At Rugsundøy, by the inlet to the fjord Nordfjord in Bremanger municipality in Norway, lies this coastal fortress, built by the German wehrmacht during the second world war. The German invaders arrived at this small desolate island already during the fall of 1940 and started the construction of what was to become MAB 9./504 Nordfjorden. This fortress was organized under the Kriegsmarine M.A.A. 504 division, located in Bergen.
The fortress was operational from may of 1941, and was originally equipped with 2x13cm L/55(r) cannons. These cannons which originally came from the Russian battleship Imperator Aleksandr, was also referred to as the Nina-cannons in German documents, due to the fact that they were discovered on the Finish freight ship Nina in the harbour of Bergen. After an air raid, 4 days after the invasion of Norway on the 14 April 1940, damaged the ship, the Germans boarded the ship to inspect the damages and subsequently discovered the 18x13cm and 4×30.5cm cannons on board. These cannons was originally destined for Finland as part of a weapons gift from France to Finland in Finland’s war against Russia. 2 of these 13cm cannons was deployed at Rugsundøy and each of the fortresses at Kiby, Tana, Porsanger, Hammerfest and Alta received 3 cannons each. The last of these 13cm cannons as well as the 4×30.5cm cannons were shipped back to Germany. The 30.5cm cannons ended up at Batterie Mirus on Guernsey, while the last 13cm cannon was sent for ballistic testing Krupps works and later returned to Rugsundøy to become the third cannon at the fortress.
During Christmas of 1941 the fortress came under attack by the British navy as a part of Operation Archery. During this attack, one of the 2 cannons at the fortress was destroyed. The last remaining cannon was later shipped to Alta, and was instead replaced with two far more modern Russian ship cannons, 13cm L/50(r) and the last remaining Nina-cannon which had up until now been in German for ballistic testing.
For the reminder of the war, the fortress did not again come under attack and the the last German soldier left Rugsundøy on 15th of May 1945, a week after the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich.
The fortress which during the war, was manned by total force of 159 soldiers, 2 senior officers, 29 subordinate officers and 128 privates had a multitude of barracks, some even with electricity and central heating, bunkers, positions for close quarters defence and more, stretches over a large landmass, was initially incorporated into the Norwegian coastal artillery. Due to the huge number of fortresses the Germans had built during the 5 year occupation of Norway, it was inconceivable that the Norwegian coastal artillery would ever get the man power needed to man all of these fortresses and it was early on clear that most of the would have to be disbanded. The fortress at Rugsundøy was one of the fortresses that was deemed to be superfluous and some time during 1950 it was finally abandoned.
Today, although it’s easy to spot the remains of the fortress, not many structures remain standing.