Norway’s Battleship In A Mountain : Austratt Fort

Norway’s Battleship In A Mountain : Austratt Fort With commanding views over Brekstad and the entrance into Trondheimfjord, the Austratt Fort sits in Norway. 

A retired remnant of the coastal defense network.

The battleship turret is the most striking part of the fort. And a popular tourist destination today, she was Turret Caesar on the German ship Gneisenau, when she was taken.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau : Germany’s Raiders of World War 2

Gneisenau was bombed while in Dry Dock with her ammunition stores onboard, the bomb set of charges erupting into an explosion, burning out her bow and launching one of her turrets into the air, the damage was extensive.

The entire bow section was burned out and the crew was forced to partially flood the magazine to prevent a more catastrophic explosion. The blast killed 112 men and wounded 21 others.

Gneisenau in dry dock, March 1942, after the air attack

As a result of the Red Army approaching after the ship had sat idle for years, the decision was made to scuttle the ship in March of 1945. So to block the entry to the port in Gdynia.

The 28cm turrets were removed earlier and placed in Norway. In 1943 Gneisenau was planned to receive new 38cm guns in 3 new turrets. But, as the war dragged on, Germany didn’t have the resources to comlpete the refurbishment of Gneisenau.

The cannon has three 28.3 cm cannons with a range of 38 km. The cannon tower is five stories tall. During a guided tour you will descend five stories into the mountain. 

The cannon at Austratt, a triple-barreled gun turret, is the only of its kind remaining. 

You are allowed to walk inside of the gun turret today. 

The German soldiers’ underground barracks are still visible today, however recent reviews on TripAdvisor say the bunks are closed off.

The three-gun turret weighs 800 tons and was capable of firing 730-pound shells back her day as far as 38 kilometers. The last firing of the gun took place in 1953

As awesome as Austratt Fort’s gun stands, the below Adolf Gun at the Trondenes Fort is even larger.

40.6 cm Schnelladekanone C/34 (Adolf Gun) at Trondenes in Harstad, Norway.

Norway’s Battleship In A Mountain : Austratt Fort