There are many traces of the Atlantic Wall along the coast of the Wadden Sea. Denmark's largest shore battery was located here and, along with several smaller battery positions, it protected the port of Esbjerg, which was strategically vital for the occupying forces. However, the bunkers also had a number of other functions such as radar stations, listening posts or command centres. Several of the bunkers are open to the public and their exhibitions tell the story of a time when the whole world was at war.
Tirpitz battery at Blåvand
The Tirpitz battery, with its two enormous gun emplacements, is located near Blåvand. The plan was that, together with the Hanstholm battery, it would be the biggest shore battery in Denmark. However, construction was not completed before the war had ended. Tirpitz and the batteries on Fanø, protected the approaches to the port of Esbjerg, which was a strategic focal point for the occupying forces. The position's four naval guns, with a range of up to 55 kilometres, were intended to cover the area from Nymindegab to Fanø, but at the time of liberation the four enormous cannon were still sitting idly at Guldager Station by Esbjerg. After the war, the bunkers were sealed off and used by the Defence Command of Denmark for test blasting. The southern bunker was excavated and converted into a museum in 1991.
Headquarters in Esbjerg
Esbjerg and Fanø were one of the best fortified areas during the Second World War. Around 1,200 bunkers were built in the area. Esbjerg had the only port that could be used by an Allied invasion, and it was therefore a vital strategic point for the occupying forces. A large bunker, located six metres underground, can be found in Strandskoven in Esbjerg. It was a command bunker for air defences and all German artillery in the area. Above ground stood a 15-metre-high lookout tower, with a telescope. From this vantage point, German soldiers could monitor airplanes, ships and troop movements in western Jutland. The headquarters of the German Navy were at first located in the now demolished Royal Hotel in Esbjerg,