Oct 3, 2011

Bunkry Jeleń i Konewka, Poland

Schron (bunkier) kolejowy w Konewce niedaleko Spały jest jedną z największych atrakcji turystycznych województwa łódzkiego. Schron miał służyć zabezpieczeniu przed atakiem lotniczym pociągów specjalnych, pełniących funkcje ruchomych ośrodków dowodzenia oraz ich personelu dla sztabu grupy armii Środek (Mitte). Główny obiekt kompleksu w Konewce - żelbetowy bunkier - schron, ma długość 380 m oraz przekrój ostrołuku mającego przy podstawie szerokość 15 m i wysokość 9 m, w którym między betonowymi peronami biegnie tor umożliwiający wjazd całego składu pociągu. Wzdłuż głównego tunelu biegnie korytarz boczny, podzielony drzwiami gazoszczelnymi na ciąg niewielkich pomieszczeń. Obok schronu kolejowego zbudowano zespół bunkry technicznych mieszczących kotłownię, urządzenia wentylacyjne i siłownię elektryczną. Obiekty te łączyły z bunkrem kolejowym trzy podziemne kanały techniczne. W skład kompleksu wchodziły również schrony mieszczące: stację pomp i uzdatniania wody, zbiornik i chłodnicę wody technologicznej.
Ukończone bunkry zamaskowano przed możliwością wykrycia z powietrza, montując na stropach drewniane, kryte papą dachy, a na schronie kolejowym umocowano siatki maskujące i atrapy drzew. Teren wokół otoczono dwoma rzędami płotu z siatki i drutu kolczastego i prawdopodobnie polami minowymi. Budowę bunkrów rozpoczęto wiosną wiosną 1940 r. Schrony nigdy nie zostały wykorzystane zgodnie z ich pierwotnym przeznaczeniem. Pierwsze informacje o wjeżdżających do schronów pociągach towarowych liczących ponad 30 wagonów pojawiają się w 1944 r., gdy w Jeleniu i Konewce utworzono filię tomaszowskich zakładów Daimler-Benz. Zwiedzanie obiektów w Konewce obejmuje wejście do bunkra kolejowego, bunkrów technicznych, podziemnych kanałów, jak i ekspozycji militariów. 

Bunker in Jeleń and Konewka, Poland. At the end of 1939 Germans began to build the military headquarters (called "Anlage Mitte") of WW II near Spała and Tomaszow Mazowiecki. They were supposed to be used in the war with Soviet Union which was anticipated by Hitler.
The building was conducted by "Chemische Werke Askania Enterprise" which employed German and Italian workers. Two complexes of concrete bunkers were built in the forest - the first in Konewka near Spała, the second one in Jelen next to Tomaszow Mazowiecki. 
It consisted of the railway bunker (380 m long) for command train and bunkers in which power station, boiler house, water tank and pump were situated. The whole area was canalised and ameliorated as well as surrounded by double fence with barbed wire. A few small pillboxes were built near Konewka and the airfield was built near Glinnik. The building of both of complexes was finished in June 1941, a few days before Germans assault on Sowiet Union. During the war the railway bunker was not used according to its purpose and trains seldom arrived there. In 1944 Germans organised ammunition magazine in Konewka. Additionaly, there was Daimler-Benz aircraft engines factory in Jelen. Nowadays the Bunker in Konewka is open to visitors. There are exhibitions, which illustrate the history of these bunkers, plans and models as well as military items, guns, soldiers equipment from WW II, reports about the bats that winter in the bunkers and information about Spała Landscape Park. The site is used by the organisers of "Military Picnics" as well as for historical re-enactments and for displays of old military vehicles. During the interwar period the Polish war doctrine assumed defence on the eastern direction (the so-called "Plan W"). When the threat of the conflict with the Third Reich became real, only on 4 March 1939 the General Staff of the Polish Army set about working preliminarily on a defensive plan "West" (Plan "Z"). In July 1939, on the area of the Łódź province, among others, hasty building works started, which were completed only partially. Most defensive structures were built on the right bank of the rivers Warta and Widawka, in the region of action of the army 'Łódź' ; forty-seven ferroconcrete combat shelters (one- or two-loophole) and observation shelters were built or started to be built. The lines of shelters supplemented the network of trenches, artillery observers' positions, wood-earth shelters, entanglements and tank traps. Those fortifications were used only to a minimal extend during the fights with Germans.
After seizing Polish territory, the Germans started to carry out their own programme of building a defensive system there. 
A phenomenon, and today a tourist attraction of a kind, are two complexes of mighty German railway shelters in Konewka and Jeleń, which were the basic elements of the German headquarters in the area 'Centre' ('Gefechtsstand - Anlage Mitte'). The shelters destined to protect the staff trains and the shelters' technical base were built in the first half of 1941 before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. In view of the fast progress of the German offensive in the East, they were not used to serve the purpose they were created for. Trains were stationed in them only occasionally. In 1944 the shelters were used for military production and as weapons depots. 
In January 1945 the shelters were taken without fight by the Russians. After the war, they served for many years as warehouses. 
In the abandoned and devastated shelters a Tourist Route "The shelter in Konewka" was created in 2005.
The fast offensive of the Red Army in the middle of 1944 and the Soviet Army entering the Vistula grounds forced the Germans to develop a short-time plan of building the system of fortifications between the Vistula and the Odra River. Works on its realisation started on a large scale in August 1944 and were continued until January 1945. They included three large strips of defence ('a', 'b' and 'c') and a number of supporting buildings, as well as the East Prussian system of defence. West of Łódź there were created fragments of the strips 'b-1' (the section from Włocławek via Kłodawa, Poddębice, Szadek, Zduńska Wola to the Warta) and 'b-2' (the section from Konin to Praszka, on the left bank of the Warta River). South-east of Łódź, at the same time there was created the so-called 'Pilica River Line'. About eighty small combat and passive shelters were built there (the line of the defence ran along the Pilica from Sulejów via Tomaszów, as far as beyond Inowłódz). Mostly they were the 'Ringstande' shelters, some of them were equipped with turrets that had been taken from damaged tanks. The Pilica River Line stopped the Russians' offensive for only twenty-four hours. Many of these shelters can be still seen nowadays.
In the time of the German occupation of Łódź, like in many other Polish cities, there was created a whole system of shelters and air raid slits for the civilians, as a part of the anti-aircraft defence programme. Its traces can be still found today. Tenements' basements were converted into shelters by strengthening their doors and ceilings, by introducing emergency evacuation exits and by equipping the rooms with furniture essential for people sheltering there. Such shelters were marked with white letters 'LSR' (Luftschutzraum; an air raid shelter) painted on the houses' walls. The air raid slits were built in the yards of properties and in parks.
Probably the largest bunker complex in Łódź from the time of World War II was the complex built near the Lublinek airport. It is almost certain that it was the medical base of the airport. The underground complex was five hundred and twenty-five square meters in area, with a capacity of sixteen hundred cubic metres.
The bunker complex in the area of Bałucki Market in Łódź is still an unresolved issue. During the occupation it was situated within the area of the Łódź Ghetto and presumably it was built for the functionaries working in the situated nearby 'Getto' posts of the Łódź Gestapo and the criminal police. More info: http://www.bunkierkonewka.eu/

2 comments:

  1. byłam tam, te miejsca mają w sobie jakąś "magię"... ciekawe fotki

    ReplyDelete
  2. niezwykle miejsce, dobre na impreze w plenerze:P

    ReplyDelete