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
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
careful study of
positions build by the Germans in Denmark duringWW2 and aBritish
coastal batteryat Dover. Dover, in
particular, had an underground similar toStevns.
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
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 chockabsorbing. This
special chalk is extremely good at absorbing chocks
of both conventional shells and nuclear weapons on thesurface.
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
the guns were placed as secondary armament on the WW2 German pocket battleship Gneisenau of the Gneisenau / Scarnhorst class.
at a test run in 1939
At operation Cerberus in 1942, The Gneisenau along with
Scarnhorst and Printz Eugen, broke through the
from Brest in France to GermanHarbours. 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 beforedocking.
During this docking the ship was hit by an air attack, and a bomb exploded
in the280 mm front triplegun turret A.
The explosiondestroyed the entire front of the
ship and 112 men were killed.
sad Destiny of
The A and B turret on the
with the six
280 mm guns.
The destroyed foredeck
and A-turret on the
The turret named "Caesar"
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
satisfied with their efforts.Because of this
“Führerbefehl, the artillery were removed from the heavyunits and used as
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 Fanoeas
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 early1960’s replacedwith a
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
Storing and mounting
Beside the main artillery two batteries of
double 40 mm. anti aircraft guns were placed
in a southernand anorthern 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
Two 150 cm
floodlights were mounted to light up naval targets for the artillery, but
these were used onlyin the first half of the forts active period.
permanent 40 mm Anti Aircraft
Batteries had a 60
cm. floodlight each.
(The photo is not from the Stevns Fort)
the fort had 8 mobile 40 mm anti aircraft guns, but this number was later
Mobile 40 mm AA gun
The surface og the fort
Not much of the fort is visible at the surface.
Some filters, a few firing control devices, of cause the guns and the
positions for the permanent anti aircraft
Gas filters and ventilation
Firing control post No. 1
Firing control post No. 1
West of the lightflare gun
the radio bunker was placed.
Its was known as Bunker 18,
but today it is only known by
. 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
Foto: Tom Wismann 1998
The firing Control Post today.
View from the main stairs to
The only entrance to the tunnelsystem 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 famousDanish Madsen machine gun was used for
the defence, and later the
German machinegun M/62, usedas a standard for
the Danish Army. Inside there are an elevator and a staircase to the
tunnels and an
artillery command postfor the firstpiece of
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)
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
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
fliters. Similar gas filters from
Foto: Tom Wismann 1998 the Ejbybro Bunker 2010
The tunnels and the rooms
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-
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.
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.
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.
Drawing: Tom Wismann after the
Emergency Generator 8 cyl.
Boiler in the main tunnel
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 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
rations. In peacetime they were eating in the barracks nearby.
Other facilities in the tunnels were also rather primitive.
Post for fresh water
in the main tunnel.
Mens room in
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
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
hospital rooms in the northern part when the fort was modernized in 1982-84.
the old Operations Rooms.
The three doors are 7-8-9 on the drawing.
At the end the door to the command office.
The Artillery Control Central
The old Operations
The plotter-table in the middle has been moved to
the museum at the Langelands Fort.
Photo and drawing:Tom Wismann 1997
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 Operations Rooms
The operations room 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
At the end, the door to the daily office.
In the beginning the fort had its own
hospital with 2 surgical theatres. It had an initial department with 18 beds and a hospital
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 theblood type of allcrew was known.
The hospital was able to treat heavily burned victims, in case of an
attack with phosphor or napalm.
was a chapel in two
minor rooms, where killed members of the crew could be stored untilfighting wasendedand
they could be brought to the family or buried on the fort area. In case of major damages, the hospital had 80 beds in the
northern part of
Thehospital facilities were after a modernizing of the fort 1982-84
replaced by the Operations Rooms.
The hospital Photos: Thorsten Linde 1979
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
This Could cause serious deceases among the crew.
There was only on pipe for fire hoses. It was placed at the entrance bunker.
Hardly sufficient at a major
(The southern artillery store is far from the entrance)
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.