St Catherine's Breakwater, the breakwater was to be the northern arm of a giant naval station, however the southern arm, from Archirondel, was never completed. Originally called Verclut Breakwater, but invariably known as St Catherine's by islanders, was built in the middle of the 19th century as the northern arm of what was to be a massive naval station. It would have been the largest harbour on the south side of the Channel after Le Havre. In 1855 The northern arm was completed and work had already stopped on the southern arm reaching out just past Archirondel Tower. However the modernisation of naval shipping and the reduction is skirmishes between Britain and France the need of a massive naval base was gone and it was gifted to the states in 1876.
During the occupation the German forces had built a substantial defence against attack. There were two heavy machine gun bunkers, many shelters, anti tank defences a Type 670 casemate bunker for a 10.5cm gun, this was part of a Ho tunnel within the large rock which had storage, quarters and potentially could have become something much more. At the museum store there is a model of what they could have built with multiple rooms and fortifications (picture above). Tours of the tunnel, now the Turbot Farm, are available Sundays during warmer months and they are well worth a visit!
If you visit it also worth seeing the anti tank defences found On the path from St Catherine's to Fliquet, about half way up the hill. These are railway tracks were driven in to the ground and have remained here since 1943. Below the gallery is a map showing the various positions.
Info from the German books
Location: The Resistance Nest Mole Verclut lies between the Resistance Nests La Perelle I and Fliquet on the land side of the base of the breakwater
Complement: Four NCOs and twenty-two Other Ranks
Unit’s Weapons: Two light Machine Gun 34’s, one heavy Machine Gun 34 and one 8cm mortar
Static Weapons: Two 5cm French mortars, one 10.5cm French gun casemated with substantial tunnel system to the rear, seven defence flamethrowers and one 60cm searchlight
Battle Orders: The Resistance Nest Mole Verclut has orders to prevent enemy landings on the breakwater in St Catherine’s Bay and in Fliquet Bay. Enemy attack from land to immediately engage in fighting
Battle Command: Work in co-operation with Archirondel Tower, La Perelle I and II and Resistance Nest Fliquet