War Tourist in Denmark

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Information about War Tourist in Denmark

Published on January 28, 2009

Author: wartourist



The first of a series of War Tourist targets in Europe (and possibly US, if we get input :)
This one concerns WW2 artifact "The Atlantic Wall" in Denmark

A WALL Touring the WAR TOURIST in DENMARK © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

STRONGHOLDS S O M E I M P O R TA N T AT L A N T I C WA L L i n D e n m a r k d u r i n g W o r l d W a r Tw o With its geographical position, Denmark formed The purpose of this presentation by the TWT Group an integral part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and is to give the viewer a first glance at the Atlantic was consequently saturated with German fortifications Wall in Denmark and maybe encourage to a further to repel allied landing attempts. Nobody knows exactly acquaintance with this exciting and well preserved how many, but an accepted estimate says that as many part of WW2 history. Obviously there is much more to as 8000 concrete bunkers, big and small, were erected, be seen than presented in this brief introduction, i.e. most of them along the western seaboard. Nearly one airfields, bridges and super-heavy batteries; stuff that quarter was actual Regelbau constructions. will be dealt with in later presentations. TWT Group issues The War Tourist, Two meter thick reinforced concrete walls are not easily demolished, not even by the forces of nature, so most a bimonthly Magazine, of these remnants from a dark epoch are there today. and an interactive Calendar, both available as free Some have descended from the dunes to the beach as a subscriptions. The group will also strive to promote the result of coastal erosion, and some have even migrated concept and share the joy of historical traveling and into the sea, but the bulk remains, almost as they were battlefield tourism by bringing more free presentations left by their occupants in May 1945. from around Europe as visits are made and material gathered. Denmark never saw large scale land combat and thus, many of You can contribute to this by sending in your own these installations are in excellent condition. A large photos along with description and details. Contributors proportion of bunkers are left unattended, providing a will receive full credit for their contributions. Read more about this on the website: kind of open air museums where the war tourist may let his fantasy roam while scavenging for photogenic motives. In several locations however, bunkers have been Navigation in this presentation is easy. Simply click refurbished, original equipment installed and trenches the locations on the map to the left to be taken to the restored, thus providing a tangible picture of the life appropriate slide. The small maps on each slide works lived here six decades ago. as return buttons. The War Tourist Group is an apolitical and non- commercial assembly of bunker connoisseurs, history buffs and plain devotees of the great fortifications and battlefields, forged together by a joint interest in these calling cards of a thousand years of European warfare. Photo courtesy of Tonny B. Jensen, Hirtshals, Denmark © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

HALS STRONGPOINT AA Battery and Coastal Battery There have been fortifications here for at least the past 500 years to protect the entrance to the Limfjord and to enforce customs duty. This particular one was established in 1940 but reinforced with bunkers in 1943-44. The strongpoint consisted of two units; a coastal battery brandishing 127 mm German naval guns (S.K. C/34) and a battery with 20 mm AA guns. The anti-aircraft battery was built first and furnished with regular Regelbau bunkers, models L410A and L409A. The coastal battery only had lightly constructed bunkers of which few remain today. Large photo: The distinctive profile of an L410A bunker, now in use with the Home Guard and thus fitted with a watch tower. Right photo: The thin-walled fire control bunker of the coastal battery. Far right photo: Remnants of a 127 mm gun emplacement. See more photos from Strongpoint Hals at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

FREDERIKSHAVN STRONGPOINT GROUP SOUTH aka BANGSBO FORT Coastal Battery and AA Batteries The Strongpoint Group South formed part of Defense Area Frederikshavn and was assigned to protect the naval base and the city of Frederikshavn against airborne and seaborne attacks. The group consisted of two strongpoints; a coastal battery with four 150 mm guns and two AA batteries with 105 mm and 20 mm AA guns. The AA batteries were frequently in action during the war. Large photo: The original M162a fire control bunker was modified post-war when the battery served in the Danish Armed Forces as a Cold War fortress. Right photo: One of the 150 mm naval guns in a Regelbau 671 bunker. The guns were commandeered from the Danish warship Niels Juel. Far right photo: A well-hidden 622 crew bunker in the woods to the north. See more photos from and read about Strongpoint South in December issue of The War Tourist Magazine, on the website or on Bangsbo Fort homepage (Danish only). © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

