Denmark’s Strategic Location
Denmark’s position as the “plug in the Baltic” was vital to both the NATO and the Warsaw Pact throughout the Cold War. The only way out of the Baltic was through Danish waters. No transport vessels or warships could pass through Danish waters without either being observed or fired.
Two newly built coastal forts were commissioned by the Baltic Sea.
The Stevns Fort, whose primary task was to protect mine expansions in the southern part of the Öresund the Fakse Bay, as well as prevent hostile passage through the Sound.
The Langeland Fort, which was to protect the mine layouts in the southern part of the Storebält and prevent hostile access to these waters.
In Northern Jutland, south of Frederikshavn, the Navy had taken over the large German plant “Stützpunktgruppe Süd” after the Occupation in 1945.
This was now renamed the Bangsbo Fort. Apart from a coastal battery at Hornbäk at Northern Zealand, this plant was the only German plant that the Danish Navy or Coastal defende took over and continued.
The takeover of the German plants.
Immediately after the occupation, a commission took a look around the abandoned German sites and assessed the size and future use of buildings and artillery.
It was recommended that the area at Frederikshavn should be used as a coastal defence defense facility with the following structures and weapons:
– 4 pcs. 15 cm. Bofors guns (from the Danish light cruiser Niels Juel)
– 4 pieces of 105 mm. anti-aircraft guns
– Various fire control equipment
– 70 concrete bunkers
Initially, the mainly German installations were used, including both the 15 cm. guns and the 105 mm. antiaircraft guns.
In addition, the area was expanded with Frederikshavn Naval Radio and a coastal radar station.
The German radar of the type Würtzburg Riese was replaced by a Danish radar listed at the same site.
The radio station was the first station to be able to communicate with Greenland. This was possible with a couple of 40 meters high masts the Germans had left at Skagen in 1945.
Following the accession to NATO in 1949, an expansion and modernization began, and in 1952 the coastal defense, later the coastal fortification, began using the fort under the new name the Bangsbo Fort.
In this connection, 10 new concrete bunkers were erected. Virtually all plants were in use until 1962, and some plants are still in use in connection with monitoring of the Kattegat waters.