Spuren aus dem ersten Weltkrieg in Sønderjylland - Sicherungsstellung Nord und der Luftschiffhafen Tondern


  • Tenna Reinholdt Kristensen


The Imperial German Army built the
Defence Line in the years 1916 – 1918 during
World War I to prevent an invasion by either
landed English troops, or an attack by
Denmark. 900 concrete and timber rooms,
and artillery platforms were built across
southern Jutland from the Lillebælt in the
east to Skærbæk near the west coast. This
very strong and heavy defence line blocked
the Northern German flank. The construction
works took place from September 1916
until the end of the war, with a varying level
of activity. The first line of the trenches,
the infantry positions, and the artillery
positions were already finished at the end
of 1917. After a short documentation of the
Defence Line North, the Danish Army demolished
most of it during 1921 – 1922. Most
people forgot the Defence Line and soon it
was covered by natural vegetation. However,
the neighbours who had seen the bunkers
being constructed and those people,
who had played around them as children,
still remembered the constructions. In the
mid 1970s, a Danish engineer, Mogens Scott
Hansen, got interested in the Defence Line.
Most of our knowledge of the Defence Line
today is due to his work. Today, we know
of seventy constructions which are visible
or partly visible, thirty of which have public
access. Additionally, we have sixty-four
demolished constructions and thirty constructions
lying under ground.
Apart from the Northern German Defence
Line, there are other remains from
World War I in the southern part of Jutland.
For example, The German Imperial
Army operated Zeppelin airships from
a base near Tønder. Remains of this airbase
still exist including the foundations
of three large sheds, barracks for about
600 soldiers, and a well-preserved hangar
for four to five air defence fighters.





Kristensen, T. R. (2020). Spuren aus dem ersten Weltkrieg in Sønderjylland - Sicherungsstellung Nord und der Luftschiffhafen Tondern. Arkæologi I Slesvig-Archäologie in Schleswig, (17), 153–166. Hentet fra https://tidsskrift.dk/arkaeologi_i_Slesvig/article/view/118538