Infantry tower for ordnance weapon and machine guns, Sasek Wielki
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Infantry tower for ordnance weapon and machine guns

Sasek Wielki

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An infantry tower for ordnance and machine guns constitutes an example of fortification construction characteristic of the early 20th century. It is the only such structure present within the Szczytno Forest Military Base, where facilities presenting solutions of modern fortification from the nearly whole first half of the 20th century (1900-1944), showing their diversity and evolution. The tower is one of the oldest examples of fortification construction in the voivodeship of Warmińsko-Mazurskie. Its value stems also from the authentic historical fabric, preserved to a significant degree.

History

The infantry tower for ordnance and machine guns in Sasek Wielki constitutes part of fortifications forming the Szczytno Forest Military Base, which was located (indicating from the west), in the following communes: Jedwabno Szczytno, Świętajno, and Ruciane-Nida, when it joins the Military Base of Masurian Lakes, constituting its extension to the south.The tower in Sasek Wielki was erected in 1900, during the first stage of creation of the military base which was couple of times extended thereafter, last time in 1944.Along with the tower, earth and concrete infantry facilities (resistance points) were created then, and a system of weirs enabling to flood the surrounding area, to hinder the advancement of enemy forces. During the World War I, in 1914, fortifications of the Forest Military Base were captured by the Russian army; after the battle of Tannenberg, whose result was unfavourable to the Russians, the fortifications went back to the German hands. The Forest Military Base extended then to Sasek Wielki. The enlarged base was partially used in 1939 in confrontation with the Polish troops of the Independent Operational Group Narew that made rallies up to the border with Eastern Prussia. The extension of the base, undertaken in 1944 was not finished. In January 1945, the German army retreated to the west virtually without fighting and abandoned the fortifications. After the end of the World War II, in years 1946–1950, fortifications of the Szczytno Forest Military Base were used by forces of the Home Army and the Freedom and Independence Organisation. In the period of 1950–1955, major part of the fortifications was dismantled or blown up by the army during disposal of unexploded ordnance The tower in Sasek Wielki survived, was demilitarised, and sold along with the plot to a private person who got the tower renovated, adapting it for recreational purposes. In 2003, the tower along with its closest surroundings was entered to the register of monuments.

Description

The tower is located approx. 300 m to the north from the centre of the village Sasek Wielki, on the eastern bank of the lake Szoby Małe, in the vicinity of a bridge on the river Sawica and its mouth to the lake. The area in the direct vicinity of the tower is planted with trees and fenced. The tower constitutes an element of a base comprising also other fortification facilities and earthen fortifications.

The tower is a two-storey structure on a square plan, with bevelled corners. Its wall are of concrete with stone, plastered, and 1.5 m thick; ceilings are made of reinforced concrete and up to 20 cm thick. Over the uppermost storey, there is a platform up to 50 cm thick. The façades on both storeys, feature embrasures shaped outside in an anti-ricochet profile, part of them were permanently filled after the period of usage. The entrance is located in the northern wall. Originally, traffic inside was possible thanks to hung, steel ladders. The technical condition of the structure is good — after renovation, as part of which the building was extended upwards by an additional, wooden storey.

Limited access to the historic building. The Tower is located on a private, fenced estate. The interior may be visited upon arrangement with the owner.

Compiled by Adam Płoski, Area Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Olsztyn, 23.10.2014.



Bibliography

  • A. Płoski, A. Wojciechowska-Grygo, Inwentaryzacja zespołów umocnień wojskowych (pochodzących z okresu 1900-1944), wchodzących w skład Szczycieńskiej Pozycji Leśnej i Pozycji Jezior Mazurskich, z terenu województwa warmińsko-mazurskiego, Olsztyn 2008, maszynopis, archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa Oddział Terenowy w Olsztynie
  • A. Płoski, Niemieckie fortyfikacje Szczycieńskiej Pozycji Leśnej na terenie województwa warmińsko - mazurskiego, [w:] Rocznik Mazurski, Tom XI, Szczytno 2007, s. 104 - 126

General information

  • Type: defensive architecture
  • Chronology: 1900
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sasek Wielki
  • Location: Voivodeship warmińsko-mazurskie, district szczycieński, commune Szczytno
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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