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Bunker 54 Border Defence Bocholt-Herentals Canal

Bunker 54 Border Defence Bocholt-Herentals Canal

Built in 1935 by contractor Lecharlier Octave in Liège
This flanking bank bunker is suitable for two Maxim machine guns on a Chardome gun carriage. These machine guns were aimed at the extension of the canal on both sides, it was not possible to fire directly to the other side. The walls are 1 meter thick on the canal side, the sides with firing holes are 90 cm and the rear is 80 cm thick. The bunker is sunk into the bank side and is therefore accessible via a staircase going down. Next to these stairs at the rear was also the emergency exit. The bunkers were equipped with painted camouflage in the colors brown, green and gray. There are 29 pieces of this type in the line.
After bunker 55, which has since disappeared, the boundary line turns south into the section of the connecting canal Briegden-Neerharen. There are no more bank bunkers here and the defense mainly consists of heavier anti-tank bunkers, numbering then follows from B.N.-11 to B.N.-2.
This bunker fell under the deployment of the Cie. Grenswielers Lanaken. (bunkers 48 to 55, BN11 to BN2)

The bunker is part of the forward position that was built during the interbellum along the Limburg canals. This Grensstelling consists of the Zuid-Willemsvaart, the Bocholt-Herentals canal section and the Briegden-Neerharen connecting canal. This starts at Mol, after which it goes east along Lommel, Neerpelt via Bocholt, Bree, Neeroeteren, Maasmechelen to Lanaken west of Maastricht. There were a total of 72 bunkers for defence; of which 44 flanking bank bunkers, 11 gun bunkers, 7 heavy bunkers and 10 machine gun bunkers.

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  • Text: Geert-Jan van Glabbeek
  • Photos: TracesOfWar.com