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User / The Molotov Line photographer / Sets / Molotov Line Journals
Piotr Tymiński / 91 items

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All the armored housings fitted in pillboxes of the Molotov Line had data plaques attached by their producers. They were welded on the housing's side facing the interior of the pillbox, most often to the left/right of the machine gun.
Here, it shows the type of the armored housing (it says NPS-3 in Russian cyrillic alphabet, which means it's the one designed for Maxim heavy machine gun). It was produced in Moscow in 1941 in a factory named "Hammer and Sickle".
The big lump of metal to which it is welded is, of course, the box-shaped armored housing itself.
While many of thes plaques are rusted beyond recognition some survived in amazingly good shape, like the one on the photo, and even happen to have the originar grease on them. They are still covered with that perfect rusty-red layer of history but still, it's not bad for something produced back in 1941.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

See more at: www.visualmanuscripts.com or connect with me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Tags:   abandoned bunker derelict fortification history Linia Mołotowa military Molotov Line pentax pillbox shelter Soviet urban exploration urbex WW2 бункер заброшенные decay Art Poland Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 334 C 0 E Jul 26, 2009 F Jun 2, 2014
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Unfinished pillbox for three heavy machine guns. There was no time to complete the roof and the whole construction was obviously made in great haste as the poor workmanship is clearly visible.
Not a single one of the pillboxes in this area was ever fully completed and some had only their substructures laid down. But no matter how badly the Soviet builders have lagged behind their schedule they never forget to herd the nearby local population into digging huge antitank ditches which were supposed to protect the strongpoint from the German armored vehicles.
Forced labor was used on a massive scale and is one of the dark and forgotten chapters in the history of Soviet fortifications.

This shot was also a prime candidate for a quick trip to the bin. But what on Earth one can expect when shooting from a tree which is swaying forth and back? I tried to do some surgery on it and at least you can see there's no roof down there indeed.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

See more at: www.visualmanuscripts.com or connect with me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Tags:   abandoned bunker derelict fortification history Linia Mołotowa military Molotov Line pentax pillbox shelter Soviet urban exploration urbex WW2 бункер заброшенные Kolno Podlaskie Poland POL decay Art Visualmanuscripts

N 3 B 844 C 0 E Aug 6, 2011 F Jun 2, 2014
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An antitank pillbox, still with its protective embankments in place, makes the life of a local farmer in the village of Jakać just a little bit more difficult.

But in 1941 there would be no houses, no haystacks and no cornfields. Once the construction was finished the garrisons of the strongpoints, along with additional field troops, would start pouring in into their designted zones and that would be the time to mercilessly drive the local population away.
Locals were needed to dig vast antitank ditches, to bring stone from the fields and to do the initial earthmoving work. But once it was all done there would be no sentiments and no mercy. Besides, these people were inhabitants of “former Poland” (as Soviet propaganda called the state conquered in 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union). And they were unreliable, rebellious and infected with capitalist ideas. They were, like all citiziens of the Soviet empire, expendable.
It is some horrible irony that a German-Soviet war of 1941 saved lots of these people from less than pleasant fate. Sure, it was yet another war, which is never good, and the Germans were enemies, too, but at least the Reds were gone.
Horst Slesina, German war correspondent who took part in breaking through the Molotov Line in the area where at least some stiff resistance was offered, noted in his book “Soldaten Gegen Tod Und Teufel. Unser Kampf In Der Sowjetunion”: “Poles are not frineds of ours, that's understandable. But it keeps puzzling me that in many places people greet us like liberators. What, on Earth, Soviets must have done in less than two years to make these people hate them so much?”.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

See more at: www.visualmanuscripts.com or connect with me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Tags:   abandoned bunker derelict fortification history Linia Mołotowa military Molotov Line pentax pillbox shelter Soviet urban exploration urbex WW2 бункер заброшенные Stara Jakać Podlaskie Voivodeship Poland decay Art landscape Visualmanuscripts

N 4 B 473 C 1 E Apr 2, 2015 F Apr 3, 2015
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It can hardly be seen, but it's there.
This forest is full of small hills and the very first time I was there I faced the back of the pillbox. I climbed just another gentle slope only to realise that I was standing on the very roof of it. At that time we hadn't yet mapped the area and I was simply combing a seemingly endless forest looking for traces of concrete hidden in the thicket.

This is a small, one-chamber pillbox which was supposed to house a heavy machine gun. Because it doesn't face the direction from which the enemy could come, and because it is still perfectly covered with its original earth embankment, it gives you a clue to what the enemy would see if one had ever came that way. Yes, he would see nothing.

But this little concrete slab has an interesting feature - sort of. Soviet builders were in a hurry and they did not put enough wooden planks at the top of the opening where the armored housing should fit. Therefore, when a fresh concrete was poured in, the planks sagged under the heavy load. The effect is what we call "a smiley".
It is a serious construction flaw, something which would make fitting a heavy armored housing very difficult, or maybe even impossible. Even if they somehow manage to cram one in, the result would deny the very idea of constructing this pillbox: it would not be a single monolith and its resistance to direct hits would be low.

But it never came to this. Instead, the builders fled and the enemy never even came close to it. And so it sits there and keeps its smile - in the forest in the middle of nowhere.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

See more at: www.visualmanuscripts.com or connect with me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Tags:   b&w bunker fortification history military Molotov Line photography pillbox Piotr Tyminski Poland Soviet ww2 POL Visualmanuscripts

N 2 B 620 C 0 E Apr 4, 2011 F Jul 1, 2014
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A small machinegun pillbox guards the vital railroad in a beautiful small town of Taurage, just 3 km from the old German-Soviet border. It is in pristine condition – exactly as it was built in the early summer of 1941.
There are many more in Taurage and in the area around the town. Not a single one bears any combat scars athough the Soviet position was a defender's dream. Screened from the west by a heavily meandring Jura river it was fixed on a higher, eastern bank. The difference in elevation is roughly 15 meters and even today, with the area heavily changed by urbanisation, the view towards the old German side inevitably iinvokes the idea of a perfect killing ground.
German forces massed on the other side of the border were far superior though, and the Soviet 125th Rifle Division stationed in Taurage and supported by two artillery regiments quickly melted away and the town was swiftly taken.
The pillboxes, altough not equipped and armed, could still bolster the defence – if there was enough resolve to make a stand. Yet, none of them was ever used and their good shape seems to contradict the many tales about heroic defenders contesting every inch of the ground.
Today, derelict and mostly flooded with water, they not only stand as a monument to the admirable fortification efforts of the Soviets but are also a silent testimony to the scale of mass defeat and collapse of the Soviet front in 1941.

Tthis photo is best Best on black at Fluidr

See more at: www.visualmanuscripts.com or connect with me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Tags:   Landscape Linia Mołotowa Molotov Line Soviet WW2 abandoned bunker decay derelict fortification military pillbox shelter texture urban exploration urbex бункер заброшенные Visualmanuscripts


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