Skarsåsen Fortress

TunelIn April / May 1940 - was Brønnøysund "instead of war forgot", but it lasted not long.

German thoroughness has left its mark, even up here, between white birch trees. The Germans set up 280 coastal batteries in Norway, of which 210 belonged to the army and 70 navy. This in Skarsåsen belonged to the army.
The fear of raids and allied landings in Norway; helped unlock large German troops in the country (about 3-400.000). This and our merchant fleet, - was perhaps our most important contribution to the war's "end result". Svolvaer Raid (4/3-1941) and Måløy Raid (27/12-1941); - was a powerful wake of the Germans.


In addition, engagement of Majavatn (6/9-1942), and weapons-transport on the Helgeland. The planned reduction of the German forces in Norway, with 40% in connection with the attack on Russia (Operation Barbarossa) (22/6-1941) was abandoned. Instead, it was a build-up of coastal forts and Norway were the most important place in the Atlantic Wall. First, the fifth priority was the French coast in Normandy. It was the Germans mark in June 1944.

A swarm of canon "assembled" from all over Europe: Had it not been for the Germans took the whole of the French artillery park intact when they occupied France in the summer of 1940, had not been any coastal artillery in Norway. This was entirely based on the captured artillery. Along the coast of Norway were stationed around. 2500 guns; of which were 1100 guns, main arming of the shore batteries.


Here in Skarsåsen there were four 15.5 cm guns (K 416 - French). range was meters. The length of the gun tube was 4.96 m, ie 32 times guns caliber. This was a field gun from 1 World War, 1917. As a protective splint was built a moat in front of the cannon. Emergency ammunition, ¼ of what was awarded, should be stored 5.10 m from the cannon. To allocate / view the firesector the guns were painted "flashes" on several houses down on Mosheim; and the circle around the cannon was made graduated. The canon that stands here now is an illustration - a minor German cannon from the war years.

Fortress plant in Skarsåsen belonged "Artillery gr. Brønnøysund: Including Southern Battery in Høgåsen, North Battery in Skarsåsen and battery Ylvingen. It was approx. 120 soldiers at each battery.


In Churchheap was also an infantry platoon of about. 100 men. In addition, naval command of the harbor (20-30) searchlight had become a part of the German batteries when the war led to the second half. It was different sizes of searchlights, from 60 cm to 200 cm. In Brønnøysund area, we know that searchlight was set up on Hestøya south and the Salhus. The on Salhus was later moved to Salter cape outside Tilrem. It is said that this could illuminate the Vega.
It is rather doubtful whether it ever has been light here in Skarsåsen.


Skarsåsen fortifications was established by the 120 occupiers in June 1941. On a standard 15 cm battery was the expected to be around 235 men. The Germans could seldom or never to fill up the batteries, so it was still vacancies. They still managed to transform Skarsåsen to a Swiss cheese. Work instructions for the construction of gun emplacements said, among other things the following: Guns should be on the same elevation. Guns should generally not be less than 50 meters apart, on average, approximately. 70 meters from each other. From the four major gun positions and to provide the edges of the plant is the trenches, underground tunnels - to and from 11 barracks and defence position.
There can be landslides in the tunnels - you go at your own risk!


36,000 prisoners were slave workers in Norway, of which the 30,000 Russians. In the spring of 1942, it opened a Russian prison camp in Mosheim. There were a total of 63 Russians to this camp. They were subjected to very hard treatment and all 22 men died in a short time. This p.g.a. abuse and hunger, and lack of medical attention. Out of winter 1943 was the spur to improvement in treatment. Potatoes and fish was given them when the guards, unconsciously or consciously turned his back on. Previously, the slogan: "The prison for those who gave their prisoners of war food". The last two years seemed to only two deaths in the camp the dead were buried at the youth center, then moved to the cemetery in Brønnøysund, then disinterred and moved to its final resting place - the war cemetery at Tjøtta. To ensure the defense around the facility, there were several rows of barbed wire blocking around Skarsåsen. In the summer of 1942 and 1943, it added large amounts of personnel mines on the batteries. After the war had to be German
soldiers even clean up these minefields.


Fortress The plant bears witness to the inhuman toil: - all cement which had to be carried out, lemping of all the stone, carrying of materials and heavy railways. It was a tremendous demand for labor. Time prices rose from 90 cents to U.S. $ 2. pr. hours in Brønnøysund. - In addition to German and even Russian prisoners of war "attended" mobilize forced laborers, craftsmen, contractors In the March 1943 to June 1944, a total of 39,000 Norwegian men conscripted to the building and construction sector. Eventually the Germans also discovered that the batteries had to be better equipped to meet the air raids and attacks by ground forces. For this purpose, the batteries were equipped with a host of additional weapons of different origins. Coastal forts had been in combat - as had the supply been a major challenge. At the end of the 1970s was part of the fortress complex filled again. We have in the 1990s
reopened parts of the plant.


To carry out the construction work needed Germans enormous quantities of building materials like cement, sand, gravel stone, wood, etc. To create a cubic steel concrete Germans used 400 kg cement. The Germans thought that it went with the 5-days each. cubic meter tunnel, at 1 cubic meter of steel concrete required 9.2 day's work. They also considered that a prisoner of war was not able to provide more than 0.4 working days per. day. .

Otherwise, food situation was generally better in Brønnøysund than many other places. This is, of course, primarily fish. Provisions was that all batteries should be catering for 60 days, saved the bullet-proof. In the German broke camp, had each his own ration of coffee, the bread, butter, marmalade. It decreased gradually to the butter and marmalade. All such things were carefully measured and distributed pr. person - the program correctly. A German soldier said to remember that they got 20-25 grams of butter per. day.


"Brønnøysund - A truly comfortable spot, especially the bright summer nights, and culturally not as an isolated place". War is brutality and waste of resources. Nonetheless, many are not where the shells hit. At the same time with the four gun positions were built 11 barracks and barbed wire fences put up. The German occupation was stationary. Most of the soldiers who were here were over 45 years. Many were artistically laid out - they set up the theater and concerts.

The atmosphere was good. The German crew of Brønnøysund was glad not to be at the feared Eastern Front. But, periodically, throughout the 1944 and 1945, came the orders to refrain so many men. Replacement Crews were sent here. As late as Sunday 25 February 1945: 29 men arrived and distributed. It was usually older people who came. At the end of the war, it could also go years between each time the soldiers had to go on leave to Germany.

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