GHW VII½ Tarnawce inter-field artillery fort, Ostrów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

GHW VII½ Tarnawce inter-field artillery fort

Ostrów

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Partially preserved and well-cared-for fort presents high research values as an untypical example of a fort with main positions serving the purpose of flanking defence of inter-fields. The fort presents high landscape values as well. As a crucial part of the system of fortifications which formed the Fortress of Przemyśl, it remains a valuable historical monument of European importance.

History

In the years 1854-1855, as part of construction of the first stronghold around Przemyśl, an artillery sconce no. 2 of the FS type (Feuer-Schanze) was built between Kuńkowce and Ostrów. As part of reinforcing the Fortress of Przemyśl in 1887, the old FS sconce was transformed into a semi-permanent artillery battery no. 4. In 1890 the General Engineering Inspector, General Daniel Salis Soglio, presented a fortress expansion design, which provided for construction of a new fort with four armoured towers for cannons and mortar in place of the battery. Due to the need to reduce costs, the decision-makers ultimately gave up the construction of the armoured fort and in the years 1900-1902 the battery was transformed into an inter-field artillery fort VII½ “Tarnawce”. It is marked as Gürtel-Hauptwerk VII½ Tarnawce on the Festung-Umgebungs-Plan von Przemyśl (fortress map). Despite being labelled as the “main ring fort”, the new fort was dedicated to close defence. It was armed with four casemate cannons Minimalschartenlafette M.94 on trailers, for small embrasures in left-flank and right-flank casemates, as well as six 8 mm machine guns of the M.7 type (four in the moat’s caponier and two on the infantry rampart). The aim of the fort, together with fort VIII “Łętownia”, was to control the Tarnawce hills on the right bank of the San river and the river valley as well as to flank inter-fields and the area in front of forts VII and VIII with cannon fire. The fort was manned by 1/2 of the infantry company and 32 gunners. During both sieges of the fort (18 September - 9 October 1914 and 9 November 1914 - 22 March 1915) the fort did not participate directly in the hostilities. Before the surrendering of the fortress on 22 March 1914 caponiers and casemates had been blown up. During the third siege (30 May - 4 June 1915), the fort was overrun by German and Austro-Hungarian forces. Gorge barracks were demolished in the inter-war period to gain building materials. The round bastion and gorge rampart were levelled out as well. In 1992 the fort was adapted to serve as back facilities of the hotel built on the eastern side of the fort. Today, the fort remains in private hands. The owner, Ryszard Hanus, ordered the fort’s area and makes it available to visitors. He arranged a sports embrasure in the moat.

Description

GHW VII½ “Tarnawce” fort is an inter-field artillery field for close defence, erected as part of the centred fortifications system. It is located in the northern part of Ostrów, west of Przemyśl and south of Kuńkowce. Erected on top of the 252.20 hill, on the right bank of the San river, between VIII “Łętownia” and VII “Prałkowce” artillery forts.

The area of the fort measured within the boundaries of its allocated plot of land is approximately 3.6 hectares.

The fort was erected on a bastion plan, surrounded by a dry moat; a deep moat extends visibly ahead of the fort’s flanks before the fort heads, was initially shot through from the axial caponier and also functioned as a fire plain facing the forefields of neighbouring forts and the inter-field. In front of the right head, the moat was adapted to serve as a sports embrasure in our times. Shallower flank moats were defended from ramparts of flanks. The gorge moat is the shallowest. The fort features earthen ramparts. The head rampart features an uplift along the axis over the main bunker and two traverses without emergency bunkers. The fort’s gorge features remnants of an earthen roundel on a flattened semi-circular plan, flanking the gate and the gorge moat. The centre of the fort includes ruins of gorge barracks with a masonry exposed wall. The southern wing of the barracks features ruins of a masonry casemate for two cannons. Remnants of a base and a trailer revolving rail of one of the cannons have survived, same as a fragment of embrasure surrounds. A contemporary building that houses a toilet abuts on the left wall of the barracks. A preserved main bunker has survived along the fort’s axis; it includes an entrance from the gorge barracks’s side and two side flanks terminating in sally ports to battle stations of infantry. The shelter has brick walls and concrete vaults. The shelter is protected by an earthen rampart. The best-preserved, axial part of the shelter houses a café - a small lecture room. There is an entrance leading from the shelter along the fort’s axis to the preserved narrow postern, linking the shelter with the axial caponier. Ruins of the caponier with two-sided counterscarp flanks have survived. The fort is surrounded by tree planting, mainly of robinia pseudoacacia - remainder of the front, lateral and rear mask.

The fort is available for visitors between 1 May and 30 October, during hours specified in visiting regulations available on the fort’s website.

compiled by Adam Sapeta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 02-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bobusia B., Gosztyła M., Zub M. Plany Twierdzy Przemyśl, Przemyśl 2004
  • Bogdanowski J. Sztuka obronna, Kraków 1993.
  • Bogdanowski J. Twierdza Przemyśl, w: Teka konserwatorska Polska południowo-wschodnia, t. 4, Rzeszów 1991.
  • Bogdanowski J. Architektura obronna w krajobrazie Polski od Biskupina do Westerplatte, Warszawa - Kraków 1996.
  • Brzoskwinia W., Idzikowski T., Środulska-Wielgus J., Wielgus K. Wartości zabytkowej Twierdzy Przemyśl, w: Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, wyd. II, Rzeszów 1999.
  • Idzikowski T., Architectura et Ars Militaris 5. Twierdza Przemyśl. Fort XV „Borek”, Przemyśl 2004.
  • Idzikowski T., Twierdza Przemyśl. Powstanie. Rozwój. Technologie, Przemyśl 2004.
  • Sapeta A. Dzisiejsze zagrożenia Twierdzy Przemyśl - raport, w: Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, wyd. II, Rzeszów 1999.
  • Sapeta A. Zestawienie obiektów Twierdzy Przemyśl, w: Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, wyd. II, Rzeszów 1999.
  • Strona internetowa: Fort VII½ Ostrów http://www.fortostrow.cba.pl dostęp 2.10.2014 r.

General information

  • Type: defensive architecture
  • Chronology: 1900-1902
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Ostrów
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district przemyski, commune Przemyśl
  • Copyright owner: National Heritage Board of Poland

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