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One Of The Last Minuteman-II Missile Sites Is Right Here In North Dakota And It’s So Worth A Visit
Da onlyinyourstate.com del 6 dicembre 2018

North Dakota has some truly awesome historic sites. From villages datings back long before the state was even a state to military sites that went out of use only a handful of decades ago, there is a lot to see and learn about here. One of the coolest historical sites here is one you can visit yourself to see the history up close and in person. Head on out yourself and discover what makes it so fascinating. The incredible Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site is so worth a visit. It is located near Cooperstown, North Dakota. From the surface, this site might just look like a military facility consisting of a few buildings, but there is a lot hiding underground. Large underground bunkers were built during the Cold War and have been left completely intact, exactly as they were since the site was shut down. Although the missile silos in this site are now empty, at one point they are armed and ready to launch at any sign of enemy missiles heading our way. Minuteman missiles were designed to destroy incoming missiles and protect the country from attack. During the site tour, you'll be headed 60 feet underground into the launch control. In these heavily armored underground bunkers, you'll see everything up close and personal as the service members who served here did from 1966 until 1997. The launch control area is behind a 4-foot-thick blast door that is insanely huge.  In the launch control room you'll get to be right up close to the very spot that could have saved thousands of people if the time was necessary. Every day, two people would be in this room for long 24-hour shifts, at the ready in case of attack. It's incredible to see in person and one of the last of its kind that you can tour, and it's right here in North Dakota. The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site is located at 555 113 1/2 Ave. NE, Hwy 45, Cooperstown, ND 58425. During winter months the site is open for tours by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead of time. The rest of the year it is open daily. Click here for more information. This certainly will make you feel like you’re stepping back into a snapshot of the past. Check out these awesome photographs taken in North Dakota around the same time this place was built to catch even more of a glimpse of the time.

 

Neupreussische Befestigungsmanier — Fortification néoprussienne : l'exemple de la place forte de Germersheim
Da fortifications-neuf-brisach.com del 5 dicembre 2018

Neupreussische Befestigungsmanier — Fortification néo-prussienne

Des ingénieurs réputés du monde alémanique et des princes influents, Wallrawe pour les premiers et Frédéric le Grand pour les seconds, ont été d’autant plus sensibles aux thèses de Montalembert et de Carnot qu’ils s’appuyaient sur un système de fortification qui, historiquement, laissait une place de choix aux casemates dans les fortifications. Par ailleurs, quelques autres réalisations telles que celles du général Chasseloup de Laubat développée et mise en oeuvre dans la première moitié du 19e siècle, après la chute de l’empire français, dans l’espace germanique.

Contexte historique : la confédération germanique [1815-1866].

Cette nouvelle manière de fortifier est actuellement connue sous le nom de « Neupreussische Befestigungsmanier » dont la traduction la plus adaptée semble correspondre à celle de « Fortification néo-prussienne ». En réalité, cette dénomination pourrait laisser à penser qu’elle ne s’applique qu’au petit royaume de Prusse alors qu’il concerne un vaste espace, la confédération germanique (Deutscher Bund) constituée en 1815 à 1866 lors du congrès de Vienne. Cette confédération germanique reprend en grande partie les limites du Saint-Empire romain germanique en excluant les territoires autrichiens relevant du royaume de Hongrie et les territoires prussiens à l’est du Brandebourg (notamment la Prusse orientale). Dominée par deux états, la Prusse et l’Autriche, son histoire est marquée, entre autres, par leur rivalité constante et par les avis divergents des autres états qui la constitue jusqu’en 1866. Bien évidemment, les frontières de ce territoire doivent être fortifiées et on confère à un certain nombre de places importantes le statut de Bundesfestung. Il s’agit des places de Luxembourg, Mainz, Landau, Rastatt et Ulm. Enfin, d’autres places n’ont pas le rang de Bundesfestung et des places importantes telles que celle de Germersheim se trouvent sous le contrôle du royaume de Bavière. On utilise dans la plupart de ces places et plus généralement dans la confédération germanique, un nouveau système de fortification qui s’appuie sur les principes du système polygonal.

Sur le plan conceptuel, pour mettre en oeuvre ce nouveau système de fortification, trois généraux prussiens jouent un rôle de premier plan : von Aster, Brese et von Prittwitz.

• Ernst Ludwig VON ASTER (1778-1855) était un général d’infanterie prussien et un ingénieur des fortifications qui a joué un rôle majeur dans la construction des fortifications prussiennes, d’abord dans l’espace rhénan (Coblence, Cologne)

• Johann Leopold Ludwig BRESE (1787-1878) était également un général d’infanterie prussien. Presque ignoré aujourd’hui, il a joué un rôle très important puisqu’il avait le rang  d’inspecteur général des fortifications prussiennes et de commandant du corps des ingénieurs. Il sera principalement actif sur le versant est du territoire.

• Moritz Karl Ernst VON PRITTWITZ UND GAFFRON (1795-1885) également un général d’infanterie prussien, inspecteur général en second des fortifications prussiennes et directeur des fortifications de l’importante place d’Ulm. Il a rédigé plusieurs mémoires et traités sur les fortifications dont l’influence se révèlera majeure.

Fortification polygonale germanique : principes architecturaux.

Les contributions de von Aster comptent parmi les plus importantes, car il a su exposer ses principes avec beaucoup de clarté.

De manière générale, on retient les préceptes suivants :

• Utilisation et adaptation du terrain aux besoins du combat ;

• Fortification d’une place avec un minimum de troupes économie de moyens — en reprenant le principe d’une forte enceinte urbaine (Strasbourg en est un excellent exemple) ;

• Le cas échéant, création de camps retranchés ou de places plus importantes cernées par une ceinture d’ouvrages détachés.

Principes architecturaux :

• Ils reposent bien évidemment sur ceux de la fortification polygonale avec un flanquement du fossé par des casemates, car elles permettent de s’adapter le plus aisément au terrain tout en assurant un volume de feux important ;

• Utilisation de pièces d’artillerie et de mortiers sous casemate pour un feu d’artillerie plus efficace ;

• Pour renforcer la défense, l’escarpe dispose… d’une galerie défensive disposant de créneaux de fusillade voire de créneaux pour des pièces d’artillerie légères ; de réduits casematés ; de traverses défensives ; de caponnières disposées au milieu d’un front ;

• Pour faciliter les offensives… Des blockhaus complètent le chemin couvert.

La place forte de Germersheim

Historique succinct.

La place de Germersheim, située au nord de l’Alsace, sur le Rhin, a connu, à de nombreuses reprises, les vicissitudes de la guerre ! Pendant la guerre de Trente Ans, elle passe tantôt entre les mains de la France, la Suède ou des impériaux. Prise par Turenne verrou nord de l’Alsace et est fortifiée en conséquence. Reprise par les troupes françaises en 1792, elle a à nouveau été fortifiée dans la foulée. En 1816, elle passe aux mains du royaume de Bavière qui renforce immédiatement ses fortifications. Son importance stratégique est rapidement perçue au sein de la confédération germanique nouvellement créée : il s’agissait d’organiser en cas d’attaque française, un front passant par Luxembourg, Landau et Rastatt. Dans cette optique, Germersheim, alors un important noeud de communication, devait jouer un rôle essentiel. Il convient de relever que si la construction de nouvelles fortifications avait été financée par la confédération germanique, il ne s’agissait toutefois pas d’une forteresse fédérale (une erreur assez commune !). Les travaux commencent en 30 juin 1834 suivant les plans établis par l’ingénieur (Bay. Ingenieur-Major) bavarois Friedrich Schmauß. L’essentiel des travaux se termine en 1855 alors que les travaux conduisant à la création d’un important réseau de galeries de contremines se poursuivent jusqu’en 1861. Dans les suites du Traité de Versailles qui conclut le premier conflit mondial, ses fortifications ont été en grande partie démolies entre 1920 et 1922. Les vestiges, aujourd’hui encore visibles, sont importants et, parfaitement mis en valeur, présentent un intérêt tout particulier.

Éléments architecturaux.

L’enceinte urbaine.

Suivant le système polygonal — polygonalen Kaponniersystem —, cette enceinte d’une longue de 3200 m forme le noyau de la fortification. Elle présente six fronts qui portent chacun le nom de généraux bavarois qui se sont illustrés, après un renversement d’alliances, dans la guerre contre l’empire français entre 1813 et 1815. Les fronts les plus développés sont orientés vers l’ouest et le sud-ouest alors que les secteurs orientés vers le nord et l’est se contentaient d’une enceinte plus légère, car ils étaient eux-mêmes couverts par des marais et le Rhin.

Ouvrages détachés.

Sur glacis, neuf ouvrages détachés avaient été construits qui couvraient le pont de bateaux sur le Rhin. 

Éléments de fortification visibles à Germersheim.

Malgré les destructions des années vingt, de nombreux vestiges de fortifications ont été conservés :

• Deux portes : La porte dite « Ludwigstor » qui accueille un musée et la porte de Wissembourg « Weissenburger Tor » dont les façades extérieures avaient été dessinées par le professeur munichois Friedrich von Gärtner) ;

• Un arsenal « Zeughaus » précédé d'une caponnière double ;

• Dans le prolongement de ce dernier, un « mur à la Carnot » a été dégagé ;

• Le front polygonal adjacent à la porte de Wissembourg, le « Fronte Lamotte », qui sans être complet offre d'excellentes perspectives qui permettent une vue d'ensemble du système défensif, même vu du sol ;

• Un front complet, le « Fronte Beckers », qui forme sans conteste l'un des segments les plus intéressant par la qualité de sa conservation ainsi que de par une excellente mise en valeur. Par la qualité de la mise en valeur des fortifications, une visite à Germersheim s'impose ! —— Sehr empfehlenswert ! ——

Fronte Lamotte Weissenburger-Tor (Porte de Wissembourg)

La défense du fossé… l'imposante caponnière double

La caponnière correspond à un ouvrage défensif construit à l'épreuve qui est adossé à l'escarpe. Elle permet des tirs d'infanterie et abrite quelques pièces d'artillerie pouvant tirer dans le sens de la longueur du fossé. Quand une caponnière doit donner des feux dans deux directions, on l'appelle « caponnière double ».

Carnot'sche Mauer Pour protéger les fronts moins menacés, les Allemands avaient souvent recourt à des murs inspirés par les projets de Carnot… il s’agit, en réalité, de murs a arceaux ! Ces murs, dont l’épaisseur peut atteindre trois mètres, présentent des niches fermées du côté du fossé par un mur de masque crénelé. La construction de ces murs est peu onéreuse et présente l’avantage de protéger les défenseurs des coups d’enfilade tout en offrant une solidité plus importante que les murs simples et peu épais utilisés habituellement.

Ludwigstor Il abrite un musée de la fortification de Germersheim qui n'est toutefois accessible que les dimanches.

Plusieurs casernes défensives sont conservées : Seysselkaserne

Orientations bibliographiques.

1 [ÉCOLE D'APPLICATION DE L'ARTILLERIE ET DU GÉNIE] - DELAIR (Paul-Emile, Chef de bataillon du Génie) - Cours de fortification permanente. 2e partie - Organisation de la fortification actuelle. 1er fascicule. Par Mr. Delair, chef de bataillon du Génie, Professeur. D'après les leçons faites en 1882 par Mr. Beau, capitaine du Génie, Professeur adjoint. Octobre 1882. Fontainebleau, École d'Application de l'Artillerie et du Génie, 1882 ; in-folio, 180 pp.

2 [FESTUNG GERMERSHEIM] - SCHERER (A.) - Armierungsstellung - zwischen Reben, Wald und Rüben. In : Interfest - Am Wall, 2014, No. 86, 1-2.

3 FROBENIUS (Sous la dir. de H.), WILLE, VON ZEPPELIN, VON NIESEN, ARNDT - Militär-Lexikon. Handwörterbuch der Militärwissenschaften. Berlin, Verlag von Martin Oldenburg, 1901.

4 HÄNLEIN D. - Erhalt und Nutzung historischer Großfestungen des 19. Jahrhunderts am Beispiel der Festung Germersheim. In : Festungsforschung, 2010, No. 2, p. 9-38.

5 HANS L. - Zur Geschichte der Festung Germersheim während der badisch-pfälzischen Erhebung des Jahres 1849. In : Schriftenreihe Festungsforschung, 1994, No. 12, p. 45- 56.

6 SCHEIBERT & PORTH (Kgl. Pr. Major z. D. - k. und k. österr. Oberst) - Illustriertes MILITÄR-LEXIKON für die k. und k. österreichisch-ungarische und deutsche Armee. Berlin, Verlag von W. Pauli's Nachf. H. Jerosch, 1897.

7 SCHERER A. - Erste Entwürfe für Germersheim als befestigter Rheinübergangspunkt. In : Fortifikation - Interfest, 2017, No. 31, p. 49-68.

8 ÜBEL R. - Die Festungen an Queich und Lauter. Germersheim, Landau, Lauterburg, Weißenburg. Herxheim (RFA), K&K Verlagsanstalt, 1996.

9 WEBER K.T. - "Neupreußische Festungsmanier" - ein Mythos ?. In : Festungsforschung, 2011, No. 3, p. 123-134.  

 

Why it's the end of the world for Plymouth's nuke bomb proof bunker
Da plymouthherald.co.uk del 1 dicembre 2018

Plymouth’s famous Cold War bunker was supposed to be nuclear blast proof but, it turns out, isn’t even bulldozer proof – because it is going to be demolished. The labyrinthine, subterranean bunker is likely to be smashed to bits because no one can come up with an economically viable use for it. Developer Mount Wise (Devon) Ltd, which owns the entire 28-hectare former naval site at Mount Wise, has looked at various possible uses for the bunker, which would have been a military nerve centre had the Russians dropped the big one on us during the Cold War. Among ideas mooted were a £20million data storage hub, a paint-ball adventure centre, storage of documents, storage for wine and high-end cars, and even somewhere to grow mushrooms and other plants via aquaponics.

But when it came to cold hard cash none of those ideas proved to be a hot ticket. So the bunker, with its Dr Strangelove-like war room, is now being included in the Phase Five development of the former naval base and likely to be dug out and covered in houses and flats. “The bunker will be demolished as part of the development,” said Emma Faraday, of Hertford Investor, development adviser to Mount Wise (Devon) Ltd.

“It will be houses and apartments.” She added: “There is no demand for the bunker. It’s mechanically ventilated and the amount of plant you need to get it up and running, well, it would not work.” In 2010, a company called Mount Wise Data Centre was set up with the idea of turning the structure into a storage centre for 670 computer racks, with the rooms being filled with servers, keeping them secure and cool. But even then it was expected that it would cost £20million and need an initial investment of about £10 million to get the scheme started. Ms Faraday said: “If it had been in London’s Docklands it would have been superb for that. “But down her people can do that in an industrial shed.” The bunker was constructed at the start of World War Two as a command centre with two storeys of rooms including a Battle of Britain-style war room – and all under seven and a half feet of reinforced concrete. The centre was used by the MoD throughout the Cold War until 2004, and housed up to 200 staff. But when the Mount Wise Royal Navy site was sold off for housing in 2006 the bunker provided a headache for new owner Mount Wise (Devon) Ltd. Mount Wise naval base before it was developed. The Cold War bunker is top left near the marina It needs to have power, water and even air pumped in, and the cost of refurbishing and maintaining such an unusual building would be astronomical. It has no vehicular access, limited pedestrian access and the walls and roof are so thick that internal and external modifications are difficult. There’s no natural light or ventilation, so it would need mechanical ventilation, which does not come cheap. “It doesn’t stand up to modern specifications,” said Ms Faraday. “All the mechanics are obsolete.”

Mount Wise – from navy base to plush flats

The 28-acre waterside plot was used by the Royal Navy for 200 years before the senior service pulled out in 2004. The land, including a cricket pitch, was sold by Defence Estates for £5.5million in 2006. Work started on Phase One’s 159 units, a £14.5million project at that time dubbed “the village by the sea”, in 2010 and ended two years later. In 2013 Mount Wise (Devon) Ltd started Phase Two, building flats and houses either side of the Grade II-listed Admiralty House, once thehome of the Royal Navy’s top brass. The £13.5million Phase Two scheme encompassed 59 units, a mix of houses and flats, built either side of the square, now a car park, outside Admiralty House. This has been named Maritime Quarter. Meanwhile, 30 units (28 flats, and a couple of three-bed houses), went up either side of Admiralty House, with extensive views over the River Tamar. Scott House, the last building constructed in the second phase, was completed in 2016. Phase Three is Leeward House, the £10million, six-floor apartment block overlooking the Tamar. Work started in 2016 and it is now complete with only a few of the 59 flats available. Work is due to start on Phase Four, a strip of land bordering Devonport Hill, in 2019, with it becoming home to a 73-apartment block. Phase Five will comprise an area next to Richmond Walk – and a disused Cold War underground bunker. It was planned to turn Admiralty House (pictured), once home to former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, into a boutique hotel. But Mount Wise (Devonport) ltd said demand for an establishment of that type in the area was “non-existent” and in November 2016 applied to turn it into luxury flats. It was thought it would be problematical running a boutique hotel in the midst of a residential development. The proximity of residents meant it would have been difficult to stage events such as weddings without causing disruption. Work has now begun to turn it into 12 apartments. She said work started in the bunker in 1939 at the start of the Second World War. But by the time it was completed in 1942 it was already out of date. During the Cold War is was used as a training base incase a nuclear conflict started. But, although bomb proof, it probably wouldn’t have been Hbomb proof. “The size of bomb it had been built to withstand had been superseded,” said Ms Faraday. “It wouldn’t have taken a direct hit. So it was never used as a HQ but only for training purposes. It was operationally limited. “But it had taken so much planning they had to finish it once they’d started building it.” The lower part of the Mount Wise site, bordering Richmond Walk, has been earmarked for flats and houses, but as yet no plans or exact numbers have been decided on. But when the bunker goes nothing can be placed on its footprint that is higher than the current structure. However, within that constraint a building of two to three storeys in height could be constructed. Richard Keen, also from Hertford Investors, said: “We have to look at the regeneration of the site and the sustainable long-term use of that land.”

 

Army issues contract for Hawk missile parts for foreign military sales
Da upi.com del 29 novembre 2018

A MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missile is fired by Romanian forces during a joint exercise with the U.S. Army. Photo by Pfc. Nicholas Vidro/7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/U.S. Army

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Communications and Power Industries has been awarded $24.8 million to provide Klystron Tube spares for the MIM-23 Homing All the Way Killer surface-to-air missile launcher. The contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, includes foreign military sales to Bahrain, Egypt, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates and is expected to conclude by November 2023. The MIM-23 Hawk is a medium-range radar- uided surfaceto- air missile that has been in use in various forms since 1960.

Depending on the variant, it has a range of over 30 miles and can engage targets up to 65,000 feet. The Hawk has been phased out of U.S. service in favor of the much longer ranged Patriot surface-to-air missile, but has been exported across much of the world and has been produced under license in other countries. The missile is showing its age, with Klystron Tubes being a type of vacuum tube technology that is obsolete by today's digital standards.

It is still effective against most fighters and helicopters but suffers from a relatively short range compared to modern radar guided surface-to-air missiles.

 

Junta restaura la torre islámica y los restos de la capilla neoclásica de Cántabos, en Soria, tras invertir 31.000 euros
Da 20minutos.es del 27 novembre 2018

La Consejería de Cultura y Turismo ha logrado estabilizar el deterioro de estas construcciones, incluyendo elementos, como una cubierta, para proteger la estructura de las inclemencias meteorológicas. El delegado territorial, Manuel López, se ha desplazado este martes a Fuentelmonge para comprobar, junto con los técnicos de la empresa adjudicataria, Arquetipo, S.C.L., y del Servicio Territorial de Cultura, coordinador de la intervención, el resultado de las obras. La Torre de Cántabos es una atalaya islámica, posiblemente del siglo X, ubicada en importante punto estratégico, sobre una colina de 837 metros de altitud, que comunica los valles del Jalón y del Duero a través de los campos de Gómara y Almazán. De planta circular, de 3,4 metros de diámetro interno y un grosor de muros de 1,34 metros, está construida en tosca mampostería y conserva una altura en más de 10 metros. La puerta de acceso se dispone en altura, a tres metros del suelo, y de ella todavía perduran los goznes de las hojas y el hueco de la tranca. Su función fue defensiva, para la protección del Califato de Córdoba en su Marca Media, con capital en Medinaceli, y formaba parte de una extensa red de torres vigía que facilitaban las comunicaciones - ediante señales- entre los diferentes castillos de la comarca. Está protegida por la declaración genérica de 1949 sobre castillos, por lo que tiene consideración de Bien de Interés Cultural. La torre está integrada en la granja de Cántabos, lugar que debe su origen al monasterio cisterciense levantado a instancias de Alfonso VII por los monjes que posteriormente fundaron el monasterio de Santa María de Huerta, en 1166. La planta baja de la atalaya fue modificada durante el siglo XVIII para albergar una capilla, muy deteriorada en la actualidad. Las ruinas que hoy se aprecian no pertenecen al primitivo monasterio sino a una granja que se asentó después y perduró hasta la exclaustración de 1835. LIMPIEZA Y ADECUACIÓN DE LA CAPILLA La capilla también ha sido objeto de adecuación. Tras la eliminación de la extensa capa de tierras, cenizas y escombros variados, se ha llegado hasta el nivel de solado original, integrado por una capa de mortero de cal y canto, alisado y nivelado. Esta retirada de desperdicios ha posibilitado la exhumación de restos de pintura mural acompañada de motivos geométricos remarcados con líneas incisas en tonos azulados y grisáceos, situados en la base de la construcción y pertenecientes al antiguo oratorio. En la actualidad toda la cripta se hallaba afectada por grafitis realizados en los últimos decenios, un acto deplorable que ha ocasionado la pérdida de gran parte de la decoración que mostraban sus paredes y hornacinas. En este sentido, se han eliminado los grafitis recientes que afeaban el templo y se ha pintado todo su interior (fijación transpirable que permite la posterior adhesión de la pintura mural natural a la cal), mejorando la estética del conjunto y de manera más concreta la del interior del oratorio.

 

Antwerp : Bunkers at Dawn
Da explorabilia.co.uk del 27 novembre 2018
One of my golden rules of urban exploration is : wherever you are, whatever the occasion – never miss an opportunity to see something obscure, and special. We are surrounded by less known, forgotten history, waiting for us to rediscover, and a small investment in time and effort can yield great results. Point in fact, I found myself in Antwerp during a trip earlier this year. It is a less hyped city in Belgium in terms of tourism, which doesn’t do it justice : I had the chance to visit several times in the past visiting friends studying and living there, as well as to meet clients. Antwerp is one of the greatest, most diverse cities of Europe, and a center where business and culture flourish. Some facts that stand out about Antwerp : it was the home of the first Stock Exchange in the 16th century, it hosted the summer Olympic Games in 1920, it has the largest diamond trade district in the world, netting a mind boggling 54 billion $ annually, and it is the second largest port in the continent, and one of the top 20 largest ports in the world. and the Allies during WW2. By 1943, the Belgian section of the Atlantik Wall ranged from Dunkirk in the French border to the river Scheldt estuary in the Dutch border. The ports of Oostende, Zeebrugge as well as Walcheren island controlling the mouth of the river Scheldt became particularly fortified strong points, and the entire section came under the command of Wehrmacht’s amply named LXXXIX Corps (easier to remember as the 89th Corps) based in Antwerp. During one of my previous wartime research sojourns in Bruges (where I desperately – and unsuccessfully – looked for the remains of the Kaiser’s Navy Ubootflotille Flandern WW1 submarine base located there) I was told that the Atlantik Wall command posts of Antwerp are still intact, and in fact can be visited.

Antwerp’s Albertdok under Allied aerial attack in 1943 (sourced at © www.longshoresoldiers.com)

So here I was in Antwerp that evening, after a day full with business meetings and contacts in Brussels, hungry and dehydrated to the point of having a throbbing headache. I passed out exhausted in my hotel room around 1800 hrs, and woke up in the middle of the night, hungry, thirsty, still in pain, and quite unprepared to face another day full of appointments. As the torrent of cold rain outside lashed my window, and fighting back against my better judgement about recovering in bed for a few more hours, my trusty urbex instinct kicked in : I’d seize the day (well, more like the night at that time), and venture forth in search for Antwerp’s obscure Nazi bunkers – rather than succumb to misery. Knowingly under-equipped for a trek in the camera, a bottle of water, some breakfast and headache pills from the station’s pharmacy, and hopped on the first tram of the day towards Park Den Brandt, the expansive woodland area in southern Antwerp where the bunkers were located. I had just over 2 hours to my first appointment, and intended to make every minute count : it could only be Bunkers at Dawn !! elements on that morning, I found the residential area around Park Den Brandt quite rewarding in itself : the rows and rows of neat Art Deco townhouses of Acacialaan were impressive. Could it have been that Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, might have also taken exception? He inspected the bunkers twice while in command of the Atlantik Wall in 1944, and it is quite likely that he would have been billeted in one of these fabulous mansions close to the command installation, as per typical Wehrmacht procedure at the time. It was early in the morning, and in that foul weather, the only other living souls in the neighborhood were a drunken man, a couple of dog walkers and an early morning jogger. Looking further up Acacialaan, I could see them all turning into the park at a point further ahead – so I followed this unlikely early morning herd toward the now visible entrance.

 

SK1 type Führungsbunker – a rare construction specification

The bunkers sneak upon you as you enter, exactly as they’re supposed to.

The two SK1 type command bunkers are massive, and stand directly across each other along the path leading deeper into the park.

There have been evident past efforts to demoss them, but nature always has the upper hand, and through its perseverance the structures are blanketed by soft green-brown moss that makes for an unforgettable sight as the morning haze lifts.

 

SK1 type Führungsbunker entrance

The bunkers are remarkable up close.

They look very well maintained through the conservation efforts of the Antwerp Atlantik Wall and Air War Museum , which – unfortunately for me – is not open on that day, let alone in this early hour of the morning.

I notice the round armored ventilation grill, a typical fixture I’ve seen before on most Atlantik Wall bunkers.

It’s a component of the system that provides ventilation, filtration (against smoke and chemical attacks), and air conditioning (heated air) to the soldiers inside.

SK1 type Führungsbunker, now housing the Museum

The other bunker is now housing the actual museum and was fenced. I was able, however, to admire the museum’s significant collection of Atlantik Wall coastal defense implements, seen in the photo below : From left to right, we have a small portable pillbox, fronted by a Nusscnackermine, or Nutcracker mine : basically a concrete receptacle for the huge Teller anti-tank mine with a pivoting steel beam to activate it – for example when set underwater, as an approaching landing craft pushes against the beam. Clank. Push. Boom !

Next, a version of the Rommelspargel, or Rommel’s asparagus – a wooden beam meant to discourage airdrops and gliders – here we see a version mounted on another concrete Teller mine receptacle, much like the nutcracker. Next, a concrete Tetraëder, a somewhat portable pyramid-shaped tank obstacle. The more familiar 3-steel beam trap in the background is a Tschechenigel, a type of hedgehog named after the Czechs who first deployed it in the Sudetenland border with Germany shortly before the war – and a very familiar site on the beaches of Normandy. In front of it, a wooden Hemmbalk – another obstacle against landing craft, made of two short wood beams and a longer third put together in a pyramid arrangement. To the right, two more basic upright anti-glider obstacles, one is concrete and the other just a wood beam. The French, Belgian and Dutch coasts were literally covered with such obstacles during the Axis occupation, many of which still remain visible on various coastal sites.

A unique collection of tank traps and beach obstacles

Conveniently, there’s a helpful site map outside the Führungsbunker, directing visitors to the location of the other bunkers.

And just as well, because some of the remaining ones aren’t that easy to spot, as they were originally part-buried into the park’s fertile soil, which through decades of accumulation and exposure have made entire hillocks out of the massive concrete hulks, entombing them in a veritable jungle – like mysterious undiscovered Mesoamerican temples, with fully grown trees and lush vegetation from top to bottom.

 

 

There are no straight lines in nature

There are 5 of those VF52A-type Troopsbunker, lined up about 50 to 100 meters behind the command bunkers.

These are smaller fortified barracks as their name suggests.

 

 

The business part of the bunker

Although any visible entrances were either shut or walled in, their firing points could still be approached and a limited view of the space inside is possible.

 

An (unfortunately) walled in entrance to a VF52A-type Troopsbunker

At the end of the bunker line, one can find what appears as the best preserved VF52A.

It’s main entrance is fully excavated although the blue door doesn’t appear to be the original armored type… it has been added post the restoration, as well as the handrails.

 

 

The door doesn’t appear to be as secure as it used to be

The brick chimneys adjacent to the entrance encase two steel tubes of different sizes:

these are probably some sort of chimneys or exhausts for the bunker’s power plant. It is also typical for such bunkers to have periscope or radio antenna shafts built in topside – either could be extended when is use and then retracted back to safety as needed – but the VF52A type doesn’t appear to have these interesting features.

I’ve read that this one has been fully restored, and is usually open to the public.

 

Looks formidable even today

 

Hospitalbunker, the installation’s infirmary, which is easy to tell just by looking at the red on white cross painted on the steel door – this one looks like the real deal !!

 

 

The Infirmary Bunker from the top of the entrance’s protective wall

All German WW2 bunkers were built with exceptional Teutonic efficiency according to the Regelbau, the “Standard Build” concept:

A regulation manual outlining the specifications pertaining to utility, positioning, wall thickness, steel casing, layouts, construction techniques or materials – in short, everything required to put such a defensive position together was researched and then prescribed.

About 700 individual German bunker types, designed to deliver in a variety of specific missions have been identified – with the ones here in Antwerp being quite unique, as I haven’t heard of similar examples anywhere else.

Almost like a Regelbau-certified steel door : This one looks decisively older, probably has been loaned from another fort around Antwerp

 

Regelbau regulations, for example, stipulated that all external steel doors should be 30mm thick and lined with a rubber seal to make them gas proof.

I had the chance to swing such doors in Normandy recently – and I can tell you, they must have been quite good exercise for the troops inside:

they were very heavy and clunky to operate, much like a ship’s bulkhead door, but that’s what also made them a safety feature.

 

 

The skirt walls would protect the entrances from shrapnel, direct hits and small arms fire. Here they are made of brick – a rare occurrence

The Regelbau concept was conceptualized during WW1, and developed further during the 1930s, underpinning the German field fortification mentality and vision: it was that of a highly mobile combat force, well protected from the perils of a front line such as shelling or aerial bombardment, but equally prepared, or rather compelled to eventually come out of their bunker to connect with the rest of their unit and make contact with the enemy.

This meant a dispersal of smaller fortifications connected by trenches, that certainly provided adequate protection in combat, but were neither suitable nor designed for longer stays. As a result, German WW2 bunkers were exceptionally designed, and extremely functional, but also generally smaller, cramped and decidedly spartan.

This design philosophy was fundamentally different than the French or Belgian vision of static deterrence, which can be seen as applied at the Maginot Line or Eben-Emael – reputedly impregnable, multi-story fortresses with expansive facilities and all possible comforts for the troops, designed for a protracted defensive action. Well, Herr Hitler rather preferred his soldiers well protected, and also ready to come out of their comfort zone (literally) and fight. Anyway – you probably know the rest of that story.

A rather sad looking lift-and-place guard shelter.. or perhaps a Regelsbau portaloo?

One of my greatest regrets from that visit was being unable to go inside. Not as much for being unable to admire the bunkers from within (Regelbau made sure that once you see one, you could probably say you’ve seen them all), but mostly because I didn’t get the chance to view the Museum’s extensive collection of artifacts related to another, often overlooked wartime story : the desperate defense of Antwerp during the winter of 1944 from the German V-weapon attacks. The museum is holding a notable collection of rocket and flying bomb bits, however I’d have to postpone that visit for another time, along with my on location reporting of the engrossing series of intertwined late war events with Antwerp at the epicenter : the the Battle of the Scheldt, the Battle of the Bulge, and the fascinating story of the Antwerp X force and its defense of the skies over the city and port !

It was past dawn by that time, already daytime. The rain had stopped, my headache was gone, and I was emerging from Park den Brandt, just a tiny bit wetter and muddier than a businessman should look – but certainly happier, and ready to face the day ahead with a big smile and an indelible connection to the soul and history of this great city !! All photos © explorabilia, except where otherwise indicated 

 

Fortificaciones de la bahía de Cartagena tendrán PEMP
Da caracol.com del 26 novembre 2018

El Ministerio de Cultura, a través de la Escuela Taller Cartagena de Indias (ETCAR), adelanta desde octubre de 2018 la primera fase de la formulación de un Plan Especial de Manejo y Protección (PEMP) para los Bienes de Interés Cultural (BIC) del ámbito nacional que se encuentran ubicados en la bahía interna y externa de Cartagena.

La primera fase, consistente en un prediagnóstico, se extenderá hasta mediados diciembre del año en curso. La segunda fase, de diagnóstico, se prevé se desarrolle en el 2019. En total, serán 46 los BIC que harán parte del PEMP de las Fortificaciones de la Bahía entre los que se encuentran los fuertes de San Sebastián del Pastelillo y de San Juan de Manzanillo, y las ruinas de la Batería de Santa Cruz de Castillogrande en la bahía interna de Cartagena. También se incluyen los ubicados en la isla de Tierrabomba: fuertes de San Fernando, de San José y la Batería del Ángel San Rafael, así como los vestigios de las baterías de Santiago, de San Felipe, de Santa Bárbara y Chamba en el corregimiento de Bocachica; el Tejar de los Jesuitas (pozo, horno y aljibe) en el corregimiento de Tierrabomba; y el edificio administrativo del leprocomio en el corregimiento de Caño del Oro. Además de los hornos, pozos, albercas, aljibes, restos de viviendas y estructuras arquitectónicas, ubicados en el corregimiento de Manzanillo y en las islas de Tierrabomba y Barú, que conformaban los centros de producción coloniales en los que se fabricaban la cal, ladrillos y tejas con los que se construyeron las edificaciones militares, civiles y eclesiásticas de Cartagena de Indias. El PEMP de las Fortificaciones de la Bahía junto con el PEMP del Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas y las Murallas (elaborado durante el 2017 por el Ministerio de Cultura y la ETCAR) serán instrumentos de planeación y gestión para la protección y conservación de estos bienes patrimoniales. Para la elaboración de ambos instrumentos se ha contado con el apoyo y articulación de la Alcaldía Mayor de Cartagena, entidad que de forma paralela lidera la formulación del PEMP del Centro Histórico de Cartagena de Indias. Este PEMP tendrá como finalidad: Definir las condiciones para la articulación de los bienes con su contexto físico, arquitectónico, urbano o rural, los planes preexistentes y su entorno socio-cultural, partiendo de la conservación de sus valores, la mitigación de sus riesgos y el aprovechamiento de sus potencialidades. Precisar las acciones de protección de carácter preventivo y/o correctivo que sean necesarias para la conservación de los bienes. Establecer las condiciones físicas, de mantenimiento y de conservación de los bienes. Establecer mecanismos o determinantes que permitan la recuperación y sostenibilidad de los bienes. Generar las condiciones y estrategias para el mejor conocimiento y la apropiación de los bienes por parte de la comunidad, con el fin de garantizar su conservación y su transmisión a futuras generaciones. El equipo humano encargado del prediagnóstico del PEMP de las Fortificaciones de la Bahía está conformado por profesionales de diferentes áreas que abarcan la arquitectura, restauración, ingeniería, antropología e historia; además de asesores para los componentes jurídicos, ambientales, económicos, participación comunitaria e institucional, patrimonio cultural mueble y patrimonio inmaterial. Con el acompañamiento del Ministerio de Cultura y de la ETCAR, entidad delegada desde el 2012 para la administración de las Fortificaciones de la ciudad, el equipo formulador del prediagnóstico del PEMP ha realizado visitas de reconocimiento a los BIC de la bahía. Un PEMP es el instrumento de planeación y gestión del Patrimonio Cultural de la Nación, mediante el cual se establecen las acciones necesarias con el objetivo de garantizar la protección, conservación y sostenibilidad de bienes patrimoniales. Durante el 2017, el Ministerio de Cultura y la Escuela Taller Cartagena de Indias formuló el PEMP del Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas y de las Murallas de Cartagena que servirá para marcar el camino a seguir en el mediano y largo plazo tanto en la intervención y cuidado de las fortalezas, como en el planteamiento de estrategias para fomentar usos adecuados de las mismas, de cara a la generación de apropiación social de estos BIC.

