Defenders of the Realm

What a glorious day it was to be out on Urban Exploration (URBEX) this Friday.  Sure, my dogs are tired after ten-plus hours of running around in my LPCs (Leather Personnel Carriers) amongst the ruins of this once super-secret Soviet Nuclear Missile base, deep in the bowels of former East Germany.  One of the many interesting things about this particular area, is that none of the East Germans who lived around the base had any idea of what lay hidden here, nor of the lethal mission this base was given, to strike nuclear terror deep into the heart of Western civilization.  I can imagine, especially with all the “heroic” painted murals on the walls of some of the buildings, that the Russian soldiers posted here saw themselves as defenders of the realm, as it were.  Today’s photo is of a pill box, a last line of defense between the outside world (far off to the left beyond the icy swamp) and the bunker where the nukes were stored (just beyond a concrete wall a short distance to the right of this shot).  I’ll show you more in the coming days, and tell you more about this interesting site.  For now, enjoy Defenders of the Realm, and listen to the song ‘Defenders of the Realm’, by Nox Arcana (click the link to go to the song) to get you in the same mood I was in when I came across this cold war relic.

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Very cool, cannot wait to see more, nice work Jacques

Eerie, frightening and cool! Can’t wait for more, Jacques.

Good start to this urbex adventure! Well done my friend!

Lots of thanks to you all, Mike, Barbara and Jim! I’m actually working on another that I’ll post later today (once Saturday afternoon rolls around in the USA). Think you all might find it interesting, as it’s one of the “heroic” murals I mentioned in this post.

Great image! The historical aspect only makes it better. Gives me chills!

This is absolutely superb Jacques, your attention to detail and setting of the mood is inspiring. Well done my friend!

Tom: Thanks a lot for that. Really appreciate it. I thought adding some background here would be nice. It’s very interesting to note that the Russians had actually dug huge trenches to bring water into this area, specifically to flood the plain to make it more defensible (no tanks could get through this area, and mass assaults would be near impossible. Very similar to what the Germans did in WWII inland of Normandy.

Dave: Thanks, brother. Very glad this one worked out like this, what with the sun peaking through the mist and what not. The ice there was awesome. Sadly, what you can’t see (that really added to the mood there), was the ice and frost hanging on the barbed wire behind the pill box, though you can see the two posts through which that wire was stranded.

A chilling shot. Such cool subject matter. Love how much of the foreground you included.

Hey there, Jessee. Thanks for the comments. To me, the foreground was really key to setting the setting, especially the frozen swamp leading into the photo from the lower left corner of the frame, and ending around the back side of the pill box in front of the guard tower.

Fantastic shot, Jacques! The storytelling that goes along with this image is awesome…I know that this is just the beginning of a pretty epic series from this location. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us 🙂

Superb shot!!

This is awesome, Jacques! It tells so many stories and none of them are nice. Okay the nicest story is that we didnt see the purpose of this place fulfilled. I am in awe of this and look forward to what will follow!!

Ice and straw, old concrete, and a pale white sun, what more can you ask for! Thanks for this mate!

Only recently did I discover that I spent my childhood (small town in the former american section of West Germany) only 700m away from a nuclear missile base.
The large area in the woods (with nasty Third Reich history) has many (as in “many, many”) bunkers and factory ruins and is still fenced off today – although hardly any security on patrol. A joy for someone who discovered “Urbex” just a short while ago 😉
Then again, living in Berlin now, we have it all right on our doorstep.
As much as I hate the attached german history (and I am german), I love to explore those sites photographically – or look at the pictures of others.
Keep on exploring, Jacques (we might meet at some point at one of those places).

Great image and the music matches it well – wouldn’t like to come across those pesky Russian dudes if this was what they were playing!

You’ve captured the mood really well- – dark bleak and slightly scary. A relic of what one was.