Novodobe fortifikace Vol.
|Fortifications of Danzig Hill Grodzisko
Grzegorz Stepien (Poland)
The Grodzisko hill just outside the perimeter of the city of Danzig
fortifications was very important for the defense of the city. As
early as 1655 the city had started to be fortified using bastion
system and a huge corner work was built there. Under the Prussian
rule, the fortifications were strengthened, which however did not
prevent it from being taken over by Napoleon's forces. Then it was
significantly improved again, for example by realization of so-called
"Haxo casemates". When the Grodzisko fortifications returned
to the Prussian hands, the corner work was rebuilt to a large polygonal
fort, protected by caponieres and equipped by the unique Carnot's
mortar casemate. Today the fort of Grodzisko with the contiguous
fortifications and infrastructure belongs to the best-preserved
polygonal fortifications in Poland and vegetation is gradually wiped
out from its surface. The article is illustrated with excellent
full-page plans by M.Wojciechovski.
Shelters on the Lower shooting bastion's
Photo by Grzegorz Stepien 2001.
|The Construction of Underground Systems In Verdun Forts During
Martin Egger (Switzerland)
We have already brought brief information about the battle of Verdun
in our magazine. The article of the well-known Swiss expert describes
one of the most interesting chapters of the history of fortifications,
the improvised construction of underground systems of the Verdun
forts. At the beginning the author mentions the construction of
the forts, which were unable to resist the heaviest artillery during
the WWI, so the garrisons hidden there had to search a solution.
After the first attempts to sink passages done under the command
of captain Harispe right in the middle of the heaviest shelling
in the Moulainville fort, this method had been successfully applied
on the other fortification objects in an amazing scale. After the
end of the fights the length of the underground through fares reached
almost 30 kilometers. The author describes the underground systems
under main forts and small forts (ouvrages) of Verdun fortress and
the methods used during their construction. The author focuses on
fort Douamont, where both sides had been sinking the passages, in
great detail. He also mentions interesting examples of underground
systems in Belfort and Nancy. As almost all archive sources had
been destroyed and most of the passages have already collapsed,
this article is one of the few possibilities to get some information
about this interesting subject. (the article have been published
in IBA-heft magazine).
A tunnel (not concreted yet) leading
to the emergency exit of fort Moulainville.
Photo by M. Egger.
|Czechoslovak Fortification Object KZ-3 For The T-34 Tank Turret
Martin Dubanek (Czech)
Tank turrets started to be used on fortifications during the WWII
by Germans and this relatively inexpensive way how to strengthen
the defenses spread into other countries after the war. Czechoslovakia
was no exception. Here the objects for T-34 tank turrets, built
from concrete prefabricates, were projected and actually constructed
on the western border. The author describes the construction and
resistance of the object, its inner equipment and the modifications
of the tank turrets destined to be installed onto the object denoted
as "KZ-3". In great detail he deals with the construction
procedure, which is of course totally different from the procedure
of constructing normal fortification objects. The article is illustrated
with plans and photographs of the object near Tri Sekery village
A cross-cut through the bunker type KZ-3.
Unlike the others on photos, this one is not step.
According to an original plan drawn by O. Filip, 2001.
|Coastal Defence Batteries on Kuivasaari
Jaroslaw Chorzepa (Poland)
In the second issue of our magazine we wrote about the fortification
of the port of Helsinky. Now we bring you an article describing
the remarkable fates of one of the important posts of this fortification,
located on a small isle of Kuivasaari, which served its purpose
for over 60 years. During the Russian rule only one open artillery
battery with a fire control post had been built there. After the
takeover by Finnish army a four-floor object was built on the place
of the original battery, equipped with an armored rotary turret
for two 305 mm cannons. After the WWII the turret was dismantled,
but in 1960 it was installed on its place again. Today there is
an exposition of the coastal artillery museum on the isle, but it
is not commonly accessible to foreign tourists. The article is illustrated
with archive plans, photos of the perfectly preserved battery and
other exhibits of the museum.
A detail of the rotary turret.
Photo by J. Chorzepa.
|Mobile Armoured Cupolas "K2" And "K3"
Martin Dubanek (Czech)
After the W.W.II a lot of German fortification material remained
on the territory of Czechoslovakia. One of the most interesting
elements were German mobile heavy MG - nests (called "Panzernest"),
which attracted the attention of the experts of Czechoslovak army.
The author describes in great detail especially the tests performed
on the trophy cupolas by the army, including rebuilding one of them
into a rotary turret and mentions the drills planned to test the
cupolas. The article is illustrated by plans of the famous Polish
artist Robert Jurga.
installed in defence line from 1944 near Krakov. Picture was
taken few years ago, the cupola has moved afterwards.
Photo by J. Sadowski.
Marcus Massing (Germany)
The fortress of Froideterre is a small infantry fort ("ouvrage")
in the northern part of the Verdun fortification ring. During a
large modernization in the beginning of the 20th century it was
strengthened by concrete and armed with modern fortification weapons
in armored turrets and the concrete "de Bourges" casemate.
It played an important role in the battle of Verdun, because the
German advance along the ridge, where fort Douaumont and fortress
Thiaumont had fallen before, was stopped by the fortress. The author
describes the construction of the fortress and deals with the dramatic
events, during which the fortress was almost taken over by German
attackers. In the conclusion he mentions a short fight for the fortress
in 1940 and its fates after the war till today.
A view of the right side of the fort
with barrack, MG rotary turret (the bigger white poing) and
observation dome type Digoin (the smaller white poing to the
left). You can seen craters from artillery shells well.
Photo by L. Novak 1998.
|German Heavy Bunker In Hradistko
Martin Dubanek, Jiri Krystufek (Czech)
Although the fortifications on the territory of Czech republic
are thoroughly explored, an object unknown to the public may rarely
be found. Martin Dubanek succeeded in this when he found archive
information about a large object built by the Germans during the
W.W.II on the SS training grounds in Hradistko village. A perfectly
preserved object similar to Czechoslovakian pre-war blockhouse in
size and construction was really found and its pictures were taken.
The article is supplemented by a plan of this exceptional fortification
object, which purpose is still unknown.
A view of the front
side of bunker helps to imagine the size.
Photo by Jiri Krystufek 2001.