Danish version  

  The Author of this site

  Denmark and the Cold War

  The Stevns Fort

  HAWK, Hoejerup

  HAWK,  Stevns  Fort

  NIKE,  Sigerslev

  The Support Units

  The Cold War Museum

 

  Other Cold War Forts
  in Denmark

  The Langelands Fort

  The Bangsbo Fort

 

 

 




























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































 

 


The Armed Forces at the Danish Peninsula Stevns during the Cold War
The Stevns Fort
The Royal Danish Navy

 


 
The Strategic Position of Denmark 

 The strategic position of Denmark as  "The Cork in the Baltic" made it neccesary to protect The Danish territory, the airspace and
 the waters. To Protect the strait of the Øresund and to defend minefields at the expected landing beachhead at the Fakse Bay, it
 was decided to buils a artillery fort at the southern end of Øresund.   

 The fort was build from 1952 to 1953 and in 1954 the barracks nearby were finished. Before the construction, there was a carefull
 study of positions build by the Germans in Denmark during WW2 and a British coastal battery at Dover. Dover, in particular, had an
 underground similar to
Stevns. 

 The Building and construction was made by the Danish Construction company Rasmussen & Schiøtz. 
 1.7 km. of tunnels were drilled and blown in the underground, 18 metres under the surface. The fort was situated at the end of
a cliff,
 and the drilling started in two tunnels from the beach. These tunnels are still known as “foxholes”. The removed materials from the
 tunnels was simply thrown into the see, and had soon disappeared. 

 The special underground in The Stevns peninsula (geological known as Bryozo-chalk) is extreme chock absorbing.  This special
 chalk is extremely good at absorbing chocks of both conventional shells and nuclear weapons on the surface.  
 

 The Gneisenau guns

 The main armament of the fort was 4 pieces of 15 cm guns in two armoured turrets. The turrets were connected by the tunnel
 system.
 Originally the guns were placed as secondary armament on the WW2 German pocket battleship  Gneisenau of the Gneisenau / 
 Scarnhorst class.
 

 

 

 



 The  Gneisenau
 at a test run in 1939
 
 
At operation Cerberus in 1942, The Gneisenau along with Scarnhorst and Printz Eugen, broke through the English Channel from  
 Brest in France to German Harbours. In this operation, the Gneisenau was damaged by a mine. It was to be repaired in Kiel, but
 against all rules,  it was not emptied for ammunition before docking.
 During this docking the ship was hit by an air attack, and a bomb exploded in the
280 mm front triple gun turret A. The explosion
 destroyed the entire front of the ship and 112 men were killed.

 
    
                                  
The sad Destiny of The Gneisenau
 
               
                 The A and B turret on the
                 Gneisenaus with the six
                 280  mm guns.
   
   The destroyed foredeck
   and A-turret on the
   Gneisenau.
 

The turret named "Caesar"
from the Gneisenau placed
by the Germans on the
Austrått Fortress in Norway

   The sad end of a proud  
   ship. The Gneisenau
   sunk outside Gotenhaven
   harbour as a blockship.

 The Gneisenau were brought to Gotenhaven (Gdynia) in Poland for repair and new armament of 380 mm guns.  However this never
 happened.
 In 1943 Hitler ordered (Führerbefehl) that all heavy ships, from light cruisers and onwards, should be demolished.
 He was not
 satisfied with their efforts. Because of this “Führerbefehl, the artillery were removed from the heavy units and used as the armament
 on the Atlantic Wall.
Gneisenau itself was sunk as a block-ship in the harbour of Gotenhaven (Gdynia).  It was scrapped by the
 Poles after the war.
 The two turrets from the Stevns Fort were originally placed on the north part of the western Danish island Fanoe as The Graadyb
 Battery. (Batteri Graadyb).
 In 1952 the turrets were moved from Fanoe to their current position on the Stevns Fort.
 

                     
                            Turret No. 1 at Stevns Fort
 
     
                         Turret No. 2
 

                   Turret No. 2
 

 
 In 1957 a 12.7 cm. gun, meant for shooting lightflare shells, were mounted. This gun was in the early 1960’s replaced with a 15 cm.
 gun. It had a range of 23 kilometres.  In a period launchers for light rockets has been mounted on the outside of the turret.  Where
 this gun originally was placed is unknown, but it is of German origin.
 

