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Fort No. 5 "King Friedrich Wilhelm III"

Address:  Bulatova Street, Kaliningrad

Tel.: +7 (4012) 45-38-44

Website: www.westrussia.org/index.php/english

E-mail: koihm@mail.ru

Fort No. 5 represented an elongated hexagon 215 meters long and 105 meters wide with floors of bricks, sand, concrete and ground. It was surrounded by a moat 20 meters wide and 5 meters deep. The entrance was covered by a mighty pillbox. On the flanks it had two adjoined casemates designed to shelter personnel and store ammunition. The garrison located in the fort included about 300 officers and soldiers with 8 heavy guns, 25 mortars and 50 machine guns. The single-storey central building included barracks, hospital, kitchen, ammunition depots and food warehouses. All underground casemates had vaulted covers made of repeatedly baked bricks, which made the fort one the most unassailable fortifications in the region.

During the Second World War, on the eve of the assault of Königsberg (April 2-5 1945), a Soviet battery of 280-millimeter guns shelled the fort. Later, a special commission revealed only two shell-holes after 73 hits, and those in places of multiple hits.

Located on the main attack axis of the Soviet 43rd Army, the fort offered fierce resistance and defended longer than any other fort in Königsberg. April 6, the storm troopers of the 801th and the 806th infantry regiments managed to block the fort suffering heavy losses. The whole day the battalion of the 732th Infantry Regiment was fighting for possession of the fort, but did not achieve any significant progress. April 7, it was replaced by the battalion of the 550th Regiment, which was also not able to take the fortress.

Only when on April 8 a 280-millimeter gun was sent to the rear of the fort and opened fire, the Soviets soldiers got the possibility to advance. Although the shells could not break through the thickness of concrete, they were able to split it and then, after a fierce battle, the garrison of the fort surrendered. 15 Red Army soldiers were awarded with the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and their names are immortalized on the memorial stone standing there now. After the war, Soviet engineers used the cracked dot of the fort to destroy found ammunition and its current state is a result of the explosions.

June 29, 2010 an updated freestanding exposition "Fort No. 5" was opened to visitors. Now everyone is able to walk under the vaults of one of the most interesting fortifications in the region and explore its rooms, patios, shelters and artillery positions. There is also an exhibition of rare military photographs called "The Assault of Königsberg". The "Fort No. 5" museum complex is a branch of the Kaliningrad Regional History and Art Museum.

You can make a 3D virtual tour through the military and historical complex in the Internet: www.fort5.westrussia.org. You can look into various parts of the museum and discover the exhibitions like "The monuments of Defensive Architecture", "The Germans against Hitler", "The Assault of Königsberg" and "East Prussia. Spring '45" as well as "come out" to the patio and enjoy the view opening from the top floor of the defensive structure.

Opening hours: October-April: daily 10.00-18.00, May-September: daily 10.00-20.00