The Atlantic Wall

The Atlantic Wall is a line of defence from World War II that was conceived by Hitler himself. The many bunkers were pieces of a German coastal defence that stretched from the North Cape to the Pyrenees. Today, along the entire Wadden Sea coast, you will find remains of the Atlantic Wall.

Bunker at Blåvandshuk - a reminder from WW2. Photo from Thomas Høyrup Christensen

Traces of the war

The occupying forces built a whole series of smaller gun emplacements and bunkers along the entire Wadden Sea coast to serve as a line of defence against Allied troops. German propaganda of the time portrayed the Atlantic Wall as an impenetrable wall of concrete positions heavily manned by elite soldiers. The reality was different, however, and the Atlantic Wall consisted mostly of a series of fortified strongpoints along the coast. The soldiers manning them were often recuperating from combat injuries, had other ailments or were of an advanced age that meant they were not fit for frontline service. In addition to protection, the bunkers also had other functions such as radar stations, listening posts or command centres. Today, several of the bunkers have been converted into exhibitions that welcome visitors and tell the history of the area during World War II.

A bunker on Fanø. Photo by Red Star

After the war

When World War II ended in May 1945, the German soldiers left the bunkers. The Allied forces held a large exercise to test the German radar systems and afterwards took the technical installations with them. All furniture was removed from the bunkers and reused. Most bunkers were bricked up and left to the westerly winds and sand drift.

Experience The Atlantic Wall

As a visitor to the Wadden Sea, you can explore the many different types of bunkers in the landscape. Some you can even get a peek inside:

  • On Rømø you can see the Mammoth Bunker in the Robbe Nord position. Contact Tønnisgård Nature Centre or Wadden Sea by Foot for organised bunker tours.
  • At Vester Vedsted Battery you can visit the bunkers, which are used for events and accommodation. Contact us for more information and visits.
  • On the northern tip of Fanø is a fairly well-preserved bunker complex, where it is possible to enter some of the bunkers. Contact Visit Fanø for more information about organised tours. Most other bunkers on Fanø are closed and completely inaccessible.
  • The Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg has an exhibition in a crew bunker, part of which is decorated as it was during the Second World War.
  • At Tarp you will find bunker 75665, a renovated Regelbau 622, which can be visited on Sundays and by appointment.
  • In Blåvand, the Tirpitz bunker serves as an exhibition all year round, and the museum, which reopened in 2017, has plenty of information about the Second World War.
  • At Blåvandshuk Lighthouse, there is a position with aircraft radar and command bunker. Be aware that some of the bunkers are located within the Danish Defence's exercise area, where access is restricted.

The Atlantic rampart along the Wadden Sea coast

A bunker in the ocean in Blåvand. Bunker: Carsten Pedersen