The fortress of Houvig

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During the Second World War the small village of Houvig was home to one of the most important German strongpoints along the west coast of Jutland. There was actually two separate military camps which – one was an artillery positions which was able to fire upon approaching allied ships if they should launch an invasion on occupied Europe along the Danish shores. This was a normal part of the Atlantic Wall which were main a stationary defensive position.

Bunker beach at Houvig Fortress

In addition to the anti-invasion bunkers there was a separate military camp which was very hi-tech for this time. There was a radar installation which was used to spot allied ships approaching north Germany via Denmark to evade some of the strong anti-aircraft defenses which had been established in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The location of the radar station was a coincidence. The allied planes would use the large Ringkøbing Fjord as a landmark when they flew out of Britain on their way to the targets along the Baltic Coast of North Germany. The radar station could spot incoming planes 100 kilometer away and could call upon fighter planes located at the nearby airport of Karup or an airport down at the German island of Sild. This radar station might have been the one spotting an English plane which was later shut down just outside Hemmet where we spend a bit of time in a rented house.

Bunker half covered by sand

The radar station was fairly successful and at least 19 allied planes were shut down around Ringkøbing Fjord. Today there is nothing remaining from the old radar installations – but the foundation of the bunker was very solid and still remains along the coast.

The bunkers were places at a sandy beach and the sand around here could drift quite a bit – and one of the bunkers had actually been completely covered with sand before anybody had taken out what was inside. The bunker was left behind in the sand for decades until it was finally excavated in 2008. The inventory of the bunker was put on a nearby museum and one of the old German soldiers actually visited the exhibition.

Today you can walk freely around the many bunkers along the sandy beach – and outside the summer season the bunkers is probably the main attraction on the beach since nobody with a sane mind will attempt the freezing cold waters of the North Sea.

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