The fortress is best known for sinking the German heavy cruiser Blücher on 9 April 1940. The fortifications were however not involved in battle during the Hannibal War. Two torpedoes fired by land-based torpedo batteries struck the ship, causing serious damage. Present for duty under his direct command at the Main Battery were 28 officers and men, but only enough trained artillerymen to man one of the big Krupp guns, which required a crew of 11. The underground torpedo battery remained secretly active until 1993. An underwater stone wall (jeté), minefield, torpedo battery and entrenchments was also built. National Fortification Heritage. When the negotiations with Sweden took place in 1905, the Oscarsborg fortress was regarded as the strongest fortress in northern Europe, with a defensive line that stretched 10 km from the Heer Entrenchment in the east to the top of Håøya in the west. An underwater barrier went from the main islet of Kaholmen and south-west to Hurum on the western side of the fjord, thus making it impossible for large vessels to sail west of the fortress. Torpedo battery. It marked the end of the "Phoney War" and the beginning of World War II in Western Europe. The burning ship continued up the fjord. The torpedoes were delivered in 1900 from the Whitehead torpedo factory in Fiume, then part of Austria-Hungary. Churches & Cathedrals. The narrows at Drøbak, called Drøbaksundet, is a natural point for the naval defence of Oslo, the capital of Norway. The fortress was returned to Norwegian control on 12 May 1945 when Captain Thorleif Unneberg took command of the fortifications and raised the Norwegian flag following the capitulation of all German forces in Norway four days earlier. Having been constructed in 1898–1901, and put into service on 15 July 1901, the underground torpedo facility remained one of the few Norwegian defence installations unknown to German military intelligence at the point of the 9 April 1940 invasion. The chapel was initially decorated with frescoes; in the 6th century, mosaics were added. Two torpedoes are loaded side by side, in two open steel frames. The earthquake of 345/346 likely damaged the monument and closed it. In command of Oscarsborg Fortress was 64-year-old Coastal Artillery Oberst (Colonel) Birger Kristian Eriksen, only six months from retirement. When Norway was invaded on 9 April 1940, all of the fortress' armament was over 40 years old, and of German origin. KommandørkapteinAnderssen donned his old uniform and was transported by boat over the fjord to the torpedo battery. Oscarsborg Fortress is one of 14 fortresses under the management of National Fortification Heritage. Oberst Birger Eriksen, the commander of Oscarsborg on 9 April 1940. The officer school was officially shut down on 28 June 2002. The tension was also growing between the two countries in the union and so the Norwegians decided to upgrade the fortress. An early Christian chapel was constructed on the amphitheatre in the second half of the 4th century. I did not have a boring second and the trip could happily lasted another hour. [11] Visitors take a short motor launch trip from Drøbak. Exploring WWII coastal artillery fortress bunker in Norway. The fortifications were however not involved in battle during the Hannibal War. One of the three 28 cm main battery guns at Oscarsborg. Built in 1901, it was equipped with three shore-mounted dual elevators firing the torpedoes via underwater tunnels. Historic Sites. The battery was one of two in Norway and differed from the other torpedo battery, at Kvarven Fort, in that it was designed to launch its torpedoes from under the water level, instead of by torpedo tube from above ground as was the case with the battery at Kvarven outside The scenic surroundings is much used for conferences and excursions. They apparently thought that the Oscarsborg guns were too old to be operational and only used for training. Torpedo battery The second most important military facility of Oscarsborg fortress with Main Battery was the secret torpedo battery. A new torpedo battery was completed in 1901. All rights reserved. Now Oscarsborg is largely a civilian attraction (still some military there, though very minor), and it’s a perfect site to take with your family. We had the Historical tour including the torpedo battery, this is a two-hour roundtrip on the island. Enter your email address and password to log on. [4] The battery has three torpedo tunnels which could fire six torpedoes without reloading and a total of nine torpedoes were stored and ready for use. ): "Klar til strid - Kystartilleriet gjennom århundrene", Kystartilleriets Offisersforening, Oslo 1999 ISBN 82-995208-0-0, Stangeland, Gro & Eva Valebrokk: "Norges bedste Værn og Fæste - Nasjonale festningsverk", Wigestrand Forlag AS, Stavanger 2001 ISBN 82-91370-35-4, Articles with Norwegian-language external links, Articles containing Norwegian-language text, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Military history of Norway during World War II, Historical overview of Oscarsborg Fortress, http://www.kriegsmarine-reich.co.uk/heavy-cruiser-blucher.htm, Ferry service to Oscarsborg's main island, The official website for the fortress today, Site on the Norwegian coastal defences in 1940, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Oscarsborg_Fortress?oldid=2572517. Oscarsborg Fortress (Oscarsborg festning in Norwegian) is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak. On April 9, 1940, Oscarsborg Fortress passed its first real test: The fort’s armaments managed to sink the German flagship, Blücher. In April 