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

N 6 B 2.0K C 1 E Apr 4, 2011 F Sep 4, 2014
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Frantic fortification effort undertaken by the Soviets in 1940/1941 was one of the vital elements to screen and cover a deployment of huge strategic forces which were to invade Germany and, consequently, Europe.
A huge construction plan, spanning 1.500 km of defences, required massive amount of men. Starting in 1940 (springtime) 25 new construction management councils were formed, along with 84 construction batallions, 25 independent construction companies and 17 transportation batallions. At the top of that respective military districts were forming extra units of army engineers to support the construction of the Molotov Line.
Thus 2 batallions were coming from the Baltic Special Military District (SMD), 15 companies form the Western SMD, 20 companies from Kiev SMD and 4 companies from Odessa SMD.
In springtime of 1941 about 136.000 soldiers were toiling on the new western border of the Soviet empire. This vast horde was supported by almost 18.000 civilian specialists, mostly Russians (or, maybe “Soviets” would be a more appropriate expression here) who were a qualified labour force and who were paid for their work.
Still, it was not enough. In May 1941 extra 13 construction and army engineer batallions were called in from eastern part of the Soviet Union, along with 4 transport batallions. Additional highly qualified specialists were also sent by the military academies and schools. But in springtime and early summer of 1941 construction still lagged behind the schedule.
Finally a total of 160 regular army engineer batallions, not to mention construction, transport and support units, were poured to the sites of the Molotov Line. The last ditch measure, undertaken by the Soviets, came in late may and early June of 1941: each division of the western echelon of the Soviet army was to provide two batallions of soldiers from every single rifle regiment. Those men were to swap rifles for shovels and join the already countless horde toiling along the border. Many of those men were doomed – they came under the onslaught of the advancing Germans armed only with their pickaxes and shovels. They became part of the statistics – and incredible loss of manpower suffered by the defeated armies of the Soviets in the opening stages of the German-Soviet war.

The three-loophole pillbox shown on the pfoto - never finished and never used - is an example of what all the effort came to.
In a grandiose Soviet style it came to nothing.

The numbers shown above do not include thousands of prisoners and thousands of inhabitants of the territories of western Poland conquered by the Red Army in 1939 and incorporated into the Soviet Union who were herded to feed the machinery of forced labour.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

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

N 2 B 369 C 0 E Nov 9, 2008 F Aug 28, 2014
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Small concrete slabs, silent witnesses of history, are often hidden in vast forests, entagled in brushes, dark and foreboding as if the nature itself was ashamed of them and tried to do its best to swallow them forever.
Sometimes it takes hours to find them, hauling the gear knees deep in water, just to have a glimpse of them.
But sometimes they idle on seemingly endless fields with no country roads to approach them and where my car rises apocalyptic clouds of dust and sand scorched by sun.
I love going there alone – they are ultimate kingdoms of solitude where time stands still.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

Tags:   texture vintage fine art monochrome grain faded texturized Podbiele mazowieckie Polska Poland Pentax Pentax Art Molotov Line PL countryside landscape car field Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 718 C 0 E Nov 9, 2012 F Jun 4, 2014
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Two-loophole heavy machine gun pillbox near the road to Sakiai. Five pillboxes were built in and around the village of Isdagai but not even one was fully equipped and armed before 21 June 1941.
They were supposed to screen the road hub in Sakiai from the south-west but the collapse of the Soviet front in the Baltic States was so rapid and the advance of the Germans so swift that they had never seen any combat.
Today they seem to almost sink in muddy fields and most of them are so overgrown with bushes that getting to their loopholes is often a real struggle. Entrances and empty loopholes are often sealed with brickwork to prevent entry into the flooded compartments and in those rare occasions when there is a chance to get inside one needs to crawl in the mud to squeeze into the openings made narrow by the mud and debris.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

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

N 1 B 1.1K C 0 E Nov 9, 2012 F Dec 4, 2014
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Machinegune semi-caponier - never finished and never armed - still guards the road to Sakiai in Lithuania. Solemn and forgotten, seems to sink in the mire which surrounds it. Water is seeping into the firing compartments and the ever present moisture has helped moss to cover almost the whole structure. Metal flat bars, once supposed to support camouflage nets (which had never been delivered) are riddled with bullets - another proof of "trigger happy" syndrome which plagued the countless German soldiers passing the abandoned pillbox.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

Tags:   bunker Soviet WW2 Linia Mołotowa Kowieński Rejon Umocniony punkt oporu Isdagai history photography military Lithuania Molotov Line pillbox cross process color fortification pentax 'Pentax art' Užringio k. LTU Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 810 C 0 E Nov 9, 2012 F Jul 2, 2014
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The pillboxes which are an absolute pain to find on the Molotov Line are observation posts. Our database statistics show a staggering ratio of roughly 50 “regular” pillboxes to just 1 (one) observation bunker ever found.
What is so special about them? On the photo, taken during our inventary work in the Kovno Fortified Region in Lithuania, you see that nice fellow standing in the middle of nowehere. He's name is Jarek and he's a former scout and soldier – a tremendous asset to our research group. He's there with a purpose – he's standing on a roof of the pillbox and if you follow his gaze he's looking at a small opening in the ground where a wooden log is stuck. And there it is: an observation post.
They were very small – just two narrow rooms and an entryway. No loopholes – they did not need them because they never fired. They were usually hidden jbelow the ground level making those small concrete slabs impossible to locate and practically impossible to destroy. They had two openings in their 1,10 m thick roof where two periscopes could be rised. They were usually build in places which were slightly elevated but never in obvious spots like hill crests, etc. Even a small variation in elevation, coupled with the ability to rise a periscope, was more than enough to allow them to see what they needed to see. Telephone lines would connect them with other pillboxes in the area making a strongpoint similar to a spider's web with the observation post being the spider in the middle of it. They would also, if needed, call for artillery support. In this role they'd be similar to the famous and dreaded German observation planes nicknamed “Frame”. The appearance of that slow and defenceless messengers of doom usualy spelled an imminent artillery barrage. Those small pillboxes would do a similar job except that they'd remain unseen.

This pillbox on the photo could theoretically be unearhed for further inspection but this would be utterly useless. It is flooded to the roof with water flowing out through the persicope opening.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

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


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