 

Castillos y fortalezas de Salamanca: Cerralbo
Da enjoy-castilla-y-leon.noticiascyl.com del 25 novembre 2018

Empleado como defensa contra el avance portugués en las diferentes contiendas bélicas, fue incendiado y destruido, utilizándose sus piedras para construir un convenio ahora también en ruinas. Su base todavía es visible en la zona

El ser humano es capaz de lo mejor y lo peor. Capaz de los más increíbles adelantos, pero también las más horripilantes aberraciones. La historia de los castillos de la provincia de Salamanca está repleta de tales paradojas, fruto del destructor dominio de quienes impusieron su estulticia y temor en tiempos donde la conservación del patrimonio histórico y monumental era tan sólo una alejada quimera. La lucha fratricida por ambicionar poder afectó de lleno a torreones y fortalezas repletos por sus cuatro costados de épica medieval, pero que sucumbieron a las iras de los vencedores para no dejar piedra sobre piedra a las generaciones venideras. Es el caso del castillo de Cerralbo, protagonista del vigésimo cuarto capítulo de la serie dominical sobre estos pedregosos testigos mudos en la provincia de Salamanca. Sus vestigios apenas se reducen a una pedregosa base que da fe de las opulentas anécdotas que acontecieron en su interior cuando levantaba más de dos palmos, ejemplos de la aniquiladora mano del hombre. Sobre un altozano en cuyas laderas se ubica actualmente la localidad de Cerralbo existió hasta finales del siglo XIX una fortaleza cuyo origen se remonta a la Edad Media con motivo de la guerra contra los portugueses. Al parecer, este castillo fue levantado en el siglo XIV por Esteban Pacheco, primer señor de Cerralbo y uno de los personajes de relevancia en Ciudad Rodrigo, con la finalidad de defender esta zona de la ofensiva lusa, de ahí que su estructura fuera principalmente defensiva.

Concluida la contienda bélica e iniciado el periodo de señorialización de los bienes de la Corona, como muchas otras fortalezas de la provincia se transformó en residencia palaciega, introduciendo entonces varios elementos arquitectónicos ornamentales, según consta en la documentación que ha llegado hasta nuestros días. De esta manera, fue legado a sus herederos, recibiendo uno de sus descendientes, Rodrigo Pacheco, el título de marqués de Cerralbo de manos de Carlos V en recompensa por sus servicios a la Corona. Pero no lo habitaron por su estancia en la ciudad mirobrigense por los cargos que ocuparon en constante conflicto con la familia de los López Chaves. Cuando parecía que su sino estaría ligado al olvido, de nuevo una contienda bélica contra Portugal, en esta ocasión la Guerra de Secesión, le devolvió la función para la que este castillo fue edificado. Así, a mediados del siglo XVII desempeñó un papel primordial en la defensa del campo de Camaces y del Abadengo. Su numantina resistencia a los ataques de la tropa portuguesa dirigida por Xaque de Magalhaes provocó que, en su retirada al no poder conquistarlo, lo incendiaran en 1664, iniciando un camino sin retorno hacia la ruina y el abandono después de que los marqueses fijaran su residencia en Salamanca y Madrid. A finales del siglo XIX su torre del homenaje todavía se mantenía firme, desafiando a los avatares del tiempo, pero el destino jugó una vez más en su contra. Este torreón, tan alto como cuadrado, con una enorme ventana bajo un escudo igual al de la iglesia de los franciscanos, se convirtió en un jugoso pastel para que los vecinos pudieran acometer su misión de construir un convento. Por este motivo, se derribó la torre del homenaje para construir la pared del corralón de un templo que, ironías del caprichoso destino, también hoy se encuentra en estado ruinoso. Tan sólo se conserva del castillo la base del antiguo recinto cuadrado, con grandes cubos redondos de cal y canto recubiertos de sillería y con saeteras, el mejor conservado denominado como ‘torreón de la yedra’.

 

Stutzpunkt Scharnhorst
Da wo2walcheren.nl del 24 novembre 2018

Lewedorp - Aan de Zeedijk van Jakobpolder staan 3 bunkers gevestigd. Deze deden dienst als onderkomen voor manschappen en flakgeschut. Waar komt de naam Scharnhorst vandaan? Het hele gebied rond de Sloedam werd door de Duitsers als "Stützpunkt Scharnhorst" aangeduid, genoemd naar G.J.D. von Scharnhorst. Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst was in vroegere tijden een belangrijk Pruisisch militair. Hij werd op 12 november 1755 in Hannover geboren. Binnen het pruisische leger heeft hij belangrijke hervormingen toegepast, o.a. door de instelling van de 'Landwehr'. Hij voerde tevens de algemene dienstplicht in en zorgde er voor dat officieren niet meer perse van Adel moesten zijn. Twee Duitse oorlogsschepen kregen eveneens de naam "Scharnhorst". De Sloedam was moeilijk in te nemen. De dam was een kale dijk van meer dan een kilometer lengte. In die tijd bevonden zich aan weerskanten van de dijk slechts schorren en slikken. De Duitsers zaten op Walcheren verschanst in betonnen bunkers en hadden langs de spoordijk tanks en antitankgeschut ingegraven.

Op 31 oktober startte de "Black Watch of Canada" de aanval en de soldaten rukten op onder zwaar Duits vuur. Tot op 70 meter voor de kust van Walcheren geraakten ze, toen stokte de opmars en moesten de mannen terug. 's Avonds deed een ander bataljon, de "Calgary Highlanders", een poging. Ook tevergeefs. De volgende morgen probeerden de Canadezen het opnieuw, nu met ondersteuning van artillerie. Dit keer lukte het wel en wisten ze voet op Walcheren te krijgen, maar een nachtelijke tegenaanval van Duitse zijde joeg ze weer terug.  Uiteindelijk wist het laatste Canadese bataljon tot Walcheren door te dringen en daar een bescheiden bruggehoofd te vormen. Daarna nam de Britse 157ste brigade de aanval over en moest op 2 november al een Duitse tegenaanval afslaan. Maar hulp uit onverwachte bron diende zich aan: de verzetsman Kloosterman uit Nisse wist een manier om de Sloe ten zuiden van de Sloedam over te steken. Nadat verkenningen waren uitgevoerd en mijnen geruimd, werd in de nacht van 2 op 3 november, met stormboten en wadend door het lage water, een oversteek gemaakt. Op deze manier wist de 156ste brigade de Bijleveldpolder te bereiken en de Duitsers daar volkomen te verrassen. Op 4 november maakten deze troepen contact met de 157ste brigade in het bruggehoofd bij de Sloedam en was het ergste leed geleden. 's Avonds was er een bruggehoofd gevormd van vier bij twee kilometer en kon de opmars naar Middelburg beginnen.

 

Este domingo, entrada gratis a las fotificaciones de Cartagena
Da  caracol.com del 23 novembre 2018

Este domingo 25 de noviembre, se llevará a cabo una nueva jornada de Entrada Gratis para colombianos en las Fortificaciones de la ciudad, organizada por la Escuela Taller Cartagena de Indias (ETCAR), delegada por el Ministerio de Cultura para la administración, conservación y puesta en valor de estos bienes.

Este Día de Entrada gratis ofrecerá una programación cultural que en el Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas estará enmarcada en la temporada navideña, y en el Fuerte de San Fernando de Bocachica, girará en torno a la música y el canto, y su relación ancestral con la identidad de los habitantes ese territorio.
El director general (e) de la ETCAR, Álvaro Gómez Poveda, invita a los cartageneros y a los colombianos que se encuentran en La Heroica, “a reunirse para continuar viviendo el patrimonio, en una actividad que se ha ratificado a través del tiempo como una de las favoritas por locales y nacionales, esta vez en torno a temas como la Navidad y la tradición musical, que históricamente han unido a los seres queridos en fraternidad y armonía”.

Programación

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
En el San Felipe, los colombianos que porten su cédula de ciudadanía colombiana, podrán ingresar gratis de 8:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m., y disfrutar sin costo el servicio de guianza turística por el fuerte, así como de un taller de fabricación de manualidades navideñas, de pintura libre, y la obra de títeres ‘Nueva novena de navidad’, realizadas con el apoyo de la Asociación de Arte Trotasueños.

Fuerte de San Fernando de Bocachica
En el corregimiento insular de Bocachica, los visitantes en San Fernando apreciarán durante la jornada de la mañana, la agenda preparada con apoyo de FUNCADEBLAK, que incluye presentaciones de danza tradicional cantada, y danza fusionada con sonidos urbanos, talleres de música percutiva y técnica vocal, así como presentaciones musicales de ‘Kim Bantu’, Yaider Castro y el duo Jey y Junio Afro Dance.

Los interesados en ir al corregimiento insular de Bocachica, deben abordar una lancha en el muelle La Bodeguita, único autorizado para el zarpe hacia la zona insular, el cual está ubicado en la Avenida Blas de Lezo frente a la estación de Transcaribe.

 

Fortifications & artillerie… lorsque les mots ont un sens (2) !
Da fortifications-neuf-brisach.com  del 20 novembre 2018

Aujourd'hui, si l'intérêt pour le fait militaire et, plus particulièrement les fortifications connaît un franc succès, on s'aperçoit que le langage induit « la culture militaire » laisse, parfois, la place à quelque approximation.

Ce second billet s'attache cette fois à mieux définir les feux d'infanterie avec une terminologie qui s'applique essentiellement à partir du début du 20e siècle. Cette sémantique s'applique, bien évidemment, au domaine des fortifications.

Source imprimée…

Il convient de se référer à quelque bonnes sources et, ce cours de fortification proposé en 1931 (rééd. en 1936) y répond parfaitement : MILLOT (Cne), LAZARD (Sous de la direction du Lt-Colonel) — Cours de fortification. 1re Partie —Organisation du  terrain.
1re Section — Principes et procédés. École Militaire et d’Application du Génie, 1931-1936.

Les définitions figurant ci-dessous reprennent l'intégralité du texte original.

Définitions relatives au tir d’infanterie

On appelle :

Objectif de tir : l’élément ennemi ou la position localisée avec précision sur le terrain, sur lesquels sont dirigés les projectiles ;
Droite (gauche) d’un objectif : la partie de cet objectif que l’observateur voit à sa droite (gauche), lorsqu’il regarde l’objectif de face ;
Tir à pointage direct : le tir dans lequel toutes les opérations relatives au pointage sont faites sur l’objectif lui-même ;
Tir à pointage indirect : le tir exécuté en pointant sur un point de pointage distinct du but. Ce genre de tir est particulier aux engins d’accompagnement ;
Tir indirect : le tir destiné à battre un objectif non vu de l’emplacement de l’arme. Ce genre de tir est spécial aux unités de mitrailleuses ;
Tir masqué : le tir exécuté derrière un couvert ou un masque, à l’abri des vues de l’ennemi ;
Tir repéré : le tir permettant l’exécution d’un feu ajusté au milieu de la fumée, du  brouillard, pendant la nuit. Il s’effectue, soit en pointant sur des repères naturels ou artificiels placés à proximité de l’arme et très visibles pour le tireur, soit en rétablissant, par les moyens de repérage prévus, la direction et l’inclinaison de l’arme, déterminées de jour.

Le tir est dit :

de front : lorsque la ligne de tir est sensiblement perpendiculaire à la direction du front de l’ennemi, quelle que soit d’ailleurs sa formation d’attaque ou de défense ;
d’écharpe : lorsque la ligne de tir est plus ou moins oblique au front de l’objectif ; ‣ de flanc : lorsque la ligne de tir aboutit dans le flanc del’objectif ;
de revers : lorsque la ligne de tir est dirigée dans le dos de l’ennemi, soit perpendiculairement, soit obliquement ;
d’enfilade : lorsqu’il est dirigé dans le sens de la plus grande dimension d’un objectif ; un tel tir est en même temps de front, d’écharpe, de flanc ou de revers, suivant la façon dont se présente l’objectif ;
rasant : lorsque sur tout leurs parcours, les trajectoires ne s’élèvent pas au-dessus du terrain, à une hauteur :supérieure à celle de l’homme debout ;
fichant : lorsque la zone dangereuse se limite sensiblement à la zone des points d’arrivée des projectiles.

On appelle :

Feux de flanquement : les feux exécutés par une unité pour protéger ses flancs ou son front, ou ceux d’une unité voisine, au moyen de tirs à peu près parallèles à la ligne à interdire ;
Barrage de feux : la combinaison de feux ayant pour objet de concentrer les projectiles, sans solution de continuité, sur une bande de terrain plus ou moins large, exactement définie ;
Tir de neutralisation : le tir ayant pour résultat d’empêcher l’ennemi de faire un usage efficace de ses armes ;
Tir d’interdiction : le tir exécuté sur les communications de l’ennemi et sur les points de passage qu’il est obligé d’utiliser ;
Tir de harcèlement : le tir ayant pour objet de gêner l’observation de l’ennemi, ses mouvements (ravitaillement, travaux, relèves) et son stationnement ;
Plan des feux : l’ensemble coordonné des tirs prévus pour toutes les armes d’infanterie, d’Artillerie et d’Aviation, dans l’offensive comme dans la défensive, en présence d’une situation ou en vue d’une opération déterminée ;

Plan des feux d’infanterie : la partie du plan des feux concernant les armes et engins d’infanterie et définissant les missions de tir des différentes unités.

‣ Les distances de tir d’infanterie sont dénommées :

Petites distances : de 0 à 400 mètres ;
Moyennes distances : de 400 à 1200 mètres ;
Grandes distances : de 1200 à 2400 mètres ;
Très grandes distances : de 2400 mètres jusqu’à la portée extrême du projectile.


Dr Balliet JM

 

First Tor-M2DT air defense missile systems delivered to Russian army
Da armyrecognition.com del 19 novembre 2018

The Russian army is equipping its first battalion with Tor-M2DT (/russia_russian_missile_system_vehicle_uk/tor-m2dt_arctic_short range_air_defense_missile_system_technical_data_sheet_specifications_pictures_video_12104174.html) short-range air defense missile systems, the Russian Defense Ministry announced last 15 November. On November 19-25, 2018, the first Arctic Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile systems are to enter operational service in the Northern fleet (Yeysk, Krasnodar Region)," the statement reads. The hand-over ceremony will be held in the territory of the 726th air defence training centre of military air defence.

The TOR-M2DT (/russia_russian_missile_system_vehicle_uk/tor-m2dt_arctic_short range_air_defense_missile_system_technical_data_sheet_specifications_pictures_video_12104174.html) is a Russian-made short-range air defense missile system using the TOR-M2 missile launcher station.

The system, especially designed to be used for Arctic region, is based on the chassis of the DT-30PM (/russia_russian_army_light_armoured_vehicle_uk/dt-30_allterrain_ tracked_carrier_vehicle_data_pictures_video.html) tracked all-terrain vehicle which consists of two tracked modules linked by a steering mechanism.

The second vehicle is used to carry the TOR-M2 missile launcher station.

The TOR-M2DT has been developed by the JSC Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol (a subsidiary of the Almaz-Antey Concern). In February 2017, it was announced that Russian defense contractor Tekhnodinamika was finalizing the development of a prototype transporter-loader for the Arctic derivative of the Tor (NATO reporting name: SA-15 Gauntlet) air defense missile system. According to the Company Tekhnodinamika, the Arctic version of the TOR short-range air defense missile system can be used for defending the polar military bases being set up in the Russian Arctic from Frantz Josef Land to Chukotka. The TOR-M2DT was revealed during the rehearsal for the Russian Victory Day Parade, in April 2017.

 

El Castillo de los castillos abrirá en enero en Fuensaldaña
Da noticiascyl.com del 20 novembre 2018

La Diputación de Valladolid ultima la cuenta atrás para mostrar uno de los proyectos más importantes a nivel patrimonial de los últimos años, la transformación del Castillo de Fuensaldaña en un “referente internacional” de las fortalezas, “un auténtico Castillo de castillos, cabeza principal e hilo conductor de las fortalezas de la provincia”, tal y como ha destacado el presidente de la institución provincial, Jesús Julio Carnero. La actuación en el Castillo de Fuensaldaña y su próxima apertura va a ser uno de los puntales de la promoción turística de la provincia en la Feria del Turismo de Interior (Intur) que comienza este jueves en Valladolid y donde la Diputación presentará parte del renovado atractivo con el que contará este Castillo que prevé su apertura en el mes de enero. “Los trabajos están muy avanzados y estamos satisfechos con su desarrollo”, ha apuntado Carnero que ha incidido en que la parte expositiva de la renovada fortaleza se centrará en “contar la historia que tienen los Castillos que es también nuestra historia y es digna de ser conocida”.

Logotipo

Carnero también ha presentado el logotipo diseñado para identificar el Castillo de Fuensaldaña. La imagen representa la planta del castillo y la gran torre del homenaje, nota que caracteriza a los castillos de la Escuela de Valladolid, de la que el Castillo de Fuensaldaña es uno de sus máximos exponentes. Los colores utilizados son el color institucional de la Diputación, que representa a la tierra de Castilla, los campos y pinares en primavera y los inmensos cielos de nuestra provincia”. Junto al nuevo logotipo, se ha presentado una infografía de lo que será el interior del Castillo una vez finalizada toda la obra de adecuación, así como un spot promocional para despertar en los visitantes el interés por conocer el castillo en su nuevo formato.

 

El castillo de Peñafiel ganará 3.200 metros cuadrados para visitas tras su restauración
Da elnortedecastilla.es del 18 novembre 2018

di LORENA SANCHO YUSTE

People Un proyecto valorado en casi un millón de euros actuará en los adarves, la barbacana y el patio norte

A punto de soplar las veinte velas, el Museo Provincial del Vino, uno de los centros turísticos que mayor número de visitantes acapara a lo largo del año en la provincia de Valladolid, se someterá el próximo año a un lavado de cara que permitirá obtener una mayor capacidad de acogida en el número de turistas, así como contemplar el castillo de Peñafiel, donde se ubica, desde diferentes perspectivas hasta ahora desconocidas. La Diputación de Valladolid, junto con el Ayuntamiento de Peñafiel, tienen ya el visto bueno de la Comisión Territorial de Patrimonio Cultural para actuar en la barbacana, el patio norte y los adarves de esta fortaleza, donde invertirán cerca de un millón de euros para continuar con el impulso de este centro turístico «como eje dinamizador no solo de Peñafiel, sino de toda la comarca, porque atrae turismo a todo su entorno», matiza el diputado responsable de Desarrollo Económico, Víctor Alonso. La memoria técnica contempla así la recuperación del adarve perimetral, de tal forma que permitirá conectarlos mediante una escalera de caracol en el patio norte y con el patio sur sobre el techo del museo del vino; además de recuperar los pavimentos dañados e instalar barandillas y medidas de seguridad. La inversión, que llegará financiada en parte a través del 1,5% cultural y con fondos del Ayuntamiento de Peñafiel –la Diputación ha reservado otro medio millón de euros dentro de la propuesta de los Presupuestos–, contempla además consolidar y restaurar la barbacana perimetral, colmatada de sedimentos y con graves patologías en su barrera y muro interior como desplomes y descalces; y el patio norte, cuyos adarves, naves subterráneas y aljibe presentan degradaciones, además de su apertura para la visita. Todo ello, según recogió la Diputación en la memoria descriptiva presentada a Patrimonio, permitirá aumentar en más de 3.200 metros cuadrados la superficie visitable y en 800 metros el recorrido lineal. «La recuperación del nivel original de la barbacana permitirá realizar un recorrido de 360 grados de todo el castillo con vistas ahora imposibles», señala al respecto el diputado de Desarrollo Económico, Víctor Alonso. Vinos de toda la provincia Con estas mejoras, la Diputación pretende de esta forma un doble objetivo; por un lado, según puntualiza el diputado, recuperar la riqueza patrimonial de la provincia a través de esta fortaleza de Peñafiel; y, por otro, seguir impulsando el vino como uno de los recursos más importantes de Valladolid. «Aquí se promocionan no solo los vinos de la Ribera del Duero, donde está asentado el castillo, sino de todas las denominaciones de origen que se asientan en nuestra provincia», puntualiza Víctor Alonso. Las obras podrían arrancar así en 2019, pero el diputado de área admite que será difícil que estén a punto para conmemorar el XX aniversario del Museo Provincial del Vino. Para celebrar estos veinte años de este centro turístico, la Diputación trabaja ya en un ambicioso programa de actividades, donde tendrán cabida catas maridadas, encuentros musicales y gastronómicos, entre otras propuestas sobre las que ya se trabajan.

Cerca de 100.000 visitantes consolidan la atracción turística del Museo del Vino El Museo Provincial del Vino cerrará el año con un nuevo incremento en el número de visitantes a tenor de los datos que maneja la Diputación. Con fecha de agosto eran ya 90.000 los visitantes que este centreo turístico provincial había recibido ya, lo que representaba una cifra superior a los registrados hasta medidados de diciembre del pasado año, que ascendían a 86.553, un 5,8% más que los registrados a 31 de diciembre del 2016. La previsión es así de rondar las 100.000 visitas este año en el Museo Provincial del Vino, que según sostiene la Diputación «sigue siendo el más visitado de Castilla y León». Con respecto al perfil del visitante, los lugares de procedencia siguen siendo los habituales, al menos dentro de la geografía nacional, con madrileños, residentes en la cornisa Cantábrica (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria y País Vasco) y Cataluña. Durante dos décadas, el Museo del Vino ha supuesto así un «revulsivo» en el turismo creciente de la Ribera del Duero y de toda la comarca de Peñafiel. De tal forma que, según incidente desde la institución provincial, este centro turístico provincial ha motivado el incremento de la oferta turística con nuevos hoteles, restaurantes y tiendas especializadas. El Museo Provincial del Vino fue promovido en 1999 por la Diputación con el fin de dar a conocer la riqueza enológica de la provincia de Valladolid, que aglutina el mayor número de denominaciones de origen de España (DO Tierra de León, Ribera del Duero, Cigales, Toro y Rueda) y la mención de calidad Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y León.

 

MGuPak (Maschinengewehr Schartenstand und Panzerabwehrkanone Unterstand)
Da bunkrowo.pl del 18 novembre 2018

Nazwa: MGuPak (Maschinengewehr Schartenstand und Panzerabwehrkanone Unterstand), „Hindenburgstand”
Państwo: Niemcy (III Rzesza)
Przedział czasowy: 1934-1935
Przeznaczenie: Schron bojowy
Typ: Schron lekki
Odporność: (wg. klasyfikacji niemieckiej) C
Grubość ścian/stropu: 0,6 m/0,6 m
Pancerze: Płyta stalowa 10P7, płyta stalowa 48P8, drzwi stalowe 14P7, drzwi stalowe dwudzielne 16P7, drzwi stalowe dwuskrzydłowe 446P01
Uzbrojenie: Karabin maszynowy MG 08, działo przeciwpancerne 3,7 cm Pak 36 lub 3,7 cm Pak 36/37 lub 4,7 cm Pak 37 (t)

Obsługa: 10 osób
Opis: Schron składał się z dwóch kondygnacji. Górna (bojowa) zbudowana była z żelazobetonu o grubości 0,6 m i posadowiona na powierzchni gruntu, dla dodatkowej ochrony obsypana ziemią na bokach (skarpy) oraz koronie schronu. Dolna kondygnacja (bytowa) zbudowana była z cegły fortecznej i posadowiona pod powierzchną. Górna kondygnacja dodatkowo wyposażona była w szereg pancerzy wspomagających obronę obiektu. Izba bojowa karabinu maszynowego MG08 posiadała płytę stalową 10P7 chroniąca stanowisko od czoła schronu. W ścianie oddzielającej izbę bojową od garażu armaty ppanc. umieszczono strzelnicę skrzynkową 48P8 jako ochronę wejścia drzwi garażowych. Obydwa pomieszczenia zaopatrzono w stalowe drzwi wewnętrzne (dwudzielne) 16P7 prowadzące do głównej izby i ciągu komunikacyjnego. Od zewnątrz zamontowano drzwi stalowe 14P7 w bloku wejściowym oraz stalowe drzwi garażowe (dwuskrzydłowe) 447P01. Dodatkowo blok wejściowy osłaniany był przez strzelnicę obrony wejścia (48P8) umieszczoną w ubikacji, tuż przy bloku wejściowym. Głównym uzbrojeniem obiektu był karabin maszynowy MG08 umieszczony na lawecie fortecznej 08, posadowionej na betonowej ławie oraz działo przeciwpancerne wytaczane z garażu na stanowisko strzeleckie na koronie schronu, osłonięte betonowym przedpiersiem. Na chwilę obecną trudno jednoznacznie określić, które z dział przeciwpancernych wykorzystywano w schronie. Dolna kondygnacja, przeznaczona do celów bytowych, składała się z izby załogi wyposażonej w składane prycze mocowane do ścian, izby dowódcy, magazynu podręcznego i kuchni wyposażonej w umywalkę, piec, silnik, pompę wody, studnię i zbiornik na wodę. Obie kondygnację łączyła klatka schodowa oraz wyjście ewakuacyjne (przez właz w stropie między kondygnacjami). Przykłady miejsc zastosowania:

Linia Niesłysz-Obra (później FF OWB)

Bibliografia: „Twierdza Europa. Europejskie fortyfikacje II wojny Światowej” – J.E. Kaufmann, R.M. Jurga, Poznań 2013; „Fortyfikacje III Rzeszy w rysunkach przestrzennych” – R.M. Jurga, Zielona Góra 2010; „Fortyfikacje III Rzeszy” – J.E. Kaufmann, H.W. Kaufmann, R.M. Jurga, Poznań 2011. „Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony – mapa turystyczna” – T. Gołębiewski, J. Biesiadka, R. Banaś, Poznań 2012; „Dywizje Waffen-SS 1939-1945” C. Bishop, Warszawa 2009; „Zagraniczne formacje Waffen-SS. Zagraniczni ochotnicy w Waffen-SS 1940-1945.” – C. Bishop, Warszawa 2015; „Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony 1934-1945” – J. Miniewicz, B. Perzyk, Warszawa 1993; „Propozycja prac konserwatorskich schronu bojowego Pz.W. 745.” – R. Marcinkiewicz, G. Paczkowski, Zielona Góra 1997, www.tanks- ncyclopedia.com.

W latach 1934-1935 rozpoczęto budowę umocnień polowych, umocnień stałych oraz budowli hydrotechnicznych wchodzących w skład Linii Niesłysz-Obra. Był to umocniony pas, rozciągający się od zakola Odry w okolicy miejscowości Bródki na południu, do zakola Warty w okolicach Skwierzyny na północy. Powstająca Linia miała na celu zamknąć dostęp do tzw.

Bramy Lubuskiej z kierunku wschodniego. Zgodnie z wczesnymi planami Hitlera, Niemcy mieli rozpocząć realizowanie swych mocarstwowych dążeń od uderzenia na Francję, co rodziło potrzebę zabezpieczenia wschodniej granicy III Rzeszy przed ewentualnym atakiem ze strony Polski, zwłaszcza na kierunku berlińskim. Linia swoją nazwę wzięła od największych przeszkód terenowych wykorzystanych w trakcie budowy jako naturalne przeszkody – jeziora Niesłysz i rzeki Obry.

W kolejnych latach znacząco rozbudowano całą Linie, wzmacniając ją szeregiem ciężkich schronów bojowych, podziemnych tuneli, koszar, magazynów oraz innej niezbędnej infrastruktury fortecznej i przekształcając pierwotne założenie obronne w Ufortyfikowany Front Łuku Odry i Warty (niem. Festungsfront Oder-Warthe Bogen), zwane dziś Międzyrzeckim Rejonem Umocnionym.

Podstawę pierwotnej Linii Niesłysz-Obra stanowiło zarówno ukształtowanie terenu, jak i mnogość różnego rodzaju przeszkód wodnych, dodatkowo uzupełnionych o kanały taktyczne oraz szereg budowli hydrotechnicznych. Miejsca przepraw dodatkowo wzmocniono obiektami fortyfikacji stałej, a dokładniej schronami bojowymi typu MGuPak (Maschinengewehr Shartenstand und Panzerabwehrkanone Unterstand, zwanymi również „Hindenburgstand”). Łącznie wybudowano 6 takich obiektów. Ze względu na problemy gospodarcze Niemiec we wczesnych latach 30-tych XX w., a także egzekwowane jeszcze wówczas postanowienia Traktatu Wersalskiego, wymienione obiekty posiadały jedynie odporność C i tylko ich górna, tj. bojowa kondygnacja skonstruowana została z wytrzymałego, choć niezbyt grubego żelbetu (0,6 m grubości). Zlokalizowaną pod powierzchnią gruntu dolną kondygnację – bytową – wybudowano ze znacznie tańszej cegły fortecznej.

Powyższe problemy przyczyniły się również do budowy dzieła fortecznego o stosunkowo niewielkich rozmiarach, co wymusiło na projektantach zastosowanie nietypowych rozwiązań. Przykładem może być tu podwójna funkcja niektórych pomieszczeń, jak umieszczenie w latrynie, zlokalizowanej przy bloku wejściowym, strzelnicy obrony wejścia, przez co latryna stawała się jednocześnie wartownią. Drugim przykładem może być garaż dla armaty przeciwpancernej, który jednocześnie stanowił magazyn amunicyjny. Również główna izba bojowa, w ścianie sąsiadującej z garażem, wyposażona została w strzelnicę skrzynkową skierowaną na wprost drzwi garażu i tym samym pozwalającą na obronę wejścia do garażu armaty przeciwpancernej. Dolną kondygnację, dużo przestronniejszą, wyposażono w izbę załogi, izbę dowódcy, podręczny składzik oraz kuchnię ze wszelkimi udogodnieniami.

Główne uzbrojenie obiektu stanowił karabin maszynowy MG08 oraz działo przeciwpancerne. Karabin na lawecie fortecznej (Schartenlafette 08), posadowionej na betonowej ławie, ukryto za płytą stalową 10P7. Stanowiło to dodatkową ochronę dla załogi obsługującej karabin (przed ogniem przeciwnika od czoła). Całość umieszczono w izbie bojowej zwróconej w kierunku przeprawy mostowej. Stanowisko to miało za zadanie zwalczanie siły żywej próbującej forsować pobliski ciek wodny. Poza karabinem maszynowym, w obiekcie umieszczono działo przeciwpancerne w garażu chroniącym armatę przed zniszczeniem podczas ewentualnego nalotu, bądź ostrzału artyleryjskiego.

Armata służyć miała do niszczenia pojazdów przeciwnika zbliżających sie do przeprawy. W celu jej użycia, niezbędne było wytoczenie armaty z garażu na koronę obiektu, gdzie ukryta za betonowym przedpiersiem mogła prowadzić ogień na drogę oraz most na przedpolu schronu. Niestety na podstawie posiadanych źródeł trudno dociec jakiej rzeczywiście armaty przeciwpancernej używano w obiektach tego typu. Najprawdopodobniej było to działo 3,7 cm Pak 36 lub 3,7 cm Pak 36/37 przystosowane do trakcji konnej, czyli wyposażone w koła o konstrukcji drewnianej. Niewykluczone jednak, że w latach późniejszych obiekty tego typu mogły być wyposażone w armaty czechosłowackiej konstrukcji o niemieckim oznaczeniu 4,7 cm Pak 37 (t), przejęte przez Niemców po zajęciu Czechosłowacji – również wyposażone w trakcję konną i o stosunkowo kompaktowej konstrukcji. Zwłaszcza, iż w 1944 roku na obszarze eksperymentalnej Grupy Warownej Ludendorff wybudowano kazamatę dla wyżej wymienionego działa w wersji fortecznej. Jednak jest to jedynie hipoteza.

Prócz izby bojowej, garażu dla armaty wraz z magazynem amunicyjnym oraz wartowni, na górnej kondygnacji znajdowała się również izba główna, która przyjęła rolę składu i ciągu komunikacyjnego a w czasie prowadzenia walki również pomieszczenia, z którego dowodzono obroną. Na jednej ze ścian umieszczono składany stolik dowódcy oraz telefon forteczny (najprawdopodobniej FS35) pozwalający zachować łączność obiektu ze światem zewnętrznym. Do komunikacji wewnątrz schronu, służyły specjale rury głosowe poprowadzone w ścianach z wyjściami w postaci tub głosowych (niem. Sprachrohr) w najważniejszych punktach obiektu. Pozwalało to na sprawne porozumiewanie się pomiędzy kondygnacjami, bez potrzeby opuszczania stanowiska. Na dole, w izbie dowódcy znajdował się najprawdopodobniej dodatkowy telefon stolikowy dla dowódcy (FTS36). W schronie zainstalowano również piece.

Początkowo były to zapewne proste piece okopowe, natomiast z czasem zainstalowano w obiekcie piece forteczne Wt80K. Także w zakresie wentylacji dochodziło do zmian wymuszonych rozwojem technik fortyfikacyjnych. Do 1937 w niemieckiej fortyfikacji stosowano system wentylacji grawitacyjnej. Po roku 1937 obiekt zaopatrzono w ręczny filtrowentylator korbowy (HES 0,6 bądź 1,2). W schronach typu MGuPak stosowano zarówno oświetlenie elektryczne, jak i lampy naftowe czy karbidowe umieszczone w specjalnie przystosowanych do tego celu niszach ściennych (niem. Lichtnische). Obiekt wyposażono w nisze na ładunki wybuchowe, umieszczone przy wejściu i klatce schodowej. Miały one na celu ewentualne uniemożliwienie dostania się nieprzyjaciela do obiektu, w sytuacji gdyby dalsza obrona okazała się niemożliwa.

Jednym z ważniejszych pomieszczeń kondygnacji bytowej była kuchnia. Wyposażono ją w piec kaflowy z płytą grzewczą służącą do przygotowywania ciepłych posiłków, studnię głębionową z pompą wody zasilaną przez silnik elektryczny, zbiornik na wodę oraz zlew kuchenny. Dodatkowo w celach sanitarnych, w izbie załogi, zamontowano mniejszą umywalkę. Najprawdopodobniej załogę schronu stanowiło 10 żołnierzy: 3-osobowa obsługa karabinu maszynowego MG08 w wersji fortecznej, 6-osobowa obsługa działa przeciwpancernego oraz dowódca. Taki stan rzeczy potwierdzałyby pozostałości instalacji w kondygnacji bytowej – mocowania/haki po 9 metalowych pryczach składanych przytwierdzonych do ścian oraz pomieszczenie dowódcy wyposażone w wolnostojące łóżko. Najlepiej zachowany obiekt typu MGuPak znajduje się przy drodze Międzyrzecz-Pieski, niedaleko przeprawy mostowej przez Strugę Jeziorną. Nosi on oznaczenie Pz.W. 745 lub 743 (w zależności od przyjętego źródła) i ze względu na stan zachowania jest obiektem o ogromnej wartości historycznej. Niestety do dnia dzisiejszego nie przetrwały pancerze ani inne elementy stalowe, jednak niemal w idealnym stanie zachowały się instrukcje schronowe w postaci prostych, krótkich i jednoznacznych napisów wymalowanych na ścianach. Informowały one zazwyczaj o przeznaczeniu poszczególnych urządzeń bądź ostrzegały przed nieprawidłowym ich używaniem. Za ich pomocą oznaczano także numery poszczególnych pomieszczeń, czy też izb (niem. Raum). Obiekt nie został wysadzony, więc zachował się również pierwotny układ poszczególnych pomieszczeń, zarówno w kondygnacji bojowej jak i bytowej. Ponadto z obrysów na ścianach można, przynajmniej częściowo, zrekonstruować wygląd i umiejscowienie poszczególnych urządzeń użytkowych schronu, jak umywalki, piece, prycze, stoliki itp. Również otoczenie schronu zachowało w dużej mierze swój pierwotny kształt i charakter. Świetnie widoczne są orylony chroniące zaplecze schronu przed ogniem ukośnym. W niemal nienaruszonym stanie jest zarówno korona schronu oraz skarpy, jak i żelbetowe przedpiersie chroniące stanowisko ogniowe armaty przeciwpancernej. Na przedpolu do dziś zlokalizować można stalowe potykacze, na których rozwieszone były zasieki stanowiące zaporę przeciwpiechotną. Wzdłuż drogi natomiast, natknąć się można na pozostałości zapór przeciwpancernych oraz szlabanów. Ciekawostką są także profile w żelbecie przęseł mostu oraz drewniane pozostałości pali posadowionych w dnie strumienia. Mogą one wskazywać na obecność niewielkiego jazu, który w razie potrzeby miał za zadanie spiętrzyć wodę na Strudze Jeziornej i tym samym dodatkowo utrudnić pokonanie przeprawy. Jednak jest to jedynie kolejna hipoteza.

Niewątpliwie schron bojowy typu MGuPak Pz.W. 745/743 przy drodze Międzyrzecz-Pieski jest warty polecenia nie tylko miłośnikom Ars fortificatio ale również szeroko pojętym turystom, tłumnie odwiedzającym Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony każdego roku. Dostęp do niego nie jest trudny, jednakże wymaga spaceru wzdłuż dość ruchliwej drogi bez poboczy, co niestety dyskwalifikuje go jako obiekt turystyczny. Również stan zachowania może ulec poważnemu pogorszeniu ze względu na rozprzestrzeniający się w zastraszającym tempie wandalizm. Świetnie zachowane napisy na ścianach powoli znikają pod warstwami sprayu a dolna kondygnacja wypełnia się śmieciami. Wydaje się, że jedynym ratunkiem dla tego cennego obiektu jest objęcie go opieką odpowiednich instytucji bądź wolontariuszy i przystosowanie go do celów turystyki – świadomej turystyki.

