Hanstholm fortress

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Hanstholm Fortress

Hanstholm fortress (German: Festung Hanstholm; Danish: Hanstholm batteri) was a large coastal fortification, built by Nazi Germany at Hanstholm in north-western Denmark during World War II. The remains of the fortress is now a World War II museum situated in Thy National Park.


Hanstholm Fortress was part of the "Atlantic Wall" and its main purpose was to seal off the entrance to Skagerrak together with the Vara fortress in Kristiansand, southern Norway, and extensive minefields in Skagerrak. The fortress had a wide range of artillery, from medium-sized 17 cm guns up to four 38 cm S.K.C/34 guns, weighing 110 tons each (the whole gun position weighing 650 tonnes). The guns were protected by 3.5 metres (11 ft) of reinforced concrete and many anti-aircraft guns. The 38 cm guns were similar to the ones fitted to the Bismarck-class battleships and had been intended for Gneisenau. However, after Gneisenau was damaged in a bomb raid, a decision was made not to fit the guns to the ship, but to use them instead in fortresses. The guns could fire a 495-kilogram (1,091 lb) projectile 55 kilometres (34 mi), or an 800 kg (1,800 lb) shell 42 km (26 mi). The rate of fire was 1 shot per 1.5 minutes. German Naval Artillery Battalion 118 manned the fortress.

Post war[edit]

The 38 cm guns were scrapped in 1951-52. Today, the remains of the fortress is a museum.[1]

German units at Hanstholm fortress[edit]

Gun with camouflage netting in 1947
Unit Equipment
1./M.A.A. 118 4x 17 cm
2x 2 cm FlaK
2x 110 cm searchlights
2x 90 cm searchlights (Danish)
2x 7.5 cm field guns (Polish)
6x 2.5 cm FlaK Hotschkiss
2./M.A.A. 118 4x 38 cm
6x 7.5 cm field guns
2x 4.7 cm fortress anti-tank guns
5x medium flamethrowers
6x light flamethrowers
3x heavy mortars
1. M.Fl.A. 814 4x 10.5 cm FlaK
4x 3.7 cm FlaK
7x 2 cm FlaK
2. M.Fl.A. 814 4x 7.5 cm FlaK Vickers
3. M.Fl.A. 814 4x 7.5 cm FlaK Vickers
4. M.Fl.A. 814 4x 7.5 cm FlaK Vickers
7. M.Fl.A. 814 11x 150 cm searchlights
4x 60 cm searchlights



  1. ^ "Museumscenter Hanstholm". museumscenterhanstholm.dk. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "38 cm gun". www.museumscenterhanstholm.dk. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°7′15″N 8°36′59″E / 57.12083°N 8.61639°E / 57.12083; 8.61639