Main artillery fort GHW X Orzechowce, Ujkowice
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Main artillery fort GHW X Orzechowce

Ujkowice

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The GHW X fort preserved as a ruin is of high scientific value as one of the two artillery forts enclosed by two ramparts, erected during the third stage of construction of the fortress and preserved in the Fortress of Przemyśl. It was involved in combat during the first and third siege in 1914 and 1915. It is also a valuable addition to the local landscape. 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 1854-1855 fortifications of the first fortified settlement were erected around Przemyśl. East of the village of Ujkowice, in the northern part of the ring, construction of an artillery sconce no. 8 of the FS (Feuer-Schanze) type began. The construction was not completed. In 1878, the sconce number was changed to 7 and the sconce was converted into a makeshift artillery battery. In 1886-1887, the battery was liquidated, and its site was used for the building of the two-rampart main artillery fort GHW X “Orzechowce”. It is marked as Lagerfort X (Orzechowce) on the Festung-Umgebungs-Plan (fortress map). In 1896, a trial missile attack on the fort was carried out in order to assess the resistance of individual components of the fort. Experience showed that the fort is outdated. In 1897-1900, the fort underwent modernisation. The structure of casemates was reinforced, two armoured artillery batteries were built on the flanks of the infantry rampart, and two armoured casemates were built on the wings of the upper rampart. The defensive gorge wall was demolished along with a demi-bastion and gate, and three caponiers in the moat. In place of the demolished structures, the walls of the barracks were extended by the addition of two gorge caponiers, and the moat was equipped with two double armoured counterscarp caponiers (cofferdams). In 1909 the fort was armed with four 15 cm cannons of the M.61 type on tall trailers on the upper rampart, eight 6 cm casemate cannons of the M.99 type (4 in casemates and 4 in caponiers), four 8 cm cannons of the M.94 type in the armoured artillery battery towers on the wings of the lower rampart, four 8 cm casemate cannons of the M.98 type on trailers for small embrasures in caponiers, two reserve stations for 9 cm field guns of the M.75/96 type as well as four 8 mm machine guns of the M.93 type in caponiers. In 1901 the fort together with the coupled artillery battery was manned by 1 infantry company, 1 fort artillery company and 8 pioneers (sappers). The purpose of the fort was to defend the section from the road to Pruchnik to the Rada stream, the hills in the region of Batycze and to the east and south of Trójczyce as well as to flank the coupled artillery battery and inter-fields in the direction of forts XIa and Xb. During the first siege of the fortress (18 September - 9 October 1914), fort X supported the defence of neighbouring fort XIa “Cegielnia” attacked by Russian infantry and artillery. Before surrendering of the fortress during the second siege (9 November 1914 - 22 March 1915) the fort had been blown up. During the third siege (29 May - 4 June 1915), after being shelled with 42 cm cannons and damaged by heavy artillery, the fort was taken over by the German 11th Bavarian Infantry Division. In 1920-1930, the gorge barracks and Carnot walls were demolished. Currently, the Association of Fortress Communes of the Fortress of Przemyśl is conducting renovation works at the fort.

Description

The GHW (Gürtelhauptwerk) X “Orzechowce” is a two-rampart, armoured, artillery fort, erected as part of the group fort system. The fort is located south-east of the village of Ujkowice, about 500 m south-west of the road from Przemyśl to Pruchnik.

The fort with the fortress road section, without the coupled artillery battery and connecting rampart, within the boundaries of the former fortress plots covers an area of about 6.9 ha.

The fort was erected on a pentagonal floor plan with a gorge section angled to form a tenaille. The structure is surrounded by a dry moat. There are remains of the gorge barracks with a postern leading to the central bunker. The partially preserved bunker casemates housed 2 residential rooms of soldiers, 2 emergency bunkers, a toilet and a portable munitions storage unit. Sally ports to both yards and a postern leading to the axial caponier liquidated during fort alterations extend from the bunker. There are a partially preserved rampart protecting the gorge barracks and the central bunker, the lower infantry rampart with the ruins of the armoured artillery batteries with the posts of 4 armoured artillery turrets and 2 viewing towers, and a damaged left-wing counterscarp caponier (cofferdam). The right flank adjoins an earthen rampart with a flattened slope, connecting the fort to the coupled artillery battery.

Viewing of the fort is possible without restrictions. When viewing the fort, caution is advised because of the danger of falling from the top of the upper rampart onto the area of the non-existent barracks. The fort forms a part of the black fortress trail as well as the cycling path which runs between the various forts that formed the Fortress of Przemyśl.

compiled by Adam Sapeta, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 30-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bobusia B., Gosztyła M., Zub M. Plany Twierdzy Przemyśl, Przemyśl 2004
  • Bogdanowski J. Sztuka obronna, Kraków 1993.
  • Bogdanowski J. Architektura obronna w krajobrazie Polski od Biskupina do Westerplatte, Warsaw - Cracow 1996.
  • Bogdanowski J. Twierdza Przemyśl, [in:] Teka konserwatorska Polska południowo-wschodnia, vol. 4, Rzeszów 1991.
  • Brzoskwinia W., Idzikowski T., Środulska-Wielgus J., Wielgus K. Wartości zabytkowej Twierdzy Przemyśl, [in:] Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, 2nd Edition, Rzeszów 1999.
  • Forstner F., Twierdza Przemyśl, translated by Bańbor J., Warsaw 2000.
  • Idzikowski T., Twierdza Przemyśl. Powstanie. Rozwój. Technologie, Przemyśl 2004.
  • Sapeta A. Zestawienie obiektów Twierdzy Przemyśl, [in:] Informator regionalny Twierdza Przemyśl, 2nd Edition, Rzeszów 1999.

General information

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

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