Gdańsk

Brosen-Glettkau Beach Battery

  ul. Jantarowa 208, Gdansk (Beach Entrance 58) ,   Jelitkowo         more than a year ago
Built pre-WWI (1909-1911) originally as part of a series of fortifications designed to defend the entrance to the Motlawa river. A sign close to the path shows how the battery would have looked and explains how enemy ships at sea were targeted using triangulation. The battery was decommissioned when the area was demilitarised during the years of the Free City, but it was brought back into use again during WWII to defend the nearby airport. A glance at Google Maps will show you Jan Pawel II street which incorporates part of the former runway.

One more point of interest is that this is where Gunter Grass served for about 6 months from Autumn 1943 to Spring 1944 as a 16-year-old in a Luftwaffe Auxiliary Unit.

"Shortly after my sixteenth birthday I was transferred with part of the Kaiserhafen team to the Brosen-Glettkau beach battery, which was equipped with four-barrelled anti-aircraft artillery to protect the nearby airport from strafing. There we had more rabbits than long-tailed (rats) quarry.

The waves broke monotonously against the battery’s beach position. Rifle practice consisted of shooting at rabbits or – though it was forbidden- seagulls with small-calibre weapons."
Gunter Grass, Peeling the Onion, 2007.

Only part of the battery remains and is in poor condition, clearly these days serving as a public toilet and shelter.

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