Naval Gun Battery Seydlitz

In 1942, the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) made an important decision to cancel production of its large surface vessels.

The guns were very modern, with a range of 37 km.

Battery Seydlitz was part of Festung (Fortress) Lorient, a name that was used only when an area was so heavily fortified that it was considered impossible to conquer. The port of Lorient was the largest German U-boat base in France and had several massive U-boat bunkers. The gun positions were supported by a large command bunker, together with bunkers for close defense, crew shelters, air defenses and ammunition.

By 12th September 1944, the Allies had encircled the entire naval base, and rather than risk massive casualties by a frontal assault, a long siege began. The base was defended by 20.000 German soldiers and the siege continued until capitulation at the very end of the war.  During this period, all supplies to the base were delivered by U-boats. On 3rd May 1945, the last U-boat (U-255 Type VIIC) arrived with fuel and supplies for the besieged base. It left the base again two days later and on 8th May the base surrendered to the Allies.