Keith B

By keibr

Hemsö Underground

In the mid-eighties when we first came to live in Härnösand there was a mysterious fortress  on the nearby island of Hemsö.  Because of that military installation all non-Swedes were forbidden to land on the island. Large notices at the ferry station informed us of that in about 12 languages, of which Russian was the first.
However, with the end of the Cold War that rule no longer applied and we could freely visit the island.  A little later the mysterious fortress was opened to the public, becoming a tourist destination.
So today we were here with our visitors John and Dela, for a visit underground to this fortress.
Virtually the entire establishment is underground and its main objectives were keeping watch over this part of the Baltic and destroying any invading forces using the 15 cm guns that poke out of a highly reinforced bunker on top of the hill.
This corridor is where some of the 320 men who lived and worked here slept, in rather cramped bunk rooms with two three-person bunks in each room. It was built to survive a 20 kiloton atomic bomb and with all the necessary facilities to be entirely self-sufficient and continue fighting for 90 days.  Fortunately it was never needed.
Outside the view over the sea and surrounding islands is magnificent. A place to return to on a sunny day with a picnic!
Today's backblip is from 2 July, when we were on the beach at Lytham St Annes.

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