Danish version         
The Author of this site

 Denmark during the Cold War

 The Stevns Fort

 HAWK, Hoejerup

 HAWK,  Stevns  Fort

 NIKE,  Sigerslev

 The Stevns Fort Museum

 To Stevns start

 Other history sites:

 The Langelands Fort

 The Bangsbo Fort

 The  Fortifications of

 The Danish-Prussian Wars




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
 careful 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

 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 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
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
 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

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
 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

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-
    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 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 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 rooms in the northern part when the fort was modernized in 1982-84.

Part of 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 Rooms.
 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 machine.

 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
                     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.
hospital 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  months..........(nuclear attack)
 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 fire....
(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.


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