Bibliografia: „Twierdza Europa. Europejskie fortyfikacje II wojny Światowej” – J.E.Kaufmann, R.M. Jurga, Poznań 2013; „Fortyfikacje III Rzeszy w rysunkach przestrzennych” – R.M. Jurga, Zielona Góra 2010; „Fortyfikacje III Rzeszy” – J.E. Kaufmann, H.W. Kaufmann, R.M. Jurga, Poznań 2011. „Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony – mapa turystyczna” – T. Gołębiewski, J. Biesiadka, R. Banaś, Poznań 2012; „Dywizje Waffen-SS 1939-1945” C. Bishop, Warszawa 2009; „Zagraniczne formacje Waffen-SS. Zagraniczni ochotnicy w Waffen-SS 1940-1945.” – C. Bishop, Warszawa 2015; „Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony 1934-1945” – J. Miniewicz, B. Perzyk, Warszawa 1993; „Propozycja prac konserwatorskich schronu bojowego Pz.W. 745.” – R. Marcinkiewicz, G. Paczkowski, Zielona Góra 1997; „Nowa Marchia – prowincja zapomniana – wspólne korzenie. Front Forteczny Łuku Odry i Warty” – A.M. Kędryna, R.M. Jurga, Gorzów Wlkp. 2006; „Wyposażenie socjalne obiektów fortyfikacji niemieckiej 1933-1944” – A.M. Kędryna, R.M. Jurga, Kraków 1999; „Festungsfront Oder-Warthe Bogen” – A.M. Kędryna, R.M. Jurga; „Międzyrzecki Rejon Umocniony” – A. Toczewski, Zielona Góra 2001; www.tanks-encyclopedia.com

 

Ruta por los castillos de las órdenes militares de Teruel
Da heraldo.es del 17 novembre 2018

Ruta por los castillos de las órdenes militares de Teruel

María José Montesinos Zaragoza

Templarios, sanjuanistas, calatravos... defendían a los nuevos pobladores de los ataques de las tropas musulmanas. Hasta siete órdenes militares distintas estuvieron instaladas en la provincia de Teruel. El recorrido diseñado por la asociación Arcatur nos lleva durante un fin de semana por los castillos y fortalezas más representativos de cada una de ellas.

Hubo un tiempo en que Teruel era un territorio de guerra, la frontera en la que peleaban ejércitos cristianos y musulmanes. Cuando Alfonso I el Batallador inició la conquista definitiva de esas tierras, nadie quería aventurarse a vivir en un lugar asediado por luchas y batallas. Fueron las  órdenes militares las encargadas por el monarca para instalarse en determinados puntos clave y ofrecer la protección de sus armas a la llegada de futuros pobladores, que consolidarían con su presencia la ampliación del reino de Aragón hacia el sur y el Levante.

Teruel llegó a tener siete órdenes militares, -con sus soldados mitad monjes mitad guerreros-, más que ningún otro lugar de España. Para su defensa, construyeron numerosas fortificaciones, de las que se mantienen unas 50-60 construcciones, en distinto estado de conservación.

La Asociación para la Recuperación de los Castillos Turolenses, Arcatur, ha creado una Ruta de los Castillos de las Órdenes Militares de Teruel que permite conocer mejor el legado de estas órdenes y lo que significó su presencia. Entre las fortificaciones levantadas, algunas formaban «complejos defensivos realmente espectaculares», afirma Rubén Sanz, presidente de Arcatur. La ruta cuenta con mesas de interpretación, trípticos y material complementario.

La ruta, que ha recibido la placa al Mérito Turístico, visita siete fortalezas, una por cada congregación con presencia en la provincia, en un recorrido que puede completarse sin problemas durante un fin de semana. Estas son sus siete etapas:

Monreal y la Militia Christi

El castillo de Monreal fue creado en 1122 por Alfonso I el Batallador, a la vez que fundaba la Cofradía Militar, germen de la posterior Militia Christi o Militia Dei, creada a imagen y semejanza de las órdenes que combatían en Tierra Santa. El castillo de Mont Regal cumplía un papel estratégico en la ruta de Zaragoza a Valencia y era paso obligado para los cruzados aragoneses camino de Jerusalén. Mantuvo su protagonismo durante las guerras con Castilla y fue una de las principales fortalezas del Alto Jiloca hasta su destrucción por el jefe carlista Luis Llagostera en 1839. Sus restos medievales aguardan los trabajos arqueológicos que les permitan salir a la luz. Su mesa de interpretación marca el inicio de la ruta.

Alfambra y el Monte Gaudio

La Orden del Monte Gaudio fue fundada en 1173 para proteger a los peregrinos que iban a Tierra Santa. Alfonso II la implantó en la provincia de Teruel donándoles el castillo de Alfambra y otras posesiones. Tras la conquista de Jerusalén por Saladino en el 1187, Alfambra pasó a ser la casa maestral (sede central) de la Orden. Durante la Guerra de los Dos Pedros el castillo fue conquistado momentáneamente por las tropas castellanas. Fortaleza de gran tamaño, ocupaba la cumbre y la parte superior de la ladera suroriental del cerro donde se encuentra, pero el declive sufrido ha dejado pocos restos. Sí puede verse todavía el aljibe, parte de la obra de ingeniería hidráulica que era su sistema de decantación de aguas, que ya fue destacado desde antiguo.

Alcalá y los frailes de la Selva

Alfonso II conquistó la fortaleza islámica que ya existía desde el siglo XI y la entregó a los monjes, o freires, de la Selva Mayor, «para la repoblación y destrucción de sarracenos», convirtiendo a los mansos frailes benedictinos en combativos guerreros. En el siglo XIII construyeron un nuevo edificio, que seguía dominando el territorio desde el espolón rocoso de las hoces del río Alcalá. Incendiado durante la Guerra de los Dos Pedros, Fernández Heredia se encargó de su reconstrucción. En 1835 fue reforzado por los carlistas, y conquistado por los liberales poco después, tras un intenso bombardeo. El castillo de Alcalá ha sido restaurado y se ha iniciado el proceso de musealización.

Aliaga y la Orden del Hospital

El castillo de Aliaga comprendía un impresionante complejo defensivo de 4.000 m2 situado en una escarpada roca, que era considerado uno de los más inexpugnables del sur de Aragón. Antigua fortaleza musulmana, con Alfonso II fue conquistado definitivamente y donado a la Orden del Hospital, fundada en 1048 junto a la basílica del Santo Sepulcro de Jerusalén. Allí se mantuvo la sede central, mientras Aliaga fue designada como segunda Encomienda de la orden sanjuanista de los monjes hospitalarios. La fortaleza fue víctima también de la contienda carlista, pero conserva visible buena parte del recinto exterior, donde destacan una quincena de torres cilíndricas y los restos de la torre del homenaje, asentada sobre un peñasco de más de 30 metros de altura.

Montalbán y Santiago

La Orden de Santiago tuvo su origen en Extremadura, donde se creó para proteger la frontera cristiana frente a las tropas musulmanas, pero pronto le fue encomendada la protección de los peregrinos que acudían a visitar el sepulcro del apóstol Santiago en Compostela. Su presencia en Teruel está documentada desde 1200 pero no es hasta 1210 que Pedro II les entrega el castillo de Montalbán, creado sobre la antigua fortaleza islámica, y donde situaron la sede de su Encomienda Mayor de Aragón. Durante la Guerra de los Dos Pedros, los avances castellanos situaron a Montalbán en cabeza de frontera sur del reino aragonés, lo que significó el reforzamiento y renovación de sus fortificaciones. En las guerras carlistas, tras ser tomado por los liberales sufrió 50 días de sitio, durante los que lanzaron 600 granadas y 3.000 proyectiles, que lo dejaron en ruinas. Actualmente, un plan director prepara su restauración.

Castellote y los templarios

Tras ser tomado por Alfonso II, este castillo de Castellote pasó en 1196 a ser posesión de la Orden del Temple. Su estratégica situación y alto equipamiento permitió resistir a los caballeros que lo habitaban tras la disolución de la orden, siendo el último reducto en manos templarias en el sur de Aragón. La fortaleza ejerció funciones militares en las guerras carlistas. Bombardeado por las tropas de Espartero, el recinto sufrió mucho, pero recientes trabajos de restauración lo han devuelto a la vida. Se conserva la torre del homenaje, sala capitular, el aljibe y dos puertas exteriores.

Alcañiz y los calatravos

La Orden de Calatrava se fundó en 1158 en Castilla para proteger las fronteras toledanas y en 1179 Alfonso II de Aragón les donó el castillo de Alcañiz, que pasó a ser Encomienda Mayor en Aragón, hecho que explica la calidad artística con que los calatravos dotaron a todo el conjunto. Su función como parador de turismo ha permitido su conservación (con elementos exquisitos como sus frescos medievales), y puede visitarse en recorridos libre y guiados.

 

Fort d'Emines: des guides passionnés se battent pour continuer à faire vivre ce témoin de 14-18
Da trurodaily.com del 16 novembre 2018

Au lendemain des dernières commémorations, les portes du fort d'Emines devaient se refermer. Mais des passionnés se battent pour continuer à faire vivre le fort de 14-18 - © Monika Wachter - RTBF

Au lendemain des dernières festivités de 14-18, les portes du fort d'Emines à La Bruyère devaient se refermer définitivement. Mais des guides passionnés se battent pour continuer à faire vivre cet important lieu de mémoire, un des neuf édifices militaires qui formaient la ceinture de défense de Namur. La Province de Namur avait signé une convention avec les propriétaires pour quatre ans, la durée des commémorations. La Province a payé la sécurisation et l'éclairage des lieux. Le propriétaire a accepté en contrepartie que des visites soient organisées pendant cette période. Mais la convention expire fin du mois et le fort allait à nouveau devenir inaccessible au public. Pour les guides bénévoles passionnés du fort d'Emines, c'était inimaginable. Objectif: Création d'une ASBL pour prolonger les activités historiques Etienne Carpentier, à l'initiative du projet, vient de signer une convention avec le propriétaire du fort. "On a obtenu du propriétaire de pouvoir organiser les activités historiques sur le fort pour autant qu'il ne soit pas vendu à une autre personne... Nous allons créer une association pour la gestion du fort d'Emines. Et nous allons l'ouvrir suivant une modalité encore à définir, sur diverses activités qui auront toujours trait à l'histoire du lieu." Tout ça à condition que personne ne rachète le fort. Il est toujours à vendre pour un million d'euros bien qu'Albert Hublet, le propriétaire, se dit prêt à discuter du prix. La fortification avait accueilli jusqu'à 300 militaires. Il est en bon état de conservation et respire la vie militaire. On a presque l'impression qu'un soldat de 14-18 va surgir derrière le tournant d'un long couloir. Après avoir raconté son histoire maintes fois aux visiteurs, Etienne Carpentier s'est donc passionné pour le fort d'Emines. Sa fermeture le hantait. Il avait peur que ce témoin militaire tombe à nouveau dans l'oubli ou qu'il soit vandalisé. "Pour nous, c'était inimaginable. Nous nous sommes investis tant et plus dans le fort ces dernières années. Je trouverais donc cela terriblement dommageable que ce travail soit rendu inutile". Il se bat ensemble avec les autres guides passionnés pour mettre ce projet sur pied. La dernière visite guidée du fort d'Emines a lieu ce samedi 17 novembre à 14 heures trente. Si ces passionnés finalisent leur projet, alors les portes de ce témoin capital de l'histoire militaire de Namur rouvrira ses portes pour de nouvelles visites guidées début avril. di Monika Wachter

 

Tours of Debert bunker being offered
Da trurodaily.com del 15 novembre 2018

People don’t often have the chance to explore a real life nuclear bunker, but that’s something that can now be done in Debert. Tours of the bunker are being offered, beginning Nov. 24. “I live in Debert, and I used to walk on the roads here and say how cool it would be to get into the bunker,” said Kelly Caddell, who recently began working at the site as a bunker experience representative. “I’ve learned a lot since coming here, and it’s really interesting.”

Tours will include several areas, including the room that’s called ‘the forgotten room,’ because it was forgotten when renovations were done. It still includes a bunk bed, lockers and wall storage boxes. The bunker was used by military and civilian personnel for about 30 years, and includes a large room which held computers. Halon gas stored under the floor could be sent up through vented tiles if a fire broke out in the room. There are areas used by NORAD, and provincial and regional agencies. Visitors can walk through the decontamination area, where people would have been required to shower and strip off clothing if a nuclear attack had occurred. The 63,000-square foot bunker had 49 bedrooms and was designed to house 350 people. It was built with a continuous air flow system that still operates today. “It’s unreal how many rooms there are, and there are a lot of myths about tunnels and rooms that still remain hidden,” said Caddell.

A large cafeteria has been converted into a movie room with a large screen. Spooky movies were shown around Halloween, and Christmas ones are coming up. Seven bunkers were built across Canada during the late 1950s-early1960s. They were called Diefenbunkers because they were part of a national defense strategy ordered by John Diefenbaker while he was serving as prime minister. Tour dates will be available throughout the year, but tickets are being offered for $11 during the month of Nov. Tours take about an hour, and include no more than 15 people.

Tickets can be purchased on the Enter the Bunker website at https://www.enterthebunker.com/bunker_tours/ (https://www.enterthebunker.com/bunker_tours/) lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

 

Large Pillbox – S0001569
Da mark.stothard.com del 15 novembre 2018

Large pillbox. 2 entrances (now blocked). 4 embrasures on each sea facing side. The top is level with the road, but one area is sunk.[ Possibly small AA gun site]. (Source: Field Visit 1995/12/04) Unique pillbox with embrasures for 3 rifles and a machine- un in each of its two beach-flanking faces, and 3 rifle embrasures in the front face. On its roof is a small horseshoe-shaped LAA position. (Source: Article 1995) A beach defence pillbox survives in good condition. {1}

A large pillbox at the W end of the beach, partly buried. It appears from the protruding bits to be of a non-standard plan – it appears to be large with a semi-hexagonal front. This pillbox is of a very unique bunker-like design. It was positioned built into the bank at the back of the beach probably to defend the near-by station and level-crossing. The structure consisted of a three-sided concrete wall 0.65 m thick, behind which was what appeared to be a covered gallery with a width of 1.18 m.

There were four embrasures in the two side walls and three in the front wall. The two embrasures on the two front corners of the side walls were very large, probably for housing a heavy machine gun. The entrances were at either end of the gallery and were reached by steps leading downwards towards the front of the structure. The pillbox was made from coarse pebbly concrete with small beach pebbles embedded into the roof, possibly as camouflage against aircraft. There is a horseshoe-shaped feature on the roof which could have been a gun position. (Source: SMR ) Photographs © Mark Stothard

 

Kolejny dolnośląski zabytek powstanie z ruin…
Da ziemiasudecka.pl del 15 novembre 2018

Fort Spitzberg- Ostróg w Srebrnej Górze, w czasie II wojny światowej miejsce odosobnienia polskich bohaterów doczekał się pierwszego, historycznego remontu! Dzięki dotacji Dolnośląskiego Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków z siedzibą we Wrocławiu, środkom nowego gospodarza- Muzeum Obrony Wybrzeża ze Świnoujścia- oraz zaangażowaniu spółki Twierdza Srebrna Góra, 15 listopada 2018 roku zakończył się remont części muru szyjowego fortu. Prace, które kosztowały blisko 90 000 zł wykonała firma Edwarda Toczyńskiego i był wykonywane pod nadzorem Grzegorza Basińskiego z Twierdzy Srebrna Góra. – Wykonawca miał bardzo trudne zadanie- kamienne fasady wymagały odbudowany w niektórych miejscach na grubości nawet 1 metra- mówi Marcin Ossowski, z muzeum które jest obecnie gospodarzem fortu.- Dzięki wykonanym pracom będzie można kontynuować zagospodarowywanie fortu na cele nowoczesnego muzeum.- dodaje.

Kolejne prace trwają- już za kilka dni rozpocznie się remont wewnętrznych fasad fortu, a nowi gospodarze liczą, że w 2019 roku uda się pozyskać dodatkowe środki finansowe od Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa na dokończenie remontu całej fasady zewnętrznej. —- Fort Spitzberg- Ostróg, jedno z samodzielnych dzieł obronnych twierdzy srebnogórskiej, wybudowano w XVIII wieku z inicjatywy i pod nadzorem Fryderyka Wielkiego. Obiekt powstał na szczycie góry Ostróg (627 m.n.p) w Górach Bardzkich. Później obiekt pełnił funkcję największego w Niemczech schroniska młodzieżowego, ośrodka szkolenia dla strzelców górskich i bazy szkoleniowej Hitlerjugend. W czasie II wojny światowej w forcie zlokalizowano pierwszy, niemiecki oflag karany dla polskich oficerów- więziono tu między innym kontradmirała Józefa Unruga, generała Tadeusza Piskora, bohaterów szarży pod Krojantami. Po II wojnie światowej fort pełnił różne funkcje- między innymi bazy harcerskiej. XVIII-to wieczna forteca, położona na szczycie wzgórza nie miała jednak szczęścia do remontów- prace ograniczano do prac porządkowych. Od stycznia 2018 roku fort ma nowego gospodarza- Muzeum Obrony Wybrzeża, które opiekuje się miedzy innymi Fortem Gerharda w Świnoujściu. – Spitzberg, ze swoją wyjątkową historią ma szansę stać się wyjątkowym, nowoczesnym miejscem edukacji historycznej. – mówi Jakub Kasiński, który w mundurze z okresu II Rzeczpospolitej oprowadza po forcie turystów.- .Miejscem gdzie będzie można dotknąć prawdziwej historii ! Obecne prace to pierwszy remont konserwatorski od 1913 roku

 

Nowa turystyczna atrakcja na Sądecczyźnie - poniemiecki bunkier w Barcicach
Da radiokrakow.pl del 12 novembre 2018

Niestety coraz więcej osób zapomina o tych tragicznych wydarzeniach – podkreśla Tomasz Koszkul, z Towarzystwa Historycznego Miłośników Barcic - a każda miejscowość w Polsce ma przypuszczalnie taką "pamiątkę" po nazistach. Tan bunkier łączy się z wieloma wspomnieniami tutejszych rodzin. Takie znaleziska to zaproszenie do rozmów na temat historii najbliższej okolicy. Miłośnicy historii odkopali cały schron i przystosowali do zwiedzania. Takich poniemieckich budynków w naszych regionie jest bardzo dużo – podkreśla Stanisław Pustułka, ze Stowarzyszenia Historyczno – Eksploracyjnego Sądecczyzny - zbierają informacje od mieszkańców, którzy mogą jeszcze pamiętać gdzie się znajdują. Na ścianach niektórych bunkrów wyryte są nawet imiona i nazwiska osób Polaków, które były zmuszona do ich budowy. Bunkry były niewielkie, ale ważyły nawet kilka ton.

W środku mieściło się dwóch żołnierzy, którzy mieli do dyspozycji karabin maszynowy, wyrzutnik granatów oraz miotacz płomieni. W najbliższej okolicy jest jeszcze pięć innych schoronów. Miłośnicy historii chcą je również odkopać, a niektóre, tak jak to było w czasie II wojny światowej połączyć okopami. Do wykonania prac potrzebna są jednak zgody m.in. właścicieli działek na których znajdują się schrony oraz konserwatora zabytków. Bartosz Niemiec/bp

 

Winkel Towers of Zossen
Da atlasobscura.com del 10 novembre 2018

                        

Nicknamed “concrete cigars” or “sugar beet heads,” about 200 of these pointy cone-shaped air raid shelters were built in Germany during World War II. The highest concentration of them was in Zossen, a small town near Berlin where the Nazi supreme command was stationed.

These unique, above-ground bomb shelters were officially called Winkeltürme (Winkel Towers) after their designer, architect Leo Winkel. The idea was that the narrow, pointed structures would be hard to target from the air, and if hit, the bomb would slide down the smooth, sloped sides without detonating. Indeed, only one Winkel Tower was ever destroyed by a direct bomb hit.

The conical concrete bunkers were also much cheaper to construct than underground shelters, and could squeeze in up to 500 people. About 200 towers were built over the course of the war, mainly in industrial areas to protect valuable workers. Nearly 20 Winkel Towers were built in the Wünsdorf-Zossen area alone, where the Supreme High Command of the German Army was headquartered, to protect the Nazi officials who didn’t work out of the famous Zeppelin or Maybach bunkers.

After the war, most of the Winkel Towers were destroyed by the Soviet troops during the demilitarization of Germany. But many of these now-abandoned bunkers still stand. Several can be seen around Zossen, and one of the towers is open to visitors. It is connected with a nearby museum where you can get a ticket.

Know Before You Go

The map coordinates above are for the bunker at 9 Gutenbergstraße in Zossen, which is open to visitors. Tours can be arranged through the Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH (museum and visitors center) at Zehrensdorfer Str. 12, a short walk away.

 

Battery of San Leandro, Cartagena
Da fsgfort.com del 10 novembre 2018

Listing type: Coast defence

Location: Europe

In 1799 a three-gun battery is shown here in the Atlas Ordovas. By 1860 a plan shows a fort here with crenulations on the top, facing seawards.

By 1894 3 x 24-cm guns had been mounted in the fort and these were housed in large casemated positions, which remain complete. There is a lower, which was originally accessed by stairs, from which shell and cartridge hoists operated (not able to access).

There is concrete encased Battery Command Post in the centre of the position.

It is apparent that three Quick Fire Guns have been mounted on the fort. The D ring mounts would indicate that these were 12-pdrs for AMTB defence.

(http://fsgfort.com/wp-admin) The Fortress Study Group 2016

 

Dymchurch: Plans to turn historic Martello tower into holiday home
Da kentonline.co.uk del 10 novembre 2018

The historic Martello Tower could be turned into a holiday let

An historic war building situated in a seafront car park could be turned into a holiday let, fresh blueprints have revealed. A planning application has been submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) to change Martello Tower 25 in Dymchurch into a vacation rental. The 19th century building used for defence was sold at auction last year by Clive Emson.

Dunn Architects on behalf of the applicant Nicola Dealtry have revealed drawings for the disused building which has 6ft thick walls, with the intention of it being let to groups of up to eight people. If approved, the tower would be divided into four storeys, connected with a new spiral staircase. The ground floor would consist of a lobby, storage and a cinema room, to make use of no natural lighting, according to planning documents. The existing stairwell would be retained, however, for occasional access to the top level. A skylight at the top of the new staircase would provide natural light for the whole building, with four double bedrooms across the first and second floors, each with their own en suite. Two new windows would also be installed on the second floor. The third floor plans feature an open plan kitchen and diner, as well as a small, external terrace "providing undisturbed views out to sea". There is also provision for two parking spaces, and a new aluminium roof and double glazing would be installed.

 

Inside the Martello Tower

The well-known feature on Romney Marsh had a guide price of between £70,000 to £75,000 - but instead went for more than double its estimated worth at a staggering £145,000 under the hammer last December. Martello Towers were originally built in the 19th century to protect the British Empire from invasions from across the water.

This tower, built in 1806, was one of 74 towers built in Kent and Sussex in the Napoleonic Wars.

According to the heritage statement on the application, the building was grade II listed in 1985 along with the other two towers in Dymchurch. Listed building consent is being sought in connection with the application.

The car park around it was laid out in 1967, while archive maps show it used to be an area of pasture.

The design and access statement notes that guano - accumulated excrement from seabirds - had built up inside the building at ground level but has recently been removed.

 

Developers have released images of their plan

The interior of a classic British Martello tower typically consists of three storeys: ground, upper floor and the roof.

The small forts were designed to hold between 15 and 25 men and each measure around 40ft in height.

Effectiveness was never tested in combat against a Napoleonic invasion, however, they have proved a useful tool in catching smugglers.

A spokesman for the auctioneer Clive Emson, which sold the building, said last year the sale attracted a lot of interest.

 

Dunn Architects has drawn up plans to transform the site

 

Kevin Gibson said: “I wasn’t surprised it went for that much. “Because unusual and historic buildings like this are becoming harder and harder to find in their original condition, people need to buy them as soon as they come up.

“The Martello Towers do generate a lot of interest.

They are fantastic buildings. “It doesn’t have planning consent and there will be certain constraints on the building, but buyers often have very creative imaginations.

“The building has incredible potential.” Previous owner FHDC sold off the tower following a review of its assets in a bid to help plug a £6 million funding gap.

A council spokesman said a new owner would help “breathe new life into the building”.

 

Research Begins on Fortresses Gorazde and Kosmač
Da total-montenegro-news.com del 7 novembre 2018

November 7, 2018

The Austrian archaeological institute, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, conducted a research project of the Austro-Hungarian fortifications in Montenegro. An expert team of six specialists, coordinated by Lili Zabran, conducted a two-week research of the fortresses Gorazde and Kosmac, which were selected for detailed assessment and preparation of basic documentation. Since further use requires detailed construction surveys, the implemented project has focused on forming documentation and assessing the damage to further planning. The results of the campaign are the basis for the development of a future project, which, in addition to military research, will include research into documentation and realization of the construction of fortifications, maintenance, and establishing communication and supply in times of war and peacetime. Information will also be collected on soldiers stationed in fortresses, as well as their interaction with the civilian population.

The subject of the research will be the use of fortresses during the Second World War as well as during the former Yugoslavia. Experts from the Center for Archeology and Conservation of Montenegro and the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property followed the activities carried out on the terrain by the representatives of the Archaeological Institute of Austria. The project is implemented on the basis of the Memorandum of Cooperation with the Archaeological Institute of Austria, signed by the Ministry of Culture in June 2018, which envisages cooperation in the field of education and training of professional staff in the field of protection and preservation of cultural goods as well as the joint action in the field of protection of immovable cultural goods. Support for the realization of this project was provided by the Embassy of Austria in Montenegro, as well as the municipalities of Budva and Kotor. Text by CdM, on November 6th, 2018, you can read more at CdM

 

Rajd w 100-lecie odzyskania niepodległości
Da Kopieckościuszki.pl del 7 novembre 2018

W przeddzień 100. rocznicy odzyskania przez Polskę niepodległości - 10 listopada - na Kopiec Kościuszki w Krakowie zawitają uczestnicy XIX Wojewódzkiego Rajdu im. Jana Grondkowskiego. W tym roku rajd odbywa się pod hasłem "100-lecie Odzyskania Niepodległości - Polaków drogi do wolności".

Organizatorem wydarzenia jest Małopolski Oddział Polskiego Towarzystwa Schronisk Młodzieżowych w Krakowie, a współorganizuje je Komitet Kopca Kościuszki. W programie rajdu znalazły się m.in. gra terenowa "100-lecie Niepodległości Państwa Polskiego", spotkanie przy pomniku poświęconym 152 rocznicy rozstrzelania Przywódców Polskiego Powstania nad Bajkałem z 1866 r. , który znajduje się przy budynku Schroniska Młodzieżowego PTSM na ul. Oleandry w Krakowie, a na Kopcu Kościuszki uczestnicy rajdu zwiedzą muzeum figur woskowych "Polaków drogi do wolności", a także będą śpiewać pieśni patriotyczne. Wieczorem wejdą na szczyt Kopca z pochodniami i wezmą udział w apelu poległych.

Podczas rajdu zostanie uroczyście otwarta wystawa wiceprezesa Oddziału Małopolskiego PTSM Jerzego Bogusława Nowaka zatytułowana "Miejsca polskiej martyrologii na Syberii i otaczające je krajobrazy".

 

Orihuela intervendrá de urgencia para conservar la Torre Taifal en sus murallas
Da diarioinformacion.com del 6 novembre 2018

Orihuela intervendrá de urgencia para conservar la Torre Taifal

El Ayuntamiento de Orihuela está redactando el proyecto para ejecutar obras de consolidación urgentes en la Torre Taifal, que forma parte del lienzo de los restos de la muralla y que es una de las referencias mejor conservadas del sistema defensivo medieval de la sierra oriolana, según confirmaron el concejal Rafael Almagro y el arquitecto municipal Emilio Diz, ayer a INFORMACIÓN. Esta actuación se aborda en el marco de las intervenciones que se requieren a corto plazo y al margen de las futuras previsiones del Plan Director de Conservación y Restauración del Castillo y las Murallas de Orihuela. El Ayuntamiento está completando en estos momentos ese Plan Director con previsiones a medio y largo plazo sobre todo el Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC). Algo que está llevando a cabo con iniciativas como una encuesta a los vecinos -que se anunció ayero la difusión en redes sociales y a través de otras iniciativas -como la edición de folletos informativos- del muchas veces desconocido valor patrimonial de estos restos arqueológicos.

La intervención urgente en la Torre Taifal se llevaría a cabo en los primeros meses del año que viene. Para desarrollar la finalización del documento del Plan Director y esas ejecuciones urgentes sobre el terreno en el presupuesto municipal figura una partida de 300.000 euros, según aseguró Almagro en su comparecencia. La Torre de la Taifa es una de las escasas construcciones que todavía es referencia visual desde la base de la sierra, entre las que destacan todavía parte del lienzo de las murallas, las murallas del albacar y restos arqueológicos que coronan la sierra de San Miguel.

El anuncio sobre esta intervención extraordinaria en los restos del castillo-alcazaba lo hizo el concejal de Patrimonio Histórico, Almagro, y el arquitecto Emilio Diz en una rueda de prensa en la que se informó además sobre la puesta en marcha de una encuesta dentro del marco del Plan Director «a disposición de toda la ciudadanía, tanto online, a través del blog de la Concejalía de Patrimonio Histórico, como en papel, «de manera que cualquier persona pueda participar recogiéndola en el Museo Arqueológico Comarcal en San Juan de Dios y en el Museo de la Muralla», reflejó Almagro.

El concejal explicó que esta encuesta pretende ser una primera toma de contacto para «conocer cuál es la percepción que los oriolanos y oriolanas tienen de las ruinas de nuestro castillo». Es una encuesta que estará abierta hasta el 5 de diciembre a las 12.00 horas, consta de 15 preguntas, se contesta en apenas 5 minutos y «es totalmente anónima».

El arqueólogo municipal, Emilio Diz, destacó que esta encuesta se enmarca dentro del plan de comunicación y participación del Plan Director del Castillo y Murallas de Orihuela. «Una encuesta para hacernos una idea de lo que piensa la ciudadanía sobre el castillo y para saber que visión de futuro se le debe dar. También dejamos un espacio para que la gente ofrezca sus opiniones».

Imagen de los restos de murallas y del castillo de Orihuela

Almagro y Diz también indicaron que a través de esas respuestas se podrá orientar una actuación de conservación y puesta en valor de toda la zona prevista ya a largo plazo, durante casi una década. Lo que exige una inversión muy importante, para las que se solicitarán subvenciones, una vez que se describa en el plan las prioridades a ejecutar.

Restaurar, no reconstruir

Diz aclaró que es lógico que una parte de las opiniones se inclinen por pedir una reconstrucción de las murallas y la alcazaba-castillo: «Algo que legalmente no se puede hacer porque no sabemos cómo eran. La obligación es conservar los restos» no recrearlos, matizó el arqueólogo, aunque sí restaurar los existentes. «Puede haber distintas sensibilidades sobre lo qué hacer en la zona», especificó Diz. El edil de Patrimonio Histórico quiso destacar que un Plan Director es la herramienta que sirve para determinar qué actuaciones hacer en los próximos años y qué se está redactando en base al Plan Nacional de Arquitectura Defensiva.

Con respecto al plan de comunicación que va aparejado al Plan Director, «tenemos que decir que se ha empezado con esa difusión de la importancia del Castillo y Murallas de Orihuela en redes sociales, dónde además hay una serie de vídeos en los que se va explicando algunos de los elementos sobre los que se trabaja así como la labor que está realizando el equipo».Además, se ha editado un folleto informativo en el que se enumeran los elementos más importantes del Castillo y un marcapáginas en el que se incluye una imagen del Cartulario de Orihuela así como el plano del ámbito de actuación del plan y en breve «podremos disfrutar de la edición en papel de la Ruta Andalusí preparada en conjunto por el Museo Arqueológico Comarcal y la Asociación de Amigos del Museo Arqueológico (ADAMACO)», manifestó el edil.

Almagro, desde la Concejalía de Patrimonio histórico y desde el equipo del Plan Director, quiso solicitar la colaboración de todos los ciudadanos «para tener el mayor número de respuestas posible y poder impulsar ese sentir hacia un bien de importantísimo interés para la historia y el patrimonio de Orihuela».

 

China promotes new CM-401 supersonic ballistic anti-ship missile
Da defence-blog.com del 5 novembre 2018

Chinese defense company offers its new CM-401 supersonic ballistic anti-ship missile for the export market.

China’s modern indigenously designed and manufactured supersonic ballistic anti-ship missile will make its maiden public appearance during the AirShow China 2018 exhibition, which is set to take place in Zhuhai from 6–11 November.

The CM-401 missile is a new type of hight supersonic ballistic anti-ship missile, using near space trajectory, and capable of all-course high supersonic maneuverable flight, terminal diving and high-velocity top-attacking, various platform launching firing. It is mainly used to rapidly and exactly attack medium-large sized vessels and ships, formations and port targets.

According to company’s officials, it has the characteristics of multi-ballistic coordinated capability, powerful damage capability, strong penetration ability and system combat.

The new CM-401 missile has an estimated top speed of Mach 6 and a maximum range of 290 km.

 

The startling truth behind the powerful explosion in Birgu
Da unexpectedtraveller.com del 5 novembre 2018

Fortifications – Birgu, Malta

One of Malta’s worst peacetime disasters took place in 1806.

A military gunpowder store exploded in Birgu, across the harbour from Valletta. In 1806 Malta was a British protectorate. While it still was part of the Kingdom of Sicily the British guaranteed Malta’s safety. The Napoleonic wars had started in 1803 and Britain waged war with Napoleon by land and at sea. The Mediterranean was one of these battlegrounds. Malta’s central location made it vital to British interests. The gunpowder stores in Birgu was a small room within the fortifications, known as a casemate . The Knights had built this as a temporary measure. The threat of invasion was low so they didn’t worry about gunpowder inside the city walls. Similar stores were in use in Fort St Angelo and Mdina.

This worried the residents, for obvious reasons. They’d often complained about the risks but nothing had changed. When the British took over in 1800 they tried to find alternative locations. The only alternatives were being used as barracks or hospitals. By 1806, things were still the same.

The disaster

Britain wanted to send ammunition to Sicily to refuel stocks there. The stores in Birgu were full with :

◾ 370 barrels containing 18 000 kg of gunpowder

◾ 1 600 shells

◾ an unknown number of grenades

Early on 18 July 1806 Brigadier Anderson commanded a working party of 13 men to load ships with shells. He used a metal chisel to remove live fuses from the shells. This was against military rules at the time. The metal sparked causing a massive explosion at 06:15 am . The 13 men died immediately. Three British soldiers from the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment perished. Twenty-three Maltese soldiers of the 2nd Provincial Battalion also died. 200 civilians died and falling masonry injured 100 more . The explosion reverberated and shocked all the towns in the harbour area. Headless corpses and random body parts littered the area. Part of the casemate’s roof ended up in the neighbouring city of Isla. One of the dead was a local who was shepherding his goats into the city to sell milk to the locals. He shouted out, “The milkman’s here!” when the explosion hit . This caused a massive breach in the fortifications which was never rebuilt. To this day, the walls end about 50 metres from the shoreline. This is the breach caused by the 1806 explosion.

Apart from the city walls, the blast damaged Navy store houses. A large number of civilian houses were either destroyed or damaged. In all 493 people reported property losses which speaks to the density of dwellings in the area . This doesn’t means 493 buildings; given the population density and the tall buildings it is likely that this means 493 apartments.

After effects

British Admiral Alexander Ball was the civil commissioner at the time. The Maltese had loved him enough to ask for his help against the French in 1799 . His public works programmes had helped with employment and public health . This doesn’t mean everyone loved the British and Ball wrote that: those Maltese who had already become disaffected with the Government, fanned the embers and fermented great agitation by magnifying the casualties and working upon the weakness and credibility of the lower ranks . Ball insisted that the government should pay full compensation to victims. The British agreed to pay the poorer people two-thirds the value of their property.

The upper classes got half the value of their property . This negotiation took 5 years which can’t have helped the locals’ attitude towards them. In 1811, Ball distributed GBP 18 066, 5 shillings and 10 pence to those claiming damages . This is approximately GBP 1 417 320 in today’s money . Mr Woodhouse, a wine merchant, received large stores at the former Slaves’ Prison in Valletta as compensation for the large amount of wine lost .

Today, many people get to Birgu using the street running through what used to be Porto Marina. This is the easiest way to get to the waterfront restaurants there. As you walk down, take a look at one of the streets on your right. It’s called Triq il-Vittmi tal-Porvlista (“Polverista Victims’ Street”).

References

1. Do you know how the British took control of Malta? Antoine Borg; The Unexpected Traveller; 2018-10-08[ ]

2. Hospitaller Gunpowder Magazines; Stephen Spiteri; International Journal of Military Architecture and Fortification; 2012-05[ ][ ][ ]

3. Malta Garrison 1806; British Army Medical Service; (Retrieved 2018-10-26) [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

4. Malta bil chzejer tehne u li ghadda min ghaliha: L’euel parti, Volume 1; Pietru Pawl Castagna; 1865[ ][ ]

5. Do you know when the Union Jack first flew over Malta?; Antoine Borg; The Unexpected Traveller; 2017-12-04[ ]

6. The new (old) and improved Msida waterfront; Antoine Borg; The Unexpected Traveller; 2018-07-03[ ]

7. UK inflation calculator; In2013Dollars.com; (Retrieved 2018-10-12) [ ] All references were correct when this article was published. If you notice a link to a referenced item no longer works, or is incorrect, please leave a comment below.