SKAGEN STRONGPOINT GROUP C o a s t a l B a t t e r y, I n f a n t r y S t r o n g p o i n t s a n d A i r f o r c e R a d a r S t a t i o n The northernmost part of Denmark, the pointy isthmus of Skagen, was heavily saturated with bunkers (130+). However, due to coastal erosion many of them have migrated into the sea. The area embraced a radar station (Schackal), infantry strongpoints and a coastal battery. The coastal battery had four obsolete 120 mm Danish guns, model 1912 with a max range of 10 km, and a number of AA guns (2 cm and 3.7 cm). Large photo: This 628 crew bunker has almost become a landmark for Skagen and is visible on Google Earth. Right photo: One of four M272 gun emplacements on the beach. Far right photo: Most likely a munitions bunker with its entrance covered in the dunes. See more photos from Strongpoint Group Skagen at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

HIRTSHALS STRONGPOINT GROUP Coastal Batteries, Infantry Strongpoints and Resistance Nests The west coast harbor of Hirtshals was a possible entry point for an invading enemy, and thus heavily fortified by occupation forces. The harbor was protected by no less than two coastal batteries, East and West, both sporting four 105 mm French field guns (Schneider Le Creusot 1913). The western battery had close to 70 Regelbau bunkers and a number of Tobruks and other light constructions. Large photo: The small Tobruk bunkers fitted with a concrete copula are indigenous to Hirtshals, due to lack of materials (steel). They shielded a machine-gun nest. Right photo: The bunker in full Right photo II: Fitted with Wehrmacht standard MG 34 Right photo III: Inside view with machine gun MG 34 Photo II & III courtesy of Tonny B. Jensen, Hirtshals See more photos from Hirtshals at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

VIGSOE STRONGPOINT Coastal Battery Coastal erosion has made many Danish bunkers migrate into the sea, and nowhere is this as visible as the battery at Vigsoe. The battery is all but vanished into the sea today, but acquired some local fame when it appeared as a set in a 1971 Danish comedy; “The Olsen gang in Jutland”. The motion picture used a mix of on location shots and studio tricks to create the impression of a super large bunker with an under water entrance. Vigsoe is also clearly visible on Google Earth (57°06’02.80’’N - 8°43’37.61’’E) Large photo: The beach at Vigsoe has been subject to substantial coastal erosion since the 1940ties. Right photo: A small Tobruk has toppled on the beach. Far right photo: Bunkers of many sizes and constructions were applied here. See more photos from Vigsoe at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

AGGER TANGE STRONGPOINT C o a s t a l B a t t e r y, I n f a n t r y S t r o n g p o i n t s a n d N a v a l R a d a r S t a t i o n The Limfjord is the access to Aalborg and its important harbor and thus the western entrance at Agger-Thyboroen was a vital point of defense for the German occupiers. Both isthmuses were subsequently subject to heavy fortification. Although this is most predominant on the southern side of the entrance, also the Agger Tange had significant installations, e.g. a coastal battery and a naval radar station (Würzburg Riese) for surveillance. The guns themselves (S.K. C/34) were never entombed in concrete as fear of coastal erosion convinced the Germans to move the battery inland. Many of the crew and ammo bunkers have today vanished into the dunes, but the impressive radar bunker is visible on the beach. Large photo: The majestic V174 radar bunker towering in the dusk. Right photo: A Würzburg Riese dome Far right photo: Inside the V174 See more photos from Agger Tange at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

THYBOROEN STRONGPOINT GROUP C o a s t a l B a t t e r y, A A B a t t e r i e s a n d I n f a n t r y S t r o n g p o i n t s This is one of Denmark’s more fascinating bunker sites. Not only is it home to a multitude of bunkers, but also to some of the more elaborate attempts to camouflage a large military installation. Bunkers here have been shaped to look like adobe houses, factories and farms. Some were even clad with roof tiles and had chimneys and window frames installed. Today these efforts seem amateurish and futile, but considering the work put into this deception, it must have made sense to the Germans. Large photo: Standing on top of an L409A, looking down bunker alley, with ill-camouflaged gun emplacements lined up in a row. Right photo: Interior of the small exhibition bunker. Far right photo: A 501 crew bunker masked as a small factory or warehouse. See more photos from Thyboroen at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

