Bunker Archaeology: The WW2 German Battery of Salamis island, by Konstantinos Kirimis

WW2, WW2 in Greece, WW2 Wrecks

By Pierre Kosmidis

Information, research by Konstantinos Kirimis

Photos by Giannis Arseniadis, submitted to www.ww2wrecks.com by Konstantinos Kirimis and used by permission

Salamina island (known as “Salamis” in English, based on the name of the island in ancient Greek), is known all over the world, as  a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles, and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes took place in the straits of Salamis and Attica in 480 BC.

It resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks.

Salamina island
Salamina island

Fast forward to WW2 and the Germans are strengthening the defenses of their vital sea routes around Athens, the port of Piraeus and their naval bases.

A small window allows a good view of the gun battery from the bunker
A small window allows a good view of the gun battery from the bunker

Acclaimed researcher and author Konstantinos Kirimis shares with www.ww2wrecks.com his findings.

The view from the gun position to the bunker
The view from the gun position to the bunker

On the west coast of Salamis (specifically at Cape Kara, located south of Makronissos and east of Revythousa island) there is a German battery position.

A view of one of the battery positions.
A view of one of the battery positions.

Description of the battery

The battery was at a short distance from the shore (about 30 meters) and consisted of two guns (probably 155 or 105 millimeters). Each weapon was placed in a fortified position (the two positions were 15 meters apart). Each fortified position consisted of the base of the gun (6 meters in diameter) and one-or-two underground units (area 5x7m each), to support the weapon.

EI=Entrance EK=Emergency Exit BΠ=Gun position
EI=Entrance EK=Emergency Exit BΠ=Gun position. Konstantinos Kirimis is examining the emergency exit. 

Each basement had a main entrance, a portico, a central chamber and an escape room. There was a heavy iron door in both the main chamber and the escape room.

A general view of the battery, with the gun positions and bunker complexes.
A general view of the battery, with the two gun positions, Π1 and Π2 and the bunker complexes.

In the escape room, there were vertical metal wall stairs (type “P”) which led – through an iron roof hatch – safely, outside the basement.

φφ
The gun position

The central ward was obviously used for personnel protection and ammunition storage.

View from the inside of the bunker
View from the inside of the bunker

At its edge, there was a small iron window, which communicated externally with the base of the gun.

Entrance to the underground bunker.
Entrance to the underground bunker.

To support the artillery, and at a distance of 200 meters from it (at the height of a small hill) were placed two anti-aircraft weapons (20 or 37 mm), whose bases still exist. The two bases were 25 meters apart.

Another entrance to the bunker
Another entrance to the bunker

Current situation

The battery is maintained in a fairly good condition, due to the fact that it is located in a remote and relatively inaccessible area. Structurally they have not suffered any particular damage.

The guns were cut post war and are now used as bollards.
The guns were cut post war and are now used as bollards.

Guns are no longer in their bases. They have been cut and anchored vertically on the beach, now used as bollards for small boats. In conclusion, this is a very interesting and well-preserved location, which will excite those who go to the trouble to look for it.

Konstantinos Kirimis enters the underground bunker
Konstantinos Kirimis enters the underground bunker

Konstantinos Kirimis wishes to thank Thomas Kinalis, for the location and Giannis Arseniadis, for the photos