Marine K├╝stenbatterie Fjell

The German battleship Gneisenau was badly damaged during a British bombing raid at Kiel in 1942. Subsequently, the main guns - which consisted of 283 mm. guns mounted in triple turrets - was used as part of the Atlantic wall. Gneisenau was scheduled later to have its armament upgraded to 380 mm. guns.

One of the old turrets with three 283 mm. guns was moved to the island Sotra in Fjell, west of Bergen. The battery was excavated into the mountain and consisted of everything from ammunition storage to a hospital and crew accommodation. The guns were very modern: the shells weighed between 695 and 730 lb. and had an effective firing range of 24 miles (say 40 km). In the summer of 1943, the guns were operational and could therefore achieve their objective of protecting the entrance to Bergen.

To protect the guns, several anti-aircraft (flak) batteries were constructed, with bunkers for local defense. All this work was undertaken primarily by conscripted Russian prisoners of war.