Sicherungsstellung Nord
 - The WW1 German Northern Front in the Southern Jutland, Denmark. 1916-1920.
Forts and Defence Lines in Scandinavia

 The Author of this Site

 The Background
 The Landscape 
 Building the stronghold
 The Infantry and Trenches
 The Light Batteries
 The Heavy Batteries
 The Camps
 POW´s and other Prisoners
 Other Facilities
 Other Batteries
 The Remainings
 To the Start



 The Construction

The German General Ludendorff in his memories:
 It was only with the deepest regrets, we could not recommend the unconditional Submarine Warfare. In the opinion
 of the  Reichskansler it could
 eventually mean war with The Netherlands and Denmark. To protect ourselves against these two nations, we didn’t have a one man available. They
 would be able to invade Germany with their armies, even not used to war, at give us the final stroke.

 September 1916, the General Command of the 9th Army Corps is ordered to establish the defence Line Sicherungstellung Nord
 according to the plans that has been ready for a long time.
 September 10th and 17th the first Pioneer units arrive to the Southern Jutland. The work was supervised by a Pioneer Battalion
 Staff and six Pioneer Companies. The workers were political and german military prisoners (Festungshäftlinge). Not POW´s.

 The construction was based on the common doctrines for combat in the defence , that in 1916 was written in the statutory  "Die
 Führung in der Abwehrschlacht" and "Allgemein über Stellungsbau" These doctrines were, in modified form, valid both during
 and after WW2.

 The construction works took place from September 1916 to the end of the war, with varying activity. The first line of the trenches
 and infantry positions and the artillery positions were practically finished
 at the end of 1917. From an overall view, the heavy
 batteries in particular, the weight of the Defence
 Line seams to be the eastern part.
 This might be need of protection of the important naval constructions in Aabenraa and the little island Als east of Sönderborg.
 If an attack should follow a more western axis (following a landing in Esbjerg?) the railroads in the area made transport of artillery

 In the plans there is not any support positions in the debt of the defence line.
 This could be due to a lack of preparation, lack of German ability or lack of respect for the Danish Army
 (Due to Ludendorff’s considerations)

 According to the Danish registrations from 1921-22, 22 light and medium batteries of 4-6 pieces 7.7-15 centimetres, and eight
 heavy batteries with naval guns of a calibre of 24-26 centimetres.    
 In connection with the trenches there also were numerous observation and combat stands, flanking positions for machineguns,
 revolver canons, light field guns and a lot of covered rooms for the
 troops. The aprox. 800 rooms (Unterstände) could shelter
 8000 men in laying position, or the double
number in sitting position. 

 Only the first line of trenches was finished. The two or some places 3 lines behind it were only marked in the surface. The troops
 that should fight in defence line, were supposed to finish the works them
selves.  It was a "Stellung in Gerippe" (a prepared and
 partly finished position).
 The official Denmark denied anything was going on in the area. Of cause some drills were made down there, but nothing to worry
 about. The fact
was, that Germany constructed one of their strongest positions, including the more famous ones, on the western
 front. (I.e. the Sigfried Line)
 They constructed the position peaceful and quit, no shelling and with all the concrete they could needed.

 As mentioned above, the workers were prisoners of the state, deserters and political prisoners.  In the section Hönning-Öster
 Gasse, the work was supervised by the 9 Ersatz-Pionerkompagnie from Rendsborg. The camp, the prisoners came from, was
 situated just west of the town

 The work around the town Skärbäk, was also supervised by a part of the 9. Pionerkompagnie (later the 139. Pioner-kompagnie).
 Beside the prisoners, also the unit 139. Armierungs-battalion from Westphalen worked here.

 To give an impression of the amount of the building materials needed, a little observation-room 150 tons and a room for half a
 platoon 450 tons.
 Everything was moved by hand by the prisoners.

  WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Prisoners working at Arrild
                  Prisoners working at Arrild

 At the end of the war, the few remaining troops left the position.  After a short time, teams from Krupp arrived to demount the
 guns. All
the drawings and papers referring to the defence line were also removed.  Unfortunately they were destroyed at an
 English air raid towards the German Naval
Headquarters in 1945.