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The city of Lorient developed thanks to the implementation in 1666 of the French East India Company, and its seaports suffered successive modernizations . In 1861 it launched the yards the first fully armored frigate La Couronne. In 1920 the engineer Henri Verrière develops the current fishing port of Keroman and endows it with modern equipment . Henri Verrière expected to lengthen the port peninsula Keroman, thus constructing new docks and  fish processing factories.

The city regains its status as a maritime city hall by a decree of May 20, 1939 and provides, before the war, a garrison of about 5600 sailors, and a military arsenal employing about 5000 workers , having a population of 60 000 inhabitants . The city of Lorient serves as a last ditch opposite the German advance in June 1940. The gold of Belgian and Polish national banks is evacuated through the port of Lorient on 17 and 18 June 1940 . That same day the Admiral François Darlan, then in Bordeaux, orders to local forces that resist the German advance. Vice Admiral Hervé de Penfentenyo in charge of the city, applying scorched earth policy of destroying the ammunition and key structures. The June 21, 1940 German troops regrouped at Quimperlé  storm Guidel. The city of Lorient falls on the same day.

At the beginning of June 1940, Rear Admiral Karl Doenitz, then top commander of Submarine Kriegsmarine sends a delegation from his staff to inspect the ports of the French coast that could serve as a basis for its submarines. The armistice is signed on 22 June and he comes to Lorient on 23 June 1940. On June 28 he is in the city of Lorient to establish his headquarters, and there put the 2nd flotilla of U- boote. Latter is equipped with modern facilities , linked by rail and less exposed to the British than in Brest. Dönitz installs to October 16, 1940 in a villa neighborhood Kernevel in Larmor - Plage, opposite Keroman peninsula and the German minister of war, Admiral Erich Raeder, visit the city on August 8, 1940. German workers leave the base of Wilhelmshaven in June to reach Lorient in August to make repairs, beyond the site be inspected against magnetic mines.

On June 6, the port is declared open. A first U-Boot, U-30, arrives the next day to be supplied. Works are done in port infrastructure to allow better use of submarines. On September 17 submarines have been fueling the city; In the next month more 40 arrive. At 22 and 23 August 1940 a first attack of 12 bombers reached Lorient . The bombers hit the region on a regular basis until July 1941. Various measures of passive defense and Dönitz meets with Hitler on 28 October 1940, in Paris, are taken to ask the construction of three bases: in Lorient, Brest and Saint Nazaire. On November 7, 1940 Hitler ordered the construction of bunkers protection for submarines in the Atlantic coast, and a first meeting on the subject takes place in Lorient, in the presence of Fritz Todt, 15 and 16 of the same month . Finally, on 23 December 1940, Hitler approved the construction plan.

The pictures above shows a conference with Adm. Karl Doenitz and his aides at Kernevel, one of the first after the seizure of Lorient by German Kriegsmarine. The second picture shows a private room used by Adm. Doenitz at Kernevel.

Above the image shows the Chateau Kernevel



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