The French city of Lorient in Brittany was almost completely destroyed in the 2nd World War and needed to be rebuilt. The reason for this was the submarine base Kéroman.
It was the largest German submarine base in France with originally 7 bunkers. 3 of them, as well as a huge slipway, remained preserved and are used by sports yachtsmen and fishermen today.
Submarine base Kéroman
The first, still intact bunker Keroman II, was used as a dry dock. Due to the rocky subsoil it was built above the rocky plateau. This required a slipway, which was also covered by a bunker (Keroman I). Via a slope, the submarines were placed on a traverser. After that they could be parked in Keroman II. This procedure took 20 – 35 minutes.
A French submarine is exhibited between the two bunkers today.
Keroman III is a classic submarine bunker, in which the individual cells were designed as dry docks.
The construction was planned in Germany and built of French workers who were paid above average.
That is why at that time the Germans were more popular in Brittany than the Brits, the previously stationed protecting power. The Brits had behaved like an occupying power and were frowned upon in broad levels of the population.
In front of the bunkers two ships were sunk. These should exclude an attack by torpedo dropped from aircraft.
The bunkers remained largely intact until the end of the war, which is why the Allies had to bomb the access roads. This led to the destruction of almost the entire city.
Parts of this one old submarine base serve as a sail shipyard for racing yachtsman today.
This is thanks to Éric Tabarly, one of the most important high-sea yachtsman and most innovative designers of racing yachts. Here, he built three of his six yachts and laid the foundation for one of the most important yachts for regatta sailors.
In a modern building you can visit the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly, an interactive sailing museum for all young and old sailing fans.
In the adjacent port, we admire some yachts that have been built here.
Among them were yachts for Oman, the Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, a yacht for the Dongfeng Race Team and one for the Team Jolokia.
Also a trimaran Prince de Bretagne and the Pen Duick III of Éric Tabarly lay at anchor.
2011 and 2012, Lorient was host of the Volvo Ocean Race.
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