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Google Earth Plug-in: Hanstholm - 38 cm naval coastal battery

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he naval coastal battery "Hanstholm II" with its 38 cm guns was the heaviest battery in Denmark. During the war, the largest fortification of nothern Europe developed around it. Together with a sister batterie at Kristiansand in Norway, hostile ships should be hindered from entering the Baltic Sea. The distance between Kristansand and Hanstholm amounts to approximately 120 km. As the guns "only" had a range of 55 km, a mine field was laid out at the uncovered gap.
However, it is very questionable whether the batteries would have been able to stop a hostile breakthrough, because the accuracy was really poor at longer ranges. In addition, the guns were only installed at open emplacements in revolving turrets, which hardly provided protection against air raids or artillery barrage.
Infantry strongpoints, several heavy anti-aircraft batteries and numerous mine fields were errected, to protect the 38 cm battery. Hundreds of bunkers were built around Hanstholm.

One of the large gun emplacements is nowadays an interesting museum. Beside lots of information about the fortifications at Hanstholm, there can be found restored weapons, e.g. an anti-tank gun and a rare M 19 automated grenade launcher. The last preserved, 110 tons weighing gun barrel of the 38 cm battery "Tirpitz" (near Blåvand) has been set up next to the museum bunker. Even a light railway is travelling between gun and ammunition bunkers.

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