 

Ruinas medievales, rostros crueles y tragedias reales en los históricos castillos de Ciudad Real
Da eldiario.es del 4 novembre 2018

Castillo de la Estrella de Montiel

La provincia de Ciudad Real atesora grandes espacios naturales y patrimoniales, la mayoría de ellos con una historia fascinante, de acceso muy fácil y con estancias muy económicas. Para muchos españoles, sigue siendo una zona desconocida, pero entre sus rincones hay insospechadas sorpresas que nos remontan siglos atrás y nos ayudan a conocer mejor nuestra historia. Pese a su gran extensión, una de las opciones más populares en esta provincia es la de conocer sus viejos castillos. Iniciamos viaje muy cerca de las Lagunas de Ruidera, donde encontramos el Castillo de Alhambra, una construcción ejemplar de estilo montano, es decir, cuya forma se adapta exactamente a la del cerro en que se alza. Una fusión con la tierra en la que su elemento más bello es la puerta principal, abriéndose en un recodo de la muralla, y construido como 'reentrante' en su homogéneo recorrido circular.

Sólo por la magnífica labor de sillería con que fue construido merece la pena la visita, así como por el arco apuntado, entre sus dos fuertes torreones. Erigido por una guarnición musulmana a mediados del siglo XII, fue continuamente conquistado y perdido, y cristianos y árabes se alternaron su posesión muchas veces. Pasó a pertenecer a la Orden de Santiago desde el año 1214, posesión confirmada por una bula papal. Cuando el alfoz de Alhambra se dividió entre las órdenes de Calatrava y San Juan, perdió su importancia estratégica y fue paulatinamente abandonado.

Castillo de Alhambra AYUNTAMIENTO

Lo más relevante del castillo es que por ser montano no tuvo nunca recinto externo ni barbacana, y sí un camino cubierto o protegido en su último tramo por pequeño muro, que permitía su acceso en condiciones de protección. El dato más triste es que en la actualidad el castillo se encuentra en ruina progresiva, aunque se puede acceder a él libremente. Y el más curioso: en el cerro también se han encontrado enterramientos y construcciones de la Edad del Bronce y del Hierro, aunque muy afectadas por la construcción del castillo medieval. Y al pasear por la villa sus habitantes cuentan la leyenda que habla de un túnel que uniría el castillo con algunas casas del pueblo. En el otro extremo de la provincia, entre Ciudad Real capital y Puertollano, se erige, como fortaleza arqueológica, el Castillo de Caracuel de Calatrava, en el que la torre pentagonal, albarrana, de diez metros de altura, con tres pisos interiores, es la parte más impresionante. El Monte Nogales sobre el que está construido tiene evidencias de haber sido un emplazamiento poblado desde los tiempos más remotos de la humanidad, y lo convierte en una estación arqueológica de primer orden.

Bautizado por árabes y cristianos

En tiempos romanos pudo ser la antigua mansión de Carcuvium, mencionada en el itinerario de Antonino y convertida en municipio en época del emperador Augusto. Durante toda la Edad Media fue nombrado como Carquer, Caracoi y Karakuy, por árabes y cristianos. Al hallarse en el importante cruce de caminos reales de Toledo a Córdoba y de Extremadura a Levante, herederos de las calzadas romanas, fue lugar de enfrentamientos continuos y batallas entre musulmanes y cristianos. Una de las encomiendas más antiguas del Campo de Calatrava es la de Caracuel, fundada en 1170 en este castillo. Aunque aún volvió a posesión musulmana, pues no sería definitivamente conquistado hasta 1212 por el rey Alfonso VIII.

Castillo de Caracuel de Calatrava DIPUTACIÓN DE CIUDAD REAL

El castillo es de propiedad privada y, dada su situación de ruina, con los peligros que conlleva su visita, su acceso está prohibido si no es con permiso de la propiedad. Se accede a las ruinas del castillo por un camino que sale por detrás de la Ermita del Santo Cristo de Caracuel de Calatrava.

El camino es de escalones de angosta piedra, justo cuando termina, junto a un árbol se gira a la izquierda para subir por lo alto del monte hasta el castillo. Hasta nuestros días llega la leyenda de la reina árabe Clara, que vivía en este castillo en la época musulmana. La expresión de crueldad de su rostro dio nombre a la fortaleza, Caracuel. Fue perdido y reconquistado varias veces, hasta quedar en manos cristianas tras la batalla de las Navas de Tolosa.

¿Nació Fernando El Santo en Bolaños?

Siguiendo nuestro camino, encontramos en Bolaños de Calatrava el Castillo de Doña Berenguela. Destaca la torre del homenaje de cuatro pisos, una mazmorra en su sótano, y una terraza con almenas piramidal. Alrededor de esta construcción habitó durante siglos un poblado musulmán y dice la tradición, posiblemente legendaria, que aquí nació el rey Fernando El Santo, hijo de Doña Berenguela. Es un ejemplo perfecto de castillo de llanura, erigido para vigilar los caminos.

Castillo de Doña Berenguela TURISMO CASTILLA-LA MANCHA (TCM)

Uno de los aspectos significativos del edificio es su escudo, en el que pueden apreciarse dos partes bien diferenciadas, que son un castillo de oro, en el queaparece representada la vecindad, y una espada que atraviesa el pan,  que representa el impuesto que se pagaba a la orden de la que dependía su defensa. Fue conquistado por los cristianos, perdido tras la batalla de Alarcos, y vuelto a ganar en 1212, definitivamente. La reina Berenguela lo donó a la Orden de Calatrava, para que defendiera su campo de los continuos ataques musulmanes. La Orden se mantuvo allí hasta 1544, momento en que lo abandonó. De planta rectangular, estuvo rodeado de un foso que actualmente está recuperado en dos de las cuatro murallas. Es de acceso libre. Nos movemos de nuevo, y a los pies del Castillo de la Estrella podemos rememorar la llamada ‘Tragedia de Montiel’, cuando pelearon, cuerpo a cuerpo, los aspirantes al trono de Castilla y hermanos, Pedro I el Cruel y Enrique de Trastámara, y se decidió la suerte de una larga guerra civil que asoló el reino castellano en el siglo XIV. Construido en el siglo IX por los árabes, cerraba el paso al reino taifa de Jaén. Tuvo dos recintos, uno exterior, muy deteriorado, usado como barbacana, que conserva restos de algunas torres; otro interior, construido por los cristianos a finales del siglo XIII o principios del XIV, que conserva grandes lienzos de cortinas y algunos torreones. En general se encuentra en mal estado, y amenaza ruina, aunque se puede acceder libremente.

Castillo de la Estrella de Montiel DIPUTACIÓN DE CIUDAD REAL

Tras la batalla librada entre ejército castellano-granadinos (alianza de Pedro I) y castellano-franceses (alianza de Enrique de Trastámara), el rey Pedro se refugió en el castillo después de ser derrotado.

Buscó una escapatoria intentando negociar con el mercenario francés Beltrán Duguesclín, ofreciéndole dinero si seunía a su bando.

Pero este mercenario le contó a Enrique los planes de suhermano.

"Ni quito ni pongo rey"

Finalmente, la noche del 23 al 24 de marzo, ambos monarcas se encontraron en la tienda del vencedor, enzarzándose en una pelea. Duguesclín, que estaba presente, sujetó a Pedro, con la célebre frase: "ni quito ni pongo rey, pero ayudo a mi señor", y gracias a esta ayuda Enrique pudo apuñalar a Pedro, matándolo, y proclamándose rey de Castilla. Desde entonces el fallecido Pedro ha tenido dos motes: el Cruel, que le dieron sus enemigos, y el Justiciero, sus partidarios. Su cuerpo quedó enterrado en Montiel hasta 1374 y desde entonces descansa en Sevilla.

Sacro-Convento de Calatrava La Nueva TCM

En 1974 el pueblo erigió un monolito en su recuerdo. Concluimos recorrido con el Castillo del Sacro-Convento de Calatrava La Nueva, la gran fortaleza de los caballeros calatravos, cuya propiedad defenderían frentea los musulmanes del cercano castillo de Salvatierra.

Aunque fue fortaleza de la edad del bronce, visigoda, y hay noticias de su uso por Nuño de Lara en el siglo XII, tendría su gran apogeo a partir de la batalla de las Navas de Tolosa.Hoy se pueden recorrer sus caminos, las dependencias del castillo -patios, torres, escaleras-, y un aljibe. Además, su convento conserva una gran puerta con rosetón, la de la Estrella, la sala capitular, refectorio y cocinas, además delcementerio. Las zonas auxiliares de artesanos, hospedajes, cuadras y bodegas  completan este magnífico retrato de la vida en la Edad Media.

 

TOW 2A / 2B / Bunker Buster
Da rocket.com 
TOW is the preferred anti-armor weapon system for U.S., NATO, and Coalition forces worldwide produced by Raytheon.

It provides devastating effectiveness against the most modern and heavily protected armored vehicles and fortifications.

Aerojet Rocketdyne manufactures the warheads for all three variants of the missile.

TOW 2A is equipped with a tandem warhead.

A small disrupter charge detonates the reactive armor and allows the main shaped charge to penetrate the main armor.

TOW 2B operates in a 'flyover shoot down' top attack mode with two tantalum explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warheads.

A third Bunker Buster variant is now fielded to defeat field fortifications, bunkers and urban structures.

 

Cave Battery, Old Queens Road, Gibraltar
Da fsgfort.com del 3 novembre 2018

This is what appears to be a World War 2 battery built into the cliff side just off Old Queens Road.

The main entrance runs off the road, and there are two gun positions. These are linked by rear corridor, which has water tanks in it by the entrance.

Adjacent to the entrance is a power plant and workshop.

The position is estimated to have had guns of at least medium calibre, possibly 25-pdr or 5-ins.

There are no mounts in position, so guns may never have been mounted here. There is a long chimney running up to the top of the slope where there is an observation position. It appears that this was reached by ladder.

 

Fort Cigogne… une fortifications d'exception au sein de l'archipel des Glénans
Da fortifications-neuf-brisach.com del 3 novembre 2018

L'archipel des Glénans est formé par six îles principales ainsi que d'une multitude de récifs et îlots.

L’archipel procure un bon abri car la houle du large est brisée par les îles : le principal mouillage, la chambre, s’étend entre les îles Cigogne — presque entièrement recouverte d’un fort — et débarquement a été construite. Cependant de nombreux récifs et hauts fonds rendent difficiles la navigation et l’accès à ce mouillage. À l’est, l'île de Penfret, la plus étendue, comprend à ses extrémités par deux buttes portant l’une un sémaphore, l’autre un phare disposé au milieu d'un fort car elle offre un mouillage plus avantageux pour des navires un peu plus importants.

Fortifier l'archipel des Glénans ?

Les réalisations du 18e siècle.

Dès 1717, il avait été question de fortifier l'archipel des Glénans afin de contrer l'occupation de l'archipel par les corsaires anglais et hollandais. Ce n'est que bien plus tardivement, en 1754, qu'un « Mémoire sur les motifs qui peuvent déterminer à établir un fort sur l'isle Cigogne, l'une des Glénans » est rédigé par Étienne Aguiton (1700?-1764) en 1754. Presque concomitamment, un premier projet est proposé par l'ingénieur Félix-François de La Sauvagère (1707-1782) pour protéger le mouillage de la Chambre. Probablement jugé trop onéreux, il reste sans suite. On lui préfère un projet d'un tracé plus simple et on commence la construction du fort en 1756. Contrairement aux projets, toutes les batteries sont à barbette, aucune embrasure n’ayant été réalisée. Le fort reste en l'état jusque vers le milieu du 19e siècle.

La commission de 1841 et ses avatars : conséquences pour les fortifications de l'archipel des Glénans.

Pendant les guerres de la Révolution et de l’Empire, les Anglais avaient occupé, sans interruption, le mouillage situé au nord-est de l’île de Penfret d’où ils perturbaient considérablement le cabotage. Ils ne prenaient même plus la peine d’empêcher le ravitaillement du fort Cigogne tellement son inutilité était évidente (N. Salat p.304). Si la commission de 1818 demandait la construction de redoutes sur les îles de Penfret, Saint-Nicolas et le Loch, le comité des fortifications de 1825 et la commission de 1836 se bornent à proposer l’entretien du fort Cigogne et la construction d’un fort sur Penfret. La commission de 1841 propose, pour défendre le mouillage de Penfret, la construction d’une batterie de neuf pièces avec une tour n°1 formant réduit.

Les travaux à Penfret.

Plusieurs projets faisaient tous état de difficultés similaires : problème de l'emplacement de la batterie et de la présence du phare de Penfret, sur le mamelon nord-est.

_ L’inspection générale de 1857 décide que la masse des feux doit être dirigée au nordest ;

_ Le phare, à proximité immédiate de la batterie, constituait un repère idéal pour l'artillerie ennemie et, si l’ennemi s’en emparait, la batterie deviendrait intenable. On décide alors de l’inclure dans l’ouvrage en l'entourant d’une enceinte de sûreté comprenant également le réduit de la batterie. L'inspection de 1857, rejete la tour n°1 en raison de la trop grande dépense qu’auraient exigée les travaux d’excavation pour la défiler. Elle se prononce pour un corps de garde défensif n° 1disposé de telle sorte que sa plate-forme supérieure se situe au niveau du rez-de- haussée du phare. Une enceinte crénelée et un profond fossé cernaient l'ensemble. Dans un but d’économie, l’idée avait été caressée un moment de loger les soldats de la garnison du fort dans les logements des employés du phare mais, devant les protestations de ces derniers, l’idée fut écartée (Salat p. 306). Les travaux, marqués par des difficultés à recruter l'indispensable main d'oeuvre, commencent en 1858 et se terminent en 1860.

Fort Cigogne.

On estime qu'il est inutile de l’agrandir, ni même de remédier à ses défauts, dont le plus grave était la faible hauteur des escarpes qui le rendait accessible à l’escalade. En 1843, le fort fut remis en état de recevoir une garnison : on procède à la réfection les chapes surmontant les casemates et, deux ans après, l’étanchéité ayant été vérifiée, les plates-formes d'artillerie sont remises en place. En 1847, on propose de rendre défensifs les deux fronts, simples murailles au nord et à L’inspection de 1857 décide toutefois de quelques travaux d’amélioration : un chemin de ronde constitué par une banquette d’infanterie soutenue par des arceaux surbaissés complète utilement le front sud-est. Pour renforcer la défense de l’accès au fort, une bretèche surmonte désormais le pont-levis de la porte d’entrée; les terre-pleins de l'est sont nivelés et les rampes d’accès achevées. La commission de 1841 avait fixé l’armement du fort Cigogne à quatre canons de 30, servis par vingt canonniers (Salat p. 307) : _ Face ouest : la plus importante, elle couvre la chambre et le chenal des Bluniers : 2 pièces ;

_ Face sud, vers l'île du Loch : 1 pièce;

_ Face est, vers Penfret : 1 pièce.

_ Face nord ne voyait aucune passe : aucun armement. Les travaux furent entrepris en même temps que ceux de Penfret et, comme eux, terminés pour l’été 1860.

Le fort Cigogne — éléments d'architecture.

Forme générale.

Le front principal nord-ouest est constitué d’un mur d’escarpe en granit de sept mètres de haut. En son centre est disposée, en retrait, une porte surmontée d’une bretèche. Elle était précédée d’un pont-levis aujourd’hui disparu. La batterie principale, au nord-ouest, n’a pas été achevée : elle se composait d’un terreplein gazonné de 7,50 m de large et d’un parapet à faible plongée de 4,70 m de large avec un talus intérieur de 1,50 m de hauteur. Ce terre-plein se prolongeait dans les deux bastions : celui de l’ouest est désormais surmonté d'une tour édifiée en 1911 par la Marine nationale pour servir d’alignement à deux bases de vitesse. Le bastion est ne présente qu’un simple parapet permettant det battre le pied de l’escarpe sud-est. Ce front se prolonge au nord et à l’ouest par deux demi-bastions.

La batterie nord-est utilise la butte naturelle qui a été aplanie pour former un terre-plein en avant duquel a été aménagé un parapet à faible plongée de six mètres d’épaisseur. La batterie de l’est a la même forme, mais le rempart s’interrompt brutalement, là où la courbe naturelle du sol s’abaisse et se poursuit par un simple mur de trois mètres d’épaisseur comportant intérieurement des niches à voûtes surbaissées supportant les banquettes de tir d’infanterie. Sur le front est couvert par un fossé creusé dans le roc. Le rempart se poursuit jusqu’à la moitié de la face ouest et englobe une « tour » renfermant les latrines. Le front sud-est est constitué, pour les trois quarts, d’un rempart utilisant la butte naturelle du terrain et, pour le reste, d’un simple mur à contreforts intérieurs.

Aménagements intérieurs. Dix casemates ont été installées en laissant intacte la butte située à l’est de l’île. Ces casemates sont aménagées de part et d’autre de la porte et chaque casemate s’ouvre sur la place d’armes par une porte et une fenêtre ; elles sont voûtées et toutes comportent une cheminée bien visible sur la partie sommitale du rempart. Une boulangerie, dont le four est toujours visible, est établie dans une casemate du rempart de la face ouest. Les bastions du front nord-ouest renferment un cachot pour celui de l’ouest et une citerne, à l’est (celle-ci ne sera terminée qu’au début du 19e siècle lorsqu’on lui ajoute un puisard). De facto, le fort n’aurait guère pu résister à une attaque de vive force, car il laisse, au nord-ouest, une large bande de terrain découvert face au mouillage de la « Chambre ». D’une faible valeur militaire, il est déclassé en 1899. Il se présente aujourd’hui en une bon état tout relatif — il a été retenu pour le loto du patrimoine 2018 — et n’a pas subi de modifications structurelles majeures.

L’île de Penfret.

Situé au nord-est du phare, le mouillage était défendu par une batterie construite au XIXe siècle sur la butte nord de l’île. Le fort comprend un réduit qui inclut le phare dans son enceinte (cf. supra).

Bibliographie

LE POURHIET-SALAT N. - La défense des îles bretonnes de l'Atlantique des origines à 1860. Vincennes, SHM, 1983.

AGUITON, Étienne - Mémoire sur les motifs qui peuvent déterminer à établir un fort sur l'isle Cigogne, l'une des Glénans. Ms., 1754. Note : [4] f. ; in-fol. Vers 1754 d'après la date de la tournée militaire du marquis de Paulmy en Bretagne. - Texte signé : "Le Chev. Des Roches". - Verso du dernier feuillet blanc. — Source : Coll. de la BnF

LA SAUVAGÈRE, Félix-François de - Plan en grand du projet de la forteresse sur lisle Cigogne, l'une des Glénans, avec les logemens proposés a preuve de bombes sous la platte forme la plus élevée. 1754. Ms. aquarellé avec retombe ; 71 x 103 cm. Échelle(s) : Echelle de 25 toises [= 22,5 cm] — Source : Coll. de la BnF

Dr Balliet

 

Update on restoration works on the Victoria Lines
Da tvm.com.mt del 3 novembre 2018

di Ruth Castillo
Work on the first phase of restoration work on the Victoria Lines has been completed. These were built by the British at the end of the 19th Century for defence purposes and stretched across a length of 12 kilometres and divided the island from west to east, from Fomm ir-Riħ to Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq. Conservation and Restoration work commenced at the beginning of the year in the Mosta area and will now continue at Għargħur. Restoration workers from the Restoration Directorate have just completed a half kilometre stretch on the side of Mosta’s Ġnien tal-Għarusa. The architect responsible for works, Ivana Farrugia, explained that some parts of the Victoria Lines that were missing have been built anew using the original stonework that had collapsed in fields. Works also involved removing past maintenance interventions that had not used restoration techniques. Ivana Farrugia said that some of the maintenance was glaringly out of place such as when fresh recent stonework was used and these did not correspond to the original dimensions of the stones originally used for the Lines.

These have been removed and replaced by the remnants of stonework that had been originally used. Architect Farrugia said that consolidation works have also been carried out on stretched that had become unstable. She said it was noted from documentation that originally the first layer of stonework had always been plastered and where this plastering had deteriorated it was re-plastered and although the same type plastering could not be used, to the eye the plaster used appears to be the original. Similar techniques will be used on the stretches of the Victoria Lines at Għargħur. The architect said there are some stretches that are totally missing. The difference is that all the original materials used so far were all recovered on site. However, in Għargħur there are many different levels and it will not be possible to use just the original stonework. Together with the work of the Directorate other activities connected to the Victoria Lines are also taking place including a clean-up campaign by the Ramblers’ Association on the east side of the Lines. Jane Caruana, a Member of the Association’s Committee said they had to play their part because besides enjoying the walks and the countryside the Ramblers want to make a contribution to leave a cleaner place over what they had originally found. She said all types of refuse had been gathered in a skip in over three hours including empty crisps bags, lemonade bottles, parts of vehicles and all sorts of things. The Ramblers’ Association is planning similar activities in other parts of the Lines. 

 

Turkey to Start Manufacturing Anti-ship Cruise Missile
Da defenseworld.net del 2 novembre 2018

Atmaca anti-ship missile (source: AA)

Presidency of Defence industries (SSB) of Turkey has signed a deal with two indigenous companies Rokestan and Aselsan to jointly manufacture the country’s first anti-ship missile, a Turkish newspaper reported quoting an SSB statement on Friday. Roketsan is tasked with serial production of ATMACA cruise missiles while Aselsan will work on the launch control systems and other important equipment for the missiles. The two Turkish companies will be making use of local resources for developing both missiles and launch systems, the newspaper added.

The systems will be integrated into the MILGEM (National Ship) project, which was initiated in 2000 to locally design and build a fleet of multipurpose corvettes and frigates that will replace older ships. The ATMACA is similar in capability to the Exocet of France, C-802 of China and Harpoon of the US. It can travel at subsonic speed and can reach a range of up to 200 km. The guidance suite comprises of a INS/GPS system with a terminal-stage active radar-homing (ARH) seeker. The provision of the Kale 3500 powered by ATMACA will enable Turkish industry the means to fullysource its stand-off range missiles.

 

The Cold War bunkers that cover a country
Da bbc.com del 2 novembre 2018

By Stephen Dowling

Fearing invasion during the Cold War, Albania’s leader Enver Hoxha forced his country to build tens of thousands of bunkers. Long after the regime’s collapse,many still remain. It is a spring morning and the sun is already high and hot. I am scrambling
across the ruins of Orikum, a Roman-era settlement that lies at the southern end of the sweeping Bay of Vlore, on Albania’s Adriatic coast. It is a remarkably well-preserved memory of the Roman occupation, complete with a theatre that still retains many of its stone steps. But it is not why I am here. There is another ruin at the foot of Orikum’s crumbling structures, though this one is less than half a century old, and far less celebrated. It was once the barracks for the nearby Pasha Liman naval base, which can be seen on the other side of the causeway road. My guide, Elton Caushi, jokes that we are ignoring a 2,000-year-old ruin in favour of a 40-year-old one. Between the ruins of the naval barracks and the road are a handful of bunkers. They are squat and grey, just tall and wide enough to fit a pair of people in each. The walls are crowned with a rounded cupola. They have been here since the 1970s, when Albania was one of the most isolated countries on Earth.

The bunkers were the brainchild of Enver Hoxha, a former partisan who ruled post-war Albania for 40 years under a regime both brutal and surreal. Convinced that everyone from neighbouring Yugoslavia to Greece, Nato and even his former allies in the Soviet Union wanted to invade his country, Hoxha embarked on a bunker-building programme of titanic proportions. The bunkers gazing out across the Bay of Vlore are the tip of a concrete-andsteel iceberg. From the northern border with Montenegro to the beaches facing the Greek island of Corfu, Albania was covered with bunkers in a frenzy of paranoid construction. They were built not just in their hundreds, or even several thousand – a conservative estimate puts the number of completed bunkers at more than 170,000. Today, they continue to litter the countryside, brooding over mountain valleys, silently guarding crossroads and highways, lined like unearthly statues on deserted beaches. Their legacy goes beyond the physical; each is thought to have cost the equivalent of a two-bedroom apartment, and their construction undoubtedly helped turn Albania into one of the poorest countries in Europe, a legacy which remains to this day.

***
Hoxha had a name for the state of preparedness all Albanians should be in – gjithmone gati, or “always ready”. This state of mind came in part from his experiences in World War Two. Albania’s small, poorly equipped military had been crushed when Fascist Italy invaded in 1939; fighting officially ceased after just five days. But the resistance did not completely end; it just melted away. Albania is a mountainous country, perfect for guerrilla warfare, and its people earned a reputation for fiercely resisting invaders over the centuries. As the war progressed an Albanian partisan movement, helped by comrades in occupied Yugoslavia and their British and Americans allies, began attacking the Italian and German occupiers. Foremost among the resistance movement were communist partisans, led by Hoxha. As the tide swung the Allies’ way, the Albanian resistance grew, gathering strength in mountain hideouts that proved impossible to dislodge. By the time they liberated the capital Tirana in November 1944, this rag-tag army of communists and nationalists was some 70,000 strong. After World War Two ended, Hoxha consolidated power, ruthlessly exterminating rival factions and even some of his fellow resistance leaders. It became a Soviet-aligned communist state. The small country then stumbled from one diplomatic crisis to another. In 1947 Hoxha broke off relations with neighbouring Yugoslavia, ostensibly because the less hard-line Yugoslavs were straying from the true path of socialism. Albania then lurched into another problem in 1961 after Hoxha declaimed Stalin’s reform-minded successor Nikita Khrushchev. The Soviets and the rest of the Warsaw Pact froze Albania out, forcing the isolated state to align itself instead with Mao Zedong’s China. This honeymoon, too, was short-lived. Incensed by Mao’s welcoming of US president Richard Nixon to China in 1972, Hoxha rapidly cooled relations with the Chinese too. By 1978, the Chinese had withdrawn all their advisors, leaving Albania without allies – and the most isolated country in the world. It was against this backdrop that the bunkerisation began. Hoxha’s hard-line socialism had made it vulnerable, he thought, to Nato attacks from Italy or neighbouring Greece. But he had also made enemies of former friends. An invasion could come from the Yugoslavs themselves, or their country could be used as a corridor for a Soviet invasion via Bulgaria.

Many of the bunkers are now overgrown and left alone in the Albanian countryside (Credit: Stephen Dowling)

Albania’s small armed forces would have been no match in a conventional battle against these much larger possible foes. Hoxha instead called on the mobilisation of the general populace – most of whom had to do basic military training each year – to form a resistance in their tens of thousands. In the days of the partisans, this would have been conducted from mountain hideouts, where small units would carry out attacks on the Italian or German outposts on lower ground. But Hoxha wanted to make sure that any potential invader would be put off from mounting an assault in the first place by creating a vast network of bunkers. From here, the people of Albania would contest every beach, village and crossroads. This national resistance would call for a monumental construction project. Albania would become a land covered in bunkers. The most numerous were the QZ (Qender Zjarri or “firing position”). Designed to hold only one or two people, they were built from reinforced concrete. The designer of the QZ was Josif Zagali, an engineer who had been a partisan during World War Two. Zagali mounted a rounded cupola on the top of the bunker so that bullets and shell fragments would rebound off it, giving the QZ its distinctive shape. The QZs would be built in small groups that could defend each other. The parts were designed to be prefabricated in factories and then assembled on site. Larger command/artillery bunkers, known as PZs (Pike Zjarri or “firing point”) were more than 8m (26ft) across. In wartime, these would act as command posts for rows of smaller QZs. Many of the bunkers are now overgrown and left alone in the Albanian countryside (Credit: Stephen Dowling) Even bigger bunkers were constructed to protect civilians in case of attack. Every town or city district would have underground concrete bunkers big enough to house hundreds of people. In 2016, on a previous trip to Albania, I visited one of the old shelters in Gjirokaster, a city of 25,000 some three hours’ drive south of Tirana. It was big enough to easily hold hundreds of people. One of those in charge of the construction of Hoxha’s concrete defences was Pellumb Duraj, a commander in an engineering detachment based in Burell in the north of Albania.

The bunkers were built in a frenzy of construction until the mid-1980s (Credit: Stephen Dowling)

He graduated as a civil engineer in 1973 and was one of the first engineers drafted straight into the army. “I was appointed there – I had no choice,” he tells me over coffee outside a Tirana cafe. “There was a need for more added protection because Albania left the Warsaw Pact, and [we] were alone in our political outlook and we were scared of atomic bombs and the American threat, so that situation pushed the government to ask for the building of bunkers. That was starting in 1968 when we left the Warsaw Pact. “The most intensive process was starting from 1975, so in these seven years we had to do the studies of the projects to pave the way to building the bunkers. Until then the army didn’t have civil engineers, they hired them from time to time.” It was Duraj’s job to make sure the bunker’s parts were not only produced and transported to the right place, but also that there were enough people onsite to put them together. And that was no small task; the army division Duraj was assigned to had 13,000 bunkers of various sizes to build. Constructing the bunkers was such a monumental task that almost every major factory in Albania was put to work. Cement factories churned out prefabricated concrete sections that an army of labourers would assemble in the field. With Chinese help, a huge new steelworks was built in 1974 to produce metal, much of it to reinforce Hoxha’s army of bunkers. Duraj had to negotiate with the collectives who were in charge of the rural settlements, which were organised much like the collective farms in the USSR. “At the beginning we had no experience, so it was the start of a new challenge, a very difficult one. In a way we could say the whole nation was involved in this process. The military managed it, but the people did the work. Public construction companies would produce them, public transportation companies would transport them to the field and then we had to hire local people according to their skills. Then, the unskilled labour was done by soldiers.”

The QZ bunkers were designed for one of two soldiers to delay the advancing enemy (Credit:Stephen Dowling)

The small QZ bunkers were only the tip of the iceberg as far as Duraj’s responsibilities were concerned. “Besides the small bunkers, the firepoints, we had to also build positions for anti-aircraft guns and for artillery, and also the warehouses and storage for the ammunition, we had to build the trenches connecting all the storage buildings and the bunkers. We had to deal with all the communications between them. We dealt also with command points for all the military, tunnels or underground constructions. Ammunition storage was built by us, fuel deposits, food and clothing and chemical storages. Even where the bunkers were to be located meant changes to their design, Duraj says. “In the western part, starting by the sea we built single-element bunkers that were heavy, they weighed about seven tonnes, because we were scared that an invasion would most likely come from the sea. They had a reinforced plate of iron that would protect it from missiles and bullets. “In the mountains the bunkers were lighter because they were designed to be carried by mules and men, and the heaviest element would weigh 100kg. But to build a firepoint bunker of the mountain type would take 70 different elements. The we had to connect them with iron and cement.” The engineers like Duraj were carrying out a task with no comparison in the modern world. As inspiration, they looked at some of the huge fortifications built in Europe before and during World War Two, such as the Maginot Line, which the French constructed amid the fear of a German invasion in the 1930s. “We studied their experience but what we built wasn’t a fortification of a line, but the fortification of the whole country – from the coastline to the top of the mountain.” Duraj says the bunker building took some 80% of the army’s resources during this period. Building bunkers was more important than growing food. The official party line, he says, was that “defence was considered the duty above all duties, while agriculture was considered to be a question for everybody.

The pollution-spewing steelworks in Elbasan produced steel for bunker production (Credit: Getty Images)

“Enver Hoxha would say the fortification of the country is the most efficient investment of our nation’s sweat, and every drop of sweat consumed by the fortifications is a drop of blood saved on the battlefield.” The work had to be carried out in all weathers, the heaviest parts hauled up by tractors or by World War Two-era Soviet Zil trucks and then assembled by hand. “In good weather we could do up to four bunkers a day,” Duraj says, “but in poor conditions… sometimes we’d see the Zil trucks stuck in mud up to the chassis, and then we had to get a tractor to pull the truck out. We also had accidents with cranes falling, killing people accidentally.” The BunkArt museum in Tirana estimated that the bunker building programme cost 100 lives for every year of construction. Duraj claims those numbers are too high, but agrees that there were fatal accidents during the construction of the bunkers. More than 25 years after the fall of the communist regime, Duraj has had plenty of time to consider the strategic worth of Hoxha’s bunker defences. Was Albania really under such grave threat that it needed to build this many? “If you ask me, it was exaggerated. We built bunkers in mountaintops, on the rocks. In places that even goats wouldn’t pass, we had to build bunkers.” *** The bunkers were born in factories like one my guide Caushi and I visit in Gjirokaster. This would have once been a hive of industry, as concrete cupolas were produced around the clock, ready to crown the tops of waiting bunkers. Today it is just a shell. The factory was torn down long ago, leaving little except rubble and the overhead gantries that would once have hauled heavy concrete slabs across the factory. It is a picture of post-communist decay. Near the ruined factory is Adi, who runs a local scrapyard, full of dystopian piles of crushed metal and soot-faced workers burning plastic off wires. When he bought the property, he also inherited the old factory nearby. It’s somewhat ironic – one of Adi’s jobs is to dismantle the bunkers. He and his workers sometimes travel into the mountains that loom over Gjirokaster, four hours’ drive away. It can take 10 of them a whole day to dismantle a bunker. They travel by car – when the construction brigades had to build them, it was often done with little more than the help of mules. The 38-year-old Adi remembers the bunkers from when he was a boy. “We’d play on them, play partisans vs Germans. Now we find the reminders of those days and thank God we had no war.” One of Adi’s workers, Nico, also remembers travelling up to the mountains with his friends and playing in the bunkers, long after the communist regime that built them had faded into history. By then the bunkers had been colonised by snakes, though Nico is convinced that one day he will find one full of treasure. ‘Treasure’ of a different sort turned up in one bunker in 2004. Some 16 tons of mustard gas canisters were found in a bunker only 40km from Tirana – the US had to pay the Albanian government some $20m to safely dispose of the weapons.

Gjirokaster was home to factories which helped produce parts for the bunkers (Credit: Getty Images)

While the likes of Adi are breaking up the bunkers to use the metal and concrete in modern construction projects, Albania doesn’t have the money – or the manpower – to remove them en masse. The QZs and PZs, instead, linger like the remains of some long-vanquished army. Albanians have turned these silent reminders of the country’s communist past to a variety of uses. In rural areas, they have been turned into animal shelters or are used for feed storage. Others, brightly painted, have become parts of inner-city playgrounds. The bunkers that once guarded Albania’s sundrenched coastline have, in some cases, been turned into pizzerias, espresso bars and makeshift bars, though many have also been removed – often using retired tanks as towing vehicles – to make way for new developments. But they are already attracting foreigners, both tourists and artists, compelled to capture them for posterity. David Galjaard is a Dutch photographer who has travelled several times to Albania to shoot the bunkers. “I was working on a series about Cold War bunkers in the Netherlands, when a journalist of the paper we both worked for (NRC Handelsblad) said to me: ‘Hey! If you like bunkers so much, you should go to Albania’,” Galjaard tells me over email. “When I read about the bunkers, and their history I couldn’t wait to go. It was December at that time. So, I waited until the snow melted (in Albania) and got into my Peugeot. “Before I arrived in Albania for the first time, I imagined a country that was full of scars. I felt sorry for the Albanians that they had this constant reminder of the harsh communist period. But when I arrived and asked about them, people shrugged. They often had no problems with it, unless the bunkers, for example, got in the way when ploughing their fields.” Galjaard’s three trips to Albania became the photo project Concresco, which was published as a book in 2012. “The way that the Albanian people deal with the bunkers says a lot about the country,” says Galjaard. “The way that they are ignored, or used for another purpose, or destroyed. This is why I used them as a visual metaphor to not only tell a story about the bunkers, but about the country itself. “In most countries, large parts of the vestiges of the Cold War were never visible for most people.

The cost of each bunker is thought to be the equivalent of a two-bed apartment (Credit: Stephen Dowling)

What’s unique about Albania is that the paranoia and xenophobia from that time always was and is still so clearly visible.” Caushi makes his living, partly, by presenting these relics of the Cold War as part of Albania’s uniqueness. He runs a tourism company, Albanian Trips, that includes visits to some of the most scenic reminders of Hoxha’s paranoia – mixing the country’s rugged, mountainous splendour with stark reminders of its decades of isolation. “Me and my photographer Swiss friend Didier Ruef took a three-week trip around Albania, chasing bunkers,” Caushi says. “We did find several ones being used as houses, animal houses but also plenty being beautifully located near beach or mountain views. Didier had already told me that he thought Albania would become a great tourist destination one day and that bunkers would have played a role in that. But I probably paid little attention to that. “Then the idea became more and more clear after I really focused into travel and tourism, starting around 2007, full time. People didn’t stop asking about them. I started meeting constructers, authors, recyclers, demolishers, scrap gatherers and amount of info started to become more and more important.” Caushi and I spend a couple of days travelling across the country, finding clusters of bunkers on the roads from Tirana down to Gjirokaster. In the past decade he has built up a map of the most photogenic examples. But little by little Hoxha’s bunkers are disappearing. “(There are) not many left if compared to 15 years ago,” he says. “There’s been a huge process of demolishing and getting rid of them. For scrap and because they occupy land. “I believe maybe 45-50% disappeared between 2006 to 2014. Then the government said they’re public property and whoever damages them will be persecuted by the Albanian law.” Despite being protected, Caushi believes many more will be destroyed over the coming decade. He often takes tourists to the bunkers that sit inside Tirana’s main cemetery. Here they seem to blend in amongst the tombs and gravestones. Others can be reached only by boat. Then there are the tunnels, the underground caverns and storage areas forgotten after the Cold War, now being rediscovered as tourism opens up the country. “There’s a huge one in a location which I will not tell: filled with a colony of thousands of bats. Quite odd to go inside. You walk on a thick layer of bat excrement and they fly all around your head and sometimes come touch your hair. While at all entrances you’re surrounded by slogans relating to Stalinist propaganda and technical advice on how to shoot at the enemy that will one day try to invade us!”

