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> Bucharest defence.
dragos03
Posted: July 24, 2005 10:06 pm
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I'll take the book, unfortunately i don't have a journalist ID (it is not needed anyway, people get suspicious when they see it).

There is no need to enter the military unit, most of the fort is outside it.
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cipiamon
Posted: July 25, 2005 12:05 am
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I have a journalist id, only it is mentioned (writen small) that i am designer and not a redactor :roll:, anyway if you guys need a metal detoctor-man i am up for action :)
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dragos03
Posted: August 15, 2005 05:48 pm
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Here is a photo of the fort near the Bucharest-Drajna highway. I think it is the 9/10 fort.

It is the easiest to see and visit (even inside) of all the Bucharest forts.

(IMG:http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/9452/fortautostrada19fa.jpg)
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dragos03
Posted: August 15, 2005 05:50 pm
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mihnea
Posted: September 28, 2005 03:28 pm
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In this imagine you can see the exact location of each bunker (“baterii intermediare” and “forturi”).

The page is scanned by me I don’t remember the book but it also shoed drawings of each type of fortification it’s gun emplacement.

I’ll try to find the book.

(IMG:http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/9807/bucurestiforturi16lo.jpg)
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ANDI
Posted: September 29, 2005 05:45 am
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There is another fort called "bateria 3/4" close to the highway belt, about 2km from the bridge at Otopeni. Most of the time is full of water, and some special antitero units practice there. I tryed once to descend into it, but after 2 stories, I came across a lot of water (don't know how deep!) and I had to give up. Quite scary though.....You should proceed with care.
I also heard a story about one of the forts back in the '50es when the police discovered 2 dead german soldiers shot in the back of their heads. They were only in their uniform, and the only thing discovered were the boots and belt buckles.
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dragos03
Posted: September 29, 2005 09:10 am
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The map posted by Mihnea is from the same book that i've got. It is "Fortificatia permanenta contemporana" by Col. Vasiliu.
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Imperialist
Posted: September 29, 2005 09:23 am
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QUOTE (dragos03 @ Sep 29 2005, 09:10 AM)
The map posted by Mihnea is from the same book that i've got. It is "Fortificatia permanenta contemporana" by Col. Vasiliu.

I have found the same map in "Istoria Militara a Poporului Roman".

esit -- and it indeed quotes the book you mention, written in 1934

This post has been edited by Imperialist on September 29, 2005 09:24 am
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Wings_of_wrath
Posted: February 09, 2006 09:54 pm
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My interest in fortifications was first sparked by seeing an interesting site on the Belgian Forts a few years ago. At the time I knew Bucharest used to have a ring of fortifications around it, but I assumed they were destroyed in the communist era to make way for the new "residential areas" like Pantelimon, Berceni, Balta Alba, etc...

Then, in late December last year, a frend showed me an article published in "Romania Libera":

(IMG:http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5884/articol5wv.jpg)

The title reads "The Forts of Bucharest, Transformed in Mushroom Farms, Warehouses and Graveyards" and lists a few of the surviving forts, as well as their sad fate (18-1 Chitila [also listed as "Chiajna"] used as storage for pickles, 11-12 Berceni used to raise mushrooms in, and 10-11 Popesti that will be transformed in a graveyard) as well as a small history of the fortification project, but other than that it is pretty uninformative. The only other piece of information we get concerns the three forts "15-16 Magurele" "14-15 Broscarei" and "13-14 Jilava" that are still used by the military, the last as a detention centre and thus off limits to the civilian public.

Of course the article awakened my interest in the matter once again, and over the space of two months I was able to bring together more information on the fortifications:

The whole project was thought about in 1884 at a time when vast networks of military works were being built all around Europe, and work on the forts started in 1888, using the plans of a famed Belgian architect, Henri Alexis Brialmont (1821-1903), that later went on to build the fortifications around Liege. (see a nice site dedicated to those here)

The original network contained 18 forts liked by road (what is now known as "Soseaua de Centura") and rail, and as many artilerry batteries in between, totalling a staggering 240 guns, in various calibers, from the large turreted 150mm Krupp pieces to smaller 53mm Grusson and Hotchkiss, two of which are still on display at MMN:

(IMG:http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/6102/grusson0pk.jpg)
53mm Grusson.

(IMG:http://img450.imageshack.us/img450/8962/hotchkiss3cd.jpg)
57mm Hotchkiss

The project took 12 years to finish, but by the start of WWI the consensus was that the forts were now obsolete, so they were stripped of their armament and abandoned. Some of the guns went on to serve in the Romanian Army as improvised Anti-Aircraft weapons, but most fell into German and Austrian hands following the disastruous campaign of 1917, so their fates remains unknown.

In the folowing years the forts were forgotten, a phenomenon fueled by the the Romanian military bureaucracy's love for secretness, to the point that the long abandoned and decrepit buildings are still ommited from maps, even detailed architectural ones such as the PUG (Proiect Urbanistic General- General Urbanistic Plan) for Bucharest, from which I extracted the following two fragments:

(IMG:http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/8106/fort126go.jpg)

(IMG:http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/2845/fort564hw.jpg)

Please note the difference between the detail in the nearby regions (listing everything including underground oil reservoirs) and the "blank spot" where the fort would be. In the first Image the caption in the middle reads "Institutie" ("Institution") while the second one lists the area as a forest, eventhough the tell-tale polygonal shape of the fort is clearly visible.

