Defensive ring and its batteries and bunkers

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Smiltynė Beach, Klaipėda
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In 1939, a week after the German annexation of Klaipėda and Klaipėda region, the port and the coast guard were taken care of. Coast guard batteries were built, and the city acquired the status of a fortress.

In April of the same year, temporary fortification structures along the shores and anti-aircraft artillery batteries were built around the city, and in July the chief officers of the Navy decided to install permanent artillery batteries around the port.

In total, six anti-aircraft Fla-2 type batteries were established around Klaipėda to cover the airspace, which created a defence ring comprising of Nordmole in Melnragė, Dange in Tauralaukis, Löllen in Leliai, Götzhofen in Gedminai, Seestrand in Smiltynė and Schweinsrücken in Alksnynė, 750 metres west of Kiaulės Nugara (Pig’s Back) Island. The batteries consisted of reinforced concrete bunkers for crew, ammunition and cannons. The cannon yard was covered with steel casings.

The most powerful anti-aircraft cannons at the time, the 12.8cm Flak 40, that were capable of destroying both land and sea targets within a radius of 20km, were transferred to the Kiaulės Nugara (Schweinsrücken) battery in Smiltynė. In October 1944, this and other anti-aircraft batteries helped Klaipėda withstand an attack that lasted for 115 days, the longest of all sieges in cities under German occupation during the war.

The coastal artillery battery Hirschwiese, built in 1944, is located on Neringa Hill in Smiltynė. In a bunker, 2km from the battery, there was a storage facility for anti-aircraft cannon ammunition with six ammunition storage facilities and a warehouse for fuses.

Another object along the defence ring in Smiltynė was the coastguard battery Standhale, built in 1939 and armed with cannons. During the Soviet occupation, border guards worked here. Near the New Ferry Terminal, on Hagen’s Hill, the remains of the foundations of a radio location device can be found.

Cannons, for which two artillery blocks were built in the Giruliai battery (Memel Nord, where an ever-growing Second World War exposition has been established) and Kopgalis battery (Memel Süd), were supposed to protect the port from enemy ships. Among the artillery blocks there was a fire control post, the so-called Black Fortress, commissioned to search for targets at sea.

Defensive ring and its batteries and bunkers

Smiltynė Beach, Klaipėda

In 1939, a week after the German annexation of Klaipėda and Klaipėda region, the port and the coast guard were taken care of. Coast guard batteries were built, and the city acquired the status of a fortress.

In April of the same year, temporary fortification structures along the shores and anti-aircraft artillery batteries were built around the city, and in July the chief officers of the Navy decided to install permanent artillery batteries around the port.

In total, six anti-aircraft Fla-2 type batteries were established around Klaipėda to cover the airspace, which created a defence ring comprising of Nordmole in Melnragė, Dange in Tauralaukis, Löllen in Leliai, Götzhofen in Gedminai, Seestrand in Smiltynė and Schweinsrücken in Alksnynė, 750 metres west of Kiaulės Nugara (Pig’s Back) Island. The batteries consisted of reinforced concrete bunkers for crew, ammunition and cannons. The cannon yard was covered with steel casings.

The most powerful anti-aircraft cannons at the time, the 12.8cm Flak 40, that were capable of destroying both land and sea targets within a radius of 20km, were transferred to the Kiaulės Nugara (Schweinsrücken) battery in Smiltynė. In October 1944, this and other anti-aircraft batteries helped Klaipėda withstand an attack that lasted for 115 days, the longest of all sieges in cities under German occupation during the war.

The coastal artillery battery Hirschwiese, built in 1944, is located on Neringa Hill in Smiltynė. In a bunker, 2km from the battery, there was a storage facility for anti-aircraft cannon ammunition with six ammunition storage facilities and a warehouse for fuses.

Another object along the defence ring in Smiltynė was the coastguard battery Standhale, built in 1939 and armed with cannons. During the Soviet occupation, border guards worked here. Near the New Ferry Terminal, on Hagen’s Hill, the remains of the foundations of a radio location device can be found.

Cannons, for which two artillery blocks were built in the Giruliai battery (Memel Nord, where an ever-growing Second World War exposition has been established) and Kopgalis battery (Memel Süd), were supposed to protect the port from enemy ships. Among the artillery blocks there was a fire control post, the so-called Black Fortress, commissioned to search for targets at sea.

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