08 September 2016

Pictures from visit to Westerplatte

Just came back from a vacation, which saw both excursions to Knossos, Westerplatte and Malbork Castle - so of course I took several hundred pictures :-D

In this post I will show the pictures from Westerplatte, and also pictures of the Polish Postal office in Gdansk.

Worth mentioning is that you can get to Westerplatte by land (taxi, buss or bike) and you do not have to buy tickets for that ridiculous pirate ship tour of the canal to get there. Our hotel tried to push that tourist trap but we went by cab which is both cheaper and more convenient.


There is no entry fee or anything to walk the grounds of Westerplatte, there is a tiny museum in one of the remaining guardhouses but it is from what I read not worth it. Instead it is better to focus on walking around the small peninsula trying to imagine the 7 day action of 1939.  It's a weird feeling walking around the grounds where some of the first shots of WW2 were fired.

Not much remains of the defenses, ruins of guardhouses, barracks and bunkers. The largest ruin belongs to the so called "new barracks" which was one of the larger buildings on the peninsula. It was hit with a bomb and the damage is clearly visible when you walk inside that particular ruin (there are walkways inside allowing you easy access).

It's hard to imagine how the Germans could navigate the Schleswig-Holstein battleship in that narrow canal (which has been widened since the war ended), but you also have to force yourself to imagine what it must have been to be under point blank fire from the ship, the German positions across the canal and from smaller ships out at sea while at the same time being bombarded by Stuka bombers and fighting off assaults from land.




While walking around in the ruins of the barracks I picked up a small piece of rubble, it was not planned but I got this idea that it would be very nice to have a small piece of this historical site on display at home. Pretty happy with the end result.





We also made a short stop at the Gdansk post office, which also saw action in 1939 during the "defence of the Polish post office in Gdansk".  It still serves as a postal office, and part of it is a museum, though it was already closed for the day on the day we went there.



I will post pictures from Malmbork castle and our trip to Knossos next.

10 comments:

  1. Hell of a holiday you've had. Not that I'm jealous or anything, you know ^^
    /Anders

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  2. Hey Anatoli, These are great photos. I came back from Gdansk a couple of days ago and am preparing my Westerplatte and Poczta Polska Gdanska blog posts now. I think I took way too many photos though ;) My GF also took me to Malbork on our last day before we headed south. THAT is one impressive castle!!!! Whats the betting we crossed paths and never even knew it? LOL I look forwards to reading more from you :D

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    1. Malbork was the most value for money I've ever had on a historical tourist attraction. In comparison sites like Konopiste in the Czech republic or Wawel castle in Krakow is a ripoff. Loved the visit to Malbork, which was on the 4th of September (it rained but I still managed to take great photos :-) )

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    2. I know what you meaan. I actually told Roxi I was suffering from history overload! She almost wet herself with tears! We were there on the 3rd so I think we must have hit a lucky spot with the clouds. Wawel castle in Krakow I was pretty nonplussed about to be honest. I liked Krakow but for me the real highlight was the military museum they were in the process of opening. It had a stack in there about the 10BK and a whole section devoted to Hubal. Well worth the visit if you get down there again :D

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    3. Do you mean the WW2/1939 museum that is work in progress in Gdansk due to open in 2017?

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    4. Hey Alex, in case you are interested Ive completed my first blog ppost about Westerplatte covering the period before the war and a look at all of the buildings on the peninsular. I aim to get the battle one and the Polish Post Office one up within the next couple of days.
      Here's the link if you would like to take a look: http://brushesandbayonets.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/westerplatte-where-world-war-ii-began.html

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  3. Excellent post Anatoli! Because of you my understanding of the Polish Campaign has grown tremendously over the last few years! Thank You!

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  4. Thanks for those excellent photos. Really great and an inspiration to go there someday.
    I saw the Polish film Westerplatte a year ago, and it is a really good movie. Well worth a look.

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