Faced with this deliberate lack of information I reasoned that the only way to establish for sure what forts survive to this day is by aerial or satellite photography, a plan that went amazingly well, as the following composite image clearly shows:

(IMG:http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/3572/forturibucurestisat6jl.jpg)

Dotted line represents forts and cassemates I'm not sure still exist, because, although their contour is clearly visible on the satellite photos, there are a number of unrelated buildings drawn on the map at those locations. Full line represents forts I'm pretty sure exist in a configuration close to their original design, while the red line is the road that once linked them in an impressive defensive complex.
Unfortunately nothing seems to remain from the two forts in the south-west (16-17 Bragadiru and 17-18 Domnesti), but apparently more than a few still exist and should make great targets for examination if not conservation in the near future.

Following the latest pieces of information I aquired and, since I run a small Bucharest based group of "Urban Explorers" I intend to mount an expedition aimed at documenting the surviving forts and casemates. Most likely the trip will take place around Easter, (it wouldn't be a smart idea to go sloshing about deserted buildings in sub-zero temperatures) and take about a week, to allow the drawing of plans for each fort, as well as creating a database of photographs. We intend to be well equipped, with such gear as ropes, flashlights, helmets, as well as official papers allowing us access (most likely from my University, since they have provided us with such clearances in the past).

However, we are severely short on manpower and transportation, and we would like to adress this way other enthusiasts like us for voluntary work in trying to document these unique pieces of history, before nature and man makes the better of them.

If you feel inclined to help us, please PM me, and I'll keep you posted on the preparations as well as any aditional information I might find. (I intend to go scouring trough the National Archives, the division for the City of Bucharest in search for any references as well as more tangible documents such as plans relating to the forts)

A later phase will include the creation of a website dedicated to the fortifications, where we will post our findings, in the hope that this will draw some attention on this forlorn subject of military history.

This post has been edited by Wings_of_wrath on February 09, 2006 11:54 pm
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Carol I
Posted: February 09, 2006 11:29 pm
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QUOTE (Wings_of_wrath @ Feb 9 2006, 10:54 PM)
Faced with this deliberate lack of information the I reasoned that the only way to establish for sure what forts survive to this day is by aerial or satellite photography, a plan that went amazingly well, as the following composite image clearly shows:

(IMG:http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/3572/forturibucurestisat6jl.jpg)

You misidentified the location of fort "2-3 Otopeni". It is on the other side of the highway as illustrated by the images posted here. I think you may want to take a look into that thread. There C-2 stated that 2-3 Otopeni is sometimes used as training grounds for the special forces. As such it might be difficult to obtain permission to enter it.
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Wings_of_wrath
Posted: February 09, 2006 11:51 pm
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No, I didn't. I drew the contour of all the forts as they can be seen in the satellite photograph.

Here is a zoomed in version of the same picture.

(IMG:http://img485.imageshack.us/img485/5255/f31dr.jpg)

(IMG:http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/uploads/post-2-1102695415.jpg)

In the 1944 picture North is to the right of the photograph. You can see that quite clearly, since the shape of the Banesa forest just below the road is unchanged.

Indeed acess to this fort might be a little dicey, but as far as I know, most of the times it sits empty, so, unless our visit overlaps with a police exercise, it should all go smoothly.
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Carol I
Posted: February 10, 2006 12:05 am
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QUOTE (Wings_of_wrath @ Feb 10 2006, 12:51 AM)
No, I didn't. I drew the contour of all the forts as they can be seen in the satellite photograph.

My mistake then. I thought the highway was to the "right" of your drawing, but maybe it was only a border between two sectors in your composite image.
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ANDI
Posted: February 10, 2006 07:15 am
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The fort on the "centura", about 2km est of the Otopeni bridge is called "bateria 3/4" and that is what I saw written on it. I wrote about special forces doing some trainig there, but judging by the old cases my guess is that this training happens quite random and not too often.
The water is just in front of the entrance, actually is a small lake, which does not dry during the summer. However, there is an entrance point from the top of it, through one of the turrets. The acces inside is quite difficult as is dark and the galleries are full of water. I also think a gas mask will come in handy in case there are some gases (from the maneouvres) trapped inside.
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Carol I
Posted: February 10, 2006 08:05 am
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QUOTE (Wings_of_wrath @ Feb 9 2006, 10:54 PM)
Unfortunately nothing seems to remain from the two forts in the south-west (16-17 Bragadiru and 17-18 Domnesti)...

Some structures appear to be visible in this image. Could they be your missing forts (or at least their remains)?
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Wings_of_wrath
Posted: February 10, 2006 09:55 am
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Beautiful Picture! :o

Yes! On the poor quality satelite photographs I had there was no visible trace of the two south-western forts so I assumed them destroyed, but your picture seems to suggest that not only are the forts there, but also in pretty good shape.

So, in the end, it seems all the forts are accounted for. Thanks, Carol!
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