                             
                               15 cm. gun for lightflare shells 
 
              
                    The interior
 
    
 Storing and mounting
 

 
 Beside the main artillery two batteries of double 40 mm. anti aircraft guns were placed in a southern and a northern  battery. It was
 possible to reach the southern battery from the tunnels, but not the Northern.
It was either to difficult or to expencive to dig this
 tunnel.
 Each battery consisted of 3 pieces of guns with two barrels. Both batteries were demolished in late 1970’s.   
 
                                                         40 MM Anti Aircraft Gun
                                                         (The actual picture is from the
                                                         Langelands  Fort)

 Two 150 cm floodlights were mounted to light up naval targets for the artillery, but these were used only in the first half of the forts
 active period. 
 
            The two permanent 40 mm Anti Aircraft
             Batteries had a 60  cm. floodlight each
.
 
             (The photo is not from the Stevns Fort)
 


 
Originally the fort had 8 mobile 40 mm anti aircraft guns, but this number was later increased to 18 pieces in 1997.  
 

                Mobile 40 mm AA gun

 The surface og the fort area

 Not much of the fort is visible at the surface.  Some filters, a few firing control devices, of cause the guns and the two positions for
 the permanent anti aircraft  guns.
 
              
  
   

 
             Gas filters and ventilation
 
         
                        
                                  Firing control post No. 1


 

         Firing control post No. 1
 
                        Just West of the lightflare gun
                        the radio bunker was placed.
                        Its was known as Bunker 18,
                        but  today it is only known by
                        few  people.

.                       Foto: Tom Wismann.

    
      


 
The Firing Control Post  could be accessed form the entrance bunker

              
         The Firing Control Post 
         
Drawing:  Tom Wismann
             after  the original drawings

 Inside the Firing Control
 Post

 
Foto: Tom Wismann 1998





 The firing Control Post today.
 View from the main stairs to
 the Tunnels.
 
    
 

 The Entrance

 The only entrance to the tunnel system was though the bunker in the northern end.  At the entrance bunker they were three flanking
 positions for defence of the entrance. In the start the famous
Danish Madsen machine gun was used for the defence, and later the
 German machinegun M/62, used
as a standard for the Danish Army. Inside there are an elevator and a staircase to the tunnels and
 an artillery command post for the first piece of artillery.
 

                       
                       The entrance bunker on the top,
                       the firing control for gun No. 1

 
 
 The only entrance to the tunnels


 
                        
                           


The bunker at the entrance
Drawing: Tom  Wisman after the original drawings 1997
 


 
                                   
                                                       The elevator (3)
  
 The stairs to the tunnels (6)

 At  the end of the stairs there are two doors. A normal and one through the ABC-cleaning facility. In this facility it was possible to
 clean soldiers,  who at the surface had been hit by nuclear, biological or chemical wweapons. This had to happen before they
 entered the fort.

          
        
The Gas Lock in the middle and
          the normal entrance to the left.

   The gas Lock
 
      
                    Gas fliters.                                   Similar gas filters from
             
Foto: Tom Wismann 1998                            the Ejbybro Bunker 2010

 The tunnels and the rooms

 The main tunnel was curved. In the middle the two artillery sections were divided by heavy armoured doors. This was made to be
 able to stop an attack from one end to another. Also it prevented explosions to spread.           

    The armoured doors were eighter taken from
    abendoned German bunker in Jutland or made
    on the Navys shipyard "Holmen" in Copen-
    hagen.
    They are most lightly german.

 At all the crossings of the tunnels, bulges were made in the walls to prevent explosions to spread from  the side tunnels to
 the main tunnel. 

                       From the main tunnel there
                       was access to the radar
                       antennas. hidden in the fort.
                       At the top these tubes were
                       closed with 5 cm. armour

 

 
  In case of crash or weakening of
  walls and ceiling, there were
  stores of timber in the tunnels.

