By Pierre Kosmidis
Photos by Will Wangensteen Ponissi used by permission
A nice example of a beautifully restored WW2 bunker complex is the giant Vara Battery in southern Norway.
Mr. William Wangensteen Ponissi, recently visited the area and kindly submitted his photos and remarks to www.ww2wrecks.com
“We are looking at a quite impressive bunker complex dating to the WW2 period.
It was built by the Germans close to Kristiansand, following the capitulation of Norway and was used as a coastal artillery fortress effectively controlling the seaways between the southern coast of Norway and Denmark on the other side of the Skagerrak Straits.” Mr. Wangensteen Ponissi says to www.ww2wrecks.com, adding:
“This prestigious construction has withstood the test of time, as the local authorities have wisely decided to restore it to its former glory back in the 1990s, exactly as it was during WW2.
Their concept was simple, yet very wise: By restoring this bunker complex, they attracted more tourism in the area, thus giving the local companies and the local economy in general a vital money supply.
Thousands of tourists from all across Europe flood the Coastal Artillery Complex, taking a glimpse of a bygone era, when the World was at War”
“A similar Coastal Battery was located on the opposuite coast in Denmark, thus blocking the Skagerrak to any enemy shipping willing to get caught in the crossfire.”
The only thing is that this Coastal Artillery was actually never tested in battle and essentially never fired a shot, apart from some training rounds. They were obviously a massive deterrent to the Allied Navy” Mr. Wangensteen Ponissi says to www.ww2wrecks.com