Kukuliškiai (Karklė) Battery

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Pamario str. 11, Kukuliškiai, Klaipėda district
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In a small Kukuliškiai village it’s possible to visit two interesting defensive objects. One of them is a hill fort that was only discovered in 2016. The other is an artillery battery dating from the Second World War.

The coastal hill fort (which is second after Birutė Hill when it comes to the most famous objects in the region) is located midway between the Giruliai and Olando kepurė (Dutchman’s Cap). The hill fort. overgrown with forest, hasn’t been the subject of much study to date, but it’s assumed that there was a Curonian settlement dating back to the second half of the 1st millennium that was later buried under the sand.

In 1939, when Klaipėda region was occupied by the Germans, it was decided to build artillery batteries along the Baltic coast. The first, Memel Sud (Klaipėda South), should have been constructed in Smiltynė. The second, Memel Nord (Klaipėda North), was due to be built near Giruliai, in Kukuliškiai village. Only the latter was completed and is now also known as the Karklė Battery.

Although based on typical German Navy bunker models, these buildings are unique. It’s interesting to note that the primary function of the battery was anti-submarine, i.e. to protect the coast from the sea. However, the battery was redesigned as an anti-aircraft post. About 50 soldiers would keep watch at the same time, and their base was nearby on the territory of the present day Žuvėdra (Seagull) campsite. The battery continued to function after the war until 1955. Later, border guards would occasionally be posted here.

During military operations, the battery was hardly damaged at all. The complex of military fortifications consists of three buildings, the area of the largest being 500 square metres and the second, 240 square metres. The smallest facility, which is also the closest to the sea, is 140 square metres in size. At the centre of the battery is a concrete fire control post. On both sides there are two artillery blocks also made from concrete and which both ends are equipped with cannon platforms and ammunition storage facilities. There are also facilities for a crew among them. A power station bunker, that delivered electricity to the battery’s searchlights, was established and casemated here.

In 2002, one artillery block was partially repaired, and an exposition about the Seaside Regional Park was established there. Since 2009, Klaipėda military history club and the regional park started creating an exposition which reflects these and other defensive fortifications. For example, in 2009 the extremely rare barrel of a cannon FLAK-40 was dug up. There are only three of these in the world, the other two in Germany and the USA. The projectiles of these cannons could fly 17 kilometres. A plane hit by one of them still lies at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Kukuliškiai (Karklė) Battery

Pamario str. 11, Kukuliškiai, Klaipėda district

In a small Kukuliškiai village it’s possible to visit two interesting defensive objects. One of them is a hill fort that was only discovered in 2016. The other is an artillery battery dating from the Second World War.

The coastal hill fort (which is second after Birutė Hill when it comes to the most famous objects in the region) is located midway between the Giruliai and Olando kepurė (Dutchman’s Cap). The hill fort. overgrown with forest, hasn’t been the subject of much study to date, but it’s assumed that there was a Curonian settlement dating back to the second half of the 1st millennium that was later buried under the sand.

In 1939, when Klaipėda region was occupied by the Germans, it was decided to build artillery batteries along the Baltic coast. The first, Memel Sud (Klaipėda South), should have been constructed in Smiltynė. The second, Memel Nord (Klaipėda North), was due to be built near Giruliai, in Kukuliškiai village. Only the latter was completed and is now also known as the Karklė Battery.

Although based on typical German Navy bunker models, these buildings are unique. It’s interesting to note that the primary function of the battery was anti-submarine, i.e. to protect the coast from the sea. However, the battery was redesigned as an anti-aircraft post. About 50 soldiers would keep watch at the same time, and their base was nearby on the territory of the present day Žuvėdra (Seagull) campsite. The battery continued to function after the war until 1955. Later, border guards would occasionally be posted here.

During military operations, the battery was hardly damaged at all. The complex of military fortifications consists of three buildings, the area of the largest being 500 square metres and the second, 240 square metres. The smallest facility, which is also the closest to the sea, is 140 square metres in size. At the centre of the battery is a concrete fire control post. On both sides there are two artillery blocks also made from concrete and which both ends are equipped with cannon platforms and ammunition storage facilities. There are also facilities for a crew among them. A power station bunker, that delivered electricity to the battery’s searchlights, was established and casemated here.

In 2002, one artillery block was partially repaired, and an exposition about the Seaside Regional Park was established there. Since 2009, Klaipėda military history club and the regional park started creating an exposition which reflects these and other defensive fortifications. For example, in 2009 the extremely rare barrel of a cannon FLAK-40 was dug up. There are only three of these in the world, the other two in Germany and the USA. The projectiles of these cannons could fly 17 kilometres. A plane hit by one of them still lies at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

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