 To supply the fort with power and water there was a lot og heavy machinery. This was placed in two large ingeneer centrals
 in each end af the fort.

                                       Engineer central
                                       Drawing: Tom Wismann after the
                                       original drawings 1998.
                    
          
 
 
               
                         Emergency Generator 8 cyl.
 
       
     Boiler in the main tunnel
 

          The generator engine
                                     
         Cooling Component
 
 
 There were at lot of water pipes 
                     

 To each gun there was an ammunition store with an elevator to to the gun.

               
                    One of the Grenade stores
 
             Store for charges
 
     The elevator.

 If the Fort should become active i wartime, several hundreds og men had to live and fight here. For weeks - maybe for months.
 Talking about years is not reasonable.  With  no kitchen facilities, they would have to live of the armys standard rations. In peace-
 time they were eating in the barracks nearby.

 The other facilities in the tunnels were also rather primitive.

                        Post for fresh water
                        in the main tunnel.
          Mens room in the
          main tunnel.
          No women - no doors
             It was a naval fort and
             things were done the
             naval way. Room for
             36 artillery crew men
             and 10 petty officers.
 
 
           The hospital had a
           number of beds in the
           main tunnel.
 
 

 The Original Operations Rooms.   

 In the southern end of the tunnes, the operations rooms and the artillery central were placed. It was moved to the former hospital
 facilities rooms in the northern part when the fort was modernized in 1982-84.

 
Photo and drawing:Tom Wismann 1997


 


The old Operations Rooms.
The plotter-table in the middle has been
moved to the Langelands Fort Museum.


 


Part of the old Operations Center.
The three doors are 7-8-9 on the drawing.
At the end, the door to the CO office. 


 

  The artillery center

                                         


        The Artillery Calculator

 The Artillery Control Central was a part of the original operations rooms. Here the targets were plotted, and firing data calculated.
 It was before the computer as we know it today, and we are talking about large calculations. Speed of the target, direction and
 speed of the wind, air pressure and the time in the aor of the grenade on a distance of 23 km. In that time the target could easily
 move 500 meters. The data were put into the calculator on the little black wheels on top af the machine.

 The Operations Center

 The operations Center was the last part of the fort in use. Earlier it was situated in an other part of the tunnels, but after a
 modernising in 1982-84, it was moved to the rooms of the former hospital.  (described below) The Royal danish Naval Radio
 Service and Oeresund Naval Region had its command central here.

                     
                     Part of the old Operations room complex.:
                     The three doors are 7-8-9 on the drawing of
                     the complex.
                     At the end, the door to the daily office.

 The Hospital
 
 In the beginning the fort had its own hospital with 2 surgical theatres. It had an initial department with 18 beds and a hospital
 department with 36 beds. It also had rooms for 6 patients declared dead, but still under observation. X-ray was available and
 
there were stores of medicine and bandages. There was no store of blood, but the blood type of all crew was known.
 The hospital was able to treat heavily burned victims, in case of  an attack with phosphor or napalm.

 There even was a chapel in two minor rooms, where killed members of the crew could be stored until fighting was ended and
 they could be brought to the family or buried on the fort area. In ca
se of major damages, the hospital had 80 beds in the
 northern part of the tunnels.
The
hospital facilities were after a modernizing of the fort 1982-84 replaced by the Operations Rooms.  
 

                                 
                                                       The hospital
                                                                                                          Photos: Thorsten Linde 1979

                                  Surgery
 

 The barracks
 
Not more than the neccesary number of crew were supposed to be in the fort in peacetime. The barracks nearby were used.

                                The barracks next door the Fort.  

 Possible weaknesses of the Fort

 There was not sufficient toilets for 2-300 men. They could be forced to stay there for weeks or  months after an nuclear attack. 
 This Could cause serious deceases among the crew.

 There was only one fire post for fire hoses. It was placed at the entrance bunker. Hardly sufficient at a major fire.
 
 There were not sufficient kitchen facilities. This could be a problem if the fort was under fire for a longer period.
 Along with the toilet problems, it might inflict the morale.
 

 Download the drawing of The Stevns Fort  1956 (English text)
 Drawing: Tom Wismann
1997