1940 the battery was armed with nine Whitehead Mk Vd torpedoes. It is built on a slope of the hill, and inside the amphitheatre there are staircases and galleries at different levels. English: Oscarsborg Fortress is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak. ... Oscarsborg Fortress (275) 1 min. The Fortress Museum provides guided … The scenic surroundings is much used for conferences and excursions. [2], The fortress is now largely a civilian resort and attraction, open for visitors. We had the Historical tour including the torpedo battery, this is a two-hour roundtrip on the island. The tension was also growing between the two countries in the union and so the Norwegians decided to upgrade the fortress. During this period Oscarsborg served as a military school for officer training. Together with the Torpedo Workshop beside the entrance, a visit to the Torpedo Battery gives an exciting introduction into one of the most ‘secret’ parts of Oscarsborg Fortress. Both the guns and the torpedo battery worked flawlessly when Oscarsborg encountered one of the German invasion flotillas; they sank the heavy cruiser Blücher, and threw back the German naval force heading for Oslo, thus managing to save the Norwegian King and government from being taken prisoner. "She is to be torpedoed" came the reply. The fortress is now largely a civilian resort and attraction, open for visitors. The fortress is situated on two small islets, and on the mainland to the west and east, in the fjord and was military territory until 2003 when it was made a publicly available resort island. Today, it is a museum. The battery was one of two in Norway and it was designed to launch its torpedoes from under the water level. Around 1830 the discussion started for a renewed fortification of the Drøbak Narrows and the first stage was ready in 1848, the next in 1853. During the Cold War Oscarsborg formed a last line of defence for the capital city, with the underground torpedo battery remaining secretly active up until 1 January 1993, having been modernized in the 1980s. Date of experience: October 2017 It was built in 1898-1901. Its torpedo store contains British Mark VIII torpedo bodies, and a separate warhead store has their warheads, practice heads and firing pistols. The commander of a land-based torpedo battery called the commander of Oscarsborg Fortress asking: "Is she to be torpedoed?" Anderssen was a retired naval officer who lived in Drøbak and had spent many years of his life in command of the torpedo battery at Oscarsborg. See all. Drøbak Church (33) 19 min. Then one of the two frames is lowered like an elevator down into the water to the tunnels below. [1], During the occupation of Norway German forces were stationed at Oscarsborg. The fortress is situated on two small islets, and on the mainland to the west and east, in the fjord and was military territory until 2003 when it was made a publicly available resort island. Anderssen would show himself worthy of the important task of leading the fortress' most lethal weapon system; having first served at the torpedo … It's absolutely free, easy, and doesn't even need registration! A natural cave had been enlarged and enhanced with three chambers loaded with torpedoes produced in Rijeka, Croatia. There were also a number of guns with smaller calibres (15 cm and 57 mm) on the mainland. When fired, the torpedo's own compressed air engine was started and it propelled itself. It's absolutely free, easy, and you can do it even without registration (of course you an also create an free account)! On North Kaholmen the Torpedo battery which gave “Blücher” the deathblows early in the morning on the 9th of April 1940 can be visited. [6] Each weapon carried a 100 kg TNT warhead[7] and targets were spotted from an observation bunker just above the battery.[4]. There were also a number of guns with smaller calibres on the mainland. Oscarsborg Fortress Today. During the Cold War Oscarsborg formed a last line of defence for the capital city, with the underground torpedo battery remaining secretly active up until 1 January 1993,having been modernized in the 1980s. [4], At Oscarsborg the torpedo battery is a concrete construction inside a cave mined into the rock of the North Kaholmen island. When Norway was invaded on 9 April 1940, all of the fortress' armament was over 40 years old, and of German origin. The amphitheatre was covered over in the 16th century, after the Ottoman occupation, when the wall was built nearby. Still unaware of the hidden underground Torpedo Battery, ... Oscarsborg Fortress was subjected to aerial bombardment for almost nine hours and was hit with approximately 500 bombs. When the negotiations with Sweden took place in 1905, the Oscarsborg fortress was regarded as the strongest fortress in northern Europe, with a defensive line that stretched 10 km from the Heer Entrenchment in the east to the top of Håøya in the west. Oscarborg fortress, view from Drøbak. By the end of the 19th century the art of war developed rapidly and the new fortress was soon obsolete. - Duration: 17:22. The officer school was officially shut down on 28 June 2002. It was from here that Andreas Andersen and his men, under the direction of Colonel Birger Eriksen, fired the two crucial torpedoes that sunk the German cruiser Blücher on 9 April, 1940. The first defences were constructed during the reign of Christian IV of Denmark and Norway and were ready in 1644. The main armament was three 28 cm calibre guns manufactured by Krupp. Torpedo tubes are under water in … From 1890 new improved German guns were installed, an