Novodobe fortifikace Vol.
|Fortress Torun at the end of the 19th century
Wojciech Szymañski, Mariusz Wojciechowski (Poland)
Torun (Thorn in German language) used to be one of the most important
fortresses of the German empire in the East. In issue 6 we brought
an article about the polygonal fortifications of this fortress.
This article deals with the following stage, when Torun had been
surrounded by a wreath of brick forts and batteries according to
the projects of the Engineering Committee. The author does not only
deal with this fortress but he also puts its construction into a
wider framework of the organisation of German fortifications construction
after 1870. All standard and non-standard forts of the fortress
are thoroughly described in the article and the chronology of their
construction and modernisation is taken down in easy to survey charts.
The basic types of forts are pictured in the plans and most importantly
in the form of full-page axonometric drawings. Then follows a chapter
on the artillery armament of the forts, illustrated with quality
drafts of some weapons, particularly the revolver cannon used in
caponieres. To help one orientates inside the fortress the article
includes a detailed map of the whole wreath of forts, according
to the situation in 1896. The next part of the article will probably
be published in the eleventh issue of the magazine and it will deal
with the armour elements of the fortress, armour batteries and the
construction of the shelters in between the forts.
|Left side caponier of the main fort VII
"Hermann von Salza". You can see the roof reinforced
by concrete and reconstructed loopholes.
Foto D. Krzysztasowski.
All photos by this author are downloaded from WWW with
author's permission - http://www.fortykrakow.prv.pl/
|Czechoslovakian armour machine gun posts after WWII, part 1
Martin Dubanek (Czech)
One of the very interesting and practically unknown chapters of
the post-war history of the Czechoslovakian fortifications is the
development of the revolving retractable MG posts and other armour
elements, designed to strengthen the field fortifications and the
re-activated lines of the pre-war fortifications. These combat objects
were, like the Soviet types, to strike against the infantry and
the accompanying armoured vehicles and therefore they were to withstand
being run over by a medium tank. The article describes the development
of the first revolving posts SOA and SOB which were to be used as
a part of post-war heavy objects too, but their development was
finished after the construction of wooden models. The construction
of the B1 and especially the B2 posts, which originated the mass
production of the OVKS (this will be the topic of the instalment
of the article) is also described. In addition to that the author
deals with the development of the armoured gunner's shield that
was to be used as a protection of the post of a machine gun or a
light anti-tank weapon. As well as the technical solution of the
particular posts the article also explains to the reader the organisation
of the development and tests of the new weapons in the 50's of the
20th century and the specialists who took part in it. The article
is illustrated with plans of all the types of the armour elements.
kulometným stanovistěm typu SOA ve vysunuté poloze.
Kresba M. Dubánek 2001.
|Adjustments of the light object Mk. 36 for the purpose of additional
Martin Marek (Czech)
This shorter article deals with an interesting detail, found in
terrain by our colleagues from Western Bohemia. In the VIIa - Stribro
- Jih sector they had examined and documented the post-war adjustments
of the light object Mk.36 that were most probably to improve their
ability of concealment. This means steel hooks, embedded to the
walls of the objects, so that they allowed good attachment of camouflaged
nets and branches. The author also deals with more interesting details
of the adjustments - changes of the embrasures of the objects to
observation slits and strengthening their ceilings with placed stones.
The article is supplemented with a map of the sector and a draft
of the image of the objects before the adjustment and after it.
The photo of the pillbox No. 30. You
can see the reconstruction details which were realized in
order to improve a camouflage after W.W.II - angustate embrassures,
roof reinforced by stones...
Photo by T. Kamensky 2001.
|Czechoslovakian test object with the PzKpfw IV tank turret
Martin Dubanek (Czech)
It might be a surprise for most of the readers that the Czechoslovakian
army had been using a large amount of German Pzkpfw tanks after
the war. The author of the article has found materials about the
preparations to use these tanks' turrets to strengthen the Czechoslovakian
borders, during his search in the military archive. The turrets
were to be installed on small objects, which in contrast to the
prefab objects for the T-34 tank turrets (described in the last
issue) were built from reinforced concrete. Very surprising is the
fact that one of these objects had been built in 1955 in Brdy training
grounds and the turret was fitted onto it. No more of these objects
had been built after all and most of the tanks were sold to Syria,
however the object is a rare curiosity in the history of the Czechoslovakian
fortifications. In the article the construction of the test object
is described in detail and so are its technical solution and the
adjustments of the turret, needed in order to fit it onto the object.
The article is illustrated with plans of the object and the adjusted
turret and also with a photograph of a model of the object, made
by the author himself.
A model of the scratch bunker for use
with tank turret PzKpfw IV Ausf G. At the rear
side there is a wooden ditch (made by M. Dubanek).
Photo by M. Dubanek 2001.
|Emergency exits of the Swiss fortifications
Oldrich Gregar (Czech)
This article deals mainly with the question of the solution of
the emergency exits from independent objects and fortresses built
in Switzerland before the end of WWII. After the opening, dealing
mainly with the importance of the emergency exits for the combat
in fotresses and for the morale of their garrisons generally, the
author deals with the description of the emergency exits of artillery
fortresses Füringen, Reuenthal, Mühlefluh and Heldsberg.
With every fortress there is a brief description of its history,
objects and armament, so that the reader gets a good concept of
these huge objects. At the end there is a mention about almost 5
km long gallery connecting the well known fort Airolo with the Saintgodhard
tunnel, with which it created an almost 20 km long underground access
to the fort from the Swiss hinterland. The article is supplemented
with quality plans by the author, who has illustrated many Czech
A casemate B1
of fortress Reuenthal.
Photo by O. Gregar 1998.
Marcus Massing (Germany)
Articles deals with a small part of the history of Verdun fortress
- Thiaumont fortress - a small infantry fort in the most exposed
place of the fortification ring between the Froideterre fortress
and fort Douaumont. Although Thiaumont had been just a small object
with barracs, an artillery object "de Bourges" and one
revolving MG turret, it became the place of probably the most dramatical
fights of the all fortification objects. Since the beginning of
the battle, Thiaumont was intensively shelled and almost constantly
fought for until the October 1916. In the article the author describes
the construction of the fortress and deals with the individual phases
of the fight, during which Thiaumont had been alternately in hands
of French and German units, until the battle of Verdun ended. Today
nobody could count, how many men had fallen there and although the
objects had been built from reinforced concrete, only unidentifiable
ruins remain of them.
An observatory dome type Digoin, destroyed by German
shell (calibre 420 mm).
Photo by J. Pavel 1998.