Positional battery B Kruhel complex, Przemyśl
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Positional battery B Kruhel complex

Przemyśl

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A well-preserved complex of defensive works of the positional battery B “Kruhel” (Positions-Batt.B) has a significant scientific value as an example of a centralised fortifications system and as a representation of a stage in the development of the Przemyśl ring fort. The battery presents high landscape values as well. As a 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 1886-1887, as part of the construction of permanent fortifications of the Fortress of Przemyśl, several artillery batteries were built between the main ring and the “Noyon” core. Batteries formed a semi-ring consolidating the fortress defence against attacks from the south, east and west. The positional battery B, consisting of 3 main defensive batteries, was incorporated into the defensive perimeter VII. In 1901 it was armed with four 8 cm cannons of the M.75 type; in 1909 they were replaced with four 9 cm field cannons of the M.75/96 type. Additionally, two reserve stations for this type of cannons were arranged. The battery was manned by 1/2 of the infantry company and 32 gunners. The task of the battery was to defend the Kruhel hill and to block the approach to the fortress core in the area of NHW XVI Zniesienie fort. After renumbering, the batteries forming the complex were labelled 3A and 3B Kruhel, while the infantry sconce was left unlabelled. In a study by J. Bogdanowski, titled “Fortress of Przemyśl”, and in a decision on inscribing the battery to the register of monuments, particular elements of the complex were labelled: 3A Kruhel fort, 3B Kruhel sconce and 3C Kruhel fort.

Description

The positional battery B “Kruhel” is a work that consists of 2 batteries in the form of small artillery forts, an infantry sconce and a position of infantry in the form of an earthen rampart with a dry moat, linking the former elements. Particular elements of the battery are connected by an access fortress road on the battery’s backfield. The battery is located on the Kruhel plateau (360,2 m ASL). Currently, it is located within the area of the city of Przemyśl, at Pasteur Street (main, access fortress road).

The area of the battery along with the fortress road, measured within the boundaries of its allocated plot of land, is approximately 4.4 hectares. All component parts of the complex are overgrown with plants, mainly with robinia pseudoacacia, coming from the initial head mask of the work.

Battery 3A (fort 3A) Kruhel is located on the western edge of the complex. It is a battery of a half-permanent artillery fort type, set on an irregular polygonal plan, with a widening in the gorge part that flanks the entrance gate located in the gorge rampart. The battery is surrounded by a dry moat and an earthen rampart including fore posts of cannons and infantry, separated by transverses housing emergency bunkers (intermediate munitions storage, shelter for soldiers; powder store and food warehouse in flank transverses). The gorge rampart includes infantry posts without transverses. In the middle, there is an earthen structure uncovering the main bunker containing three rooms (a former officer’s room, a kitchen and a dressing room). All bunkers have walls made of stone blocks and vaults made of corrugated sheet, covered with a layer of earth.

Battery 3B (fort 3C) Kruhel is located on the eastern edge of the complex. Its arrangement, structure and function of bunkers is analogous with battery 3A. The difference is a position of an entrance gate - in the rampart of a widening that flanks the gorge rampart, which in such situation flanks the gate. Infantry positions in the widening of the gorge part are sheltered by transverses of the back facilities. Bunkers in transverses are partially ruined.

The infantry sconce without a label (sconce 3B Kruhel) is located between the batteries. It was erected on a bastion floor plan. The rampart with flank transverses (of the back facilities) does not include bunkers. Fire posts of the infantry were located on the rampart. These posts located in flanks flanked curtain walls and both batteries. A gorge terminates in an earthen rampart sheltering a non-preserved bunker. A dry moat runs towards the battery in front of the heads. Sections of an earthen rampart abut on both flanks and serve as curtain walls.

A fortress rampart with a moat - an infantry position linking both batteries and an infantry sconce. This position, along with the field sconce, was there to provide short-distance defence of the complex. The earthen rampart formed two curtain walls on the eastern and western sides of the sconce. Both curtains have a tenaille-type recess, owing to which it was possible to flank both flanks of the field sconce and neighbouring flanks of both batteries with gunfire. The dry moat, with a tenaille-type recess along the sconce’s axis, could have been shot through from the battery’s flanks.

The fortress, access road links all defensive works of the complex with the main fortress access road, linking the centre of the fortress with a main strategic road of the external fort ring in the backfield of the GZW VIb “Lipnik” fort. The road was built applying the Macadam method and was cobbled with stones. Cobblestones, partially obscured, have survived to our times.

The battery can be visited all year round. It is located at the red tourist trial from Przemyśl to Sanok.

compiled by Adam Sapeta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 26-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bogdanowski J. Sztuka obronna, Kraków 1993.
  • Bogdanowski J. Twierdza Przemyśl, w: Teka konserwatorska Polska południowo-wschodnia, t. 4, Rzeszów 1991.
  • Brzoskwinia W., Idzikowski T., Środulska-Wielgus J., Wielgus K. Wartości zabytkowej Twierdzy Przemyśl, w: Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, wyd. II, Rzeszów 1999.
  • Idzikowski T., Twierdza Przemyśl. Powstanie. Rozwój. Technologie, Przemyśl 2004.
  • Sapeta A. Zestawienie obiektów Twierdzy Przemyśl, w: Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, wyd. II, Rzeszów 1999.
  • Strona internetowa: Twierdza Przemyśl. Uzbrojenie Twierdzy http://twierdza1914.republika.pl/his/historia.html dostęp 25.09.2014

General information

  • Type: defensive architecture
  • Chronology: 1886-1887
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Przemyśl
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district Przemyśl, commune Przemyśl
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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