The bunkers were assembled out of parts built in plants like this (Credit: Stephen Dowling)

Caushi, who left Albania in the 1990s to study in Switzerland before returning some years later, has mixed feelings about Hoxha’s enduring legacy. “I hate and love them at the same time. They’re odd and if I would have had any power to stop them from happening I would have certainly done so. But since they’re here and we did pay with so much sacrifice for their construction, I believe the best way to punish who forced us to pay and work for making them, is to recycle them into things that satirise the original project: keep the enemy away. Let’s try to attract the ‘enemy’ into them.

“It’s a tragicomic approach and I believe it’s healthy. From the original barrier that they should have eventually been, they can become shelters for the ‘enemy’ to come, have fun, explore and learn from them. Learn from this huge mistake and try not to let it happen again in the future.” For those who built them, the bunkers perhaps represent the years lost to Hoxha’s paranoia. When visiting the derelict factory in Gjirokaster, Caushi begins talking to a group of workmen building a wall nearby.

One of the workmen, Isa, tells him that the iron mould used to cast the bunker cupolas is now a water tank in the garden of his sister’s neighbour. He invites us to come up and take a picture of it. Over a glass of homemade raki, he and his brother-in-law tell us of the summers they built bunkers back in their army days, lugging 40kg slabs of concrete up trails to build bunkers which never fired a shot in anger. “While the rest of the world was building rockets to send men to the Moon, we were building bunkers,” his brother-in-law snorts. “Madness.”   

 

RAF Stenigot Cold War communications dishes 'sold for scrap'
Da bbc.com del 1 novembre 2018

Three of four giant communications dishes which mysteriously disappeared from a World War Two RAF station may have been scrapped, it has emerged.

The 20m-wide long-distance microwave dishes at RAF Stenigot in Lincolnshire were abandoned in the 1980s after the systems became redundant.

The dishes, which appeared recently in the Channel 4 series Hidden Britain by Drone, were a popular local landmark. The MoD said the removal work was undertaken by the current landowners.

According to Lincolnshire Live, the dishes, which were part of an emergency communications network between Nato countries, were "chopped up" by a local firm and sent to a scrapyard.

The site's owners have been contacted by the BBC but are yet to respond. Most of the former RAF station had been previously demolished apart from the Grade II listed radar tower which is still used by the RAF Aerial Selection School for training.

It is not yet known if there were any protection orders in place for the dishes.

A spokesman for the local authority, East Lindsey District Council, said: "We do have an investigation under way looking into this matter.

"This will be to determine whether the removal of the dishes would have required permission."

 

Den Kolde Krig på Kongelundsfortet
Da dragoernyheder.dk del 1 novembre 2018

Uge 44 i den kolde krigs tegn. Tirsdag, onsdag og torsdag er alle udskolingselever i Dragør Kommune til det årlige historieløb, der arrangeres af Museum Amager, Dragør Ungdomsskole og Historisk Arkiv Dragør, og som afvikles i samarbejde med Dragør Bibliotek, Hjemmeværnet, Kongelundens Outdoorcenter og lokale frivillige. Kommunens tre skoler kommer på skift ud på Historieløbet og i løbet af de tre dage er i omegnen af 550 udskolingselever (7.- 9. klasse) igennem heldagsløbet, der i år har Den Kolde Krig som tema og derfor afvikles på Kongelundsfortet.

For at skærpe det faglige grundlag for løbets mange aktiviteter startes dagen ud i Kongelundshallen, hvor museumsinspektør Christian Aagaard fra Museum Amager hver dag giver eleverne et foredrag om Den Kolde Krig. Informationerne fra foredraget skal eleverne bruge i løbet af dagen, når de skal løse de udfordringer og spørgsmål de bliver præsenteret for.

Efter foredraget tager soldater fra Hjemmeværnskompagni København over og gennemfører en omgang streng eksercits, der effektivt slår dagens militære tone an, inden eleverne føres i geled ind på Kongelundsfortet, hvor Christoffer Søe fra Dragør Ungdomsskole, sætter scenen og forklarer eleverne reglerne for dagen og hvad scenariet for historieløbet er.

Og så går selve dagens udfordringer i gang. På 10 poster bliver eleverne udsat for en lang række af de forskellige trusselsscenarier man fra dansk side var underlagt under Den Kolde Krig. Fokus er på samarbejde, kreativ opgaveløsning og faglighed når eleverne blandt andet trænes i gasangreb, konstruktion af flyverskjul, håndgranatkast og identifikation af skibe fra henholdsvis Nato og Warszawa-pagten.

Ved dagens udgang ridses den historiske baggrund op en sidste gang inden der kåres en dagsvinder. Når alle tre skoler har været igennem Historieløbet kåres der en samlet vinder, der har en god og fagrelevant præmie i sigte. Skulle man have lyst til at se løbet live er man velkommen til at slå et smut forbi Kongelundsfortet og se hvordan moderne historieundervisning i de autentiske rammer kan se ud.

 

NANTES : UN BLOCKHAUS SOUS LE CHÂTEAU DES DUCS !
Da bigcitylife.fr del 31 ottobre 2018

Non vous ne rêvez pas ! On a bien écrit un blockhaus sous le Château des Ducs de Bretagne à Nantes.

Pour être totalement transparent avec vous, nous n’avons pas découvert ce lieu insolite par hasard…

C’est tout simplement lors des visites intitulées « Les Interdits du Château » que nous avons découvert qu’un blockhaus était bel et bien caché sous la célèbre cour…

 

Durant la seconde guerre mondiale, les Allemands réquisitionnent le Château des Ducs de Bretagne.

En 1943, ils vont décider d’y construire un Blockhaus qui ne va finalement et heureusement pas servir puisque que le Château ne sera pas bombardé durant la guerre. En 2018, le blockhaus est toujours présent, sous la cour du Château des Ducs.

On y accède par des escaliers qui se sont situés juste à côté du Café Restaurant.

Quand vous êtes en face de la tour et de la terrasse, c’est à droite

L’accès est fermé au public mais vous pouvez tout de même apercevoir l’entrée du blockhaus. Durant les « Interdits du Château » les visiteurs ont la chance de descendre à l’intérieur.

 

Le Blockhaus est intacte et on retrouve même une marque avec la date de 1945…

La prochaine fois que vous vous baladerez du côté du Château des Ducs de Bretagne et notamment dans la cour, n’hésitez pas à jeter un coup d’oeil et monter au dessus du Blockhaus

 

A Castle by Any Other Name
Da jacobsearth.com del 30 ottobre 2018

One of the cool things about having a project that requires searching the whole world and trying to find information about castles and forts in numerous languages, is that I actually get a learn a few words in those numerous languages. I'd like to share the translations of some of the more common words that I deal with every day. While having a full dictionary of fortification-related words would be interesting, words like couvreface aren't exactly applicable to locating relevant sites. The list of words included are: bastion, battery, blockhouse/pillbox, bunker, casemate, castle/chateau, fortress, gatehouse/barbican, palace, star fort, and tower. Most words share identical or very similar spellings (especially among Romance languages), but greater variations do occur and it's always nice to have a handy guide to help out just in case.

 

1. Bastion

A bastion (or bulwark) is a defensive work that protrudes out from a curtain wall.

They can be towers or angular features like in the image. "Bastion" is the same in Dutch, English, French, and German.

In Spanish it's baluarte; Italian is baluardo; Hungarian is bástya; Russian is Бастион; and Turkish is kale burcu.

 

 

Battery Ledyard, Angel Island, California. The two large guns have been removed

2. Battery

A battery is any unit of artillery that is grouped together to help facilitate greater firing power (concentration of power), to defend a specific part of the fort, and to help communication and general functioning.

In Bosnian it's baterija; Danish is batteri; Dutch is batterij; French and German is batterie; Spanish is batería; Polish and Portuguese is bateria; Russian is Батарея; and Turkish is batarya.

 

 

Blockhouse at Fort McClary, Maine, US

3. Blockhouse and Pillbox

A blockhouse is a small stand-alone fortification (built of either wood, stone, or concrete) that is meant to serve as a defensive strong point.

The 14th century Cow Tower in the UK is an early example of blockhouses.

Over time they became shorter in height as artillery became more powerful.

 

A small pillbox in Crimea

Most are squared in design but others are round, hexagonal, and come in other shapes as well.

Smaller blockhouses were built during World War I and because of their familiar shape, they were nicknamed "pillboxes".

During WWII, over 28,000 of these were constructed by the British to help repel the anticipated Nazi invasion.

Pillboxes are generally smaller than typical blockhouses.

In Dutch it's blokhius; German is blockhaus; French is fortin; Polish is blokhauz; Spanish is blocao; and Russian is Блокгауз.

A bunker in Hirtshals, Denmark

4. Bunker

Bunkers are pretty much anything designed to protect people and material from bombs or other forms of attack.

They can be small concrete structures or enormous underground complexes. In Europe, most think of bunkers in relation to World War II, particularly along the Atlantic and West walls, however, Albania has a very interesting (though largely pointless) system of over 170,000 bunkers.

"Bunker" is largely the same in most languages. In French, though, it's casemate. However, in English, bunkers and casemates represent different things with subtle differences. In Polish, it's schron; Portuguese gives it some flourish with búnquer; Russian is Бункер; and in Turkish, sığınak.

An integrated casemate at the 15th century Fort Bkar.

5. Casemate

Like the aforementioned bunker, a casemate is a hardened defensive structure. However, casemates are different in that their main function is firepower.

A bunker can be to hide in or shot from, casemates are fortified gun emplacements.

Until the 19th century, they were integrated parts of larger fortifications.

During the 19th century, free-standing casemates were developed. In Czech it's kasematy; Danish is kazemat; Spanish is casamata; Polish is kazamatta; and Russian is kаземат.

Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland

6. Castle and Chateau

At its most basic definition, a castle is a fortified residence for a noble or other important person (like a bishop or military commander). The French word for castle is chateau, however, chateau is also used to describe any manor house. These include structures built well after "real" castles stopped being constructed (the vast majority of real European castles had been built by the 16th century). Because of this, chateau has come to be strongly identified with 16th-18th century manor houses and estates (that often produced wine) and with French Renaissance architecture. While these can be very impressive structures (like Chateau de Chambord), they are not true castles/chateau in the original meaning of the word. This makes it important to do a little research on each place to know for certain if they are fortified places, or simply extravagant homes.

Castles can also be used to describe tower houses, which were fortified homes that are a simple tower and no attached curtain wall. An example of a "castle tower house" is Kinlochaline Castle in Scotland. Tower houses are most identified with the UK and Ireland, but they exist in other parts of the world as well. As mentioned, "castle" in French is chateau (may also be chateau fort); Bosnian and Croatian is dvorac; Czech is hrad; Danish is borg; German is burg; Spanish is castillo; Italian is castello; Lithuanian is pilis; Hungarian is vár; Dutch is kasteel; Polish is zamek; Portuguese is castelo; Russian is Замок; Turkish is kale. An additional variation on kale that is common among Central Asian nations is qala. In German, a castle that was built completely surrounded by moats (or another source of water) is called a wasserschloss. The Polish zamek can also be used to describe a manor house or palace (see below).

Fortress at Deal, UK

7. Fortress

A fort is a military construction (a single building or larger complex) that is used to defend a particular area.

Forts can be anything from a 3,000 year old hillfort, a castle that no longer serves as a primary residence, a massive star fort, and any number of other things.

They can be relatively small (like Fort de la Conchée) or positively enormous like Pakistan's Ranikot Fort. While soldiers will obviously live at a fort, a fort isn't their primary residence except for their duty tour; whereas castles are primarily a home. In Dutch it's vesting; German is festung; Italian is fortezza; Polish is twierdza; and Spanish is fortaleza.

 

Gatehouse of the 16th century Château de Fleury en Bière

8. Gatehouse and Barbican

 

There are subtle differences between a gatehouse and a barbican, but many times the words are used interchangeably.

A gatehouse is the entrance point into a building (any kind of building, basically) to control the flow of people. It can be simple or well defended.

Gatehouse in French is porterie; German is torhaus; and Spanish is casa del gaurda.

 

 

Warsaw's reconstructed Barbican (destroyed during WWII)

 

A barbican is a strictly defensive work that often protects a city or castle as a fortified gate.

 

 

Barbican in French is barbacane; German is barbakane; Spanish is barbacana; Polish and Croatian is barbakan; and Russian is Барбакан.

 

Palacio Real Aranjuez (Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Spain)

9. Palace

Palaces are large, typically royal, residences. They are an evolution of the castle but one that has lost all of its defensive features (with some exceptions, as always). Palaces are often constructed on the site of a former castle or incorporate older structures, like keeps, into them. In German, the schloss is a related term. They can be manor houses, palaces, or castles that have been expanded and turned into grander residences. To review, chateau, palace, schloss, and zamek all have similarities and are often used interchangeably with "castle". However, there are technical differences between a palace and a castle, as well as distinctions based on time period between a chateau, schloss, and zamek, so the history of the building needs to be taken into account.

In Czech it's palác; Danish is palads; French is palais; German is palast; Hungarian is palota; Italian is palazzo; Latvian is pils; Polish is pałac; Spanish is palacio; and Turkish is saray.

The Citadel of Jaca, Spain.

10. Star Fort

Star forts, aka bastion forts, were developed in Italy in the mid-15th century as a response to the ever growing threat cannons posed to earlier fortifications.

As artillery advanced, these forts evolved into "polygonal" forts which continued to be constructed into the 19th century.

Aerial warfare and super cannons made static fortifications obsolete. Star forts are my favorite type of fortification, and to-date I have been able to locate over 1,600 of them worldwide.

The Italian term for these forts is trace Italienne (which literally means Italian outline); Spanish is traza italiana; Hungarian is Olaszbástya; Dutch is gebastioneerd vestingstelsel; Polish is twierdza gwiazda; Portuguese is fortificação abaluartada; Russian is Бастионная система укреплений; and Turkish is Yıldız kale.

Towers in Strasbourg

11. Tower

Towers have long been an important part of fortifications.

They have been included as part of city walls, castles, and as stand alone structures (such as Martello towers). The tower's height lets defenders see potential dangers at a greater distance, they make it possible to fire arrows or cannons farther, and they provide a projection of force, enabling defenders to fight attackers before they get to the main fortified structure. There is also the related bergfried, which is a "fighting tower" of a castle.

Bergfried's are different from donjon's (or keep) in that they were not meant to have permanent living quarters. Sometimes these towers make up the bulk of the remains of ruined castles. In German you may come across either wehrturm or simply turm; French is tour; Italian and Spanish is torre; Dutch will be either weertoren or toren; Polish is baszta or wieża; and in Russian it's башня.

 

The Secret Nazi Super Fortress in Antarctica – Fact or Fiction?
Da warhistoryonline.com del 28 ottobre 2018

Norway's main research station, Troll, in Queen Maud Land.Photo: Islarsh Islarsh CC BY-SA 3.0

The idea that the Nazis set up a secret base in Antarctica may sound like a crazy conspiracy theory from the darkest recesses of the internet, but this story has actually been around since shortly after the war. The original “theory” was proposed in 1947 by Ladislas Szabo, a Hungarian exile in Argentina. He claimed that Hitler survived the war and that U-boats that docked in Argentina after the war had first dropped him off at a secret Nazi base. He proposed that the Schwabenland, a German ship that sailed to Antarctica in 1938, had set up a base there. British and American military action in the area fed the conspiracy theories, and when the United States detonated three nuclear bombs in the area in the 50s, speculation ran wild. Surprisingly, many of the events described in the story were real, even if the Nazi base was not. Why were Nazis in Antarctica? Before delving into the facts of the situation, it should be noted that there are several versions of the story of an Antarctic Nazi base. In recent years a number of these stories have become popular online, with dozens of sites perpetuating them. The simplest story is that there was a significant Nazibase hidden in Antarctica and that some Nazis held outthere for years after the war. The most extreme theories claim that the Nazis encountered alien life, or at least alien technology, in Antarctica. This prompted them to set up an extensive underground base in a set of caverns. Obviously, this is not the case. Although the Schwabenland did indeed sail to Antarctica in 1938 with the intent of claiming an area now known as Queen Maud Land for the Reich, it did not stay long enough to build any significant structures. Based on estimates from a 2007 study, it would have taken about 20 days to get to the site of the supposed base and back. Given that the Schwabenland was only in Antarctica for around 30 days, this would have left only ten days to build an entire base. This is unfeasible given the weather and the fact the base would have taken a significant amount of time to construct.

The Schwabenland was in Antarctic waters for very simple reasons: German economic and territorial interests. Whaling played a significant role in the German economy in the 1930s, but whales in the North Atlantic had been over-hunted. Therefore, the Germans wanted more information about whale populations in the South Atlantic and figured they’d claim some land while they were at it. The Schwabenland had two seaplanes that it launched several times to survey the area. Although they did land on Antarctica, the Nazis never stayed there for more than a few hours. As for the U-boats that some claim visited the base before heading to Argentina to surrender, none of them actually had the ability to reach any such base. To reach the supposed site, the subs would have needed to stay under the sea ice for around ten days, which they couldn’t do. Why was There so Much British and American Military Activity in the Region? Conspiracy theorists make much out of the British Operation Tabarin, which they describe as a group of elite SAS soldiers heading to Antarctica to stave off the Nazi threat. In reality, the mission was launched for research purposes and to bolster British territorial claims in 1943. The bases they set up would have made for a rather poor military force, as they averaged only around five occupants, none of whom were SAS. These bases also would have been poorly positioned for combat with Nazis on Queen Maud Land, as they were built on the opposite side of the continent – around 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) away.

Territory comprising claimed German territory New Swabia marked in red.Photo: Thomas Blomberg CC BY-SA 2.5

One must also remember that the world did not become calm as soon as the Nazis surrendered. The Soviets and NATO both scrambled for Antarctica at the beginning of the Cold War. In 1946, America conducted Operation Highjump. With over 4,700 men involved, this might seem significant. However, 11 journalists were present to cover the entire mission. This is because the mission was designed to strengthen U.S. claims on the territory, so the government wanted it to be widely reported. The operation also provided American soldiers with training in Arctic conditions in case there was ever a need to fight the Soviets on similar terrain. This operation was conducted on the opposite side of the continent from the supposed base. The Final Bombshell So if there was no base, then why would Americans drop multiple nuclear weapons in that area? The answer to that is: they did not. The bombs were actually dropped over the ocean 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) North of Antarctica and were intentionally detonated at extremely high altitudes. This was carried out as part of an international agreement to test the impact of nuclear weapons detonated at high altitudes. Observers wanted to know if the radiation would fall all the way to the ground (it did not) and what the impact of the detonations would be on electronic equipment. Although these tests, code-named Operation Angus, were originally conducted secretly, they were reported on and publicly acknowledged the following year. They were declassified in 1982. A Real Nazi Arctic Base Those who may be a bit disappointed that reality cannot measure up to the imaginations of some writers might be excited to know that there are some genuine Arctic military bases set up by the Nazis. As recently as 2016, one secret Nazi base was found on the island of Alexandra Land. Russian scientists found reams of well-preserved documents, along with hundreds of artifacts, including bullets and bunkers. The base, named Schatzgraber (Treasure Hunter), was primarily used as a tactical weather station. It had to be evacuated when its inhabitants ate spoiled meat and became sick. Conclusion It is clear, after investigating the evidence available, that the conspiracy theories do not add up, even if the military missions they revolve around did really happen. In addition to the inaccuracies described above, conspiracy theorists failed to address major logistical problems with setting up such a base. For example, how would the base have acquired food until its supposed defeat in the 50s? Why would the Nazis have continued holding on in Antarctica, now that their cause was doomed? If they had a master plan, why wait so long? Overall, it would have made much more sense for the Nazis to use these resources in Europe, rather than fighting for a giant glacier on the other side of the world. 

 

Marseille : la nouvelle vie de la base de sousmarins allemande Martha
Construites par les Allemands en 1943 et 44, les alvéoles en béton armé destinées à accueillir des "U-boot" sont abandonnées depuis près de 75 ans
Da laprovence.com del 29 ottobre 2018

Elle fascinerait les amateurs d'Urbex - ces fous d'exploration urbaine qui se glissent dans les bâtiments abandonnés pour en saisir l'ambiance fantômatique - mais elle leur est interdite.

Martha, la base de sous-marins qui subsiste au milieu du Grand port maritime de Marseille, possède l'atmosphère des lieux qui ont vu passer l'Histoire puis connu l'abandon.

Construite par les Allemands à la fin de la Seconde guerre mondiale, Martha devait accueillir 20, puis 30 sous-marins de la "Kriegsmarine".

Inachevée lors de la Libération, elle aurait ensuite un temps servi de prison.

Avant de sombrer dans l'oubli pendant plus de 75 ans. Indestructible, difficile à reconvertir. Jusqu'à ce qu'Interxion soit autorisé à y installer un de ses data-centers, qui devrait être inauguré fin 2019.

 

Une base jamais achevée

La base, en 1951, est l'un des seuls bâtiments encore debout du port.

Depuis plusieurs mois, grâce à un partenariat avec Interxion, les passionnés de l'association Vauban effectuent des recherches afin de raconter l'histoire de cette base qui, contrairement à ses six autres cousines de la côte Atlantique (Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire, la Rochelle et Bordeaux), n'a jamais été utilisée. "Les plans de la base ont été réalisés au janvier 1942 et les travaux ont démarré en mai 43, détaille Jean-François Gabilla, vice-président de l'association.

Elle devait comporter 13 alvéoles pour 20 sous-marins soit 7 alvéoles doubles et 6 simples. Le projet a ensuite été porté à 30 alvéoles mais seules les 24 premières ont été réalisées." Ce ne sont d'ailleurs pas à proprement parler les "garages à sous-marins" qu'on peut voir actuellement, mais les locaux techniques qui leur étaient dédiés. Les cales à l'eau, plus aisées à construire, auraient dû se trouver en miroir des alvéoles existantes, côté mer, à la place d'un grand mur de béton construit pour protéger la base pendant la durée des travaux.

Des fresques et dessins sur les murs

Fabrice Coquio montre l'une des fresques, un paysage de montagne. La Libération a tout changé. Et pendant un an, les lieux auraient été transformés en prison pour y cantonner la garnison allemande de Marseille.

Aucune certitude quant à cet usage, tempère Jean- François Gabilla, "car en 1944, tout a été géré par les Américains, pas les Français, nous n'en avons donc aucune trace administrative." Mais la présence de fresques artisanale sur certains murs accrédite fortement cette thèse.

"Nous en avons trouvé 17, à l'heure actuelle, et en dévoilons encore", précise Fabrice Coquio. Paysages évoquant le Tyrol autrichien, esquisses des calanques ou croquis d'un marin coiffé de la casquette allemande chevauchant une mine sous-marine... Autant de traces qui témoignent du passé de Martha. Désormais, les murs de béton armé se dressent, vides. Seul les rayons du soleil et quelques figuiers colonisent les lieux en attendant les ouvriers qui ser chargeront de lui donner une nouvelle vie.

Un monstre de béton armé

Malgré les privations de cette fin de guerre, la base Martha, quatrième génération des bases de sousmarins allemandes, a été solidement bâtie afin de résister à une bombe de 10 tonnes. Pour armer le béton du toit (7 m d'épaisseur !), des murs d'enceinte (presque 3 m), de la dalle au sol (1,85 m), et autre composantes, les entreprises supervisées par le Todt, groupe de génie civil et militaire en charge du bâti défensif du Troisième Reich, ont pris tout ce qui leur tombait sous la main. Des rails entiers de chemin de fer ont même été retrouvés par radiographie du béton ! Dans sa taille actuelle, inachevée, elle mesure 251 m de long par 45 m de large, et est composée dans sa majorité de 24 alvéoles, sur les 30 prévues dans la seconde mouture des plans.

La reconversion

Vu du toit, le mur massif qui protégeait Martha pendant le chantier. D'ici un an, la base sous-marine aura changé de visage. Car l'endroit abandonné depuis près de 75 ans sera investi par MRS 3, le troisième data-center marseillais d'Interxion. "Nous avons fait un devis il y a cinq ou six ans. Pour détruire la base, il faudrait compter environ 26 millions d'euros de travaux, à coups d'explosifs et de pelleteuse hydraulique", précise Fabrice Coquio. Et si le PDG d'Interxion France admet qu'installer un data-center dans un bâtiment à ce point spécifique n'était pas la solution idéale ni la plus économique pour l'entreprise - le désamiantage à lui seul a représenté une coûteuse et lourde opération - la localisation stratégique de l'endroit a prévalu : connecté à MRS 2, proche de l'arrivée des câbles marins, la base abandonnée, inutilisable pour bien des usages, a trouvé une nouvelle vocation. Le bail a été signé pour 49 ans, et représente 110 millions d'euros d'investissement. MRS 3 sera livré à la fin de l'année 2019. Autant dire que les travaux devraient démarrer rapidement et de manière intense. La structure générale sera gardée, y seront intégrés, dans des étages de 6 m de plafond des salles blanches informatiques aux parois doublées. Un espace de 5 cm de vide sera créé sur les murs qui comportent une fresque et une vitre renforcée sera installée afin de sauvegarder celles-ci - à  l'initiative de l'entreprise. Mais avant, d'ici la fin de l'année, sera publié un ouvrage réalisé par Alain Chazette, spécialiste des bunkers de la Seconde guerre mondiale et membre de l'association Vauban. "Nous (l'association, Ndlr) avons fourni les textes et l'iconographie avec un contexte, un tissu historique, une traduction en anglais et un intercalaire sur les autres bases allemandes construites en France. Interxion éditera l'ouvrage à destination des utilisateurs du lieu, précise son viceprésident Jean-François Gabilla. L'idée étant d'apporter une dimension sociétale, d'appropriation patrimoniale du lieu et de mettre en valeur son histoire." L'historien amateur passionné confie qu'un projet de colloque au Mucem, qui intégrerait une intervention sur la base Martha, ouvert au public, est aussi à l'étude. Affaire à suivre. di Frederic Speich

 

HC SPÄTTAN - Civilförsvarets ledningscentral
Da fortifikationvast.se del 28 ottobre 2018

Det kalla kriget är isande kallt och kallare bli det den 28 oktober 1981 när U-137 går på grund vid Torhamnaskär i Gåsefjärden, cirka en mil sydost om Karlskrona. Kvällen innan bedrev svenska marinen tester med en ny ubåtsjakttorped utanför Karlskrona skärgård. Ubåten Neptun och två helikoptrar ur 13:e helikopterdivisionen deltog.

Fiskarna Ingvar Svensson och Bertil Sturkman begav sig ut för att vittja nät på morgonen den 28 oktober, de upptäcker att vattenytan var täckt av en tunn oljefilm. Sturkman kör tillbaka Svensson till Sturkö och beger sig själv ut för att dra upp några krokar och det är då Sturkman gör upptäckten, halvvägs uppkörd på grundet vid Torumskär stod en ubåt. Han skyndar sig hem, ringer Svensson som i sin tur ringer till Örlogsbasen i Karlskrona som inte tog hans samtal på allvar. Först två timmar senare fanns personal från marinen på plats.

Med örlogsbasen österut och flygflottiljen norrut ligger den lilla staden inklämd och det insågs tidigt att de båda platserna var tacksamma bombmål för en fiende i öst. Därför behövdes en skyddad plats även för civilpersonal som i händelse av exempelvis krig skulle upprätthålla lag och ordning.

Hc Spättan är byggd med sitt inslag i västlig riktning, detta för att undvika att en tryckvåg från en atombombssprängning i exempelvis Karlskrona som kunde slå ut anläggningen. Uppförandet av anläggningen påbörjades 1963 och stod klart under 1965. Till anläggningen byggdes ingen nödutgång, vilket kom att försvåra för anläggningen längre fram i tiden.

Innanför den enkla trädörren döljer sig en c:a 60 meter lång och sluttande tunnel innan stötvågsdörrarna. Mittemot ingången till anläggningen finns ännu en stötvågsdörr, här innanför finns reservkraftaggregaten som skulle förse anläggningen med ström ifall ordinarie nät slogs ut. En 9 kubikmeter stor dieseltank skulle förse reservkraftaggregaten med bränsle för att kunna serva anläggningen i c:a 2 veckor helt isolerade från omvärlden. I fredstid fungerade reservkraftaggregaten som reservkraft åt brandstationen som ligger intill berget. Inne i anläggningen fanns allt som behövdes för att personalen skulle kunna leva instängda under en längre tid: uppdelade sovsalar för både män och kvinnor, ordersal, toaletter med duschar och matsal som kunde utspisa den arbetande personalen om c:a 60 personer. Anläggningen är byggd i två plan och är 500 kvadratmeter stor till ytan med eget elsystem, färskvattenbrunn och avlopp för att personalen skulle klara en tvåveckorsperiod instängda och helt isolerade från omvärlden.

Hc Spättan har en gång under sin aktiva tid varit i skarpt läge och det var under den ovannämnda ubåtsincidenten i Gåsefjärden 1981, men hur länge och hur mycket personal det involverade förtäljer dock inte historien. Under årens lopp har övningar genomförts i anläggningen fram till 1999 då Spättan inte längre fyllde någon funktion för civilförsvaret. Att anläggningen saknar nödutgång gör att det enbart får vistas 10 personer därinne och att bygga en nödutgång skulle kosta väldigt mycket pengar, vilket gör att anläggningen är svår att hyra ut eller finna någon funktion för. Kommun har flera gånger under 1990-talet presenterat förslag för alternativa användningsområden och i början av 2000-talet sattes driften på sparlåga för att minska kostnaden. Vad som kommer hända med anläggningen i framtiden är oklart, vi på Fortifikation-Väst hoppas Spättan att får ett nytt användningsområde och undgår plombering eftersom det är ett stycke svensk försvarshistoria från det kalla kriget. SVT gör ett reportage från Gåsefjärden där kust- och falskärmsjägare övar på öarna runtom U137, en styrkedemostration av svenska försvaret.

Denna artikeln skrevs av Peter Larsson.

 

Plymouth underground bunkers daubed with satanic graffiti
Da bbc.com del 28 ottobre 2018

A Victorian fort which has been daubed with satanic graffiti is a serious danger to youngsters, police have said.

Fort Austin in Plymouth has a warren of underground bunkers which officers say young people have used for drug taking. Police also said fires were being lit inside which "could lead to serious injury or worse". Plymouth City Council, which owns the site, said it installed blockwork at the entrance to the tunnels in July to try to prevent access. Austin Fort was built in 1863 as part of Plymouth's northern line of defences, stretching from Ernesettle in the west to Laira in the east and were linked by a military road. Graffiti writing and symbols on the walls include references to Satanism. PC Esther Tucker said that "continued use of these tunnels is not only causing damage to historic buildings, but it is putting those involved at risk".

She said that access to the tunnels was "difficult, meaning that exiting the tunnels in an emergency is also difficult". One teenager, who did not want to be named, said: "You have to be quite small, it's quite a squeeze, but you can still get in. "There's graffiti all over the walls with satanic symbols and writing. "There's even a cage in one room where people say a dog was sacrificed." The fort is also thought to be haunted, he said, and is a favourite for ghost hunters.PC Mark Freshwater, who posted a video of the site on Twitter in July, said that local youths had used the tunnel to "smoke bongs" and if there was a fire they could be "death trap". The city council said it would be visiting the site "early next week and will ensure the blockwork remains in place and check there is no other means of access".

 

Visitamos el Castillo de Manzaneque
Da cuadernosmanchegos.com del 27 ottobre 2018

Este original castillo que hemos visitado nos permite ver la situación original del mismo, pues en contra de la mayoría de las ubicaciones de los castillos en zonas de montaña, lomas y cerros aislados, este se encuentra en un llano junto con las casas habitadas, ya que el pueblo se construyó y se fundó al albergue de este castillo que se construyó con carácter defensivo. Manzaneque es una pequeña población de la provincia de Toledo cerca de Los Yébenes, Orgaz y Mora de Toledo. El castillo es algo desconocido por su ubicación que hace que no sea muy visible a larga distancia y estar protegido por las casa del pueblo. Está declarado Bien de Interés Cultural desde el año 1949 y en el siglo XX se procedió a una restauración. Hasta hace poco tiempo se ha venido empleando sus sótanos como cárcel y actualmente es la sede del Ayuntamiento de Manzaneque.

Su construcción data del siglo XV, es de planta cuadrada con dos tubos de bastante altura a los dos lados de la puerta de entrada y dispone de una torre del homenaje y una puerta de acceso en forma de arco apuntado. Se dispone de bastantes datos históricos y según las informaciones obtenidas el castillo se construyó por orden de unos ricos hombres de la zona que dominaban los territorio y que se conocen como el matrimonio formado por María Catalina García de Meneses y Lorenzo Suárez de Zuloaga, pasando posteriormente a manos de los condes de Fuensalida y en 1487 a propiedad del secretario de los Reyes Católicos, Iñigo Álvarez de Toledo que lo mantienen sus herederos hasta que en al año 1782 se abandonó, no teniendo habitantes. El castillo consta de cuerpo de guardia, calabozos, comedor, biblioteca, dormitorios, salón, torre homenaje con calabozo y sala de banderas. Durante las guerras carlistas sirvió de refugio a los ciudadanos de Manzaneque y en el año 1930 pasó a ser la sede del Ayuntamiento y durante la Guerra Civil fue la Sede de Mujeres Antifascistas y terminada la guerra para la sede de la Sección Femenina. En el interior se han realizados distintas modificaciones y como hemos dicho alberga la Sede del Ayuntamiento y el Centro de Información de Castillos Toledanos. En el mismo castillo se celebran bodas completas con dos fórmulas: la tradicional cristiana y la medieval en latín con vestuario de la época y que están totalmente autorizadas.(Castillo del amor) Se puede visitar previa cita.

 

FORT TICONDEROGA ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES MAJOR FEDERAL INVESTMENT AND PLANS FOR FUTURE GROWTH
Da fortticonderoga.org del 26 ottobre 2018

This Fort Ticonderoga announced today plans for a major capital campaign and collection preservation. Aided by federal investment, announced today by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and supported by Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Fort Ticonderoga continues to expand its collections catalog and rediscover more pieces of our nation’s amazing treasures. Fort Ticonderoga was awarded $249,400 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as part of a $619,630 project to inventory, catalog and store more than 30,000 items from its objects collections. This 3- year project will also aid in the updating of the online collections database recently launched by Fort Ticonderoga making its rare museum collections accessible to the world. Additionally, Fort Ticonderoga announced it is beginning the next phase of a $70 million capital campaign to support plans to enhance the visitor experience, which includes the construction of a new state-of-the-art museum to house and display the growing collections of historical importance. The museum will serve as the premier North American military history museum, spanning the early modern era from 1609-1815. This investment shows the strength of the organization, and why Fort Ticonderoga has gained a reputation as a world-class destination important to our nation’s history. This is the most aggressive expansion in the history of Fort Ticonderoga and will be one of the largest economic development projects in the North Country.

“In the last decade, Fort Ticonderoga has experienced significant growth in visitors, economic impact, and educational reach,” said Beth Hill, President & CEO of Fort Ticonderoga. “We continue to offer an unmatched glimpse into the past through our collections, living history programs, and academic programming on the very grounds where freedom was advanced. We’re excited to move forward with these plans to ensure that people can have access to our singular collections and experience all that Fort Ticonderoga has to offer for generations to come.” This investment comes on the heels of a $2.45 million grant awarded to Fort Ticonderoga by New York State for the preservation and adaptive re-use of the Pavilion, the historic home on the Fort Ticonderoga campus. The Pavilion was built in 1826 and is considered one of America’s first summer homes. The restoration project, expected to be complete in 2020, will save a national treasure while expanding Fort Ticonderoga’s capacity as a national cultural destination. The future Pavilion will include expanded visitor amenities, conference center capacity, and new educational and exhibition space. “I’m proud to help secure nearly $250,000 in federal funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Museums for America Grant program for Fort Ticonderoga’s newly announced expansion,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our region thrives on the tourism and commerce we generate from our unique historical heritage, and Fort Ticonderoga is a pillar of our area’s culture. As a child, I remember spending many days at Fort Ticonderoga with my brother and parents, exploring the grounds and watching historical reenactments. The expansion announced today is great news not only for our tourism economy but for the countless families like my own that will be enriched through the educational programs at Fort Ticonderoga. I’ll keep working in Congress to ensure our North Country history is shared for generations to come.” “Fort Ticonderoga shaped world history,” said New York State Senator Betty Little. “I’ve been honored to support the fort in many different ways and am very pleased to join in today’s announcement of funding that will help shape Fort Ticonderoga’s future. Preserving the fort and creating a more enriching experience is a true team effort that will benefit our region for decades to come. Kudos to Congresswoman Stefanik, Beth Hill, the dedicated members of the board of trustees and everyone else who is playing a role in making this historic jewel shine even brighter.” “The preservation of this historical collection will allow Fort Ticonderoga the ability to provide a greater understanding of the history and rich tradition the Adirondacks has amassed over the years,” said New York State Assemblyman Dan Stec. “Sharing this piece of history with future generations will enrich the lives of many visitors and ensure the viability of this world-class museum.” “Fort Ticonderoga is one of America’s greatest historic treasures and one of the North Country’s greatest tourist attractions,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “This latest federal support for the fort’s collections and assets is another building block in the continuing enhancement of Fort Ti as an economic asset to the entire region. We thank Congresswoman Stefanik, as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, for their steadfast support for the fort, and we know that great things lie ahead thanks to this kind of federal partnership.” This was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant # MA-30-18-0166-18

About IMLS
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook (link is external) and Twitter (link is external). Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort™ Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is supported in part through generous donations and with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. America’s Fort is a registered trademark of the Fort Ticonderoga Association. Photo Credit: Copyright Fort Ticonderoga, Photographer Carl Heilman II

 

Diefenbunker Museum Blog - Artifacts and Archives: Behind the Scenes
Da diefenbunker.com del 26 ottobre 2018

This week we introduced a new member to our team: Grant! He’s our new Development Assistant! Here’s a few words about his first week. “My first week at the bunker has been outstanding! Everyone was very welcoming and extremely friendly. I was introduced to the guides, some volunteers, and everyone who works in the office. I was lucky enough to take several tours of the facility. The last time I visited the bunker I was 9 or 10, so I had forgotten just how massive the facility was. My first tour was run by Brian, and it was fantastic. Not only did Brian make the tour fun and funny, but he also taught the group numerous facts about the bunker.

