The Juno Beach Centre is excited to announce an exciting discovery made on the site last week by Canadian production company, Northern Sky for the television series War Junk (History Television Canada/Shaw Media). War Junk tells the story of war through artefacts found on battlefields, in this case a German Tobruk machine gun emplacement, long buried in the shifting sands of Juno Beach.
Series Host/Producer Wayne Abbott is thrilled by the discovery: “We were given the opportunity to search the area near the Juno Beach Centre for buried and lost remnants from the battle on D-Day. We had a number of targets we wanted to find but we had no idea if we would locate them. When we uncovered the German Tobruk in pristine condition, the way it looked nearly 70 years ago, it was an incredible moment. Finally uncovering it after so many years buried under the sand gives a haunting reminder of what Canadian troops faced when they landed here. It’s a very significant remnant that truly tells the story of D-Day.’
Historian David O’Keefe noted that this Tobruk is an important historical discovery: “We know that a pillbox like this would have been devastating for the Canadians when they landed. Because of the way it was built it could fire in a 360 degree angle it meant that it could cover all areas of the beach. This pillbox made this part of the Juno Beach sector absolutely treacherous for the Canadians on D-Day.”
Nathalie Worthington, the Director of the Juno Beach Centre, added: “This is fantastic. We live here and we have history under our feet but we don’t necessarily know where. Uncovering this emplacement adds to the story. It adds to the experience of visitors from Canada and from all over the world when they come to Juno Beach. We are going to bring more information because this has it’s own story.”
The Juno Beach Centre is thrilled by this discovery and we hope to further develop the site in the very near future to add the Tobruk to our public tours of Juno Park.
The Juno episode of War Junk premieres in Canada on History Television in November 2015. Stay tuned for further developments!
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at email@example.com.