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

N 2 B 893 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 7 B 1.2K C 0 E Apr 21, 2015 F Apr 21, 2015
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Out of 2000 pillboxes of the Molotov Line which we have under our belt, there's just a dozen which fall into a truly rare category. They were seldom built and their nature made them susceptible to the merciless passage of time.
Now, here is that rare breed: a decoy installation.
Built to resemble a genuine pillbox and nested among other pillboxes they were supposed to distract the attention of the enemy from the real installations. They were inevitably more exposed than other pillboxes, but thanks to being equipped with a single light machinegun, they could still fulfill a limited combat role.
The walls of such decoy pillbox, although still made of reinforced concrete, were just 20-25 cm thick (the area immediately around the main loophole could be 50 cm thick). Such construction offered a very basic protection against small caliber firearms - anything bigger than a machinegun would inevitably obliterate the contraption. Only one (out of three) loopholes was protected by a very basic armored housing, consisting of simple metal sheet with a movable flap.
There was no roof, concrete beams supported the walls and were attached to a small firing chamber (the only roofed part of the pillbox) which was located in the center of the pillbox. Horizontal angle bars visible at the top of the outer wall have little holes drilled through. Wires were to be fitted there and, by stretching in all directions, were supposed to provide a crude framework to fix camouflage nets or, simply, to support tree branches thrown at them.
The crew, possibly consisting of three men, would have no easy life there and no, you would not like to be in their shoes...

Photo shows one of three (an unusual concentration!) decoy installations built in Wólka Zamkowa strongpoint of Brest Fortified Region in Poland. Shot was taken from the back of the pillbox to allow some construction details to be visible.
It seems its days may be numbered since it was subject to unusual type of assault, one it was not designed to withstand. Apparently a heavy caterpillar was used to try to budge it and we fear it will not be there next time we come to see it.

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Tags:   bunker fortification history military Molotov Line pillbox Soviet ww2 Visualmanuscripts

N 1 B 813 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

N 1 B 691 C 0 E Oct 25, 2011 F Jun 2, 2014
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A periscope tube with remains of the mechanism to rise/lower the periscope. Most of the pillboxes, except for the smallest ones, were equipped with good quality periscopes mounted in a metal tube which was closed by a round plate at the roof of the structure. The plate was moved sideways by a long iron rod attached to the handle shown at the photo. Then, a periscope could be risen to provide 360 degrees view. Those plates and tubes proved to be the weakest spot of the Soviet bunkers. The round plate (or lid) could be pried open by a crowbar and grenades could be rammed inside the tube. Most often than not, once the German assault pioneers got to the roof it was usually beginning of the end for the crew inside.

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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 Polska POL decay Art Poland Visualmanuscripts

N 2 B 398 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


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