Even though I majored in Canadian History (specifically the 1960s-80s), I learned a lot. There were plenty of fun facts and little bits of information I had never learned before. It was also fascinating seeing a historical site that was set up as if it was still the 1960s-80s. Did you know that the Defienbunker has a second vault? On my fourth day at the bunker Doug, (one of the bunkers founding members!!) showed me around the archives and artifact rooms.

One of these rooms was another vault! It contained items like military uniforms, Cold war era board games, and many others. I’m looking forward to seeing them out on display in the future. I also had the opportunity to visit the archives room. In this room the bunker stores numerous documents related to the Diefenbunker and the Cold war in general. Some highlights include floor plans, building schematics, and nuclear preparedness manuals. There were some amazing items to see. Overall, my first week at the Diefenbunker has been amazing. I’m happy to be here and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Thanks so much for your guest blog post Grant, and welcome to the team!

 

Castillos de Valladolid, un ruta mas chula que la de Juego de Tronos
Da elviajedesofi.com del 26 ottobre 2018

Cuando leas este artículo te va a quedar claro por qué a mi región le llaman Castilla. Aquí empieza una viaje por una de mis provincias favoritas, que no me canso de visitar. En esta ocasión la ruta va a ser muy especial, llena de historia y de lugares mágicos. Coge tu armadura, afila tu espada, golpea tu escudo y a por ellos: ¡nos vamos a conocer los castillos de Valladolid! Pero, ¡ojo!, no solo vas a visitar castillos en este viaje. Tomaremos buen vino y disfrutaremos de ricas viandas. Viajaremos en globo. Sí. En globo. Si me has leído antes, ya sabes que lo de volar me da un poco de miedito (https://www.elviajedesofi.com/travel-bloggers-miedovolar/). Más abajo te lo cuento, pero te anticipo que el “sufrimiento” mereció la pena. También vas a descubrir un lugar histórico como el archivo de Simancas. Que como no podías ser de otra forma está dentro de un castillo. 7 castillos de Valladolid que te van a enamorar

7 castillos pueden parecer muchos, pero te puedo asegurar que a mí este viaje se me hizo corto. Cada uno es diferente con una apasionante historia detrás y unas vistas que conseguirán que solo quieras ver uno más y otro más y otro más… Son 23 los castillos de Valladolid que se pueden visitar. Una oferta turística que se articula en torno al de Fuensaldaña, totalmente reformado después de haber albergado durante muchos años las Cortes de la región. A partir de 2019, él sera el eje de las visitas a las fortalezas de la provincia gracias a la incorporación de una importante zona museística en el interior. Después de haber hecho esta ruta creo que tendré que añadir los castillos de Valladolid a mi artículo de imprescindibles de Castilla y León (https://www.elviajedesofi.com/imprescindibles-de-castilla-y-leon/).

1.- Castillo de Montealegre El Castillo de Montealegre —testigo de las luchas entre nobles y realeza— está hecho en piedra de sillería. Situado en un enclave natural, que lo convirtió en inexpugnable. Su torre pentagonal es un mirador de 360 grados. Desde aquí tendrás las mejores vistas de la Tierra de Campos. Si tienes suerte y el día es claro verás los Montes Torozos y la montaña palentina. Al fondo queda también el Canal de Castilla del que te hablé en el artículo de mi ruta por Palencia (https://www.elviajedesofi.com/ruta-de-dos-dias-por-palenciafromista- las-tuerces-y-ampudia/). Su altura actual es de 20 metros aunque llegó a tener el doble. Fue un excepcional baluarte defensivo que medió en las guerras entre los reinos de Castilla y de León, y sirvió de defensa de los ataques de aragoneses y portugueses. En su parte superior se colocaba un trabuquete para lanzar la munición y destruir las máquinas de guerra de los atacantes. María de Molina —la tres veces reina— es uno de los grandes personajes vinculado a la historia de esta fortaleza. Con habilidad y tenacidad consiguió liderar la defensa del castillo y mantener el trono contra los enemigos de su reino. Isabel de Meneses es otra de las grandes Pero este no es el único recurso del pueblo de Montealegre. De origen neolítico cuenta con numerosas muestras de arquitectura popular de la zona. En tu visita no puedes dejar de incluir el Museo del Pastor —un recurso etnográfico que recoge los orígenes del pastoreo—, la iglesia de San Pedro —que tiene un notable retablo renacentista— y la iglesia de Santa María. Además en esta zona hay varias rutas de senderismo y ornitológicas del proyecto trino. Dirección: Calle Nicolas Rodríguez, 1, 47816 Montealegre de Campos, Valladolid Contacto: 680857148 Horarios: de semana santa hasta octubre. Visitas guiadas los viernes a las 17:30; sábados, domingos y festivos, a las 11:30 y 17:30. Una visita de hora y medio de duración. Precios: 4 y niños y jubilados 3

2.- Castillo de la mota, Medina del Campo Este castillo defensivo es una fortaleza del siglo XV. Aquí ha habido población desde la prehistoria. En la reconquista había una muralla defensiva que evoluciona al actual castillo de la mota. Ha sido un monumento vivo que ha sufrido sucesivas transformaciones. Si te fijas bien verás impactos de artillería en la torre, provocados durante las guerras de sucesión de la casa de los Trastámara. El origen del castillo de Medina del Campo se sitúa en una dudosa leyenda de un labrador que prometió hacer un castillo en el siglo XII. En la portada del arco del centro hay un escudo de los Reyes Católicos, sin la granada, que nos indica que es anterior al 1492. Fue cárcel. Había dos, unas mazmorras, la cárcel de sito— para los presos de baja estopa—, y otra prisión para los políticos. En el patio de armas del castillo se utilizan las instalaciones para dar cursos formativos y suele haber exposiciones. En el salón de honor —incluido en la visita a la torre— se conserva la única cubierta original. El resto es reconstruido en el siglo XX. Allí está el peinador de la reina. Supuestamente era en ese lugar donde Juana la loca se peinaba y peinaba mientras esperaba que llegase Felipe el hermoso. Hay diferentes tipos de visita: visita libre —gratuita—, guiada sin torre, guiada a la torre del homenaje, teatralizada a la torre y con audioguía. Dirección: Centro de recepción de visitantes, avenida del castillo s/n, 47400, Medina del Campo. Contacto: 983810063 Horarios: Invierno: de lunes a sábado, de 11:00 a 14:00 horas, y de 16:00 a 18:00 horas. Domingos y festivos de 11 a 14 horas. Verano: de lunes a sábado, de de 11:00 a 14:00 horas, y de 16:00 a 19:00 horas. Domingos y festivos de 11 a 14 horas. La visita al castillo y la torre dura dos horas. Precios: las visitas guiadas son de martes a domingo con reserva previa. Normalmente suelen ser a las 11, 12, 13, 16 y 17 horas. En verano hay una más a las 18:00. Visita guiada general, 4 €; especial, 3 €; reducida, 2,50 €; y empadronado, 2 €. Visita guiada a la torre, única —solo a la torre; conjunta —con el castillo—, 2 €. Visita teatralizada a la torre, única —solo a la torre— 6 €; torre + guiada general, 8 €. Audioguías, 3,50 €

3.- Castillo de Íscar No es un castillo, es una fortaleza. Su uso era solo defensivo. No es residencial. Pertenece al Ayuntamiento de Íscar. El yacimiento más antiguo es de un pueblo calcolítico. Su origen está en el siglo X. La mayor parte de la piedra original fue robada para hacer cal. Los escudos de la torre son de la familia Miranda del Castañar, de origen salmantino. Tiene foso, puente de acceso y cubos para reforzar su defensa. El patio de armas son 2.000 metros cuadrados en los cuales se pueden encontrar proyectiles abandonados. Tiene un aljibe de 33 metros cuadrados que de momento no es visitable. Cómo particularidad en la torre del homenaje hay un pilar central para soportar el peso de la bóveda debido a los problemas de la mala cimentación. El interior muy interesante tiene una rehabilitación bastante invasiva con la construcción original. Originalmente era cuadrada, pero se modificó a pentagonal para modificar los problemas constructivos. En el patio de armas está la cervecera La loca Juana. Una microcervecera que elabora en el castillo y tiene sala de degustación donde se realizan eventos privados y culturales. La cerveza es un homenaje a la primera reina de España a la que no dejaron gobernar los hombres de su familia. Utiliza elementos naturales sin conservantes. Su carbónico es ligero y en su proceso no hay pasteurización. Dirección: Calle Castillo, s/n, 47420, Íscar, Valladolid. Horarios: sábados de 12 a 15 y de 17 a 20; visita guiada a las 12 y 17. Domingos y festivos de 12 a 15; visita guiada a las 12. Precios: el acceso al recinto monumental es libre y gratuito. El ayuntamiento oferta una visita a colectivos cerrados por 1,60 € por persona para visitar el castillo. Las reservas se hacen en 606688273. La cervecera La Loca Juana (983101511) también hace diferentes tipos de visitas: 1. Tomando la torre del homenaje. Visita guiada a la torre + botellín de 33 cl para llevar. Duración: 35minutos. C 2. Conquistando el castillo. Visita guiada a la torre y a la cervecera + 2 cervezas maridadas con tapas. Duración: 90 minutos.

4.- Castillo de Tiedra Su origen está en un asentamiento romano, el de Amallobriga. Que iba desde el Castillo a la ermita. Este asentamiento resurge con El Cid y el comienzo del cerco de Zamora. En el siglo XII se cambia el enclave de la villa al ser reconocida como tal. Es un castillo de defensa. Esta rehabilitado, durante 100 años fue un palomar. El Ayuntamiento lo compró a una familia privada. Cuenta con una torre del homenaje exenta en el interior. Dentro de este baluarte hay una exposición con armas, cascos y escudos medievales. Hay hasta unas cotas de malla. En verano hacen una recreación del asalto al castillo en la que utilizan un ariete que está durante el resto del año en el exterior. Para 2019 van a preparar contenidos enfocados al público infantil. Dirección: calle del Castillo, 7A, 47870 Tiedra, Valladolid De noviembre a marzo (sábados, domingos y festivos), mañanas a las 13 y a la 17. De abril a octubre (sábados, domingos y festivos), mañanas a las 13 y tardes a las 18 horas. Duración de la visita: 50 minutos. En 2019 abrirán varias horas en horario libre con la incorporación de audio guías. Teléfonos de reserva e información: 983791405 y 667763852

5.- Castillo de Torrelobatón El castillo de Torrelobatón es del siglo XVI. Escuela de Valladolid. Está tematizado y preparado con audiovisuales para explicar la historia de Castilla y sus luchas internas a lo largo de los pisos en los que se divide la torre del homenaje. Este castillo fue preparado para dominar el valle. Es uno delos mejores lugares de la región para observar un atardecer típico castalleno. También tendrás una maravillosa experiencia si el día está con nubes o hay la característica niebla de Valladolid. También se pueden ver los carteles originales de la película de El Cid de varios países y fotos del rodaje —que durante tres días empleó como extras a los habitantes de la localidad— del film protagonizado por Charlton Heston y Sofia Loren. Dirección: Calle Castillo, s/n, 47134 Torrelobatón, Valladolid. Horarios: Verano. Viernes de 17,00 a 19,30 h. Sábados, domingos y festivos de 11 a 14 y de 17 a 19,30 horas. Invierno. Sábados, domingos y festivos de 11 a 14 y de 16 a 18,30 horas. Precios: información de reservas en el teléfono 665 834 753.

6.- Castillo de Peñafiel Fue el Conde de Castilla Sancho García quien le dio el nombre. Al clavar su espada y decir que ésta sería la peña más fiel de Castilla. La familia Girón pusieron su escudo en el castillo ya que fueron ellos los encargados de remodelación en el siglo XV. En el XIX fue abandonado y rehabilitado posteriormente para hacerlo visitable. Desde su torre del homenaje hay unas vistas privilegiadas de la Ribera del Duero, los viñedos y los pinares. Lo que más sorprende de este castillo es su forma de gigantesco navío de más de 200 metros de largo. Su figura impresiona en un día claro como el que tuve yo, pero por lo que me contaron todavía es más sorprendente en un día de niebla. Te recomiendo que no te limites al castillo y visites la hermosa plaza de Peñafiel, una de las más originales de Castilla y Léon. Dirección: Avenida Constitución, 16, 47300, Peñafiel. Valladolid. Contacto: 983881199 / 983880060 Horarios: De octubre a marzo. De martes a domingo y festivos de 10:30 a 14 y de 16 a 18 horas. De abril a septiembre. De martes a domingo y festivos de 10:30 a 14 y de 16 a 20 horas. Última visita al castillo 40 minutos antes de la hora de cierre. Está cerrado los días 1 y 6 de enero, y el 24, 25 y 31 de diciembre. Precios: visita guiada al castillo, 6,60 €. Entrada gratuita para los menores de 12 años acompañados por sus padres. El precio de la entrada incluye la visita guiada al castillo y el acceso libro al Museo provincial del vino situado en el propio castillo de Peñafiel y del que te hablo un poco más abajo.

7.- Visita al Castillo de Villafuerte de Esgueva Los encargados de enseñar el castillos son los miembros de la Asociación histórica Villafuerte. Son recreacionistas. Tiene un convenio con la asociación de amigos de los castillos. Las visitas tienen un objetivo didáctico. Muy enfocadas al público infantil. En cada planta hay un personaje para tematizar el tour por la fortaleza. A mí este es uno de los castillos de Valladolid que más me ha gustado; puro divertimento. Aquí puedes sentirte un auténtico caballero medieval tirando con arco y luchando con espadas. Una experiencia única para toda la familia que disfrutarán especialmente los peques de la casa. El recorrido no sólo habla de la historia del castillo, sino que bucea en la del medievo graciasal amor y al cariño que le ponen estos guías tan especiales. Dirección: Camino Castillo, 2D, 47180 Villafuerte, Valladolid. Horarios: fin de semana. El horario se acuerda bajo reserva previa. Precios: 7 € adultos y 2 € los niños.  

 

Most pro pevnost Terezín
Da hithit.com del 26 ottobre 2018

Pomozte nám vrátit do bastionové pevnosti Terezín původní dřevěný most z 18. století. Opevnění bývalo v minulých staletích plné malebných dřevěných mostů, po kterých se chodívalo na procházky po hradbách. Pojďme společně vrátit část historie do města.

Jak to začalo

Všichni o ní mluví, ale jen málo kdo zná její skutečnou tvář. Ano, řeč je opravdu o pevnosti Terezín. A té se to právě týká ...

Terezín vznikl v 18. století jako jedinečná bastionová pevnost, která měla bránit české království před vpádem pruských vojsk. Tehdy to byl vrchol pevnostního stavitelství, který se dochoval v téměř nezměněné podobě do dnešních dnů. Pojďte s námi i vy poznat tuto jedinečnou památku a vrátit jí opět slávu z dávné historie. Dříve byly jednotlivé hradby spojeny dřevěnými mostky, které se do dnešních dní nedochovaly a pokud ano, tak jsou v značně poškozeném stavu. My by jsme chtěli alespoň jeden z nich opravit a zpřístupnit právě třeba i vám.

Co je náš cíl?

Naším cílem je obnovit původní most z 18. století v Hlavní pevnosti Terezín. Tento most byl dlouhý 6 metrů, jeho šířka byla 2 m a síla byla 80 cm. Jak uznáte i vy, nejedná se o žádného drobečka, ale o celkem slušný díl skládanky v rámci celé pevnosti. 

Detaily

Naším cílem je vrátit do staré bastionové pevnosti Terezín jeden z mnoha mostů, které zde v 18. století byly. Ty se klenuly nad příkopy a spojovaly jednotlivé části hradeb. Podle dochovaných původních historických plánů z…

 

Un livre, un jour… Où il est question de ouvrages traitant des fortifications aux qualités diamétralement opposées !
Da fortifications-neuf-brisach.com del 26 ottobre 2018

Parmi les nombreux ouvrages qui viennent régulièrement agrémenter mes bibliothèques, j’ai retenu deux parutions récentes : le contraste est saisissant sur le plan qualitatif et mérite qu’on s’y arrête ! 

WARMOES I., ORGEIX É. - Atlas militaires manuscrits (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles). Villes et territoires des ingénieurs du roi. Paris, BnF, Ministère des armées, 2017.

Notice extraite de la postface : « Aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, tandis que les grands ateliers cartographiques européens s’affairent à l’édition de luxueuses séries d’atlas universels pour leur clientèle la plus fortunée, c’est au plus près du terrain que les ingénieurs militaires façonnent patiemment leur propre conception de l’atlas militaire manuscrit, à bien des égards plus intimiste et secrète. Si leurs ouvrages se définissent toujours comme des “livres reliés de cartes et plans”, ils adoptent des formes infiniment diverses, allant du simple “ramas” de documents utile à l’exercice de la profession à la “visite de places” commandée par l’administration militaire, en passant par le somptueux recueil dédicatoire. Dessinés à la plume et souvent rehaussés de lavis, ces recueils, conçus à des fins stratégiques, dressent le portrait inédit et toujours confondant de précision de provinces, païs, villes fortifiées et ouvrages militaires tour à tour défendus ou convoités par l’État monarchique. Cet ouvrage abondamment illustré, qui réunit une étude historique et un catalogue raisonné complété d’index de lieux et d’auteurs, présente pour la première fois, planche par planche, l’un des gisements cartographiques d’Ancien Régime les plus exceptionnels qui soient conservés dans les fonds d’Île-de-France.

Instrument de recherche inestimable pour l’histoire des villes, de l’architecture et des territoires, il éclaire l’ensemble des processus de réformation orchestrés en France entre les règnes d’Henri IV et de Louis XV, tout en faisant la part belle aux pays européens et aux États du Levant ». Si ce catalogue répond à toutes les attentes au regard de la qualité du travail réalisé — il allie la qualité des textes et des illustrations —, on peut toutefois regretter la politique éditoriale de la BnF : difficile à acquérir et, de surcroit, pour un prix de vente conséquent (180 euros), il ne propose qu’une médiocre reliure puisque l’ouvrage est simplement broché ! Enfin, le propos de la postface rédigée par l’éditeur comprend une erreur : « présente pour la première fois, planche par planche »… Bien évidemment, seule une sélection parmi les très nombreuses planches de l’atlas est proposée. Quoi qu’il en soit, il s’agit d’un ouvrage des plus estimable que je recommande sans réserve. Rédigé par des auteur(e)s aux qualités certaines, il mérite de figurer en bonne place dans les bibliothèques (très) spécialisées. Au pire… Le second ouvrage est cette fois de main anglo-saxonne… Présenté de manière avenante par l’éditeur, il est susceptible de tenter quelques lecteurs et, principalement, les néophytes. BLACK J. - Forts. An illustrated history of building for defence. Londres, Osprey - The National Archives, 2018.

 

"Adriatic Fortresses that Unify" at the Old Fortress from November
Da enimerosi.com del 24 ottobre 2018

A new collaborative project between the Municipality of Corfu, the Inspectorate of Antiquites and the Marco Polo European group from Venice aimed at creating a strong Euro-Mediterranean network with Corfu playing a key role.

Corfu and Venice continue working together in the fields of sustainable tourism and cultural development with projects that contribute to the diversification of tourism through art and international relations. Thanks to the collaboration of the Venetian European Economic Interest Group and the Marco Polo System the project Fortresses that Unify has been set up and aims to create a strong Euro-Mediterranean fortress network.

As was written in Homer's Epics in ancient times, the founder and coordinator of the Marco Polo System Pietrangelo Pettenò says, "Corfu is still a place of hospitality and culture today, which is why we consider it to be an intrinsic part of our efforts to create a strong Euro-Mediterranean fortress network. We visualize that which was built to provide protection against outside forces becoming a place where different worlds can meet and exchange experiences."

Project Manager Alberto Cotrona points out, "With this kind of project Corfu once more plays the role of protector of the Mediterranean, not in a war but as regards dialogue and creativity. The collaboration of the Inspectorate of Antiquities, with Ms Rigakou's extensive knowledge and professionalism is of key importance along with Mayor Nikolouzos and Deputy Mayor Kavadias." The fortresses of the Adriatic and the Ionian are not only outstanding examples of architecture but they are also able to become workshops for culture and the exchange of experiences in the name of so-called 'cultural diplomacy'.

The first step is the photography exhibition which will open at the Old Fortress before the end of November and which was initially launched as part of the CAMAA Programme (Interreg Italia-Slovenia 2007-2013, Centro per le Architetture Militari dell’Alto Adriatico). The exhibition was last seen in Ljubljana (ZRC SAZU), Venice (Palazzo Ferro Fini - headquarters of the Regional Council) and Ferrara and when it comes to Corfu exhibits will be added to show the island's fortification heritage.

 

Ukrainian Army to Receive Vilkha Multiple Rocket System
Da defenseworld.net del 22 ottobre 2018

'Vilkha' MLRS System

The Vilkha multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), a clone of the Smerch MLRS from the Soviet era has been accepted into the Ukrainian army and its industrial production will start soon. The new system was developed by Luch, the state design bureau in Kyiv. Experts say that supplies for the troops will start in mid-2019, according to UAWire. Development the Vilkha multiple-launch rocket system RS began in January 2016 and it was completed in May 2018.

The system is based on the old Soviet Smerch MLRS. The Vilkha was successfully tested in April and December 2017. In February 2018, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov announced that industrial production of cruise missiles for Vilkha would start at the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019. In April 2018, during the regular military exercises, Turchynov stated that the Vilkha outperformed the Russian Smerch in every way.

 

NATOs sidste militære anlæg i Danmark lukker
Da berlingske.dk del 21 ottobre 2018

A NATOs medlemmer byggede på den i næsten otte år. Undervejs mødte demonstranter som Kvinder for Fred op for at protestere, men i november 1985 åbnede NATOs dengang meget avancerede og atomsikrede bunker dybt under jorden ved Finderup vest for Viborg. Næsten præcis fire år senere faldt Muren og den trussel, som bunkeren var bygget til at imødegå. Og i dag lukker NATO så sin sidste militære installation i Danmark. Lukningen markeres med en parade foran »Bunker 7«, der var det officielle navn. Under Den Kolde Krig skulle bunkeren bruges af NATOs militære ledelse i Danmark, der under normale forhold havde hovedkvarter på Flyvestation Karup ikke langt fra bunkeren.

Desuden rummede bunkeren et par hundrede mand, der styrede luftoperationerne over den sydlige del af NATOs nordflanke mod Warszawapagten. Man regnede med, at netop luftkrigen ville blive afgørende i en eventuel krig mellem de to militære blokke.  I alt var der plads til 400 mand, som skulle gå ned ad de 96 trin til operationsrummet 40 meter under jorden. Bunkeren var bygget i tre dæk med egen luftforsyning, vandforsyning, kraftværk og forsyninger til mere end en måned uden kontakt til verden ovenover. Siden afslutningen på Den Kolde Krig har CAOC 1 - Combined Air Operations Center - varetaget en voksende del af NATO-alliancens nordlige luftrum, der her mod afslutningen omfatter luftrummet fra de britiske øer via Island, Norge og Danmark og de baltiske lande.

Denne opgave skal overtages af det tilbageværende luftoperationscenter i NATOs nordlige område, der ligger i Uedem i Tyskland. Op imod et par hundrede ansatte fra en række NATO-lande har med en dansk officer som chef bemandet stolene foran skærmene i operationsrummet. En initiativgruppe bestående af tidligere oberst og folketingsmedlem Jens Christian Lund (S), folketingsmedlem Kristian Pihl Lorentzen (V) og adm. direktør Ove Klock, Hedeselskabet, har etableret projektet »Bunker 7« for at skabe, hvad de betegner som »et oplevelsescenter på Viborg-egnen med international slagkraft«. Flere andre militære anlæg fra den kolde krigs tid er allerede indrettet som museer, heriblandt Langelandsfortet og Stevnsfortet.

 

Cinco castillos con chicha
Da elnortedecastilla.es del 20 ottobre 2018

No choca mucho que un territorio que lleva por nombre «Castilla y León» pueda presumir precisamente de eso, de castillos. Los hubo casi por todas partes y casi desde siempre. Cualquier promontorio con vistas era bueno para alzar una torre, una atalaya, un castro, cualquier cosa hecha con piedras gordas que permitiera descubrir movimientos extraños en la llanura o el valle. De muchas de aquellas construcciones no ha quedado ni noticia pero muchas otras evolucionaron, según circunstancias y procesos históricos, hasta acabar convertidas en auténticas cajas fuerte. El lugar más seguro en el que estar. Castilla y León tiene inventariadas 93 fortalezas. Algunas son solo los restos maltrechos de lo que un día fueron. Muchas, por suerte, todavía mantienen en pie buena parte de su estructura. Y unas cuantas están lo suficientemente enteras como para que adentrarse por ellas siga siendo una aventura apasionante capaz de trasladar a quien lo hace a tiempos tan remotos como los de la Edad Media. Por último, unas pocas de estas fortalezas aportan a la visita el plus de ponernos en contacto con otros mundos, no siempre relacionados con la arquitectura militar o con la Historia. Son las que han acabado convertidas en contenedores culturales brindando sus pasillos, sus mazmorras y estancias para albergar colecciones, museos o centros de interpretación. Suman así, al interés que siempre tiene la visita a un castillo el de disfrutar de montajes expositivos o abrirnos a mundos que nada tienen que ver con vencedores y vencidos. Y gozan también de que el privilegio de ser tenidos en cuenta para nuevos usos les garantiza, al menos, el afianzamiento de sus estructuras durante un tiempo más. Estos son algunos de esos castillos que sorprenden al visitante por la mucha miga que albergan en su interior.

1 Valladolid Castillo de Peñafiel
Su reconversión de ruina respetable en buque insignia de los museos provinciales de Valladolid fue modélica. Una estructura desmontable sustenta en el interior del castillo de Peñafiel la instalación del Museo Provincial del Vino de Valladolid, un moderno montaje expositivo pensado para mostrar la variedad y calidad de la producción vinícola de la provincia, con cinco denominaciones de origen reconocidas: Tierra de León, Ribera del Duero, Cigales, Toro y Rueda. El recorrido por su interior aporta una visión general del largo y laborioso proceso que implica la elaboración de este producto: nueve secciones en las que se habla de la historia, los procedimientos, los tipos de prensas utilizados, las herramientas, los útiles de medida, las botellas o la cata. La visita incluye la posibilidad de disfrutar de las impagables panorámicas que se ofrecen desde las almenas. Unas vistas que hacen comprender de inmediato que la ubicación del castillo no es fruto del capricho o la casualidad. Este castillo, junto al recinto califal de Gormaz, es tenido como uno de los mejores ejemplos de arquitectura militar medieval española. INFORMACIÓN: Tel.: 983 881 199.

2 Valladolid Castillo de Simancas
Es normal que algunas fortalezas hayan ido cambiando de forma y de funciones a lo largo de los siglos. Es el caso de este castillo muy conocido por albergar en su interior muchos de los principales documentos de la Historia de España pero muy poco visitado por el público en general. Y es una pena porque resulta de lo más interesante. La visita guiada, además de ilustrar sobre la importancia y el manejo de documentos, recorre estancias tan interesantes como el cubo del Archivo, el espacio habilitado por Felipe II para reunir en él los documentos más selectos y secretos de Patronato Real. Antes de pasar a manos de la Corona, en 1480, el castillo de Simancas había cumplido su función de fortaleza defensiva en manos de la familia Enríquez, almirantes de Castilla. Después, y dadas sus especiales condiciones de seguridad, fue utilizado, entre otras cosas, como depósito de armas, de dinero o como prisión de Estado. En la actualidad alberga la exposición 'Espías: servicios secretos y escritura cifrada en la monarquía hispánica'. INFORMACIÓN: Visitas guiadas: información y reservas en los teléfonos 983 59 00 03 (laborables) y 902 500 493 (fines de semana y festivos).

3 Salamanca Torreón de Alba de Tormes

Una torre de aspecto inexpugnable y planta cilíndrica es lo único que queda después de que se decidiera la voladura de la fortaleza, durante la Guerra de la Independencia, para evitar que se atrincheraran en ella los franceses. Mucho antes de eso, al menos desde que Gutierre Álvarez de Toledo recibiera la localidad de manos de Juan II, formó parte de un complejo defensivo que Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel acabó transformando, definitivamente, en un suntuoso palacio renacentista. De su mano el edificio se engalana con los mejores mármoles, pinturas y tapices mientras que por sus salas desfilan notables figuras del Siglo de Oro. Ejemplo de ello son los magníficos frescos renacentistas que adornan su sala de la Armería, una de las pocas muestras de este estilo que pueden verse en España. La visita a la torre, que acoge también muestras expositivas, brinda magníficas vistas de la villa y su entorno. INFORMACIÓN: Tel. 923 37 06 46.

4 Ávila Castillo de Arévalo
Fue mandado reconstruir a mediados del siglo XV por don Álvaro de Zúñiga, duque de Béjar, y se asegura que tras la muerte de Juan II sirvió de residencia a su esposa viuda y con ataques de demencia, Isabel de Portugal, y sus dos hijos, la futura reina Isabel la Católica y Alfonso de Castilla. Tras pasar por las manos de Álvaro de Luna regresó a la de los Reyes Católicos utilizándose cada vez más como prisión de reos ilustres. Como tantos otros castillos, en el siglo XX fue salvado de la ruina total al reutilizarse como almacén de grano de toda la comarca. Precisamente, en su torre del homenaje alberga un pequeño Museo del Cereal en el que, además de ilustrar sobre diferentes aspectos relacionados con esta materia, recuerda la función que cumplió en el pasado. INFORMACIÓN: ayuntamientoarevalo.es. Tel. 920 30 00 05. Abre fines de semana y festivos.

5 PalenciaCastillo de Ampudia
Es uno de los castillos señoriales mejor conservados de Castilla y León. Algo que resulta evidente en cualquiera de las dos modalidades de visita que permite (ambas guiadas). La primera nos adentra por algunas de sus principales dependencias, salas en las que, además de ponernos al tanto de los pormenores de la edificación, se disfruta como niños con las variadas y curiosas colecciones que reunió el empresario Eugenio Fontaneda a lo largo de su vida y que aquí encontraron un marco excepcional. Desde las piezas de arqueología, a las de arte sacro o la encantadora sala con juguetes, casas de muñecas y autómatas pasando por una botica medieval o una sala de armas. Todavía más fascinante es la visita 'Rincones secretos' que discurre por las salas que utilizaron y todavía utilizan los señores del castillo. INFORMACIÓN: castillodeampudia.com. Tels.: 699 48 45 55, 979 76 80 23.

 

Malta’s top cultural attraction of 2018 is revealed
Da bay.com.mt del 18 ottobre 2018

Fort Rinella in Kalkara has been crowned the best cultural attraction in the Maltese Islands in 2018.
The living museum was praised by TripAdvisor reviewers as ‘an excellent day out’ and ‘unique’. The coastal battery was built in 1878 by the British Army. It housed the world’s biggest gun to defend Malta against enemy attacks and protect Britain’s interests in the Mediterranean Sea. The fort is now run by volunteers who bring history back to life for the thousands of visitors who tour the historic site every year.


• The fort famously houses one of only two remaining Armstrong 100-ton guns.
• It was developed by Victorian inventor Sir William George Armstrong
• The gun could be fired every 6 minutes
• A one-ton shell travelled up to 8 miles
• The shell could pierce through 65cm of ship armour
• It was the world’s largest muzzle loaded cannon
• Each explosive shot used a quarter ton of black powder, costing on average the daily pay of 2,700 soldiers
• It was so expensive to use, it was only fired for practice every three months


Opening Times
Fort Rinella is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
Fort Rinella is managed by Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, the Malta Heritage Trust.

 

CDU will aus dem Teufelsberg ein Sportparadies machen
Da tagesspiegel.de del 17 ottobre 2018

A margine Pistolenschüsse, quietschende Motorradreifen, Verfolgungsjagden. Es geht wild zu am Teufelsberg – zumindest in der Serie „You are wanted“ von Matthias Schweighöfer. In der Realität dagegen liegt die frühere US-Abhörstation ziemlich brach. Durch die alten Gebäude zieht der Wind, Fetzen hängen von den Kuppeln, die Wände sind mit Graffiti-Kunstwerken bemalt. Ein paar Dutzend Touristen wandern Tag für Tag auf Berlins höchste Erhebung, doch seit der Bezirk im Mai das Hauptgebäude aus Sicherheitsgründen schließen ließ, werden es immer weniger. Sport am Teufelsberg hat eine gewisse Tradition Geht es nach der CDU, soll es hier bald wieder geschäftiger zugehen.

In einem Antrag, den die Partei am Donnerstag im Abgeordnetenhaus einbringen will, wird der Senat aufgefordert, das Gelände zu einem Sport- und Erholungsareal zu entwickeln. Laufen, Skaten, Rodeln, Klettern, Drachenfliegen, Tennisspielen, Mountainbiking und sogar Schwimmen solle ermöglicht werden, heißt es darin. Und weiter: „Für Sportler und Erholungssuchende ist auf dem Areal ein gastronomisches Sport am Teufelsberg? Eine gewisse Tradition hat das. In den 60er Jahren gab es am Teufelsberg eine 50 Meter lange Skisprungschanze, 1986 richtete der internationale Ski-Verband FIS hier sogar ein Ski-Weltcuprennen aus, an dem Stars wie Markus Wasmeier oder Leonhard Stock teilnahmen. Bekommt die Sportstätte Teufelsberg eine Neuauflage? Rot-rot-grüner Koalitionsvertrag: Den Teufelsberg "als Erinnerungs- und Naturort öffentlich zugänglich machen" Gerade für sportliche Zwecke sei der Ort prädestiniert, sagt der Generalsekretär der Berliner CDU, Stefan Evers. „Der Bedarf ist da.

Wir wollen aber nicht die Türme abreißen und da eine Tennisanlage hinsetzen“, sagt Evers. Sein Konzept sieht auch Raum für Kultur und Erinnerung vor. „Wir wollen keinen Rummelplatz“, sagt Evers. Ihm gehe es darum, das Areal der Öffentlichkeit frei zugänglich zu machen. Im Moment müssen Besucher Eintritt für die Ruinen-Besichtigung bezahlen. Evers sieht seinen Plan auch im Einklang mit dem rot-rot-grünen Koalitionsvertrag. Darin heißt es, die Koalition strebe an, den Teufelsberg „als Erinnerungs- und Naturort öffentlich zugänglich zu machen“.

 

More details about Ukraine’s new tactical ballistic missile revealed
Da defence-blog.com del 16 ottobre 2018

The Grom-2 mobile short-range tactical ballistic missile system is equipped with two short-range ballistic missiles. It is a solid-propellant missile that has a maximum range 280 km and minimal 50 km. The Grom-2 will have several different conventional warheads, including cluster and highexplosive.

New tactical missile system will have a new guidance system with a self-contained inertial navigation complex and optical seeker that enables it to hit targets in day and night with a high level of accuracy. It has a target accuracy of 5m to 15m and operates even in fog or low visibility. The basic version of the missile will carry payload capacity of up to 480 kg of conventional warheads or 54 combat submunitions of 7.5 kg each. The Grom-2 also was designed to overcome air defense systems, a missile can follow an aeroballistic path at altitudes from 11 to 50 km, performing evasive maneuvers in the terminal phase of flight to penetrate missile defense systems. The transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle based on the new-developed 10×10 chassis carries two tactical ballistic missiles.

The TEL is powered by a Deutz diesel engine delivering a power output of 600 hp. Full missile system also includes command vehicle, information preparation vehicle, maintenance and repair vehicle and life support vehicle. The first test launch of the new tactical missile is scheduled for the second half of 2019.

