The Museum and Hanicka Artillery Fort - Orlicke mountains, Czech Republic
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ToRo61
N 50° 11.785 E 016° 30.571
33U E 607738 N 5561559
Quick Description: The Museum of the Czechoslovak fortification and Hanicka Artillery Fort.
Location: Pardubický kraj, Czechia
Date Posted: 11/29/2014 9:19:16 AM
Waymark Code: WMMZQ3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 9

Long Description:
The Czechoslovak government built a system of border fortifications, as well as some fortified defensive lines inland, from 1935 to 1938 as a defensive countermeasure against the rising threat of Nazi Germany. The objective of the fortifications was to prevent the taking of key areas by an enemy (not only Germany but also Hungary) by means of a sudden attack before the mobilization of the Czechoslovak army could be completed, and to enable effective defense until allies (Britain and France and possibly the Soviet Union) could help.

The Czechoslovak border fortifications

The several of Museums of Czechoslovakian fortifications exists and Hanicka Artillery fort is one of them. The museums are usually in hands of enthusiasts who repair forts and they are also guides in those forts.

In the late 1930s the artillery fortress Hanicka played a significant supporting role in the framework of defence constructions built along the ridge of Orlické Mountains. The fortress was constructed to fulfil the role of artillery support for the line of heavy fortifications situated in the area between the fortresses Adam near Mladkov, and Velká Deštná. It consisted of six massive ferroconcrete objects which were linked through staircases and lifts to an extensive system of subterranean corridors and halls hidden tens of metres underground. In the underground there were mainly ammunition stores, baracks, rooms for technical equipment (e.g. filtering and engine rooms). Thus, the fortress was fully self-contained and ready for long-run battles. Plans for construction of the fortress Hanicka were made during the first terrain research works carried out in summer 1935.
All the construction works (the six forts with their underground system, and also two separated infantry blockhouses R-S 75 and 81, related to the 3rd construction subdivision) were realized during a very short period of time - within a mere 24 months.
The fortress had been planned to be ready in 1939-1940. However, the full installation of all the water, electricity and air distribution systems, some technical equipment, and artillery weapons in particular, could not be finished. During the mobilization in September 1938, the fortress was occupied by the battalion VII of the border regiment 19 with its 169 men.

The plan of the Hanicka Artillery Fort

As a result of adoption of the Munich Treaty signed by Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain, the Czechoslovak Army had to leave the fortress at the beginning of October 1938 and to hand it over to the German Army without any fight. Fortunately, prior to the handover all the weapons and equipment had been evacuated to the inland.

During the war Hanicka served as a testing polygon for artillery weapons and ammunition of the German Army. After the World War II, the fortress fell into oblivion. Only in 1969 some enthusiasts made it happen that the municipality of Rokytnice v Orlických horách opened Hanicka to the public. However, this favourable period lasted for a short time. In 1975 the fortress was closed by the Directive of the Federal Ministry of Interior of the Czechoslovak Socialistic Republic, and served for the use of operation "Project Kahan" which was a code name for construction of a modern workplace for Federal Ministry of Interior as precaution against war.
After the political situation in the Czechoslovakia had changed as a result of November events in 1989, the actions under code name "Project Kahan" were stopped despite the fact that the reconstruction process was incomplete. The above mentioned reconstruction process impacted the inner parts of the fortress. Many of the former elements disappeared, and other, more modern elements were added. The operation "Project Kahan" is a unique example of negative results of the Cold war between states of the Eastern and Western blocs. In 1995, Hanicka was handed over back to the municipality as a technical monument, and it was opened to the public. In 1998, the fortress became the municipal property.

Source and more information
Opening hours: according to season - see: http://www.hanicka.cz/opening-hours

Open all year: No

Related web-page: [Web Link]

Wikipedia link:: [Web Link]

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