Batteri 1 and the Atlantic Wall

The northwesternmost corner of the Hanstholm Wildlife Reserve is home to a series of bunkers that make up the so-called First Battery from World War II. It is one of the best-preserved German coastal batteries in Denmark, and since most of the bunkers are open, there are excellent opportunities for exploration

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First Battery

The battery consists of nineteen larger bunkers and they constituted the first permanent installation built by the Germans at Hanstholm. Already on the night of April 9, 1940, the day of the German occupation of Denmark, the Germans had laid mines in the Skagerrak to block the passage of Allied ships to the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. Inward, there was a 10 nautical mile wide opening through which German ships could navigate. This opening was guarded from the land, from the First Battery, which was armed with four 17 cm naval guns, anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, and searchlights. Initially, the cannons were placed in the open, on cast foundations, and it wasn't until 1944 that they could be moved to the bombproof bunkers that are preserved to this day. The battery had a crew of 148 men.

The Atlantic Wall

When the Germans began to seriously fear an invasion from early 1942, they initiated the construction of the 5500 km-long fortress system known as the Atlantic Wall, designed to defend against the Allied landing from the west. The Hanstholm fortress, strategically located in relation to the North Sea and Skagerrak, became an integral part of this and constituted the largest defense complex in Northern Europe from World War II.

If you want to see more, visit the Bunker Museum in Hanstholm: Bunker Museum

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