 

Sandy Hook Nike Launch Site
Da atlasobscura.com

At first, it looks like the top deck of an aircraft carrier. An old barbed wire fence surrounds a giant slab of concrete, which is hidden in layers of undergrowth. Faded yellow markings on what look like long-rusted bay doors, are embedded into the ground. Old loudspeakers and disused arc lamps mark the perimeter. At one time, this was one of the most highly classified, top secret locations in the United States, a Nike missile base called Fort Hancock. If you were caught anywhere near it in the last 50 or so years, the heavily armed patrols had orders to release their vicious attack dogs and shoot on sight. Now in ruins, these forgotten remnants were New York’s last line of defense against Soviet nuclear attack. Developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories, the Nike missile was a surface-to-air projectile, guided by radar and a tracking computer. The program started in 1945, spurred by two events: the first successful atomic bomb test by the Soviet Union and their development of a long range bomber capable of 10,000-mile distances. The threat of Soviet aircraft carrying atomic weapons suddenly became very real.

The Nike missiles were a solution to prevent another Pearl Harbor. Sandy Hook in New Jersey proved to be an ideal site launch site. Close enough to New York, but remote enough, it had long provided the perfect strategic position for guarding entry into New York harbor due to the deep channel that ran alongside it. Home to America’s oldest lighthouse, the slender spit of land had been fought over since the days of the War of Independence. The original Fort Hancock was improved upon during the Civil War, and in the 1890s vast concrete gun batteries and mortar pits were built to protect Manhattan. At one point over 7,000 soldiers lived here in an army town that included rows of grand yellow brick homes, officer’s quarters, a theater, and ball fields. The full-scale camp was largely vacated after World War II and given over to a Nike launch site given the code name NY-56. Remnants of this site are still there today. The launch site borders one of the beaches at the far end of Sandy Hook. The missiles would have been housed underground in silos about the size of a school gymnasium, from where they would emerge should the threat of a Soviet atomic assault on Manhattan appear on the horizon. About 1,000 yards from the launch site was the radar complex. Today, hidden from view by the forest of the peninsula, the radar guidance systems resemble giant seashells, perched upon rusting squat platforms, looking not unlike they were placed in the forest by the Dharma Initiative. From here the skies were constantly monitored with the official “tactical control” orders in place should the unthinkable happen. A VHF radio message would raise the alarm with the words, “BLAZING SKIES : THIS IS NOT A DRILL” broadcast throughout the base, over the now-silent loudspeakers surrounding the launch site. “Blazing Skies” was the code for “aggressor engagement.” By the 1970s however, the Nikes were rendered obsolete. The advent of the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile gave way to a new form of terror; a Soviet nuclear attack that didn’t require aircraft. With the ongoing war in Vietnam consuming the bulk of defense expenditure, the Nike program was shelved in 1974s Strategic Arms Limitation Talks agreement.

What, then, happened then to the Nike missile launch sites? Today there are remnants of around 250 bases across the United States in varying levels of ruin. Those built on existing Army bases were simply decommissioned. Due to their proximity to major cities, some were sold to school districts, or turned into municipal yards. Others found their way into private use and became paintball sites. Some were turned into homes. In Virginia, one base even became a prison. Today only a few remain intact. The problem of historic preservation arises due to the relative modernity of the sites. Cold War-era structures aren’t as easily protected on the National Register of Historic Places. With no official efforts made to preserve the sites, it is left to such volunteer groups such as the Cold War Veteran’s Association. With most of the original structures still there, they offer tours of the old radar sites, often given by actual Nike veterans who were stationed there. Visitors have the opportunity to tour inside the radar sites and “find out what it was like to go on full alert.” The launch site in Sandy Hook, however, would greatly benefit from more funding and protection. Today, it silently rusts away, watching the skies over New York for an attack that never comes, and which it can no longer defend against.

 

Plymouth's historic Drake's Island fortress on sale for £6m
Da del 14 ottobre 2018

An historic island fortress has been put up for sale with a guide price of £6 million.
Drake's Island in Devon includes a 16th century barracks, a pier and an underground network of tunnels. The six-acre site, which stands 600m off the coast at Plymouth, has planning permission for a luxury hotel and spa. Aidan McCauley, son of the island's owner Dan McCauley, said: "My dad has long held a vision to see the island brought back into use.

"We are passionate about seeing his vision turned into a reality and are exploring all options to make this happen." The island was named after Sir Francis Drake, who set sail from there in 1577 to circumnavigate the globe.

The fort played a crucial role in the defending the maritime city from French and Spanish invasions in the late 16th century and has been used as a prison, a religious centre, a refuge and, most recently, an adventure training facility, which closed in 1989. The island has remained untouched since then. Mr McCauley, a businessman and former chairman of Plymouth Argyle football club, purchased Drake's Island in the 1990s. In spring 2017, Plymouth City Council granted planning permission to create a luxury hotel complex including the conversion of the existing buildings.

John Kinsey from property agent JLL said: "Drake's Island is a remarkable piece of British history and a much-loved landmark. "With the added attraction of planning permission for a luxury hotel and spa this is a unique opportunity to lead one of the South West's most exciting and unusual developments."

 

Lockheed Martin delivered 300th interceptor for THAAD system
Da defence-blog.com del 11 ottobre 2018

Lockheed Martin delivered the 300th interceptor for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, the only system in the world designed to intercept threats both inside and outside the atmosphere.

The production maturity milestone comes as demand for the company’s hit-to-kill missile defense system and interceptors continues to grow.

“The Missile Defense Agency, industry and Lockheed Martin team of men and women who engineer and produce the THAAD interceptor have remained steadfast in their commitment to excellence as global demand for this system has grown year after year,” said Richard McDaniel, vice president for the THAAD system. “The 300th interceptor delivery is a reflection of that dedication and our continued focus on providing high-quality, reliable system capabilities to maintain overmatch against our adversaries.”

A key element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), THAAD protects America’s military, allied forces, citizen population centers and critical infrastructure from short and medium-range ballistic missile attacks. THAAD is proven, with 100 percent mission success in flight testing, is rapidly deployable, interoperable with other BMDS elements including the PAC-3 Missile, Aegis, forward based sensors and the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system.

The U.S. Army activated the seventh THAAD battery in December 2016 and the system is currently forward deployed with U.S. troops in Guam and South Korea. Lockheed Martin delivered the 200th THAAD interceptor in September of 2017. The United Arab Emirates was the first international partner to procure THAAD with a contract awarded in 2011.

The THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.

THAAD is strictly a defensive weapon system. The system uses hit-to-kill technology where kinetic energy destroys the incoming target.

 

Fortifications de Neuf-Brisach : coupole d'observation d'infanterie allemande « Wachtturm 90 sp. »
Da fortifications-neuf-brisach.blogspot.com del 13 ottobre 2018

Les cuirassements que l'on peut observer dans le périmètre de la place-forte de Neuf-Brisach correspondent à la période allemande.

Ces coupoles ont été installées tardivement, dans les années 1892, et sont disposées au sommet des abris de capitale — Kapitalschutzhohlräume — qui avaient été construits entre 1873-77, puis renforcés entre 1887-1891 par une épaisse couche de ciment spécial.

Ces coupoles rotatives n'offrent qu'un abri tout relatif puisqu'il ne s'agit que d'une protection contre les éclats des projectiles d'artillerie. Par contre, leur disposition permet de couvrir l'ensemble des fronts menacés sans qu'il soit nécessaire de couvrir toute la périphérie de l'enceinte.

On les retrouve au niveau des tours bastionnées 1, 3 & 5. Le treillis métallique offre un appui, mais protège également, le cas échéant, d’une chute au fond du puits de la coupole tout en garantissant l’accès en toutes circonstances puisque le dispositif est aisément démontable, y compris à partir du fond du puits. Ici l'accès utilise une simple échelle métallique.

Le couloir d'accès est par ailleurs interrompu par un épais blindage formant chicane. Clichés actuels (2018) & copie de quelques diapositives d'une conférence données en 2007. Dr Balliet

 

Martello Towers
Da geograph.org.uk

Martello Towers, or 'Martellos', were small defensive forts first built in the South East of England during the Napoleonic War between 1805 and 1808. They were built throughout the British Empire, in 5 different continents, during the first half of the 19th Century.

103 in total were built around Britain, after the South East, a large number can be found in Essex, Suffolk and in Ireland.

Martello towers were inspired by a round fortress at Mortella Point in Corsica (completed 1565). In 1794 two British warships for two days unsuccessfully attacked the tower at Mortella Point.

This impressed the British who copied the design for the British Martello Towers.

The round structures followed a standard plan, though varied in size.

A typical South East Martello would be about 45 ft* (13.7m) in diameter at base and up to 40ft* (12m) tall.

The masonry walls were built of brick and rendered with lime mortar externally, and were up to 13ft thick.

Inside there were two main floors, the lower floor housing supplies and a powder store, and the first floor the men's quarters and officer's quarters.

A single Martello housed between 15 and 25 men; a garrison of up to 24 men and 1 officer.

The internal floor area of both floors was 1300 sq ft.

The entrance to the tower was between 10 and 20 feet (3.0 to 6.1m) above ground level to stop easy access by the enemy.

Steps and walkways seen today will have been added for modern use.
 

On the flat parapet roof was mounted a cannon.

The round shape of the building allowed it to rotate 360°, able to defend all directions.

Some Martellos had a rain water collection system using the roof and top of the parapet walls to collect water for drinking, with drains leading to a water tank below the ground floor.

Fire places and chimneys were also built into the walls.
 

A number were moated for extra defence.

A large proportion of Martellos have been converted to dwellings, many of those with an additional roof added on top. A small number have been opened as museums.

 

England - South East Coast - 140 Martellos were built around Britain, over half of which can be found in the South East of England, where there are 74 lining the Kent and East Sussex coast between Seaford and Folkestone.

None were ever used in combat during the Napoleonic War.

Many have now been lost to the sea, or demolished due to being unsafe or to reuse the masonry, some were deliberately destroyed in training practice.

One third still stand to this day, either laying empty or derelict, used as a museum, or converted to a home.

The 74 Martellos of the South East Coast.

England - East Coast - 29 were built between Aldeburgh and St Osyth Stone between 1808 and 1812 to protect Essex and Suffolk. A supporting fort, or Redoubt, was built at Harwich.
Scotland - Three Martellos were built in Scotland.

Ireland - About 50 Martellos were built in Ireland. Some of those that appear on Geograph

 

Wielki, betonowy schron dla 860 osób wyleci w powietrze. Deweloper czyści teren pod inwestycję
Da szczecin.wyborcza.pl del 3 ottobre 2018

Ściany i stropy mają nawet 1,5 metra grubości. Liczący sześć kondygnacji betonowy kolos, schron z czasów drugiej wojny światowej, zostanie wysadzony w powietrze.

To jedna z pamiątek po mrocznej historii Szczecina. W gruzy zamieni się schron stojący przy ul. Kołobrzeskiej, w sąsiedztwie ulicy Druckiego-Lubeckiego i pętli tramwajowo-autobusowej przy ul. Ludowej. Widać go z daleka.

Stoi na niewielkim wzgórzu i liczy aż sześć kondygnacji. Jest wyższy niż typowa, śródmiejska kamienica. Właściciel się nie chwali Cała operacja owiana jest mgiełką tajemnicy.

Chociaż przeprowadzono już pierwsze wybuchy, na miejscu próżno szukać jakiejkolwiek tablicy informacyjnej. Niewiele do powiedzenia ma też inwestor – J.W. Construction Holding. To firma, która jest właścicielem nieruchomości. W Szczecinie znana jest z adaptacji Zakładów Odzieżowych Dana na hotel „Dana” i budowy po sąsiedzku wieżowca.

 

RAYTHEON TO SUPPLY PATRIOT MISSILE SWEEP 9 MODIFICATION KITS TO TAIWAN FOR $35 MILLION
Da defenseworld.net del 2 ottobre 2018

Raytheon PATRIOT missile

Raytheon has won a $35 million contract to procure Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target (PATRIOT) Sweep 9 modification kits for United States Army and Taiwan.

The work is expected to be completed by September 28, 2022. Army Contracting Command - Redstone intends to procure PATRIOT Sweep 9 hardware modification kits, the United States department of defense said in a statement Monday.

The PATRIOT modification kit effort includes the Antenna Support Group (ASG), Radar Weapon Control Interface Unit (RWCIU), and the Search Track Channel (STC) upgrades. Raytheon is the designer, developer, and producer of the PATRIOT System for US and FMS customers to include the development and testing of the Sweep 9 modification kits.

 

Russian Avangard Ballistic Missile to Enter Service in 2019
Da defenseworld.net del 2 ottobre 2018

Avangrad Hypersonic Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

Russia plans to deploy its first Avangard hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a hypersonic glide vehicle to service by the end of 2019. "The scheduled period for placing the lead regiment on combat duty is the end of 2019. Initially, the regiment will comprise at least two systems but eventually their number will rise to their organic quantity of six units," an unnamed source was quoted as saying by TASS Monday. According to the source, the Avangard system is expected to enter service in late 2018 or early 2019. In compliance with the established procedure, a control launch of the glide vehicle’s carrier, the UR-100N UTTKh missile, is expected to be carried out before the hypersonic system is accepted for service. However, considering the successful previous launches of the glide vehicle itself and the existence of the reliable and already tested missile, possibly no such a launch will be conducted," the source said. The Russian Defence Ministry had signed a contract for the mass production of the Avangard strategic missile system in March this year. Details of the new weapon were first confirmed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1. The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle. According to open sources, the ‘breakthrough’ weapon was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov, the Moscow Region) and was tested from 2004. The glide vehicle is capable of flying at hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and altitude and breaching any antimissile defense. The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle. According to open sources, the weapon was developed by the Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (the town of Reutov, the Moscow Region) and was tested from 2004. The glide vehicle is capable of flying at hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense. Currently, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force operates 30 silo-based missiles of this type, according to open sources. The missile has a takeoff weight of about 100 tonnes and a throw weight of around 4.5 tonnes. The deployment is significant after United States President Donald Trump announced that the US planned to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or the INF Treaty. Trump has said that because Russia was violating the agreement and China wasn’t a party to it, he saw no reason for the US to continue abiding by the agreement on its own.

 

Extreme Range – New JASSM Cruise Missile Contract Awarded to Lockheed Martin
Da warhistoryonline.com del 2 ottobre 2018

An AGM-86 air-launched cruise missile in flight

The US Department of Defense has announced that it is awarding a $51 million contract to Lockheed Martin to develop a Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extreme Range (JASSM-XR).

The contract includes all-up round level systems, engineering, testing, and integrating the JASSM-XR hardware and firmware.

The program includes a new missile control unit as well as the necessary hardware and infrastructure to support the production of the JASSM-XR.

The work will be done inOrlando, Florida, and should be finished by August 2023. $4.9 million from the US Air Force’s fiscal 2017 and 2018 research and development funds were committed to this project when the contract was awarded.

 

A mock-up display of the AGM-158 JASSM next to an F-35 prototype.

The JASSM is a long-range air-launched cruise missile. It is specially built to avoid radar and contains an infrared seeker and GPS guidance which allow it to hit long-range fixed targets with a 1,000-pound penetrating blast payload.

 

 

AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

A standard JASSM can be mounted on Air Force and Navy fighters and bombers.

The JASSM-ER is deployed on B1B Lancer heavy supersonic bombers.

Work is underway to adapt the JASSM-ER to other aircraft.

The XR (Extreme Range) version is expected to have a range of more than a thousand miles (over 1,600 kilometers).

This version will be deployed by heavy bombers and some strike aircraft. It will be used for stand-off strikes against hardened targets.

 

Soaring over the Pacific ocean- A B-1B Lancer drops back after air refueling training

The JASSM is a subsonic cruise missile.

They fly low, under enemy radar, using GPS that is resistant to jamming and an internal navigation system that guides the missile on a preset route to the target.

Shortly before impacting the target, the missile switches on infrared-seeking technology to identify the target.

Nineteen JASSM missiles were used in Syria during the NATO strike in April 2018, which was in retaliation for the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

 

A Tactical “Tomahawk” Block IV cruise missile, conducts a controlled flight test over the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) western test range complex in southern California.

The original JASSM had a range of 230 miles (about 370 kilometers).

That was improved with the introduction of the JASSM-ER which extended that range to 500 miles (over 804 kilometers). This increase was due to larger fuel tanks and the Williams F107- WR-105 turbofan engine which is more efficient.

Having a longer range on the JASSM-XR will allow the US military to be more flexible with their missions and will also protect US assets.

The XR will be able to strike enemy targets further away or use the extra range to fly around enemy defenses and impact from an unanticipated direction. It also allows ships without stealth capability to fire their weapons without drawing near to the enemy’s position.

 

A Williams Research F107 turbofan engine. By Greg Goebel CC BY-SA 2.0

The JASSM program was almost canceled due to years of reliability issues. In 2005, the Department of Defense threatened to cancel the program after several poor test results.

Throughout 2007, the program fluctuated between being supported and nearly being canceled.

Then, in 2009, the program was almost canceled again. 2010 saw some positive results after a break in production, and the project was back on once more. 

Now, the missile is receiving export orders. Planned orders for the JASSM missiles should keep it in production until 2021 and possibly beyond.

 

A United States Air Force AGM-86 cruise missile. By Pazuzu CC BY-SA 3.0

The AGM-158 JASSM missile currently in production costs approximately $1 million per missile. The Air Force hopes to bring that cost down to $800,000 per missile.

 

Munitionslager Nammer Wald
Da rottenplaces.de del 30 settembre 2018

Die Geschichte des früheren Munitionslagers im Nammer Wald (früher auch Nammen an der Porta) geht bis in das Jahr 1935 zurück, als das Mindener Heeresamt die Genehmigung zum Bau eines Munitionsdepots zur Lagerung von Sprengstoff auf dem Gebiet des Nammer Waldes beantragte. Nach Angaben des Nammer Heimtatvereins sollten hier 380.000 Kilogramm Sprengstoff eingelagert werden. Aufgrund der Nähe zur Wohnbebauung hätte dieses Projekt eigentlich nicht realisiert werden dürfen. Denn anstelle eines Sicherheitsabstands von 1.100 Metern gab es hier nur eine von rund 500 Metern zur nächsten Wohnbebauung.

Das Naziregime drückte dieses Rüstungsprojekt jedoch durch, weil militärische Anlagen zu dieser Zeit uneingeschränkte Priorität hatten. Die Baugenehmigung wurde von der Stadt Minden dann nur etwa einen Monat später erteilt, wen auch nur vorläufig. Zügig errichtete man ein Depot, bestehend aus sieben Bunkern sowie einem Wachunterstand, samt Wachgebäude am Geländeeingang. Nordöstlich errichtete man Baracken. Ein Verbindungsgleis zweigte westlich der Teerstraße Richtung Munitionslager ab. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg zerstörten die Alliierten große Teile der militärischen Anlagen. Auf dem Gelände des Munitionslagers wurde jedoch nur ein Bunker im nördlichen Bereich gesprengt. In das frühere Wachgebäude zog eine Familie ein. Die Bunker wurden größtenteils als Lager zivil genutzt. Die Hammer Bevölkerung verwertete diverse „Überbleibsel“ für den privaten Gebrauch. Noch bis in die 60er Jahre war das Areal mit Granaten und Munition verseucht. Weil das Areal für eine zivile Nutzung mehr als ungünstig lag, umzäunte man Selbiges in den 50er Jahren. Die Bundeswehr zog ein und fortan erfolgte wieder eine militärische Nutzung. Diesem Zweck diente das frühere Munitionslager nur wenige Jahre. Ende der 60er Jahre gab die Bundeswehr das Gelände auf. Einige Jahre war dieses dann für die Öffentlichkeit frei begehbar.

Eine Straße wurde am Gelände vorbei asphaltiert. Ende der 70er Jahre planierte man das gesamte Areal und entfernte die dortigen Bunker – nur um wenig später eine neue Anlage zur errichten, dessen Überbleibsel noch heute sichtbar sind. Die Bundeswehr bezog das Gelände erneut. Mit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges wurde ein Großteil dieser und ähnlicher Areale überflüssig. Man baute bestehende militärische Anlagen zurück, sprengte diese oder überließ sie ihrem Schicksal. Hier holte sich die Natur das zurück, was ihr viele Jahrzehnte zuvor genommen wurde. Die Bundeswehr zog sich Anfang der 90er Jahre von Nammer Areal zurück. Einige bestehende Bunker baute man zurück und füllte die übrigen mit dem Bauschutt. Zusätzlich schuf man Unterschlupf- und Überwinterungsmöglichkeiten für Fledermäuse. Quellen: Heimatverein Nammen, privat Dokument-Information Objekt ID: rp-034405 Kategorie: Militär & Militaria Bundesland: Nordrhein-Westfalen Standort: Nammer Wald, Kreis Minden- übbecke Baujahr: 1935 Denkmalschutz: nein Architekt: keine Angabe Objekt erfasst: 13.07.2017 Objekt erstellt: 29.09.2018 Letzte Änderung: 29.09.2018 Copyright © rottenplaces.de  di André Winternitz

 

The forgotten network of wartime defences buried deep in the woods near Grimsby
Da grimsbytelegraph.co.uk del 29 settembre 2018

Deep in the North East Lincolnshire countryside hides an epic monument to our wartime past. Rising through a mass of trees on the outskirts of Grimsby near Stallingborough, shrub-covered blocks of concrete stand above a network of concealed underground rooms.

No signs mark its existence, on the map it is just four small ink specks and few living can remember its top-secret construction. But this is one of the rarest, most advanced and most significant Second World War gun sites left in the country.

Built in 1944 to counter Luftwaffe bombing raids, this heavy anti-aircraft gun site has survived against the odds - but only just. Seven decades on, the site is severely overgrown and its concrete structures rapidly deteriorating.

Logs and rubble are wedged into openings, underground chambers waterlogged and the site strewn with litter. It survived the Nazis, but it now faces a new battle for its survival. We have taken our Stop The Rot campaign deep into the woods to explore this forgotten site and chronicle its shameful neglect.

Fighting through the trees and down a narrow footpath, twigs and moss quickly turn to scattered chunks of rubble underfoot. This is the only real hint that the otherwise concealed structures are close by. The site's four gun emplacements, more or less identical in structure, form a hemisphere arrangement around a central underground command post.

Embanked with earth for blast protection, each retains its circular metalwork on a raised central drum. The circular emplacements, once home to 5.25 inch anti-aircraft guns, have long been decommissioned and fully stripped of their equipment. But they are otherwise effectively complete and represent one of only six surviving sites of its type known to exist in the UK. Built out of concrete blocks, all four rise from the surrounding land surface like ancient South American temples.

To the side of the structures, rusty iron gates lead to semi-sunken engine rooms. Waterlogged and full of jagged scrap metal, the underground chambers are now dangerous and off limits. Further round this sprawling complex sits a deserted block of toilets and a moss-covered tractor. The site's semi-sunken command post, a multi-roomed network of underground chambers, is only visible by its flat, reinforced concrete roof peaking out of the ground. Its layout is complete, but it has been almost entirely stripped of fittings and access has been sadly blocked by mounds of earth, wedges of twigs and discarded rubble. A non- tandard design feature - the central heating boiler - hints that this site employed female soldiers and marks an important milestone in equality for the sexes. At the end of the war, Stallingborough was one of the gun sites selected for retention as a Battery Headquarters - an armed, fully operational gun site.

It is not known when it was finally decommissioned, but it could have been as late as spring 1955 when use of artillery for anti-aircraft defence was finally abandoned. Looking at the site today, it is clear that this forgotten wartime asset is suffering. The site is littered with an assortment of waste - clumps of metal, mountains of rubble and even a missing shoe eerily sticking out of the mud. Steps up to the emplacements are now in perilous condition and the full glory of the site is sadly obscured by the scourge of vegetation. In the far distance of one emplacement, a glint of bright red gives a warning about another threat looming on the horizon. It is a disposed box of Budweiser hanging off one of the emplacements. Elsewhere, bottles, crisp packets and even a tent signify the vandalism threat posed by unrestricted and unmonitored access.

Heritage England lists this Grade II* structure as in "very bad" condition. Its ownership is unclear and no solution has yet been agreed to stop its decline. Like our other 33 on our watch list, we want this site to gain the recognition and attention it deserves before it is too late. by Keane Duncan

 

Remote Sprint Launcher #3 Missile Site
Da atlasobscura.com settembre 2018

This hidden gem is a must-see for those interested in Cold War history. Located about 30 miles from the North Dakota Pyramid, this Remote Sprint Launcher (RSL) is part of the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex built in the 1970s to shoot down incoming nuclear weapons. The site itself contains 30 old Sprint and Spartan missile silos, and it’s in the process of placing a Sprint replica into one of them. Sprint missiles were developed in the early 1970s specifically to intercept missiles re- ntering the atmosphere, and the Mickelsen complex held 16 of them in total. In mere seconds, these missiles could travel at over 7,600 miles per hour, and they generated temperatures of up to 6,200 degrees Fahrenheit. High production costs and the emergence of the daunting Soviet MIRV missiles, however, meant that Sprints saw a very short period of production. Sprint silos like those at the RSL are thus rare windows into a brief and terrifying moment in American history. The RSL, which also features a large underground bunker designed to survive a near miss from a nuclear missile, is applying to become a registered National Historic Landmark. The tours are small, the staff is friendly and informative, and the site is—luckily for all of us—in good shape.

Know Before You Go Tours run every day. They are free for children five and under and $12 for adults.

 

Hypersonic Missile Test by China Successful: Next Generation Tech
Da warhistoryonline.com del 27 settembre 2018

It looks like the beginning of a new arms race after China has made a bid to leap ahead in weapons technology, trialing a new missile against which the United States would currently have little defense. The Xingkong-2, or Starry Sky 2, is a hypersonic missile that piggybacks on a rocket to an altitude too high for a traditional surface-to-air defense while being too low for ballistic missile defense systems.

On August 6, 2018, the state-run China Daily reported that “China has successfully developed and tested a cutting-edge hypersonic aircraft that rides its own shock waves.”

It has been described as a “wave rider.” The independent flight carried out by China’s Aerospace Aerodynamics Research Institute lasted 400 seconds and reached a max speed of Mach 5.5 to 6 (4,200 to 4,600 miles an hour), at a height of 100,000 feet (30,480 meters). The Starry Sky 2 missile is a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle, (HGV), and it achieves its speed by first being carried from the launch site by a solid propellant missile before separating and using its own propulsion system.

 

The X-51A Waverider, shown here under the wing of a B-52 Stratofortress, is set to demonstrate hypersonic flight. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet engine, it is designed to ride on its own shockwave and accelerate to about Mach 6.

 

Mach 5 is equivalent to more than a mile per second.

By reaching such speeds as this means that any given target may only have two minutes from the missile’s launch to impact.

Detecting such launches may be the bread and butter of the satellite defense systems in orbit to identify incoming ICBMs, but when the enemy missile is also able to change direction, this makes predicting its final trajectory that much more difficult.

As a tactical weapon, it could be used to neutralize ICBM defense installations, rendering an adversary helpless in the face of further launches of ballistic missiles.

The compressed timeline for adversaries to be able to react makes the wave rider missile technology compelling for the big players. It is thought that it would be an especially crucial weapon in antiship warfare, with a crew unable to carry out in time the actions required to neutralize such a rapid attack.

 

A Soviet R-36M (SS-18 Satan), the largest ICBM in history, with a throw weight of 8,800 kg.Photo: Jarekt CC BY 2.5

 

China Daily said the Starry Sky 2 maneuvered during flight, and “The vehicle also tested a host of advanced technologies such as a domestically developed heat-balance thermal protection system.”

While this is the first time that the Chinese state-run media has confirmed that such a test has taken place, it also stated that the system had been in development for the past three years.

Between 2014 and 2016, China carried out at least seven tests of an HGV which were reported by international observers.

These tests were confirmed by the Chinese government at the time, but there were few other details offered.

It wasn’t until October 2017 that Beijing released photographs.

 

 

 

 

A Minuteman III ICBM test launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, US

 

The big selling point and the prize for the developers of these missiles is that these weapons are not just incredibly fast, but they can also change direction while in flight, making them hard to track and even harder to stop.

There is skepticism that such a vehicle could be stable enough to steer at such fast speeds.

However, that has not slowed the rush of ambition for their development. U.S. intelligence expects China’s first hypersonic missiles to be combat-ready around 2020.

One Chinese commentator said that the Starry Sky 2 test “showed that China is advancing shoulder to shoulder with the US and Russia.”

 

 

 

 

Peacekeeper missile after silo launch, Vandenberg AFB, CA.

 

It goes without saying that the US and Russia are also currently developing their own hypersonic missiles.

In March 2018, Vladimir Putin used an annual speech to announce that Russia had developed nuclear hypersonic missile capability in a missile named the Zircon.

Meanwhile, the US has recently committed $1.4 billion in contracts to Lockheed Martin, one of the main companies specializing in defense and weaponry in the US. Reports say that the American Navy has recently tested a hypersonic weapon that could reach Mach 20, and it has come under some domestic criticism for being out of the loop on hypersonics while the rest of the world forges ahead.

 

To catch a Gotha
Da explorabilia.co.uk del 19 settembre 2018

In this era of satellite imaging, drone strikes and stealth bombers, it’s hard to imagine an air war the way it was experienced a century ago.

I remember myself sitting in front of a TV in the comfort of my living room in January 1991, watching explosion flashes in an eerie green hue – the night vision images of Baghdad getting obliterated live by Coalition bombers and Cruise missiles during Desert Storm.

Even before that, I was already familiar with powerful images from the London Blitz, or cities like Dresden or Tokyo, razed by massive Thousand Bomber raids in World War 2.

 

 

Back in 1915, however, the first use of aircraft for aerial bombing was a less effective affair, albeit one without precedent : For Britain in particular, a nation comfortable witha centuries’ old notion of its powerful navy protecting her from danger or invasion, the first German aerial bombing campaigns against its cities came as a complete shock, and prompted the beginning of a military and civic culture of air defense that would carry the day several decades later, during the Battle of Britain.

The first aerial raids over the coast of England and London in 1915 and 1916, were performed by gigantic Zeppelins – the impressive cigar-shaped, engine powered dirigibles of the German Empire.

The attacks were launched during night time, aiming to achieve stealth, and to break the spirit of the civilian population or damage military facilities – in what marked the beginnings of the doctrine of strategic bombing. The airships introduced Britain’s civilian population to death and destruction raining from the skies, a yet unknown, and certainly terrifying danger never experienced before.

In the first terror raid over London in 1915, incendiary bombs from German airships started fires that claimed the lives of seven civilians, among them a 3 year old girl. This incident prompted the general public to give them the contemptuous nick name they carried throughout the war : Baby Killers.

 

The slow airspeed, sensitivity to weather conditions, and overall vulnerability of the highly flammable dirigibles to incendiary bullets yielded questionable results : apart from sporadic casualties and circumstantial damage, the Zeppelins achieved little in the way of a definitive military success over Britain.

At the same time, they suffered considerable casualties by the ever increasing air defenses and interception capabilities of defending aircraft, forcing them to fly higher and higher, reducing their crew’s capabilities for lack of advanced oxygen equipment, and further diminishing their already reduced bombing accuracy – for lack of advanced bombing sights.

Over the course of the Great War, 84 airships participated in 51 bombing raids, killing 557 and injuring 1358, while suffering more than 1/3rd casualties. In military terms, this is still a far cry from the devastating 1250 Allied bomber raid that obliterated Dresden in February 1945, causing 25.000 deaths in the space of 3 days – but in 1917, strategic bombing was a terrifying new reality the civilian population was only just beginning to come to terms with.

And they tried to do so with an appropriate mix of resilience, curiosity and romantic stoicism, as evidenced by a contemporary letter (1915) from the writer D.H. Lawrence to Lady Ottoline Morrell : “Then we saw the Zeppelin above us, just ahead, amid a gleaming of clouds: high up, like a bright golden finger, quite small (…) Then there was flashes near the ground — and the shaking noise. It was like Milton — then there was war in heaven. (…)

I cannot get over it, that the moon is not Queen of the sky by night, and the stars the lesser lights. It seems the Zeppelin is in the zenith of the night, golden like a moon, having taken control of the sky; and the bursting shells are the lesser lights.”

Things got worse in spring 2017, when Germany introduced the fearsome Gotha G.IV , the first ever aircraft created specifically as a strategic bomber, and built in considerable numbers to bear.

Small numbers of earlier models had already seen successful action in the Balkan theater since the previous summer, so the German High Command decided to use them in greater numbers over London, in operation Türkenkreuz (Turk’s Cross) : This is the beginning of daytime raids over Britain, made possible by the superior speed, altitude and maneuverability of the new flying machines versus the cumbersome airships, which increased their effectiveness and survival rate considerably.

To make things worse, Gotha bombers could fly higher than the British interceptors of that period, who struggled to climb after them, resulting in minimal losses for the attackers.

The Germans achieved complete surprise with this new strategy, with each new raid causing hundreds of casualties : Lt. Charles Cabot, a Royal Flying Corps pilot commended on the German daytime strategic bombing successes of that period : “…Raids hadn’t become a very serious thing, and everybody crowded out into the street to watch.

They didn’t take cover or dodge”. It is indicative of the degree of dread caused to the British population by the new flying machines, when the Royal House promptly proclaimed a change of their family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor in July 1917 – one month after the first Gotha raid.

An aerial arms race ensued for the remainder of the war, with the British ramping up their air defenses and air interception capabilities, and the Germans deploying larger and larger Riesenflugzeuge, giant bomber planes of unprecedented size and capacity : The largest of those, the monstrous Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII had 6 engines, was almost 5 times bigger than the twin-engined Gotha G.IV , and at the time of its construction, it was the largest aircraft in the world – and about the same size as the humongous B-29 Superfortress , one of the largest aircraft flown in World War 2 over two decades later.

By the time the hostilities ended, the world had entered what Air Commodore Lionel Charlton described in 1938 as “..the beginning of a new epoch in the history of warfare”.

 

But lessons learned from the strategic air raids of the Great War also prompted an international race for relevant technology during the 20s and the 30s.

The increasing speed and efficiency of early bombers created a need for more effective response, but also importantly, for early detection technology – for all major nations.

With the Zeppelins phased out of air operations, replaced by multi-engined behemoths, and the lack of RADAR technology (that won’t become fully practical until the mid-30s), the quest for an efficient early warning technology focused on the science of acoustics, and of applicable ways of listening to the skies for the roar of oncoming bombers. This resulted in the establishment of civil defense organizations tasked with identifying, tracking and reporting airborne danger (such as the British Royal Observer Corps in 1925), and the rapid development of military grade listening devices during the Interwar period.

Giant listening horns, war tuba arrays, stethoscopes attached to gramophone horns, and other weird acoustic devices were deployed by the military forces of the time – some of which look quite amusing by today’s standards.

One of the applications of the acoustics technology in Britain came in the form of parabolic mirrors, such as the ones that can still be seen at Denge Marsh near Dungeness, built circa 1928 for experimental purposes and participating in air defense exercises to establish the acoustic quality of the various shapes and sizes tested.

These concrete mirrors range from 20ft (6m) to 200ft (60m) wide, and were meant to concentrate the sound of oncoming aircraft from a range of 24 miles (38km) away, collecting it with the use of microphones placed in focal points in front of the mirrors.

Triangulation and Time Difference On Arrival techniques were then used to roughly estimate the angle of attack, elevation and speed of the attackers. Parabolic mirror arrays such as the one in Dungeness are known to have been built in about 14 locations along the British coast, and many of those are still standing.

Some of the earlier versions of those acoustic mirrors existed since late 1917, and they would be able to pick up the engine sound of a formation of incoming Gothas 20 minutes before they reached the English coast – and that’s 10 times faster than the average observer would have spotted the planes over the sea on a clear day !!

This is exactly what happened at the Fan Bay mirror near Dover, when during a raid in October 1917, it is documented to have been able to detect the sound of oncoming aircraft over the Channel at 12 to 15 miles (or 20 to 24km) away.

 

That’s a lot of early warning by Great War standards, more than what Londoners would have hoped for in those early days of terror bombing. By 1935, however, Hitler’s new generation of super fast Schnellbombers – such as the Dornier 17z or the Heinkel 111, who would indeed end up blitzing Britain in 1940 – would already be flying at much higher air speeds, cutting the early warning time down to a mere 5-6 minutes.

And what’s more, rumors of a Death Ray being developed by Nazi Germany are abound, and parabolic mirrors would certainly be useless in defending against such an advanced technological threat.

With the clouds of war gathering over Europe once more, Britain swiftly abandons acoustics and switches their early warning research effort towards Radio Detection And Ranging, known as RADAR .

The development of the Chain Home radar system along the island’s coast begins in 1937, a decision that will prove crucial in deciding the fate of the nation during the Battle of Britain in 1940 : enemy aircraft formations can now be detected as they form up over their airfields in France, and their size, speed and direction can be calculated with unprecedented accuracy.

 

The advent of radar combined with the ever increasing bomber aircraft speeds quickly made acoustic mirrors obsolete by the late 30s, however more advanced, and often mobile military acoustic devices are known to have still been employed by combatants well into the World War 2, before their effectiveness was entirely eclipsed by the advent of the sonic speed jet bombers of the 50s.

Today, the abandoned remains of this forgotten technology have a mysterious appeal, and can still be admired for their ingenuity – as monuments to an obsolete military technology.

 

 

Recently, I discovered that acoustic mirrors can also be enjoyed as a game while on a day out with the family !! Here’s one of a set of parabolic play mirrors I found in a playground – my boys had no idea how to play with those strange looking objects, and largely ignored them in favour of more familiar features, such as swings and play castles (another one of those defunct military applications presently confined to play areas).

