In March 1944, the Germans began construction of a gun battery located at the highest point on Nötteröy Island in the Oslo fjord. The battery was to defend the entrance to Oslo. The guns to be used were three 380mm pieces captured from the French. These guns fired a 800-kilogram round a distance of 42 kilometers.

Organization Todt was responsible for the construction of this battery. The first step was to quickly build a camp to house about 900 Russian prisoners of war who were to provide the bulk of the labor. These men, along with 300 Germans and Norwegians performed the demolition, excavation, framing and pouring of the various installations required.

Construction went quickly, but by the German capitulation in May 1945 only one of the guns was operational. The post for the second gun had been constructed while the position for the third was not yet poured. In addition to the gun emplacements, there were also a fire control point as well as bunkers for close combat defense, air defense, and personnel housing.

After the war, the Norwegian Navy took the facility over, renaming it Kystfort Vardås. The original guns were returned to France, replaced with three guns from Battery Todt. This didn’t last long, however, as the Norwegians closed the battery down in the late 1950s. The fire control point is still in use by Norwegian defense forces.

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This site has been translated by

Tom Houlihan

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