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The Petersburg defenses during the great Patriotic

After unsuccessful attempts of German troops to take the city by storm in the autumn of 1941. the front line was stabilized along the line of Uritsk – Pulkovo heights – Kolpino – Bank of the Neva river (at Ust – Izhora), and further, on the left Bank of the river. As so often in our history, this front line was based on the unique capabilities of the Russian soldier, and if contained, it is practically the only field firing facilities. Not having prepared lines of defence, the city was left almost defenseless in the event of a possible breakout to the established front line, another thing that sufficient forces for this, the exhausted Germans were gone.

The construction of fortifications began in July 1941. line: Gulf of Finland – village No. 3 – station Predportovaya – Circular railway – Fishing – Utkina Zavod – Sosnovka station Rzhevskaya – New Village – the Old Village – the Gulf of Finland.

During the period 1941-1944. by the engineering units of the Leningrad front and the inhabitants of the city were built two lines of defense. The inner defensive line along the banks of the bypass channel, and the external – on the then outskirts of the city, between the banks of the Gulf of Finland and Neva river. In the southern and South-Western sectors linealbany this took place on the territory of the five modern regions of the city: Kirovsky, Leninsky, Moskovsky, Frunzensky and Nevsky.

In modern toponymy, from the Avenue along Leninsky Prospekt to Victory square and the Moscow area, Tipanova street further on and the prospect of Glory through all the way to Obukhov and Neva.

External line of defense, got in the second half of the last century in the area of intensive construction of new parts of the city, were destroyed as needed and has kept some long-term facilities are available, at least for inspection from the outside, and, when acute desire, and inside. All preserved buildings, is quite interesting and unique, especially those that are in the city, among well-developed urban infrastructure.

Now, I know about the existence of 26 permanent weapon emplacements (DOT) on the territory of the above-mentioned areas. I used to have more, at least 5 DOT already destroyed once in the zone of foundations of buildings or laying streets over the last thirty years. Easily pushed with bulldozers in pre-dug pits and covered.

Firing points are located in different condition, some of them became monuments or some likeness of the memorial places connected with the war and blockade, the other part is located in the right-of-way of railroads safely destroyed, and some turned into warehouses. DOT, preserved as monuments, as a rule, not very realistic. They, or artificially lined with the addition of the new retaining walls and demolition of concrete slabs designed to support the new sprinkles in the arc of fire near the entrance or just painted black (or green. ) color and topped with dates. Many of the pillbox embrasures bricked or concreted and they look like concrete boxes. Because of the rise of the cultural layer, some structures were buried literally “the nostrils” – almost up to or above the level of the embrasures, having lost up to 1.5 m of its original height.

The place was the line of defense, extremely flat and mostly swampy. The only hills in this part of the suburbs is Pulkovo heights, from which, as is known, good view of the whole city, up to the Northern suburbs.

Given the urgent need to minimize the duration of work, while maintaining the known defenses of the centers of resistance, we can assume that in summer and autumn of 1941. throughout defensive zone were erected field fortifications, which improved and supplemented the long-term, practically, to raise the siege in 1944.

It is obvious that in blockade conditions and flat terrain, the designers and builders had the task to maximally saturate the sites of long-term fire resistance of constructions to give the nodes of tactical stability.

The defensive line was crossed three branches of Railways, Moscow, Vitebsk and Baltic and Warsaw areas and two small stream – Reds, blending smoothly into the Ligovsky canal, Alexander Nevsky Lavra, which, all together and made some defensive backbone of the band, as natural barriers. In addition, were successfully used existing buildings. This famous “Pentagon” in the Moscow area, Chesmensky Palace, with the homonymous Church, and a number of other buildings of past centuries.

All surviving the DOT – storey reinforced concrete buildings, typical of structures designed to accommodate one, at least, two machine guns or one gun. Conventionally, all long-term facilities can be divided into the following main types: one and two embrasure DOT front (or kouprianova) fire; one embrasure DOT flanking fire (machine-gun half-caponiers); one gun pillbox kouprianova fire; one gun pillbox flanking fire (gun half-caponiers, ORPC).

All DOT, one-storey, consist of the combat casemate relatively small, intended only for the placement of weapons and garrison. Some structures have direct skotniki or protection inputs chipping walls with visors. Front walls of all structures have a thickness of 1,5 m, ceilings – 1 m, on which there protivootecona clothing. Preserved buildings scattered for 15 miles, do not allow to fully reconstruct the nodes of the defence, but provide a unique opportunity to study the structural features of the model DOT, to introduce the principles of constructing sites of resistance and interaction between firing points.

Let’s start with DotA which once stood near the cinema “planet” (now the cinema was demolished and the DOT, on the contrary, several ennobled painting):

Unfortunately, the DOT is almost entirely left in the ground, so finding loopholes it is impossible:

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