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Austratt Fort Coastal Artillery Site
Austratt Fort Coastal Artillery Site
Modelcollect brought an unusual kit to the market. Models of large dioras and bunkers have so far been the domain of gypsum and resin maker manufacturers. Additionally, the Austratt fortress is unique, I would never say it will be built on a 1/72 scale as a plastic construction kit. Austratt Fort is a unique thing.
Its construction was initiated by Hitler's fear of the Allied invasion of Norway. In addition, his construction is related to the withdrawal of German battleships from the Atlantic to the north. At the beginning of the war, the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst were the most successful of the German battle fleet. During the invasion of Norway, the Royal Navy prepared the Glorious carrier, successfully fought HMS Renown, and then, during the crusade on the Atlantic, sank 22 merchant ships. At the end of the voyage they headed into the occupied French port of Brest. Here they have been the target of many British Air Force raids. Even though one of them was not so damaged to lose combat, it was only a matter of time when it happened.
After the sinking of Bismarck, German cruisers and battleships escaped from the berth in Brest through the Channel, and most of them headed for Norway. The heavily damaged Battlecruiser Gneisenau headed to Kiel for repair after he landed on a mine. Damage to the mine was added to the damage of the fuselage after hitting the sunken wreck when entering the shipyards. In about two weeks, repairs were completed and the ship was ready for short trips. There followed a departure to Norway. Although prepared and armed, the ship was hit by a bomb during the Allied raid. This caused the explosion of the ammunition and the racking of the front cannon from the deposit. Although the ship managed to save, due to the great damage, the command had decided to rearm it on cannons of 380 mm caliber in the twin towers, ie the equipment that the ship had to carry according to the original plans from the very beginning.
So the remaining two uninjured cannons were removed from the ship and headed to Norway alone, without a battle cruiser. The damaged tower was dismantled and individual cannons headed to the Netherlands. Hitler was afraid of the invasion of the Allies in Europe, and he believed that Norway was the ideal place for her. In Norway's key locations, a fortification similar to the Atlantic Wall was established. The demolished towers of Gneisenau became part of such fortifications - the rear cannon named Caesar headed into the newly built fortifications at the village of Austratt to protect the entrance to the port of Trondheim. The tunnels were cut out in the rock, including the base for the tower. A base of concrete was created on the surface. For this, other bunkers and antiaircraft habitats were built. Everything was done in the middle of 1943.
The strength of fighting did not interfere, nor was it significantly damaged. During the Cold War, the Norwegian Army operated it until 1963. After its termination in 1991, a military museum was created. Modelcollect has created an unusual kit. The box itself will be interesting. After its opening, the gigantic dimensions of the cannon stand out. It is scraped virtually all to the bottom part of the whole. We also have a base and two heavy antiaircraft twins, Flake 40 caliber 128 mm, used in the defense of the fort. It is a shame that the manufacturer did not try to supply the rangefinder used in the site including the non-traditional tower.