The Netherlands / Fortification

'Porcupine' three-man bunker




This bunker, a concrete casemate from 1939, is one of the remnants of the fighting during the German invasion on 10 May 1940. The aggressors shelled the bunker as they advanced to Belgium. Nine shells hit the target and are still clearly visible. The machine gun mounted in the bunker was knocked out.

The three-man 'porcupine' bunker served to counter the German threat. Dozens of concrete casemates were built between Maastricht and Echt in 1939 and 1940. They were part of the Juliana Canal Line, which formed part of the Meuse Line.

Three soldiers manned the casemate: two operated the machine gun and the third stood guard and provided ventilation to dispel the gunpowder fumes. The bunker at Elsloo is the only one still standing. The others were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the 'porcupine' has become an accommodation for bats.

Westelijke Kanaalsweg, Elsloo