21 June 2016 of the year. The day before the events, the 75-th anniversary of which we commemorated the whole world not so long ago. Place actions - Brest fortress. Our guide was a wonderful man, Andrei Vorobei from the military-historical club "Rubezh". Not quite ordinary historians, they are called fortifiers in Brest. Lovers utterly in everything that is built in Brest and around it. Accordingly, talking about the subject of their desire can hours. In general, in order to hear everything they knew, you probably had to spend all three days with Andrew, taking breaks only to charge the recorder.
And we were lucky, at the request of our friend Dmitry from the Brest Fortress club, Andrey gave us a tour of the fortress, the results of which will become the basis for more than one material.
We did not enter the fortress through the main entrance or the North Gate. It would be very simple. Our path lay across the “bridge to nowhere,” as it is called. The closest point to the Kobrin fortress fortifications.
Why precisely Kobrin? Terespol fortifications is not so easy to visit. We need coordination with the border guards a couple of weeks before the visit (which we just did not know, to be honest). The border is still ...
However, the Eastern, or Kobryn, fortification remained in virtually the same state as 75 years ago. And we passed the entire eastern part of the fortress, before proceeding to the inspection of the citadel.
This is all that remains of the East Gate. A huge funnel, which became a pond. A pond was formed at the site of the gate in the 1944 year, after an unsuccessful attempt at demining. Then the 16 sappers died, and the explosion was of such strength that in half the city the windows were flying.
The road from the Citadel to the North Gate. Here, on both sides, were the houses of the commanders and their families. From the barracks of the garrison - about a kilometer. By the standards of peacetime - not far. And in the conditions of fire ...
Strengthening of the Eastern redoubt. Although it is not part of the Brest Fortress memorial today, it also maintains order.
Our guide near the remains of the German trench.
The very presence of this trench in front of the fortifications occupied by the Soviet fighters once again suggests that there was no easy walk, no matter what.
Alley of Memory. Laid back in the already distant year 1955.
North Gate. The only way to retreat in those days.
If you look closely, you can see that the arch of the gate is “corrected”. It is said that the Germans did this in order to drag trophy equipment on platforms before showing the fortress to Hitler and Mussolini.
Outside the gate look no less impressive.
This is the rear of the fortress, actually an exit to the city. But fortifications, moats and ramparts are present.
The firing point at the top of the gate. There are two, on both sides. Directed deep into the fortress. Apparently, in case of a breakthrough.
Today this place to the left of the North Gate is called “Kazemat Gavrilova”. On behalf of the last defender of the Brest Fortress, Major Peter Gavrilov, who accepted his last battle and was captured on July 23 of 1941.
Today, access here is open to all comers.
Ventilation well for removal of powder gases.
Traces of soot on the ceiling around the ventilation well. The Germans practiced this method: drop homemade bombs from barrels of gasoline into the casemates.
The embrasure for the shooter.
And here once there was a gate ... The hinges remained, and, by the way, they were still strong. Were able to build ancestors for centuries ...
Many plans will be in our video tour, I will say only that, despite the fact that the casemates, caponiers and ramparts are thoroughly overgrown, this is where you get into the understanding of what happened. Not in the rather pompous Citadel, precisely here. Among the silence of silent fortifications ...
Then we headed to the citadel.
This is the well-known main entrance. Star.
The premises of the former artillery, in the 20 century - a bakery, today a cafe.
"Bayonet". Sculpture height 108 meters. There's also the eternal flame.
"Thirst". The water tower was destroyed in the first hours of the war, and the water was not just a value. All the approaches to Mukhavts on the first day of the war were swept by the Germans.
Garrison temple, and 75 years ago - the Red Army club. It was precisely the Germans who were striving to capture it, because from the top of the temple the entire courtyard of the citadel was in full view.
In general, all these places have already been filmed so many times on photos and videos that we left the usual route. And now - the reverse side of the building, which houses one of the museums.
It was not for nothing that I said that ancestors built conscientiously. Not a single brick fell out of the wall just like that. Destroyed those who took over the German bullets.
Novodely ... Perhaps this is very much for an amateur.
This we saw already at the exit. Here, without comment, everything is clear and so, and from where.
If in general, a visit to the fortress left a kind of double impression. Probably, the reason for this was the rehearsals of the solemn part, which plunged us into the already distant Soviet past. Scenarios haven't changed much, to be honest. The bottom line is that it’s best to be in silence. Alone with what he saw. So, as it was on the Kobrin fortifications.
Brest Fortress is a place that can not be given an hour or two. Here you need to spend a whole day, go through all the kilometers of roads and directions. See, hear, understand and accept. Having plunged into this atmosphere of the memory of the past, one can try to understand what moved those who today lie under the plates in the citadel, and who are still there, in their last positions throughout the fortress.
At least you can try to do it. But - necessarily.