Kristiansand Cannon Museum

Møvik lies 8 km south-west of Kristiansand and is the location of Bunker 55 or Batterie Vara, a gun emplacement built by the Wehrmacht after the invasion of Norway, and named after Major-General Felix Vara, an expert in military engineering, who died in 1941 while preparing fortifications for the Channel Islands. It was designed, with the battery at Hansthol in Denmark, to command the Skagerrak and, to deny access to the Baltic to Allied shipping. Much of the construction was carried out by 744 Norwegians, 231 Danes, 31 Germans and 356 members of other nationalities directed by the slave labour organisation Operation Todt. There was a battery crew of 450 naval gunners and 150 Wehrmacht deploying 16 guns were stationed at the battery to defend it from attack. There were facilities for the installation of four 38 cm naval guns with barrels 20 m long each weighing 110 tons. They had a range of 55 km, and the first despatched trial rounds on 12 March 1942. The fourth was never installed since it was being carried across the Skagerrak on the ship Porto Alegre when it was sunk by British aircraft on 22 February 1945. The battery was restored from the 1980s and the first part opened to the public in 1993. A 600 mm gauge railway which transported shells from two magazines to the guns began to give rides to visitors over 1800 m of track in 2017. There are display of uniforms, vehicles, shells and other artefacts that illustrate the everyday lives of soldiers, naval gunners and slave labourers at the fortress.

Kristiansand Cannon Museum
Kristiansand Kanonmuseum
Møvik Krooddveien
4624 Kristiansand
Norway
+47 (0) 38 - 085090
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