Atlantic Wall Places in Denmark
    Dansk version

Hitler's Atlantic Wall stretched along the coasts of Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France, all the way to the Spanish border. Some 5000 km of shoreline which was - in Nazi propaganda - often depicted as an endless row of impregnable concrete fortresses manned with crack-elite SS troops, packing state-of-the-art firepower.

Reality was somewhat different though. Strong fortifications did exist, especially in Normandy, but the "wall" in Norway and Denmark consisted mainly of a number of strongholds with kilometer after kilometer of relatively unprotected beach or rocky shore in between. The firepower was mostly composed of outdated artillery pieces, captured from subdued countries, and the troops were either 2. class German, wounded or elderly, or in some places POW enemy soldiers given the choice of a bullet or a Nazi uniform.

Nonetheless, what is left of the Atlantic Wall in Denmark remain an impressive document of times that were, and a chilling monument over the consequences of blind submission to an idea and the voluntary abolishing of mans most precious possession; the freedom of will. Thus, it is an excellent place to take your kids for a little compulsory education on Europe's recent history. 

The ambitions of this website are threefold; (1) To give the lay visitor an idea of the magnitude and ingenuity of the German fortification technique as it unfolded along the Atlantic Wall in Denmark as in other occupied countries. (2) To serve as an initial planning tool - sort of tourist guide, if you like - for planning day trips to interesting spots along the Danish part of the Wall. (3) To generate an interest for WW2 and 20. century European history in general and maybe stimulate the visitor to seek more information. To cater for the latter purpose, a comprehensive links page will be established and maintained - as time allow.

The number of Regelbau bunkers built in Denmark from 1942 to 45 approaches some two thousand. Combined with Bauform and other types, the total number of concrete fortifications may go as high as 8000 and a great proportion of these are still accessible to the public. Most of them in the form of "open-air museums" on public soil (some on private property), but several places in the country bunkers have been restored to form part of actual museums. In any event, for the interested party there is plenty to see, to touch, to explore and to photograph.

The present overview starts on Denmark's East Coast and continues counterclockwise down the West Coast where most installations are found. Danish location names are used. As a starter, nine prominent locations have been selected, but many more exists and these may be described at a later point. Each location is presented on this page with a few photos and a brief description. Jump to a location by clicking the names below. To get the full story of a specific location; more photos, stories, drawings and related documents, click the
8 arrow at the bottom right of the presentation. To return to top of page, click the 5 arrow, to return to a previous page, click 7 and to return to the Introduction page, click the 9 arrow.

      Click to jump to locations (grayish names have not yet had underlying content):      
        Frederikshavn Skagen Hirtshals Bulbjerg      
      Hanstholm Agger/Thyborøn Blåvandshuk Battery Tirpitz Fanø (& Rømø)      
150 mm Naval Guns still in place at Bangsbo Fort

If you are familiar with Danish geography, you may find it odd that Stützpunktgruppe Süd, as the Germans called it, or Bangsbo Fort as the name is today, with its location on the East Coast of Jutland, formed part of the Atlantic Wall.

The answer is simple though; The four 150 mm cannons were supposed to protect the important Naval Base in Frederikshavn and the sailing routes with iron ore from Sweden via occupied Norway in case enemy ships did slip by the "Sperbatterie" in Hanstholm.

Decommissioned by the Danish Navy in 1962, Bangsbo is today a beautiful recreational area as well as an exciting mixture of open-air and regular WW2 museum with a fully refurbished Regelbau 152 command bunker and the guns as the main attractions. 

The museum bunker provides a feeling of the conditions the 1945 crew enjoyed; all-in-all not too bad and certainly better than many other places where German troops were stationed.

The 152 bunker is only one of some 40 constructions comprising gun emplacements, ordnance bunkers, shelters for crews, a fire control post and machine gun positions. One of the more challenging endeavors is to search the surrounding forest for hidden bunkers. 

Part of the area is still in use by the Royal Navy and only open to the public on special occasions, but a trip to Bangsbo is highly recommendable and is suitable for the whole family.

122 mm Coastal Battery and a Radar Station

The northernmost point of Denmark was heavily fortified by the occupation forces with installations comprising both a costal battery and a radar station. A part of the bunkers are overgrown today, some have been removed, some claimed by the sea, but several - including the emplacements for the 122 mm battery situated directly on the beach as a result of land erosion - are open to the public.


A heavily fortified Harbor in Northern Jutland

Hirtshals North

Hirtshals is sometimes referred to locally as a "fortress", but in reality no German stronghold in Denmark held this Nazi classification. Hirtshals however is full of bunkers, including two heavy batteries north and south of the city, so there is some justification to the notion.

The strongpoint in the north is almost covered in sand and vegetation, but a few bunkers remain open although rubber footwear and caution to debris and garbage is recommendable in some. A 636a fire control bunker has been furnished with stairs for easy access.

Note how people here has learned to live with the bunkers, building upon and around them.


