WW2 and Cold War artifacts of Sredny and Rybachy

Many enquiries related to Sredny and Rybachy peninsula we get have to do with what’s left of WW2 and Cold War defence lines. Here is some of what we’ve noticed so far without really looking.


Pillboxes like this one are all over the coast of both Sredny and Rybachy

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Verman lake fortifications

[After some deliberation I’ve removed maps for the fear that their publication may encourage treasure/souvenir hunters.]

Vasily Ivanovich has kindly shared with me this 1943 1:100000 map showing German fortifications in the River Verman area, where the front along the Verman river hadn’t moved from September 1941 to September 1944. German fortifications are indicated as black circles on the second map. They are a bit west from the river because they probably represent the second layer of defence. Pink line is the modern road to Alakurtti. I’m putting this on the list of places to explore once snow melts in the woods and it dries up a bit.

This is what was left there as of 2009:

verman-fortification-1  verman-fortification-2  verman-fortification-3

(click to expand)

No special permission is needed for foreign travellers to go there.

WWII air field by Lake Pinozero

One of WW2 artifacts between Kandalaksha and Polarnye Zori is the WW2 air strip used from 1942 to 1944 as a base for 22 lend-leased P-40 Kittyhauk airplanes.


The air strips appear to be accessible by car during summer months as there are potato plots of Polarnye Zori residents nearby.

Concrete rings of Liinakhamari, near Pechenga

liinakhamari_circlesThese were built by the Germans as support for huge guns. The popular Russian version about landing for flying saucers powered by anti-gravity engines constructed with the help of Saami shamans may be more entertaining though. EnglishRussia.com has recently published several photos of these things.

The area is classed as “restricted”, which means you have to stay on the road, or get a permit well in advance, or take your chances. Whatever info I notice on the specifics of foreigner travel in the Murmansk region it gets dumped in the Attention Foreign Travellers section.


A series of vivid photos of the bunkers and of Medvezhyegorsk in general >>

Info on cemeteries, which are numerous in the region, is coming up. So is the story of my trip through west Karelia in 2011, which was the closest the old materialist me has ever come to seeing ghosts.

Medvezhyegorsk is spelled “Medweshjegorsk” on German maps. For Karelians and Finns Medvezh’yegorsk is Karhumägi, which probably is its original name.

Russia and Finland in WW2

Finland and Russia in WW2: http://soviet-finland.livejournal.com/ In Russian but at a glance lots of links to Finnish resources, and unique photos only recently made available by the Finnish military.