But I had a really fun time whispering and growling into the mirrors, looking at the boys bursting with laughter each time the sound of my antics was carried an unbelievable distance away with clarity – while I found myself subconsciously checking the skies above our heads for Gothas…

These miracles of physics will certainly remain with us for the next generations, hopefully to be used exclusively for peacetime applications of the future.   

 

Lockheed Martin Introduces Mission Planning System That Connects Systems And Assets Across Domains
Da defenseworld.net del 18 settembre 2018

Lockheed Martin Introduces Mission Planning System That Connects Systems And Assets Across Domains

Lockheed Martin has introduced the Multi-Domain Synchronized Effects Tool (MDSET), which links traditionally stove-piped resources to create synergistic effects and shorten the “data to decision cycle”. “In planning missions, our troops need the agility to succeed amidst uncertainty,” said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR and Unmanned Aerial Systems. “MDSET provides that agility by removing centricity from operational planning and paving the way for true multi-domain mission effects planning and replanning at speed and at scale.”

MDSET addresses the complexity of the multi-domain battle by transforming command and control into a collaborative cross domain decision-making framework. Assimilating essential information from stove-piped systems into one intuitive system, MDSET creates a comprehensive picture of the integrated plan, allowing decisions to be made based on concurrent (vs. serial) situational awareness of activity in all domains.

To further the development of multi-domain enabled technologies, Lockheed Martin has hosted a series of wargames – most recently this past August – that explore the processes needed to support rapid and continuous operational planning. The MDSET system played a significant role at these wargames, where the system gave participants unified command and control capabilities in the context of a multi-domain battlespace.

 

Fort Campbell
Da militaryarchitecture.com del 14 settembre 2018

One of the most fascinating aspects of the military architectural heritage of the Maltese islands is the fact that it documents, in a comparatively small space, all the salient stages in the evolution and development of gunpowder fortifications. The Hospitaller and British forts and fortifications which were built across the span of some four centuries provide us a with afascinating insight into the manner in which the art and science of defence developed across the centuries in response to new ideas, new technologies and changing methods of warfare – from the early bastioned enceinte ‘alla moderna’ of the sixteenth century down to the polygonal ramparts and concrete bunkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This brief paper is concerned with the final stages of this long process of fortification, as reflected in Fort Campbell, the last of the British forts to be built in Malta prior to the commencement of the Second World War. At this point in time, static defences had to contend with another major weapon that was then being brought to bear against them – the airplane, or better still, the aerial bomber - a weapon that would ultimately deliver the coup de grace to the whole notion of fixed and permanent defences. Up until the First World War, the main threat to the Maltese Isles came from the sea. The forts and fortifications built in the nineteenth century, and before, were constructed to resist and repel a naval invasion and bombardment. Although called forts, most of the British works were actually little more than coastal batteries with their main armaments pointing out to sea, arranged in a manner so as to prevent enemy warships form approaching and entering the Grand Harbour. By the Second World War, the sea was still the major preoccupation facing the military authorities but now fixed defences also had to counter the threat posed by aircraft. When seen from above, the formal outlines of major works of fortifications, with their polygonal trace and ditches, thick parapets, and fixed emplacements, became obvious and vulnerable targets. The modern fort, as a result, now had to shield itself from aerial bombardment and hide from view to avoid detection. It is here that Fort Campbell becomes interesting. For in their attempts to achieve thist, the British military engineers departed from the rigid manner of fortress construction employed in all the other forts at Malta and created a work of fortification that sought to integrate itself, rather than impose itself, on the landscape The

Anatomy of Fort Campbell Fort Campbell was the last major British fort to be built in Malta. Like many of its sister forts its main function was to protect the island from the sea. As a matter of fact, its specific purpose was that of an ‘Examination Battery, which meant, that it was designed to challenge enemy ships approaching the Grand Harbour from the north. To do this, it was armed with two 6-inch BL (breech-loading) coastal guns. In this aspect there was nothing new. The novelty at Fort Campbell lies not in its armament or function, but in its design - in the manner in which both the defensive perimeter and the interior elements of the fort were laid out to blend in with the natural surroundings in order to escape the attention from the air. This was achieved by means of an irregular plan and the dispersal of the main structures within the enceinte. The perimeter defences, rather than the usual rigid and thick parapets were constructed in the manner of a high boundary wall that
was built in such a way so as to mimic the surrounding rubble walls that characterize most of Mellieħa’s countryside. The trace of perimeter wall, planned out in a large irregular enclosure,
was laid out to blend into the surrounding terrain of terraced fields.

Defensive Features To defend the perimeter against assault, Fort Campbell was given a number of fixed perimeter defence posts, some of which were actually concrete bunkers not much unlike the concrete pillboxes which also began to appear around the bays and beaches at the time. The concrete machine gun bunkers were incorporated within the perimeter wall at irregular intervals dictated by the change in direction of the trace of walls. The majority occupied salient or re-entrant angles but one of these projected outwards from the main wall in the form of a caponier to provide enfilading fire across a relatively long and straight stretch of the perimeter. As stated earlier, the structure of these concrete machine gun bunkers resembles that of the pillboxes and beach posts built from around the time of the Abyssinian Crisis of 1935 onwards. The entrance to most of these concrete machine gun bunkers was through a small, thick metal, two-flap door. Inside the machine gun bunkers, there were the machine gun tables in which the defensive armament was mounted. In other areas of the perimeter, defence was provided by means of a series of rifle loop-holes

The Gun Emplacements The offensive element of Fort Campbell was provided by its battery of two 6-inch coastal guns. These were housed in two concrete barbette gun emplacements. The main advantages of mounting guns above the parapet (i.e., en barbette) was that it provided them with wider fields of fire but this advantage usually came at a price as the gunners were more exposed and thus more vulnerable to enemy fire. To counter this, most such guns were fitted with protective metal turrets or overhead covers, as were the ones at Fort Campbell. Each of the two concrete emplacements had a covered loading chamber just behind the gun pit, an underground magazine, and a partially underground accommodation for the gun crew. The loading chamber basically consisted of a single large room hugging the shallow gun pit. The loading chamber contained various cubicles whereby shells and cartridges where stored separately. Each loading chamber had a fire station close to one of the entrances to the gun emplacement. On the left hand side of the loading chamber, lies the passageway that led to the underground gun crew accommodation. The gun crew accommodation consisted of three separate rooms each with its own doorway and one or two windows. The passageway was also fitted with three windows in order to light up the three submerged rooms. Joining the loading chamber on the right, stood the opening to the large underground magazine. The underground magazine was connected to a number of underground passages that led to the surface via vertical channels fitted with metal rungs. Nowadays due to vandalism and neglect, these vertical channels are filled with rubble and rubbish and thus entry into the magazine is dangerous. The gun emplacement had two entrances. One of these was protected by a thick blast protection wall in front of it whereas the other had a bent entrance in an attempt to contain the blast within the emplacement if an explosion took place. A third gun emplacement in Fort Campbell, apparently built to house another 6-inch BL gun (No.3 emplacement) may have housed a heavy anti-aircraft gun. At its rear, this gun pit was surrounded by a small ammunition magazine containing several cubicles just like those of the 6-inch coastal gun emplacements. Although this emplacement, lacked space for gun crew accommodation, a few metres away the British constructed two underground rooms to serve this purpose.

The Battery Observation Post and Fortress Plotting Room Directing and co-ordinating the fire of the 6-inch guns was the work of the Battery Observation Post (BOP). This structure was roughly situated in the centre of the Fort, immediately to the rear of the gun emplacements and faced northwards out to sea. The BOP was a long stepped building that contained the position finding cell and the gun control room. The gun control room lay above the position finding cell and both of these rooms had a cantilevered flat roof. This building was the nerve centre, or command post, of Fort Campbell. The position finding cell inside the BOP served to detect and record information regarding any enemy sightings, target ranges and bearings, as well as the fall of shots of the coastal guns of the Fort. This information was then transmitted to the Fortress Plotting Room adjacent to the BOP by means of a MAGSLIP arrangement (electrical transmission). In the plotting room, enemy sightings were accurately tracked and recorded on a plotting table. These plots were then relayed to the gun control room in the BOP so as to work out the coordinates required to direct the fort’s coastal guns to fire and possibly hit the enemy targets. In 1943, the BOP was modified in order to support a roof-mounted Coastal Artillery (CA) Number 1 Mark 2 Radar. The Fortress Plotting Room was a rock-hewn chamber located very close to the BOP. Entrance to this underground room was by means of two passages. A few metres away from the Battery Observation Post lies a downward ramp that used to lead to another underground concrete chamber. The floor of this underground chamber had two raised concrete bases onto which the electricity generators were mounted to supply electrical energy to the roof mounted radar on the BOP. Apart from this, the roof also had three large openings for ventilation for the chamber underneath. The downward slope also led to an underground rock-hewn shelter that could have provided some protection to soldiers during air raids.

The Main Gate and the Guard Room Fort Campbell was designed as a purely functional military outpost. Unlike the earlier forts of the Victorian era, no concern was given to any aesthetic architectural considerations. Even the limited architectural decoration that was often applied to the main gateway is missing. Indeed at Fort Campbell the main gate was simply a wide cutting in the perimeter wall which was closed off by means of a metal palisade gate. Accompanying the gate was a nearby guard room.

Underground Water Tank and Generator Room Fort Campbell was equipped with an underground shallow concrete chamber capable of storing 10,000 gallons of water. This shallow chamber was accessible by means of two sets of metal rungs located on either side of the chamber. The pipes that carried water into thisunderground tank were positioned next to the metal rungs. The tank is surrounded by a set of small rectangular shaped openings. Most probably these were used to allow any excess water to overflow as otherwise it could damage the structural integrity of the concrete tank. Next to the water tank, where the pipes entered there are vertical passages fitted with metal rungs as well. Unfortunately, nowadays these passages are filled with rubble and rubbish so their exact function is unknown. Rock-hewn underground shelters were dug up both inside and outside Fort Campbell. These could not have been used by the inhabitants of Mellieħa as this area was closed off and they had no access to it. In fact in order to prevent any strangers from gaining entrance into Fort Campbell, most of the area behind Selmun Palace was closed off to the inhabitants of Mellieħa. Other structures within the fort included an artificers’ workshop and storage area and the Coastal Artillery Searchlight engine room. Fort Campbell had three coastal artillery searchlights placed in fixed protective emplaces (with steel shutter opening) located outside the fort along the coastline overlooking the St Paul’s islands. Other structures within the fort included an artificers’ workshop and storage area and the Coastal Artillery Searchlight engine room. Fort Campbell had three coastal artillery
searchlights placed in fixed protective emplaces (with steel shutter opening) located outside
the fort along the coastline overlooking the St Paul’s islands.

Interior layout With such a small number of buildings inside the perimeter, Fort Campbell’s relatively walled enclosure is rather barren. Furthermore these few buildings were scattered throughout the fort in such a way so as to prevent clusters and identifiable patterns that could be picked up by enemy aircraft flying overhead. Another interesting feature of this fort was the large number of underground passages and chambers. In Fort Campbell only those buildings that were essential to the fighting capability of the fort were built above ground, whereas others such as the generator room, the gun crew accommodations etc where built beneath ground level. Building underground not only helped to protect the British troops from enemy fire, but it also helped to reduce the concentration of buildings inside the fort, thus making Fort Campbell more invisible from the skies. In this manner, Fort Campbell resembles similar arrangements adopted by the British military in the defence of other important outpost around their empire, such as Fort Stanley in Hong King (likewise built in 1936/37), Good Head Battery in New Zealand, and Brownstone Battery in Kingswear, Devon (1940), and Fort South Sutor in Scotland (1939).

Outside the Perimeter Wall Barrack accommodation for the garrison was not located within the defensible perimeter. Instead a long range of blocks situated immediately outside the fort contained the barrack blocks, dining room, cook house, officer’s mess, ablution room and other services. These structures were not built as part of the original fort but were constructed at a later stage during the War (around 1942-43) to house a force of infantry, that was stationed in the area in order to patrol Selmun and its surroundings as well as man the several beach posts and pillboxes. Various areas of the fort and its immediate external perimeter were also fitted with prefabricated Rimney and Nissen huts.

Coast Artillery Search Lights Important adjuncts to Fort Campbell’s night-fighting capabilities were its electrical searchlights. Known as the Coastal Artillery Search Lights (CASL – formerly referred to as Defence Electric Lights -DEL) these fixtures were generally housed outside the fort and placed at strategic points along the coastline. Fort Campbell had three such CASLs. These served to light up the entrance to Mellieħa Bay, St. Paul’s Bay and the channel between Selmun and St. Paul’s Isles. The Fort Campbell search lights were sheltered inside special concrete emplacements. When not in use, the apertures of the concrete emplacement were closed off by means of steel shutters so as to protect the search light inside. The search lights were powered by electrical energy coming from generators inside Fort Campbell. These electric generators and their respective engines were housed in two barrel vaulted rooms unlike all the other structures inside the Fort which had roofs supported by iron beams. The cables that used to serve these Defence Electric Lights were placed and protected in shallow rock-hewn trenches.

A need for restoration and rehabilitation As can be clearly seen from the photographs accompanying this brief descriptive article, Fort Campbell, despite retaining many of its original features, lies in a derelict, neglected and abandoned state. It has been in this state for many, many decades. Sadly, ever since it was decommissioned by the British military, Fort Campbell has lain open to the destructive elements of both nature and man. Some of its features have suffered more than others. Particularly impressive are the efforts that various unknown vandals have gone to in order to remove the iron beams that supported the roof of barrack blocks, many of which have either collapsed or are caving in under their own weight. It is sincerely hoped that this interesting fort will one day, before it is too late, benefit from a thorough restoration and rehabilitation intervention. True, the site is an extensive one and the resources required for such a task cannot but be considerable. Money (or more precisely, a lack of it) is always a critical factor. However, the fort and its surrounding area are highly popular picnic and camping sites with the Maltese public and in this, perhaps, may lie the secret of the Fort Campbell’s salvation – its rehabilitation and sensitive and sympathetic reuse as a soft camping site. Simon MIFSUD (C) 2012                   

Vedi servizio fotografico

 

In Descend Into Great Britain’s Network of Secret Nuclear Bunkers
Da atlasobscura.com del 11 settembre 2018

It’s a terrible pourer, it spills tea everywhere.” Jack Hanlon is holding up an undistinguished brown teapot. Like everything else in this tiny, windowless room —measuring just 13 feet by 16 feet or so—the teapot is not for appearance or entertaining or even utility, but for basic survival. It would, in theory, be able to provide cups of tea for up to three weeks. Jerry cans of water are lined up along one wall, the cupboard is rammed full of cans, and narrow bunk beds, complete with gray blankets that look as though they were made primarily to be itchy, sit in the corner.We’re standing in a room buried 10 feet below the North Yorkshire moors in northeast England, near the village of Castleton.

The wind howls over the hatch above our heads as Hanlon—no expert, just an enthusiast—describes how the room would have been used, as an outpost of English civility and resourcefulness in the face of a nuclear attack. This bunker is one of hundreds just like it, scattered across the country.

They’re no longer in use, having been decommissioned for decades, but they’re a nationwide network of relics of fear—a fear that seems never to have left.

 

 

 

Today the “Doomsday Clock,” maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is just two minutes from midnight—the closest it’s been to nuclear annihilation since the height of Cold War in 1953. If, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared in April 2018, “the Cold War is back with a vengeance,” our old monuments to precaution, paranoia, and practicality take on a new, chilling life.

We’re not privy to our governments’ current top-secret contingency plans, but these bunkers provide a glimpse of the difficult, high-level decisions and calculated sacrifices that were oncemade, and how both officials and regular people corralled existential fear with work and routine. At 23 years old, Hanlon never knew the Cold War first-hand, but he has always been fascinated with the period, and is perhaps a little wistful that he missed it. The quietly unassuming millennial has worked various jobs, most recently as an undertaker, but he is defined by his hobbies—campanology (the art and practice of bell-ringing) and restoring Cold War bunkers.

His gritty determination has earned him the respect of many former military and volunteer officers from the period, some of whom have donated old equipment. Even vandals who took aim at the bunkers have not been an obstacle—he encouraged them to volunteer with the restoration work, and a couple of them are still involved. Today, the fresh coat of khaki green paint on the bunker entrance at Castleton, and the neat post-and-rail fence around the site, just hint at the hard graft, skill, and attention to detail that made this living museum piece.

 

The term “Cold War” is attributed to a 1945 article written by George Orwell to describe a nuclear stalemate between “two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds.” Only the United States had the bomb at that point, but Orwell saw where things were going, and by the 1950s his prediction had come to pass. So it was that in 1955, the British Ministry of Defence commissioned a top-secret report (declassified in 2002) to get a sense of what nuclear annihilation might look like. The Strath Report, as it was called, concluded that a Soviet nighttime attack with 10 hydrogen bombs would kill 12 million people (a third of the population at that time) and seriously injure another four million. Food and water would be contaminated, industry shut down, and the National Health Service utterly overwhelmed.

There are, in such a case, bad options and worse options, but doing nothing, it was decided, was no option. So the kingdom invested in bunkers. A network designed to protect as many people as possible was estimated to cost £1.25 billion (equivalent to £30 billion today), and the government decided this was prohibitive. So they prioritized a network of smaller underground facilities that emphasized information, communication, and function after a nuclear attack. Over the next few years, more than 1,500 holes were blasted into the ground, from Cornwall to Shetland, and then a standard concrete bunker was built in each one. These were to be the “eyes and ears” of the country, and the people who manned them tasked with sending data to a network of 29 larger regional headquarters, where they would be collated and used to understand where blasts had occurred, the power of the weapons, and possible fallout patterns.

The information could then be shared with military and civilian authorities to help them plan their responses.

 

These were not, however, military installations to be manned at all times. Rather, the government recruited a network of 10,000 volunteer civilians, known as the Royal Observer Corps (ROC), which gathered weekly for training at their respective bunkers.

During periods of rising tension—such as during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962—volunteers were expected to drop their lives, leave their families, and head to the bunkers, where they would be organized into three-person shifts. If a nuclear strike occurred, the entrance hatch would be sealed and it would more or less stay that way for three weeks. “We knew that psychologically this job would be immensely difficult, particularly in the full knowledge of what our families were likely to be facing, just a few miles away,” says Tim Kitching, who served as an ROC officer during the 1980s. The network was activated in the late 1950s and was in continuous use until 1991, when nuclear tensions eased.

The bunkers, which were built on both public and private land, were released into the wild. Today the majority has been demolished, or simply left to flood and rot. But two of these bunkers—Castleton and another nearby called Chop Gate—escaped this fate, thanks to one Jack Hanlon.

 

The village of Castleton nestles into an alcove in one of England’s bleakest and most remote regions. Above the village an icy wind rips across the landscape, tearing over sturdy heather shrubs and sending the native red grouse scurrying for cover.

This is where, just 20 miles from Fylingdales—a key military target and one of the 30 or so radar stations tasked with watching the skies and providing the country with a four-minute warning of impending missile attack—12 dedicated ROC volunteers trained and met, and where they would have gone had the worst come to pass.

After driving a half-mile up the steep hill out of Castleton, Hanlon pulls over where the moorland plateau begins. In steep glacial valleys off each side of the plateau are marginal pastures enclosed by traditional dry-stone walls. Hanlon and I stomp up a short grassy track to find the timeless view interrupted by something distinctly modern.

A small hummocky enclosure emerges from the heather, with a couple of small, angular concrete structures in the middle.

A black metal tube like a submarine periscope sprouts incongruously from the ground.

 

“I first came across this when I was 14,” Hanlon explains.

“The hatch had been ripped off and the interior was flooded. I realized it was too big a project for me to tackle at that time, but it stuck in my mind.” Some years later he also came across the neighboring Chop Gate bunker and met the owner of the land it was on, a former ROC officer who used to work at it.

With the officer’s blessing, Hanlon started to restore Chop Gate.

Soon after, he returned to Castleton and boldly approached the landowner —it is on the Danby Estate, owned by Richard Henry Dawnay, the 12th Viscount Downe—for permission. His work at Chop Gate convinced the viscount that Hanlon was up to the task. Hanlon undoes three padlocks and heaves open the blast-proof hatch to reveal a dark hole, roughly two feet square. A ladder leads into the gloom. We climb gingerly down and step off 15 feet below the surface.

Claustrophobia sets in quickly, with only a small square of daylight above, but Hanlon’s presence is oddly reassuring. He feels official— clean-shaven and dressed in heavy work boots, a high-vis waterproof jacket, and warm wooly hat—and exudes an unruffled air of capable competence.

 

My flashlight reveals a tiny vestibule off the entrance shaft containing a chemical toilet. To my left is a darkened doorway. Hanlon flicks on a light, casting the room in a dim orange glow. There’s a ticking noise. The lights are on a timer to conserve precious battery power.

Fixing the lights was one of the first jobs Hanlon tackled when he started work on the Castleton bunker in earnest in April 2017. “We had to remove 300 liters of water first, using a bucket and a pulley,” he says. With a team of practical and handy friends, Hanlon prioritized electricity and used fans on full-throttle to get the place dry. He is not the boasting type, but the before-and-after pictures are remarkable, and the wide range of skills and knowledge required to bring this place back to its original state and function is evident. Former ROC officers—many of whom have advised Hanlon on details and shared old photos, documents, and inventory lists—delight in visiting for a trip down memory lane.

Along the long wall to the left of the entrance are two canvas chairs neatly tucked under a plain wooden table. A small mirror is propped on a shelf above—a rare concession to vanity. On the table, neat piles of forms lie ready for the documentation of weather observations, radiation levels, and whatever other details the volunteers could glean about the location of the blast. At the far end of the room, the metalframed bunk beds take up the entire width. A map showing the network of bunkers across the country and charts to aid cloud identification line one wall.

 

Many of the pieces of period equipment have been donated by ex-ROC officers and are testaments to the power of social media. Hanlon’s Facebook page for the bunker has more than 450 followers, and he has another for Chop Gate with 400 as well. Meanwhile, more than 600 showed an interest in his first open day, when the public was invited to visit. “We had to take bookings as there was no way we could manage 600 people in one day!” he says. Discussions on the page have inspired locals to get involved, and resulted in generous donations of both equipment and specialist knowledge. Some bunkers were sited in towns or cities, but Hanlon’s are rather remote. Here, the ROC volunteers were most likely to have been called to duty via phone or radio bulletin. If attack was thought to be imminent, one of their first jobs upon arrival would have been to alert the local population with a hand-cranked siren, just like the ones used during air raids in World War II. The other two volunteers would prep the “Ground Zero Indicator”—an instrument that sat above ground. The device used the same principle as a pinhole camera, only it had four holes, one corresponding to each compass point. The bomb blast would sear an image onto light-sensitive paper, and the location and size of the resulting marks could indicate its height and direction. “The big problem,” says Hanlon, “was that one of the volunteers had to go outside after the blast, potentially exposing themselves to the radiation, to collect the paper.” But this vital information was worth the risk, and the volunteers were expected to communicate it to the regional headquarters at first opportunity. A regional headquarters could then plot a number of ground-zero measurements to determine the power of the weapon, where it detonated, and whether it was an air or ground burst (ground bursts produce far more residual radiation from their fallout). The other essential instrument they operated was the “Bomb Power Indicator,” which consisted of a pipe that connected the surface with the interior of the shelter. Inside, a small set of bellows was attached to the end, which would expand as air rushed in from the blast. The bellows moved a needle, which would indicate the pressure produced by the blast wave—another critical piece of information. The three observers would then be expected to settle into a pattern of regular readings. Exterior radiation levels could be measured safely from inside, using a “Fixed Survey Meter,” a small console on the desk connected to a detector above, but further meteorological measurements required more trips outside, to record the wind speed, direction, and cloud type. The original Fixed Survey Meter from the Castleton bunker disappeared long ago, but Hanlon went to enormous lengths to find a replacement. “I heard about a Fixed Survey Meter in a flooded bunker on a remote Scottish island, so I traveled up there, pumped the bunker out, and went down to retrieve it,” he says. He traveled up and down the country and scoured eBay to find period- orrect equipment, and took care to renovate and repair what he found using the same materials and equipment as would have been used when the bunkers were in service. “I’ve always been interested in history and I’m a determined kind of person,” he says, with characteristic understatement. “When I first came across photos of these bunkers online I just knew I had to go and find out more.”

Thanks to Hanlon’s efforts, it is now possible to imagine how it might have felt to live down here, isolated and afraid, while a nuclear war may or may not have been raging overhead. Deep in the cupboard is a small tin of Tommy’s Cooking Fuel, solid fuel that could be used to heat up the contents of a mess tin. Such a moment of gathering to eat baked beans and share a pot of tea would have served as a vital focal point for the bunker inhabitants, a way of creating a routine and distinguishing the hours in the absence of normal day-night cycles. Despite having somewhat better shelter than most of the general population, the nhabitants of these bunkers knew that their chances of survival would be still relatively slim. As the howling draft coming down the ventilation shaft into the Castleton bunker demonstrates, the protection the bunkers could offer was modest at best. Furthermore, the volunteers were expected to leave for measurements, so longterm safety was clearly not a goal. Despite feeling confined, I am reassured by the organization and purpose I see around me. Even if it didn’t offer the greatest protection, I can imagine that useful activity would feel superior than merely awaiting my fate. Over a steaming coffee in the city of York, former ROC officer Tim Kitching explains the government’s Cold War strategy to me. “The risk of losing observers [due to radiation exposure] was outweighed by the gain in information from the Ground Zero Indicator readings,” he says. Certainly the bunkers were intended to aid survival, and support the continuance of some form of governance after a nuclear exchange, but their primary role was as a passive deterrent. “This warning and monitoring system was designed to support our own forces in surviving a first strike in sufficient numbers to strike back, thereby deterring any aggressor in making first use, knowing that there was a degree of certainty that they would be hit back,” he says.

Kitching, who is smartly turned out in creased slacks, and has an organized and efficient air about him, was motivated to serve in the ROC out of a desire to contribute to the defense of the country. “Being ready to do what we were training to do was simply part of the country’s insurance policy,” he says. Kitching was confident that the system would have worked well. “Within the Corps there was multiple ‘redundancy’ built in throughout,” he explains. “So, for example, posts had a complement of 10, but only three were needed for an operational crew.” The overall simplicity enabled them to live off the grid—without piped-in gas, electricity, or water. There was, however, one link—a weak link—between the bunker and the rest of the world, its overground telephone connection, which was used to transmit information between monitoring posts and to the regional headquarters.

The wooden poles and looping wires that connected bunkers in the early days of the network would almost certainly have been knocked over by a nuclear blast, which would have left the bunkers isolated and the precious observations completely useless. By the 1980s, the British Government lessened this risk by investing in private, underground telephone wires between bunkers. Furthermore, monitoring posts were grouped into clusters of three or four, each about 15 miles apart and linked by telephone. One bunker in each cluster served as a “master post,” equipped with radio communications to back up the telephone system. Castleton was one of the lucky bunkers, and held a radio and antenna. In the Castleton bunker, Hanlon points out the bright yellow “Tele-Talk” loudspeaker telephone on the desk, and the prized VHF radio set on a small shelf above. With luck, Castleton would have been able to communicate its observations, and hopefully those of the other bunkers in its cluster (Hinderwell and Goathland, in this case), to the regional headquarters, 50 miles away in the historic city of Durham.

The Durham regional headquarters no longer exists, so instead I travel south to York to see the only one of the 29 regional headquarters to have been preserved. The York Cold War Bunker is one of the city’s best kept secrets, situated out in the suburbs, on a nondescript street, lined with ordinary houses and neatly mowed lawns.

At the end of a cul-de-sac, however, is a distinctly extraordinary sight. A rectangular grassy mound rears up to around 10 feet above street level.

A flight of concrete steps leads up the mound to a flat-roofed, boxy green building. Locals call it the “Aztec Temple.” When it was in use, this building was hidden in a hollow, surrounded by an orchard, hundreds of yards from a main road. Since 2006, English Heritage has operated it as an unusual tourist attraction.

The visible structure is just the top level of a three-story building hidden in the hill. The lower two levels are further covered in three layers of asphalt, and then at least three feet of earth—all to protect against a blast, heat, and radiation.

 


Twenty steps bring me to the top of the mound and the green concrete box.

A strange cylindrical structure like an outsized chimney pokes out of the flat roof, and a radio aerial bristles to my right. A small wooden noticeboard just inside the door informs me that the “attack state” is “black.” Once inside the door, I pass through an airlock— two rubber-sealed, gas-proof doors—and then descend stairs into the heart of the bunker. It is around 4,000 square feet, containing a kitchen, canteen, dormitories, plant room, generator room, telephone exchange, and officers’ room, with a large gallery overlooking the operations room, another level down.

This bunker is an entirely different beast than the drafty underground cell in Castleton. “One-hundred and twenty volunteers and four paid officers were trained up to use this bunker,” says Jake Tatman, who works behind the scenes there. “If nuclear war was likely you’d have everyone working on shifts with 60 staff manning the bunker at any one time.” If a nuclear strike occurred, the door would be locked and the crew inside would prepare for 30 days of tracking radiation and weather, and collating and plotting measurements from the surrounding posts. And just like at Castleton, one poor sod would have to go outside after the blast to retrieve the light-sensitive paper from the Ground Zero Indicator. He or she, however, would have had the added luxury of a shower, to help wash off some radioactive particles.

 

This bunker also would have had a few specialists.

“During an emergency it was essential that the bunker had at least one engineer, capable of keeping the generator and air conditioning system going,” explains Tatman, outside the diesel generator room.

In the gallery, a team of specialist plotters would have sat at a row of desks, listening for information from outlying bunkers and putting it up on rotating Perspex display boards, which could be swiveled around to be viewed by still more specialists in operations below. Data would be plotted on the triangulation table, and the location of blasts would then be transferred to four large maps on the wall: the current situation, the cumulative situation, the United Kingdom situation, and the European situation. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the gallery, a group of tellers would pass this information to other group headquarters, as well as government and military facilities.

It is through this process, ideally, that the contributions of volunteers at local bunkers like Castleton would make their way into the corridors of power, where the difficult decisions were to be made.

 

At least in theory. In practice, the York bunker might not have survived the first day. “York was the hub of the railway industry and it had four RAF [Royal Air Force] bases, so it would have been a big target,” says Tatman. “The chances are that this bunker wouldn’t exist at all after a nuclear attack.” The volunteers running the more remote observation posts might survive the initial attack, only to have to fend for themselves. With all of this in mind, utility, survival, and maintenance of a functional society were hopeful, secondary goals for the bunkers. The network was, by design, one of Cold War Britain’s worst-kept secrets, at home and abroad. The very existence of these bunkers, and the willingness of thousands of volunteers to train to defend their country, could have played a role in preventing a nuclear strike from occurring in the first place. And today, as tensions rise again, it feels like we need to rediscover something of the calm and stoicism that these bunkers were built to encourage. Perhaps we would be more confident if we knew that our friends and neighbors had our backs.

Throughout the Cold War, this system—of both bunkers and people—played a significant role in boosting morale and containing fear. Neither of these things seems particularly possible today. The restored York and Castleton sites evoke a kind of nostalgia, for when it at least seemed like ordinary citizens had the power to help each other, even if it was rather illusory. Teapots that don’t pour properly and itchy blankets are important comforts when you feel like there’s a greater purpose to them.

 

 

A shortage of bomb shelters
Da cyprus-mail.com del 10 settembre 2018

There are enough bomb shelters for just 30 per cent of the population By Annette Chrysostomou

A shelter in Zurich


There are more than 2,000 bomb shelters in Cyprus, but how many people are aware of where they whether they are enough for the island’s population? I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I had never heard of any shelters until I researched this article.

Apparently, we have 2,223 shelters in basements of buildings. Of these 1,641 have been designated public use.

The rest of them are for the exclusive use of their owners. And, no, there are not nearly enough of them. Existing shelters will cover the needs of just 30 per population.

Whole regions are not covered because there are no suitable buildings in the vicinity, suitable buildings apartment blocks and public spaces with a basement such as supermarkets. “If there is one within 200 metres from your home, it is worth going to,” senior civil protect Paris told the Sunday Mail.

“If not, you should stay at home and follow the instructions of the civil Flyers with instructions exist and will be handed out in case of an emergency, he added. In future there will be an application where you type in your address and which will give you the location the nearest shelter, but this is not ready yet.

 

A shelter in Nicosia

“For now, you have to walk around your neighbourhood and hnd it,” Paris said. Residents are concerned. “Where I live there are only family houses, no apartment blocks or shops,” one said. “I have never building in the area which could be used.” “There is a supermarket which is marked where I live,” another one commented.

“But that is the only and I don’t know what would happen if a few thousand people were trying to use it.” Though the civil defence says the response of the owners who are being asked routinely if they are offer their basements is usually positive, there are some who are not willing to agree, and there is problem that owners also have to make sure there is adequate parking for the people living in the This week, the interior ministry, responsible for the civil defence department, responded in a letter questions by the Green Party which had received complaints about the lack of shelters.

“There are not enough of them,” Alexia Sakkadaki said, speaking for the party. “30 per cent is not an island in a volatile region, we don’t want to scare the population but it is important to be prepared.” In his letter, the interior minister, Constantinos Petrides, explained that people can change their minds offering their basement as a shelter, as they own the place, and use the space to build a jat, or as parking. When they do agree that it can be used as a shelter, they have to make sure it is ready to people within 24 hours of being notihed.

Between 2000 when the programme started and until 2013, the civil defence reinforced the designated shelters with metal structures and doors. Between July 2013 and December 2014 the programme was suspended due to the economic crisis restarted in 2015, but without the reinforcement due to a lack of resources. The buildings are now marked with a sign. The one I saw which had been strengthened with a massive metal door, at the basement of a supermarket really looked as if it could withstand a bombardment. How effective the ones which don’t have specially built doors are is not clear. All basement shelters have access to water and electricity, and while some have toilets, others have ready to accept dry toilets which will only be installed in case the shelters are needed.

 

A shelter in Nicosia

 

The spaces are maintained by civil defence ogcers but cleaned by the owners.

“Though the civil defence are doing a good job, they are understaffed and we must rethink the situation,” Sakkadaki said. Other countries, even potentially safe ones, are better prepared, but then there is also more money In Switzerland and a few other countries, everybody is legally entitled to access a bomb shelter. stipulates that every new building must have one. In 2006, there were 300,000 shelters in Swiss dwellings, institutions and hospitals, as well as 5,100 shelters, providing protection for a total of 8.6 million individuals – a coverage of 114 per cent.

The Swiss are top in Europe when it comes to the construction of shelters. The closest are Sweden and Finland with 7.2 and 3.4 million protected places respectively, representing approximately 81 per cent and 70 per cent coverage.

These are all purpose-built fallout shelters which can withstand a nuclear attack.

 

 

Telgha t’Alla u Ommu road-widening ‘runs through’ Victoria Lines
Da maltatoday.com del 6 settembre 2018

Road widening works at Telgha t’Alla u Ommu which started on Tuesday were approved in February after eight years of planning limbo prolonged by concerns on the area’s archaeological and ecological importance. The works will widen part of the existing road from 4.6 metres to 8.8 metres to introduce another traffic lane. In 2011 the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage acknowledged that the works “run through the Victoria Lines” and will take place “in the vicinity of historical fortifications”.

The site was also deemed to have “archaeological potential”. But the Superintendence did not object to the granting of the permit if the works are monitored by an archaeologist and the presentation of a detailed construction method statement. The development will affect an area of approximately 578sq.m. The Environment Protection Directorate, which has now been replaced by ERA, had expressed concern on the proposed uptake of land, especially in view of the possible spillage into the nearby garigue environment.

The PA’s internal panel on natural heritage issues had also objected, noting that the proposal would take up and destroy about 300 metres of land in a proposed Area of Ecological Importance (level 2) and Area of High Landscape Value. Although proposed for scheduling, this land was never actually granted protection.

The road, which is one of the principal road links between the northern and central parts of Malta, linking St Paul’s Bay, Maghtab and Burmarrad to Mosta and the Birguma area of Naxxar, currently poses difficulties to road users, as they are forced to merge into one lane before the Birguma roundabout.

The project will be widening this narrow part of the carriageway to open up the second lane and improve its approach to the roundabout. The upgrade will include construction of the new lane’s foundation, rebuilding the road’s footpaths, walls to accommodate the two-lane alignment and a new asphalt road surface.

 

 

Inside the 1960s nuclear bunker hidden below a courthouse
Da metro.co.uk del 3 settembre 2018

If the thought of nuclear war or a zombie apocalypse keeps you awake at night, you might want to invest in this underground bunker.

Hidden below a courthouse in Devon, the concrete-lined bunker even has a secret escape exit onto a nearby street – ideal for a post- pocalyptic scenario.

The only problem is that it’s expected to sell for a cool £500,000. It’s a labyrinth of rooms and corridors with heavy doors, and has ventilation and water system. The 1960s bunker also has several living quarters, complete with shelving, as well as its own toilets and two kitchens.

It is nestled below Torquay Magistrates Court, which was vacated and sold last year. Surveyor Kye Daniel, who is handling the sale for JLL, said property developers are interested in converting the bunker into apartments, offices and even a church. He added: ‘

It’s certainly one of the most unusual properties we have come across.’ by Harley Tamplin<