Hirtshals South

The southern compound is the largest of the two and is today an open air museum comprising some 70 bunkers and 4500 meters of excavated trenches. The area is very beautiful and easily accessible with an intense atmosphere. It is fantastic spot for a retrospective picnic and a spectacular frame for educating your children on the Second World War and the Atlantic Wall.


Many interesting bunkers are situated here, including 501 and 622 crew shelters, a 661 hospital bunker, a 645 kitchen bunker, Siegfried bunkers, 672 gun emplacements, a partially buried 636a fire control post, 409 anti-aircraft positions, ammunition bunkers, a 174 radar bunker (Wurzburg Riese) and a selection of "Tobruks", some with a concrete cupola as shown to the left.

If you want to see a complete WW2 "Stutzpunkt" with geography and bunkers in prime condition - and be able to bring your family without having to resort to special clothing, gear and headlamps - then Hirtshals is the place. 


The Eyes of a Heavy Battery

To most Danes Bulbjerg is known as the only cliff formation on mainland Jutland and home to a breed of seagulls called "Rider". However, during the war it was also home to a observation- and fire control post for the 38 cm Hanstholm Battery.

Today most of the bunkers are buried by the ever migrating sand dunes, but the fire control post itself on the top of the cliff remain open and serve as a information stand on the local wildlife.

A 622 crew bunker has been modified to serve as a lavatory for visitors.

The Mighty 380 mm Battery

Like Hirtshals also Hanstholm is often referred to as a fortress, and they really have something to back it up. If you are looking for the ultimate in artillery, you will want to go to the home of Denmark's largest WW2 battery in service.

Four mighty 380 mm battleship cannons - Bismarck type - were installed here. In tandem with a sister battery in Kristiansand, Norway, they were supposed to block the sailing routes through the Kattegat and thus seal off the Baltic to allied traffic.

The guns were scrapped after the war, but one barrel survived and the impressive 110 metric ton chunk of metal has been placed as a landmark outside the museum.


Three of the huge concrete emplacements housing the guns are derelicts today, but open to the public (although one is almost inaccessible due to overgrowth). One is fully restored and forms a 3000 square meter museum in mint condition with ammunition conveyors intact and a working mini-railroad.

The area is also home to more than 100 other bunkers.


The huge museum-bunker has been refurbished to near-original status with crew compartments and even amenity facilities in 1945 condition. An extremely detailed model of a 501 crew bunker being cast is on display as well as several guns of the days.

The only thing missing is the mighty 38 cm gun itself. To see this, you must travel to Møvik Fort near Kristiansand in Norway, where one gun is preserved.

        Hanstholm 1 was the first battery to be installed here. Photos and story pending      
Protecting the entrance to the Limfjord
        To be elaborated      
        To be elaborated      
A Stronghold guarding Esbjerg Harbor
        To be elaborated      
        To be elaborated      
      Tirpitz (Batterie Vogelnest)
The formidable Battery that never was

The work on the huge 38 cm battery was initiated in late 1944 at a point in time where the Normandy invasion was a reality and imminent defeat thus should have been obvious to the German High Command. 

However, they got as far as casting the foundations for the huge battleship turrets, each brandishing two 380 mm guns with a range of 55 km. but the armament was never installed


Attempts to demolish the two bunkers were done after the war, but to little avail. The 3.5 meter thick concrete walls withstood the demolition charges (after all, they were built to be able to resist heavy shelling from enemy battleships), and in 1991 a museum opened in the best preserved of the bunkers.

Some damage to the structure is visible though.


Some pieces of the barrel lining and parts of the recoil mechanism have been preserved, but the only whole 38 cm barrel on display in Denmark is the one in Hanstholm.

Home of the Gneisenau Twin Turret Battery

The two M184 bunkers on the northernmost part of Fanoe are unique in the Atlantic Wall. They supported two 150 mm twin turrets, secondary armament from the decommissioned cruiser Gneisenau, and protected the entrance to the important Esbjerg Harbor - in German view the first choice for allied forces to make landfall during an invasion in Jutland.


In 1951 the guns were moved to southern Sjælland as part of the brand new "Stevnsfortet". This Cold War Fort has recently attained status as a Museum and the guns are there to see, along with an exciting facility carved in the limestone cliff 20 meters below the surface.


Even with the guns gone, the M184 bunker is exciting to see. The upper part, housing the cavity for the turret, is easily accessible whereas the base compartment requires a ladder, headlamps and suitable clothing. 

It is a fairly large bunker; some 225 m² and 13 individual rooms, littered with 60 years of garbage, so use caution and common sense - and don't go alone!


The purpose of the locally famous "bus shed" on Fanoe is not totally clear, but most likely the small bunker was part of an infrared detection system known as Donau 60. This example of German WW2 technical ingenuity was allegedly able to trace the heat emission from larger objects such as ships, and using triangulation from an array of stations, range and direction of the intruder could be determined. This is at least the predominant theory, but the floor is open to alternative suggestions...