The Hague and the Atlantic Wall

From the summer of 1941, Hitler moved ever more troops to fight the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. At the same time, however, Nazi Germany was expecting a sea-borne Allied invasion in the west. The solution to the dilemma was the construction of the Atlantic Wall between 1942 and 1945. The ‘Wall’ was actually a series of concrete bunkers, manmade barriers and natural obstacles like cliffs and rocks, stretching along five thousand kilometres of North Sea and Atlantic coast from northern Norway to the Spanish border.


The city was bisected by a water-filled anti-tank ditch with an open field of fire in the direction of the city centre. To construct these defences, the occupation authorities designated a 350-metre-wide strip of land running from Kijkduin to Zorgvliet. In order to minimise damage to the city, the route followed the Haagse Beek watercourse and the Sportlaan (a main highway). Behind the Gemeentemuseum, the line of the anti-tank ditch was extended in the form of a concrete wall stretching right into the Scheveningen Woods.