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

N 11 B 2.3K C 4 E Apr 26, 2015 F Apr 26, 2015
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Machine gun pillbox (for two Maxim heavy machine guns) built north of the road from Drohiczyn to the border of Belarus.
In 1941 this vital road, which goes parallel to the Bug River, was the only communication line leading east into the Soviet territory. Its capture was vital for the success of the initial German operation in the area.
Despite the resistance from some isolated pillboxes the advance of the Germans was lightning fast and the sacrifice of their defenders did not influence the overall situation in the opening hours of German-Soviet war.

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Tags:   abandoned bunker color derelict fine art fortification history military Molotov Line pillbox ruins sky Soviet textured tree ww2 Visualmanuscripts

N 14 B 1.8K C 7 E Oct 25, 2011 F Jun 2, 2014
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Two-storey pillbox equipped with a 45 mm antitank gun and two heavy machine guns.

Or, rather, it was supposed to be equipped like that. Although some other bunkers in this strongpoint were fully equipped and armed this one was just an empty concrete slab. When the German steamroller crashed through the border in summer of 1941 Łebki strongpoint, undermanned and still unfinished, was hastily abandoned. No resistance was offered and 13 pillboxes located in the area wear no combat scars.

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

N 2 B 831 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.

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

N 3 B 1.0K C 0 E May 30, 2009 F Jun 2, 2014
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This is one of the few parts of the Molotov Line where actual fighting took place. Szulborze strongpoint was located just 6 km from the German-Soviet border (as it was in 1941) and the vital strategic railroad Warsaw – Białystok was going right through it.
Pillboxes, unlike in many other places, were mostly well equipped and had their proper armament fitted, along with periscopes and other equipment. Antitank ditches were ready and screened the strongpoint, too. But the telephone lines were still missing so there was no direct connection between the pillboxes.
Soviet 86th Rifle Division stationed in this area didi its best to counterattack German units crossing the border but due to very poor coordination and lack of communications (a common pain for the Soviets at that time) suffered heavy losses and had to fall back. Some piecemeal accounts of the fighting in this area prove that several pillboxes were blown by their crews who joined the reatreating units of the 86th.
It is also known, though, that the order to retreat had never reached many of garrisons of the bunkers of Szulborze and Prosienica strongpoints and they were left behind. Their fate remains unknows but is easy to imagine.
Some of the pillboxes were blown up by the Germans after the fighting was over and, coupled with typical combat scars, leave us with structures which are destroyed almost beyond recognition. Only a well trained eye can figure out the type of the structure, its armament and direction of fire.

What you see on the photo is a one-chamber frontal-firing single machinegun pillbox. Build on a gentle slope, just at the edge of the forest, it could enjoy a clear field of fire. Huge explosion had cracked it open and it lookes almost like a tulip flower opening into the light. Was it blown up by its own crew? Or were they the unlucky ones who stayed behid, cut off and hoping to be de-blocked by a counterattack which never came?
We will never know.

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Tags:   abandoned bunker derelict fortification history Linia Mołotowa military Molotov Line pentax pillbox shelter Soviet urban exploration urbex WW2 бункер заброшенные Zaręby Kościelne Mazowieckie Poland POL decay Art landscape Pentax Art texture Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 759 C 0 E Apr 23, 2009 F Jun 2, 2014
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Ruins of a heavy machine-gun pillbox which guarded a vital road to Grodno (in today's Belarus).
Here, in June 1941, unlike in most other places, Red Army offered fierce, albeit short-lived, resistance. Ther are several dozens of pillboxes scattered in the nearby magnificent Augustów Primeval Forest and, although construction work was going on night and day, only some were fully equipped and armed. Still, it was better than nothing and much better than in many other places along the Molotov Line.

Interestingly, some crews of the bunkers fought bravely till their doom, while many other decided that discretion was a better part of valor. Local inhabitants can still remember which pillboxes offered stiff resistance – their fathers and grandfathers buried the defenders.

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


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