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W.W.II Light Fortification

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W.W.II Light Fortification
Řopík - součást lehkého opevnění Řopík - součást lehkého opevnění Řopík - součást lehkého opevnění
Krakonošovo náměstí 72, 541 01 Trutnov
Email: vesely@trutnov.cz
Phone: +420 499 818 245
Web: http://www.trutnov.cz
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At the beginning of 1936 the government pressed to quickly launch the construction of heavy fortifications along the northern border of the country. The process had to be quick, as World War II was about to erupt. At first a light fortification system was built, using Type 36 structures, however, due to a lack of experience and a flawed project, this ended up unsuccessfully. The remedy was immediate. Intense design and preparatory works were underway the whole winter of 1936/37, resulting in the Type 37 light structure, whose popular nickname referred to the ROP (Directorate of Fortification Works). It is a reinforced concrete machine gun nest, with walls and ceilings 50-120 cm thick, with prevailing side fire usually from two embrasures on the left and on the right. The structures in the terrain are laid out in lines in which the neighbouring nests shelter each other, establishing a defence usually in two lines, with the front protected by a system of antipersonnel or antitank blocks. There were five types of light base structures designated A to E, with Type A being the most frequently built one, consisting of two embrasures allowing double-sided fire. Each structure was operated by 2-7 men. These light fortifications were intended to stop the enemy for a certain time, or at least delay him and thus prevent strategic shock. How the system would function in an actual attack can only be guessed by experts, as no such situation ever occurred due to the Munich Treaty. The planned fortification system was intended to run through the whole Krkonose Mountain range and should have been finished in 1939. The first works were launched in the west in the Novy svet pass and in the east in the Libavske pass. At the end of September 1938 that stretch was combat capable, but the whole line was never finished. Today an educational trail along the fortification system can be taken between Stachelberg fort and Libec u Trutnova.