opposite the dunny. Apparently the temperatures reached up to 50 degrees C. in here and four meals a day were prepared for the 50 men. You could not swing a cat in there believe me. Fresh food was prepared for the first two weeks of a patrol and then they moved onto canned/preserved goods afterwards. Apparently every Thursday was known as 'Burgundy Thursday' as being a French vessel they liked a drop of wine every now and then and a good bottle would be placed on the table every Thursday to relieve the monotony.




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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:21 pm

Nice photos Murph, did those doors keep out the draft Laughing
Was it a coach trip you went on?

Chris.

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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:23 pm

The drivers seats, depth and bow plane operators seats. The glass floor underneath actually leads down to where the diesel engines are located and was originally a metal hatchway.




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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:24 pm

Ben's Dad wrote:Nice photos Murph, did those doors keep out the draft Laughing
Was it a coach trip you went on?

Chris.

No we went in the car and I went there on my own for the day, Billy no mates!


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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:27 pm

The main electrical stations behind the control rooms and leading towards the rear quarters and the rear torpedo room.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:29 pm

The back of K3 the final pen and the one where they could work on the boats without them having to break cover.


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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:32 pm

Through the main blast door into K3.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:36 pm

Inside K3, one of many berthing piers. This could be drained and turned into a dry dock by means of large water tight doors leading directly to the sea. From this spot many U-Boats sailed out to the Atlantic never to return and or to send Allied Ships to the bottom. Nothing has been changed since the war other than the electrics and a lick of paint.




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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  Gina_Costina on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:38 pm

Great piccies! I like the tile floor in the Khazzi!!! That last pic- I've been to that place- In Medal of Honor multiplayer- weird!!!

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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:39 pm

A view of the main doors to each Pen opening out to sea, up to 30 U-Boats could be berthed at K3.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:41 pm

Nobody seemed to fancy the idea of taking a dip, I wonder why?



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:44 pm

Looking back along K3 near to the exit, originally a train could pull in here and run along rail lines the remains of which are just visible on the floor.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:47 pm

One of the original Gantry Cranes that could unload off the incoming trains and runs the entire lenght of each pen.



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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:49 pm

The main entrance door to K3 and leading to daylight and fresh air.




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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:51 pm

Amazing Murph, war in the Atlantic never really been my thing, but looks well worth a visit.

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Re: A visit to the U-Boat pens at Lorient

Post  murph on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:54 pm

Wartime pictures of unknown U-Boats using the pens also the yards between K1 and K2 where the FLORES now sits.








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