underwater barrier was built in 1874–79,[3] and an underwater torpedo battery was constructed. The guns are on the island in the centre, the torpedo battery is on the smaller island to the right. Oscarsborg fortress started the battle and gave the orders to fire (Had they not the Germans would not have been fired on) but Kops and Husvik batteries with 5.9 inchers and 57mm guns respectively also did a ton of personel killing and caused massive damage to the firecontrol areas. Oscarsborg fortress model Why not share it with other people interested in history? Colonel Birger Eriksen was present on the occasion and made a speech. Oberst Eriksen gave the command to load the three guns of the main battery. Then the frames are lowered like an elevator down in the water to the tunnels below. Oscarsborg formed a last line detence for Oslo. It is the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Balkan Peninsula with once having a capacity of 20,000 people. The amphitheatre is included on the tentative list of Albania for inscribing it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Oscarsborg Fortress (Norwegian language: Oscarsborg festning) is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak. At Oscarsborg the torpedo battery is a concrete construction inside a cave mined into the rock of the North Kaholmen island. Two torpedoes are loaded side by side, in an open steel frame. When Norway was invaded on 9 April 1940, all of the fortress' armament was over 40 years old, and of German origin. Around 1830 the discussion started for a renewed fortification of the Drøbak Narrows and the first stage was ready in 1848, the next in 1853. The commander of the torpedo battery at Oscarsborg had at the time of the battle been on sick leave since March 1940. Both the guns and the torpedo battery worked flawlessly when Oscarsborg encountered one of the German invasion flotillas; they sank the heavy cruiser Blücher,[9] and threw back the German naval force heading for Oslo, thus managing to save the Norwegian King and government from being taken prisoner. They even had a underground torpedo battery, that remained a secret up until 1993. The name of the fortress was given by royal resolution on 23 August 1855 after a visit by the Swedish-Norwegian King Oscar I. By the end of the 19th century the art of war developed rapidly and the new fortress was soon obsolete. WW2 made Oscarsborg widely known. Sørviknes Torpedobatteri / Huge bunker / torpedo battery in Norwegian fjord. At Oscarsborg today, please feel free to enjoy the Fortress museum. Men stationed within the fortress’s hidden underground tunnels quickly load two of the torpedo chambers and fire. Oscarsborg has primarily served as the At around 0400 on April 9, six ships came into view. You can add your own historic sites and attractions to SpottingHistory. An underwater stone wall (jeté), minefield, torpedo battery and entrenchments was also built. Follow us to get best travel tips to interesting historic sites! FYI: We also have another fully preserved torpedobattery as a museum in Norway: The former german "Torpedobatterie Hjelte" (Herdla torpedobattery, in Askøy outside Bergen). This action allowed the Norwegian royal family, the government and members of parliament enough time to flee from the capital, and mobilize resistance towards the invaders. The flag in question was the same that had flown over the fortress until it was captured by the Germans in April 1940. An underwater barrier went from the main islet of Kaholmen and south-west to Hurum on the western side of the fjord, thus making it impossible for large vessels to sail west of the fortress. [8] A second observation bunker is situated just outside the entrance to the battery. The Germans were unaware of a torpedo battery near Oscarsborg's main gun battery at North Kaholmen Island. [1], After the war the fortifications were dismantled, and only resurrected for a short period during the 1814 war with Sweden.[1]. From 1890 new improved German guns were installed, an underwater barrier was built in 1874–79, and an underwater torpedo battery was constructed. Oscarsborg fortress was until 2002 guarding the sea entrance to Oslo. The name of the fortress was given by royal resolution on 23 August 1855 after a visit by the Swedish-Norwegian King Oscar I. If you know where it is it the Oscarsborg torpedo battery can still be seen when you pass the fortress. Photo: Oscarsborg . After the deactivation of the last weapons systems, the remaining military activity on Oscarsborg consisted of the Coastal Artillery officer training programme. In 1989 the minefields in the Oslo fjord were taken off, in 1993 torpedo and artillery batteries in Oscarsborg were finally disarmed. © 2021 SpottingHistory.com. [12], Coordinates: 59°40′25″N 10°36′24″E / 59.67361°N 10.60667°E / 59.67361; 10.60667. Colonel Birger Eriksen's brave decission to sink "the Blücher", made it possible for the Norwegian king, the government and the Norwegian gold holdings to come into safety. The chapel with mosaics is preserved. It was used for performances until the 4th century AD. [1], The fortress was returned to Norwegian control on 12 May 1945 when Captain Thorleif Unneberg took command of the fortifications and raised the Norwegian flag following the capitulation of all German forces in Norway four days earlier. After the war the fortifications were dismantled, and only resurrected for a short period during the 1814 war with Sweden. The amphitheatre has an elliptical shape with axes of 132 metres and 113 metres. 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