SOENDERVIG STRONGPOINT GROUP C o a s t a l B a t t e r y, A i r f o r c e S t r o n g p o i n t a n d I n f a n t r y S t r o n g p o i n t In the early summer of 2008, Houvig Beach with one blow (literally) became the talk of bunker-town world wide; A storm unearthed four crew bunkers that had been lying dormant in the dunes since 1945, and they turned out to be fully equipped with furniture and full of all kinds of WW2 artifacts. Obviously time had taken its toll on the interior, but nonetheless it was a major find and a sensation in the bunker community. A 24-hour guard was established as the bunkers were emptied for goodies that now rest with the conservator - while the rest of us wait impatiently for the things to come on display at a museum. Large photo: The beach at Houvig. Right photo: Part of the interior in one bunker. Bunks have been dismantled and lined up. Far right photo: The findings attracted nationwide attention. See more photos from Houvig at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

HVIDE SANDE R E S I S TA N C E N E S T Artillery Observation Post Hvide Sande (White Sands) can boast of three bunkers only; two six-man crew bunkers (668) and one artillery observation bunker (666). It was nonetheless an important part of the Wall as it served as a forward observation post for a battery of 194 mm guns protecting the entrance to Ringkoebing Fjord. As it came about, only one gun was ever entombed in concrete. Legend has it, that the German artillery crew was extremely anxious when they first test- fired the ancient piece, dating back to 1919, and used a very small charge that sent the 78 kg shell only a few meters away. Actual range of the guns was some 20 kilometers. Large photo: The cupola of the artillery observation bunker. Right photo: Entrance to a crew bunker. Far right photo: Posters in the exhibition bunker. See more photos from Hvide Sande at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

BLAAVAND STRONGPOINT GROUP Coastal Batteries, Airforce & Infantry Strongpoints and Radar Stations Several strongpoints reside at Blaavand (Blue Water), including two Army batteries, two Luftwaffe radar stations and – in the rear – the mighty bunkers for the 380 mm Batterie Vogelnest (Birds Nest) that wasn’t installed before the war was over. Access to the area is somewhat complicated by the fact that Danish Armed Forces have their tank firing range at the adjacent moor and thus frequently prohibits public access to Blaavand for safety reasons. Check with the calendar before you go. Otherwise an interesting area with lots of bunkers. Large photo: A corner of the large L485 bunker supporting the Mammoth radar. Right photo: A buried copula for an M19 automatic mortar. Cupola weighs 39 ton. Far right photo: A V174 radar bunker. Access denied for some reason. See more photos from Blaavand at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

FANOE STRONGPOINT GROUP Coastal Batteries, AA Batteries and Infantry Strongpoints The small island of Fanoe is a real bunker heaven with more than 300 installations. With its position off Esbjerg Harbor, the largest on the west coast and a likely target for an allied landing. Strong fortifications were thus built on Fanoe, including bunkers with two 150 mm twin turrets from the decommissioned German battleship Gneisenau (these are now at Stevns). The hi-tech Donau 60 Infrared system was installed on Fanoe for detection of approaching enemy vessels. The virtue of the system was that it relied on passive detection; it did not send out any signal like radar does and could thus not be detected itself. Large photo: The so-called Bus Shed that once housed the advanced Donau 60 IR System. Right photo: Contemporary photo of the main component. Far right photo: The staircase from the bunker to the shed as it looks today. See more photos from Fanoe at © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

SILKEBORG SUPREME ARMY COMMAND POST R a d i o a n d Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s C e n t e r Although the Silkeborg Command Center can show nothing more impressive in terms of armament than 20 mm AA guns, the site is nonetheless one of the most important in the Danish part of the Atlantic Wall. The Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber Dänemark (Supreme Army Commander, Denmark) resided here, and in case of an allied landing on the Jutland Peninsula, this would be the nerve center to direct German defenses. Home to several large communication bunkers it is definitely worth a visit. There is also a bunker museum in a 622 crew bunker, and it is recommended to take the tour, they offer. Large photo: The secondary entrance to the V196 Telecommunications bunker. Right photo: Entrance to the commanders personal bunker (608). Far right photo: Entrance from within. See more photos from Silkeborg at and at (Danish only) © 2009, • • • • • • • • •

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