Osmussaar, part 2

Osmussaar was one of the key islands providing artillery cover for the Gulf of Finland. Its main purpose was to keep enemy ships out of the gulf, thus preventing them from approaching the city of Leningrad (modern St Petersburg) during WW2. On June 11 1940, 1200 builders from Soviet 46th engineering corps. disembarked here and started construction of four artillery batteries: two towers with 180 mm guns, one superlarge 406 mm piece, three 130 mm pieces and four 76 mm anti-aircraft guns. Continue reading

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Osmussaar, part 1

This place has a complicated history which calls for the introduction below – but you may skip straight to the photos.

The small island of Osmussaar (modern Estonia) was once practically in the middle of the Swedish empire. Swedes called it Odensholm – derived from Odin, one of the major Viking gods. According to a legend, Odin was buried here under a pile of limestone rocks. The first inhabitants were Swedish fishermen living off the sea: catching fish and stealing goods from ships in distress. Life was tough and simple: for several generations, the islanders lived a village they called “village” (“Bien” in Swedish), went to church every Sunday and tfended to their sheep. Central government left them alone as long as they delivered a few bags of dried fish on a yearly basis. Continue reading

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