The Unknown German Defense Line in Denmark

The last couple of days I've noticed the many old bunkers and gunpositions from World War II spread all over the landscape along the West Coast of Jutland. In particular here in Henne and the nearest surroundings they're everywhere.

April 9, 1940, Denmark was occupied by Germany. The reason for this was, that Germany was at war with England, and therefore concerned that England would be allowed to position troops and war material in Denmark, blocking Germany's ways in and out of their own significant fleet harbours for instans in Kiel, Rostock and Danzig (now Stettin in Poland).

The Danish government had come to the conclusion, that in case of a German attack, Denmark would not attempt to fight Germany. The leading men in Denmark wanted to avoid bombings of Denmark, and therefore sought to collaborate with Germany in order to save Denmark from destruction.

This policy was - at least in the beginning - widely welcomed. Denmark managed to survive 5 years of German occupation relatively safe. However, of course the country suffered, most of all because Germany saw Denmark as their private food provider. And the industry was forced to supply Germany with weapons, clothings and manpower.

Denmark also allowed Danish soldiers to participate in the war under German flag. Danish soldiers were inlisted in the 'Regiment Nordland' and 'Regiment Wiking'; both regiments fought in Russia, and 'Regiment Wiking' also fought in the last battle of Berlin in May 1945.

The collaboration policy has been heavily discussed in Denmark, in particular when the war ended, and many felt that the politicians who chose to cooperate with the Nazi regim should be punished. My personal opinion is that it was an understandable decision considering the country's limited military resources.

In order to secure the Danish coastline, Germany ordered the building of a defense line along the West Coast from the southern parts of Denmark to the most northern point of Denmark - Skagen.

This defense line was a part of the strategic Atlantic Coast defense line. It involves bunkers, gunpositions and barriers, all built in armoured steel and concrete. What ingredients the concrete contains is impossible to guess, but it has proven itself to resist explosives etc. The Danes have given up the thought of removing these monuments because it's impossible. Instead the ruins have become a significant part of the landscape.

Below you see some of the ruins spread out in Henne and how people have tried to let the bunkers become a natural part of life.

This one is just outside my window. Standing on top of it you can see miles away. There are a couple of benches up there where you can sit and reflect over life while enjoying the magnificant sunset.

I have updated my photo album on picasawebb. You'll find it under Henne Strand, June 2009.



The West Coast

A great deal of my childhood was spent here at the West Coast of Jutland. It's great to be back and see all the sights and landscapes that I enjoyed so much 35 years ago. Much has changed, but nevertheless it still feels like home.

I've created an album containing my latest pictures from Henne Strand in my Picasa webbalbum. The address is http://picasaweb.google.com/Asta2143/HenneStrandJune2009 and you are of course very welcome to visit the album and comment on the pictures.


Stairways to Heaven

Standing at the bottom of these stairs looking up, and for a moment I felt this really was 'Stairways to Heaven'.




This ice cream stand understands the difference in children and adult candy. The offer for adults over 18 is:

Pint / Large
Wine Red / White
Irish coffe(e) containing 3 centilitres of Whisky
25,- a glas
To be retrieved in the shop




We've now arrived our first stop on our month long trip.

Today we visited an area that has a special place in my heart. - The military exercise area of Oksboel at the Westcoast of Jutland in Denmark, where I spent lots of time when I was a child.

Above photo indicates why this road was blocked. I am not able to give you the sound, but I'm sure you can imagine.

We also visited the Tirpitz Bunker, built during World War II as a part of Hitlers 'Atlantic Wall'. The cupole is new and has a beautiful ceiling. The photo I managed to get of the ceiling isn't that good, but I'm publishing it anyway, just to give you an idea of the beauty of it.

Cheers for now,