[ Hanstholm fortifications]

Hanstholm fortifications

The German Wehrmacht started building the large defence works at Hanstholm in North Jutland in November 1940. Besides four large cannons, the installation came to comprise additional cannon batteries. It converted the small fishing hamlet of Hanstholm into a veritable fortress, one of the strongest in Denmark. After German capitulation in 1945, there was the idea that the Danish Armed Forces might have a use for the installation. But the final decision was to dismantle all the defences, and, as of 1952, only the vast bunkers remained. Much of the site has now been converted into a museum and is open to the public.

600 Germans and a battery of cannons

  • Story written by: Thomas Tram Pedersen
  • Time / Periode 1940 1945

The main armaments at the Hanstholm fortifications consisted of the four 38-centimetre cannons deployed to protect passage through the German minefields in the Skagerak. The cannons were identical to those mounted on the German warships Bismarck and Tirpitz. With a firing capacity for 600 kg grenades at a range of 55 kilometres, the Hanstholm cannons were installed inside huge, 650-ton armoured towers contained in four concrete bunkers of 3,000 square metres each. The fortifications were expansive, with barracks, workshops and many other buildings to support the battery. Besides the four large cannons, there were other cannon positions and concrete ammunition depots. All of these were connected by a railway. The cannon battery was manned by 600 Germans.

Read more about Hanstholm fortifications at 1001fortællinger.dk