the tirpitz history
tirpitz is an old gun position from the second world war and was intended to be the largest coastal artillery battery in denmark.
in 1943, germany’s navy, which was also in charge of coastal defense, planned to protect the esbjerg port. being it the largest harbour and most important strategic hub in the danish wadden sea, the german occupation forces needed to focus their defenses on that area. denmark had been occupied since 1940 and as the war progressed it became more and more imperative to fortify the west coast as part of the atlantic wall. part of this fortification effort was the construction of coastal batteries which should engage enemy shipping.
the installation in blåvand consisted of two double naval gun turrets with a range of 23 miles /~37 km, along with adjoining bunkers for support, barrack bunkers, fighting bunkers with anti-aircraft weapons, heavy air defense bunkers, munition storage bunkers, a fire direction bunker and a small gauge rail road for transport of ammunition. this defense system was projected to be operational by september 1945, thus it was never used, as the war ended in maj 1945.
the tirpitz museum
after the war, the site was emptied and cleaned of war materials. after that, the bunkers were left to be forgotten. in 1991 the complex was excavated and opened to the public as a museum. through two decades the bunker was a popular museum, telling it’s stories about war, gunnery and occupation. it was replaced by a brand new museum in summer 2017. the museum building today is nothing less than an architectural masterpiece, consisting of four large sections with separate exhibitions. the roof on the new museum is planted with lyme grass and the whole building is camouflaged as part of the landscape with the bearing parts of the construction hidden under the sand.
the new museum contains a variety of different experiences and exhibitions: come along on a dramatic time travel from the ice age to today. dive into the unknown stories about the smugglers at ho bugt and the disaster in blåvand. see the fantastic jewellery and other findings in amber, including 40 million year old insects trapped in capsules of amber. meet the people who constructed hitler’s atlantic wall and get an impression of the soldiers and civilians who lived in the western part of jutland during the second world war. arm yourself with a flashlight and an audio guide and discover the great stories hidden inside the concrete fortress.
© 2019 – oliver haas-jensen, all rights reserved