Russia’s Mountain Submarine Base Bunker Porto Palermo is a vacation destination in Albania with some breathtaking beaches. The crystal clear water of the Ionian sea surrounds the Mediterranean forest. It is a spectacular destination to visit. Even in the rainy winter season temperatures stay above 9 degrees celsius.
However, it also holds a remnance of a time gone by. The Soviet Union built a secret submarine base was on the bay. And the base has now become a mecca for military junkies everywhere.
Back during the conclusion of World War II, Albania, which was under the leadership of dictator Enver Hoxha and the Albanian Communist Party (“Labor Party”), joined the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. This was not a surprise as almost every country that the Soviets could influence, they tried to influence.
For a while the two countries had very good relations.
In addition Albania was a recipient of substantial military aid and equipment from the Soviets.
As part of the alliance between the two countries. The Socialist People’s Republic of Albania ceded the island of Sazan opposite Avlona to establish a protected underground Soviet submarine base.
Indeed, work proceeded at a rapid pace and from this base soon operated Whiskey or Project (136) class submarines in the wider region of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea.
Porto Palermo was a strategic point for Soviet submarines.
Moreover, they could control, monitor and, if necessary, shadow NATO forces, and wage war without having to seek other bases for refueling.
In fact, at one point the submarine base housed 12 Soviet submarines.
Furthermore, the base is situated at the northern end of the bay of Porto Palermo, out of view of the tourists.
It is no longer in use as such, the base was Retired in 1998, submarines are now located in Pashaliman. but remains in a military restriction zone.