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

N 1 B 838 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

N 10 B 3.6K C 1 E Nov 27, 2010 F Jun 6, 2014
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Uśnik strongpoint, located 13 kilometers from the 1941 German-Soviet border, was one of the eight strongpoints screening the vital road and railroad hub in the city of Łomża from the south-west direction. It was perfectly protected from the front by the Ruż river, which flows parallel to the old border.
But there was no battle for Łomża in 1941. Germans took the city the very next day after crossing the border and the Soviets stampeded eastwards offering no resistance along this part of the Molotov Line.
Only five pillboxes were built in Uśnik but many more were on the drawing board, construction of some of them reached just the stage of initial earthmoving. The builders apparently suffered from the shortage of water – a lot of water is needed during such massive construction effort – and a huge concrete tank (looking almost like a swimming pool) was built on one of the hills. Water was distributed from there to the nearby construction sites.
Although they were not effectively used in combat all the pillboxes in the area are utterly destroyed, either by the Germans testing their resistance to the explosive charges, or by the Polish or Russian army engineers who could utilise the sites right after the war for disposing of unused or dud ammunition scattered across the fields.

Three-loophole heavy machine gun pillbox featured on the photo suffered a similar fate. Destroyed almost beyond recognition is a silent testimony to the power of explosives which had been used to end its life.

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 Śniadowo Podlaskie Poland POL Art Pentax Art landscape Visualmanuscripts

N 4 B 1.5K C 0 E May 23, 2009 F Nov 17, 2014
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A true relic of an ancient alien race! Remnants of a landing pod for an interstellar alien spaceship! See that?

Well, those who built it might be considered a kind of an alien race - sort of.
One of the most exciting things while exploring the Molotov Line is looking for the traces of infrastructure left by the builders. We are not talking about pillboxes here but all those innocent places like wells, water tanks, small concrete plants, lumber mills, stone-crushing sites, etc. They are incredibly difficult to locate.
Construction work of this scale requires vast amounts of lumber, stone and water - just to mention the very basic things. Water is the most important among them. No water, no construction. Some areas had water in abundance, some were dry as a desert and water was as precious as gold.
What you see here is a water tank - and it's huge. I left my car at the edge of the forest to give a sense of scale. Bowl-shaped concrete tank was built at the top of the hill - all the pillboxes are scattered on the fields and in the forest below.
It looks like the tank - the biggest one located so far on the Molotov Line - serviced most of the building sites around it. It was apparently easier to draw water from a single, big well and then to pump it downhill by means of a dozen of pipes than to bring water from many locations closer to the actual building sites. You'd need water trucks and a horde of men just to haul tons of water forth and back. And thus this wonderful landing pod was constructed. Not stupid at all.

This photo is Best on black at Fluidr

Tags:   history Poland photography military stylized Soviet ww2 faded Molotov Line color fortification desaturated Linia Mołotowa Śniadowo Podlaskie POL Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 958 C 0 E Sep 15, 2012 F Jun 2, 2014
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Three-loophole, frontal-firing heavy machine gun pillbox. What you see on the photo is an exposed back of the structure. The cracks in the massive concrete slab are a result of detonation of explosive material which had been used to blow off the armored housings of Maxim machine guns (they are on the opposite side).
This two-storey bunker would normally sit deeper – the ground level would obviously be where the entrance is. The slit, or opening, to the left of the photo served an important purpose: it allowed the blast of an explosive charge, or grenades, thrown into the entrance, to dissipate. A small loophole further to the left housed an extra light machine gun to protect the entrance. Just below there's a metal pipe sticking out – it was an air intake. All of the pillboxes required a constant supply of fresh air – and lots of it – once the guns started to sing their tune the amount of smoke inside the bunker would make the life of the crew unbearable so proper ventilation systems had to take care of efficient air exchange.

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 Wąsosz Podlaskie Poland POL decay Art Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 836 C 0 E Sep 15, 2012 F Jun 2, 2014
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Heavily damaged artillery pillbox for two 76,2 mm guns.
These good quality weapons originated from the tank gun and were capable of firing at "soft" targets at a maximum range of 7.300 m. They could also use armor-piercing ammunition and had no problem with going clean through a 4,4 cm thick armored plate at a range of 2.000 m.
These type of pillbox would surely prove to be a tough nut to crack if used properly. Here, lack of time prevented the Soviets from installing the proper armament and just the armored housings for the guns were fitted. Once the front line moved far to the east, Germans scavenged the precious (3.689 kg each!) lumps of metal by blowing the entire front part of the pillbox.

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 Wąsosz Podlaskie Poland POL decay Art Visualmanuscripts


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