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Kuivasaari Coastal Artillery Fortress

Kuivasaari  is a fortress island controlled by the Finnish Defense Forces. The island is located in front of Helsinki on the west side of Isosaari, in the southern part of the country. In the 18th century, Kuivasaari was a base for fishermen. The island of the next century was privately owned until the Russian state expropriated the island in 1896 and it was handed over to the Viapori fortress. Kuivasaari was fortified in the 1910s and barracks and staff apartments were built. In the spring of 1918, the Germans began training Finns in Kuivasaari to use coastal cannons left by the Russians. The following year, the Finns took the fort to active use.

The entire island is a military installation and access for the civilian population is severely restricted. A number of coastal artillery pieces were installed there, including some exceptionally strong. The island served as an important coastal artillery fort to protect the entrance to the port of Helsinki during the 2 world wars.
The most grandiose and famous weapon on the island today is a tower battery with two 12-inch barrels, manufactured at the beginning of the 20th century at the Obukhov plant in St. Petersburg. Only a few of these sights have survived throughout the world. The battery was built on the island in the early 1930s, using equipment removed from Fort Ino, as well as the tower of an unfinished 14-inch battery from Makiluoto Island. The Kuivasaari tower battery was ready for combat in the summer of 1935.
The island has a considerable collection of old historical cannons maintained by the Coastal Artillery Guild of Suomenlinna. Previously, there was also a 100 TK coastal artillery battery in active use in Kuivasaari. These cannons have been deactivated. The fort does not have a permanent occupation, but it is still used by the Defense Forces and thus closed to general use, but several companies organize charter cruises.

Access : Coordinates:60.101833, 25.015667 /The  island is located only 5 kilometres  out into the Gulf of Finland, due south of Helsinki city centre.

Highlights :

  •  The main attraction of course is the restored 12/305 mm 52 caliber twin coastal artillery turret : This turret was constructed by Finns between 1931 and 1934 by using 305 mm (12 inch) guns from Ino and an unfinished 356 mm (14 inch) twin turret barbette from Makiuloto Island. Construction was finished in 1934.
  •  nature is well preserved on Kuivasaari. In Helsinki, for example, nook grows only on the army islands: Kuivasaari and the adjacent Isosaari. In addition to the abundant bird population, as many as 400 butterfly species have been found on Kuivasaari,
  •  The main armament of the battery on Kuivasaari is 10 “Brink system guns on the Durlyakher machine. Four 75-mm rapid-fire cannons were installed for air defense in the northern part of the island. A hidden searchlight shaft, a rangefinder pavilion, a command post were built on the southern end of the island. the battery was connected to the pier by two narrow-gauge branches.
  •  A mine station, barracks, a bathhouse, etc. were built in the area of the pier. In June 1917, the construction of the central power station was completed. This vast, squat structure was sunk into the rock mass behind the battery.
  •  152 mm Tampella cannon : this is just a modernization of the classic six-inch Canet cannon, made after the Second World War by the Finnish company Tampella.
  •  Canet 152/44 C coastal gun on CR gun mount : The 152 mm L / 44 gun M1892 was a Russian ship and coastal gun. Developed in 1892, it remained in service in Finland and the Soviet Union well into the 1970s.
  •  152 mm 45 calibre Canet model 1892 coastal gun : Manufactured by Obukhov state plant in 1896.
  •  254/45 D Guns – 245 mm / 10 inch coastal gun with 45 caliber barrel, model Durlacher : The cannon was manufactured by Obukhov, but was known in Finland as Durlacher cannons according to the pedestal designer. There are no other such guns preserved anywhere in the world.
  •  76 mm anti-aircraft gun model 1931. (3-K) Soviet-made, developed on the basis of the design of the Rheinmetall company during the period of secret military cooperation between the USSR and Germany. At the beginning of World War II.
  •  100 mm : The turret located next to the battery position, similar to a tank turret, is also a coastal defense weapon with a caliber of 100 mm and is actually made on the basis of a tank turret purchased in the USSR from a T-55. The Finns had such guns in service until 2007.

Note : The island must not be landed and must not be approached by boat closer than 100 meters. However, it is possible to obtain visiting permits. Several cruise companies also organize visits to the island during the summer.

Activities : Coastal Artillery Guild Special Trips / admire the archipelago nature and marvel at the technology. / see one of the last working 305mm/12 inch battleship guns in the world.

Go next : Suomenlinna  fortress / Seurasaari Open Air Museum / Korkeasaari Zoo Island.



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