Stachelberg's largest artillery fortress in Bohemia


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The artillery fort Stachelberg (used also by the Czech name Ježová hora) was built in the years 1937 and 1938 as part of the permanent Czechoslovak fortification. It is located on the eastern tip of the Giant Mountains (632 Hřebínek) in the vicinity of the Rýchory Forest above Babí between Trutnov and Žacléř. Its task was to protect the Libavské Saddle, the land gate between the ridge of the Giant Mountains and the Crow Mountains, which was used in the past by armies for invasions in the Czech Republic and vice versa. during graceful rides to Silesia. The fortress was not completed in the construction and today it is a military-historical museum.

A survey of the terrain at this site before the final projection and construction was carried out in February 1935. Three variations were considered: Baba (673m), Vrchy (716m) and Stachelberg / 632, which was finally selected.

When selecting a site, the most advantageous positions of individual fortress logs were taken into account and alternative studies of military character were developed. Stachelberg thus became the twelfth strategic object in the defense of the OderMountains and was planned as the largest Czechoslovak artillery stronghold.

The fortress was designed as 11 log cabins interconnected by underground corridors and complemented by a separate artillery observation deck.

Infantry log cabins with 71, S 72, S 73, and S 74 have been set in the defensive line axis as the front defensive group for the other fortress lodges. On the left flank (north) the line was secured with isolated 81a, S 81b and S 82 isolated infantry log cabins, and on the right flank (south) with 69 and S 70 isolated infantry log cabins. For the artillery towers in the S 75 and S 76 log cabins, elevations on the right and left wings of the fort were selected. On the far side of the ridge (southwest), two 77 / S 78 artillery log cabins and two 79 / S 80 mortar logs were designed. The last cabin, which is part of the underground of the fortress, is the entrance building S 80a.

Part of the fortress was to be a cabin with 76a - an isolated artillery observation point at 674m - Baba for observation of the battlefield and fire control. Because the observation point was located outside the center of the fortress and at a greater distance from the nearest log cabins S 71 and S 76, it was not connected to the underground due to the high cost of driving the connecting corridor.

Since January 1938 has officially started to use the name Ježová hora, yet the object is known under the abundant name Stachelberg, which is also the official name of the museum, or the locally used name Babí.

The construction of the fortress was started in autumn by 1937 by Ing. Zdenko Kruliš and Konstruktiva, as - Prague. The building was to be completed in the autumn of 1939. The 1 500 workers worked continuously in three shifts on the fortress. In one year of construction work, all the corridors, halls, warehouses and premises for the power plant and other technical facilities were broken down, but only some parts of the underground were concreted (about 10% in total). All excavated material was used for landscaping on the fortress surface to align terrain roughness, debris and depressions. Thus, the surface of the fortress would become an easy-to-read post-shootable area that would not allow attackers to hide.

After completion, the fort was to be armed with a total of ten 100mm howitzers vz. 38 with 12 km range and fire rate up to 20 rounds / min, eight 4,7cm antitank cannons vz. 36 with 6 km range and 35 firing rate / rpm; in addition, several dozen heavy and light machine guns to defend the closest neighborhood of its own fortress.

The 778 men's crew (46 officers, 15 sergeants, 717 men) were planned for the fort; along with them, some 240 men were to be housed underground - two infantry companies - to fight on the fortress surface. The fortress should have resisted the enemy for up to two months in the event of full encirclement and permanent combat management; stocks of ammunition, food, fuel, and other equipment were calculated for so long.

All construction work on the fortress ceased on 23. September 1938, when the general mobilization of the Czechoslovak army was announced. The fortress, although not completed, was occupied by 17 soldiers. Border Regiment from Trutnov, armed and ready for defense. However, it was far from fulfilling the tasks and demands of the original plans.

The garrison of the fortress took part in small armed encounters with members of Sudeten German Freikorps who penetrated from Liebau (now Lubawka in Poland) in Czechoslovakia. However, there was no real combat deployment of fortification objects.

29. September 1938 in Munich signed the Munich Agreement, which attributed the border areas of Czechoslovakia, including Trutnov, the German Third Reich. All weapons, equipment and equipment, machines and building materials were taken from the fortress. Everything that could not be evacuated was destroyed. When clearing the underground, engineers carried out several blasts, whereby they drifted through the adits to the surface and drainage system of the fortress. Thanks to the rich underground springs, the underground filled with water within a few days, preventing access to the interior of the fortress until 2000.

8 members were the first to enter Czechoslovak territory. regiment III. Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht, fortress specifically 9. Company of this regiment. Given that the fortress was unfinished, the underground was flooded and there were several settlements and villages in its vicinity, the Germans were not interested in testing weapons, training units or otherwise using it. So she was abandoned throughout the war. In the year 1945, the buildings in the fortress area were ready to defend themselves against the advancing Red Army, but there was no battle there.

Several years after the war, military use was still under consideration, from 50. However, this idea was abandoned for years, as was the fortress of Stachelberg. The only completed TS 73 object was in 80. years as a chemical storage facility (aredine), which was evacuated from the building in 1990.

Since 1993, a constantly expanding Czechoslovakian fortification museum has been operating on the fortress. The last expansion of the exhibition took place in the spring of 2010, when the entire underground barracks were opened. The underground space tour was extended to 1 an hour.

The museum was operated by the Fortis cooperative based in Trutnov. Since 2005, the Stachelberg civic association (since 2015 changed its name to Stachelberg, zs), the successor organization of Fortis, has taken over the fortress management. For all members of the association there is a common enthusiasm and interest in the history of the Czechoslovak fortifications. The fortress is restored to its original condition in its free time and without any remuneration, the museum has no paid staff and all reconstruction works are paid almost exclusively from the entrance fee.

The TS 73 building, where the main part of the exhibition is located, is now being gradually reconstructed and is now the only entrance to the underground complex (at least 1 × per hour according to the current information at the museum box office). Another accessible object is a lightweight vz.37 object, which is armed and put into the state of 1938. On the surface and surroundings of the fortress, visitors will be guided by an educational trail connecting Stachelberg with a separate infantry blockhouse TS 63 in Libč.

Access roads

By bus from Trutnov or Zacler (line 401), get off at Babi-fort stop. From the stop along the marked trail about 300 m.

By car or by bike along road No. 300 from Trutnov to Žacléř, parking is at the bus stop above the village of Babí (from Trutnov 10 km, from Žacléř 5 km).

Follow the red tourist trail (The Way of the Čapek brothers) from Trutnov through the Castle Hill. Or from the other side of Pomezni bud via Albeřice and Rychory. Today it is also possible to get to the fortress along the nature trail from Libč from the infantry blockhouse TS 63. The trail is marked and runs through medium-difficult terrain, with 8 built infantry log cabins and one foundation slab including the Stachelberg Fortress under construction. For each building there are information panels dedicated to the issue of Cs. fortification.

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