Novodobe fortifikace Vol. 5 (2000)

Fest Kaiser Wilhelm II
Bernard Bour (France)

We have already mentioned German fests, giant fortresses built before WWI, in our magazine. We are glad to bring you a larger material about this topic, an article about the biggest German fest, built at the turning point of the century near Strasbourg, on the new border line of the German Empire. The article describes the development of the concept of the fortress and its realisation, including a brief description of all the objects and their armament. The armament is really interesting as in its variety it reflects the fast development of German fortification engineering during the time of the fest's construction.

rotary turret type 93
A rotary turret type 93 for 15 cm howitzer.
Photo by B. Bour.



Fortress Ring of Verdun
Marcus Massing (Germany)

There is probably no doubt which fortress is the most famous around the world. It is the fortress Verdun in the north-eastern part of France. It was the centre of one of the greatest battles in the history. The first part of the article written by a German author deals with the fortress mainly in broader coherence. This means the questions of the defence of the French border with Germany after the lost war in 1870, about the conception of fortification engineering and the basic types of the used fortification structures. The spiritual father of the Verdun fortification system in its original shape, general. Sere de Rivieres, is mentioned here with more details. The next part of the article in the following issue of the magazine will bring more detailed information about armoured turrets of the fortress, and its history from the beginning of the century till nowadays.

An unique blokhaus near fort Tavannes.
Photo by M. Massing 1990.



Ventilation Systems of Czechoslovak Infantry Casemates
Jan Pavel (Czech)

Probably everyone who has ever seen Czechoslovakian infantry casemates has noticed that the system of their filter ventilation is not only very complicated, but also that different solutions were used in particular objects. The extensive material we bring you sums up information about the filter ventilation of the casemates of all types. Due to the extensiveness of the text and graphical materials the article was divided into two parts. In part one the suction part of the ventilation, the filters and the ventilation aggregate are described. The article also gives useful practical information how to identify the ventilation set type of the objects in the field.

a mouth of fresh air pipe
A mouth of a fresh air pipe in the right shooting-room, casemate "Brezinka".
Photo by Jan Pavel.



Fortress Silberberg
Jiri Slavik (Czech)

This bastion fortress belongs to the most interesting structures of its type in the Middle Europe. This is determinated mainly by its location in the difficult terrain of a mountain saddle-back, north of the Klodsko city in nowadays Poland. Thanks to this the fortress consists of a complicated system of detached elements, which look like much more modern fortification structures. The traditional geometrical form is therefore preserved almost only in the central donjon with the surrounding bastions. Although the fortress has already been described in literature, we hope that this extensive article supplemented by excellent plans and many photographs will interest you and probably inspire you to visit this interesting site.

A view of the courtyard of Donjon with a guns exhibition.
Photo by Jan Pavel.



Bratislava Walls with USSR Embrasures
Milo Gona, Dusan Cibulka (Slovakia)

The desperate attempts of the German army to stop the advance of the Allies at the end of the WWII had sometimes brought unusual technological solutions of fortifications. In the issue No.3 of our magazine we have mentioned Soviet embrasures for anti-tank cannons built in the houses of Olomouc. Thanks to the work of our Slovakian colleagues we are able to bring you an article about similar objects in Bratislava, Slovakian Republic's capital. As well as plans and photographs you may see an especially weird picture­a tank made of bricks, used by the cannons' crews to practise shooting on it.

a wall for soviet cannon
A front view of the German wall for Soviet antitank canon in the Zatisie street of Bratislava capital.
Photo by M. Gona.