Vigsø Battery

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The German army builds a large number of bunkers along the entire European coast during World War II to create an Atlantic wall. Along the western coast of Jutland they also made thousands of concrete constructions along the coast of Denmark – approximately 8,000 in totals of which 2,000 were actual bunkers.

The bunkers now out at sea

The many bunkers may be surprising considering the allied would probably be unable to supply an army landing in Jutland because of the distance which would give the German army the advantage considering the coast of Jutland actually goes all the way down to Germany and the north coast is only a few hundred miles from the border.

Bunkers on the beach

One of the strongholds along the west coast is the Vigsø Battery which was built at a highpoint in the landscape a few miles from the village of Hanstholm. The reason for this strong hold was the importance of the small village of Hanstholm. Hanstholm is the closest Danish village to Norway and the German decided to put a couple of large guns at this location which could shoot almost half the way to Norway. The middle of the sea was heavily mined. In the south of Norway there were a similar gun position and this way the German could control the entrance to the Danish waters and the Baltic Sea.

Vigsø was so important because this was one of the most likely places an allied attack force would land if they wanted to attack the guns in Hanstholm.

When you visit Vigsø you can just walk to the beach and see a lot of the old bunkers. The coast here has receded around 140 meters during the almost 80 years which has passed since the construction of the bunkers. So today most of the bunkers are located out in the waters and the rough sea around here with many large autumn and winter storms has taken their toll on the bunkers.

A lot of bunkers on the beach

The position had four French field guns with a diameter of 10.5 centimeters which could shoot 11.5 kilometers out at sea. The guns were protected by some men who at first where just put in wooden sheds. But in 1942 they began building bunkers to protect the guns – the bunkers had walls and roof of up to two meters protecting the men against even heavy shelling.

The German kept expanding the Vigsø Battery until 1944 a total of 46 bunkers were constructed at this location and 24 had walls of at least 2 meters. The total detachment was only 144 so they had a fair number of bunkers between them.

Several bunkers

Not surprisingly the bunkers never saw any action and after they war they were just too difficult to remove so they were left behind for posterity as a remainder of the war.

Bunkers at the beach of Vigsø

The bunkers at Vigsø actually has a special place in the mind of many Danes – since the battery was a main feature in Olsen Banden i Jylland which was the third film in the popular Olsen Banden movie franchise which is the most popular movie Danish movie franchise through all time and still tend to be aired repeatedly. Especially when the live television has been cut back for the last several months.

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