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Forts around Kraliky

28 Feb 2006

In Czech republic there was large pre-WW2 fortification system, built on French patterns. Large forts made of concrete was armed mainly by machine guns and should stop enemy (Hitler's Germany in this case) from penetration into republic.

Heavy fortification line near Cerveny Potok

Because of the Munich agreement it was however never used for its original purpose. It became target of German tests in 1939 - 1941 and fought just once in 1945 when used by retreating German forces against Soviet army advance.

View from observation point (fort K12b), part of line can be seen Observation point K12b

Images in article are from area of section headquarters in Kraliky. It is one of most finished parts of Czechoslovak fort system. In area there is a lot of fort of various types, from large artillery forts to small light forts for two light machine-guns.

Heavy forts

This creates first line of fortification. The strongest wall of concrete (2 meters deep) was against expected attack. Arms fired along the line, covering barrier against tanks and infantry. Well protected entrance to fort was on the back side. Each fort covers flanks of two others.

Heavy fort K8, embrassures for main weapons Entrance to the fort K8, embrassure for light machine-gun Detail of main weapons embrassures, ditch

These forts was expected to put up resistance up to two weeks against 1938's German army. For that purpose it was equipped with a lot of ammunition as well as food supply. The storage was in lower, bottom floor of fort.

Light fortification

Aligned in another two lines was this small forts, equipped mostly with light machine-guns. Its purpose was to strenghten preceding heavy line by adding more firepower to area and cover weak angles in heavy line.

Light fort

Artillery fortresses

This was the biggest parts of the line. Was similiar to Heavy forts, but usually larger with stronger arms. In most of forts there was no entrance, as it was connected by underground corridors. Places on top allows to cover large areas by fire.

Entrance fort of artillery fortification Bouda - K22a

There are three of such buildings in Kraliky area - Bouda, Adam and Hurka. Each consists of about five surface forts and some kilometers of underground tunnels and areas. It might have been equipped with Czech made cannons (10cm calibre artillery), however armories never managed to create serial pieces of them. Some prototypes was tested but not one was sent before Czech border area was taken by Munich agreement.

One of heavy forts belonging to artillery fortification Bouda - K21 Underground in artillery fortification Bouda Iron bell for light machine-gun

The biggest forts for 10cm artillery Fort K11, belongs into artillery fortification Hurka

Our path along the line

Prostredni Lipka - southern by the road to Kraliky - K14 "U Cihelny"- Kraliky - by road to Hanusovice - K12a "U rybnicku" - to Vysina hill - K11 "Na svahu" - K10 "U bozi muky" - to hill Veselka - K12b "Utrzeny"- down to village Cerveny Potok - K8 "U nadrazi" - then we followed the line, forts can be easily seen - K7 "U vesnice" - K6 "U kaplicky" - K5 "U potoka" - Mala Morava - Vojtiskov - Vlaske. Alltogether about 25 kilometrs, mostly bad paths

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