Vladivostok Fortress - Historical Bulwark

Anyone who has ever visited Vladivostok, will have noticed the concrete structures on top of the hill. You will also be able to see the defence lines on the hills of the Sedanka River if you come into the city by car. All these structures together are given the name Fortress of Vladivostok. All these concrete structures at one stage made the city one of the strongest coastal fortresses in the world.

The name “Vladivostok” means “to rule the East”. The Vladivostok station instituted the reign of Russia over the maritime territory and its aim is to protect all the possessions owned by Russia in the Far East. This was fortunately put into place the same year a foreign cruiser intruded into the harbor.

Since the very beginnings of Vladivostok it has been fortified. At first the defences were built from wood and soil, but they were not long lasting. You can still see what remains of them on the top of the hills. Later they changed them to concrete buildings. In 1878 the first batteries were built to protect the city from the capes of Burnii, Egersheld and Goldobin. Chief of Engineers of East-Siberian Military District, Colonel P.F Unterberger, was only assigned to design the first structures used for defence in 1879 and in 1889 the city of Vladivostok was officially declared a fortress. Military Engineer Colonel V.P. Shirokov was the man who actually constructed the designs. At that time the city was already being protected by coastal batteries on the Amur Gulf, Cape of Goldobin, the Nazimov Peninsula of which they carried weapons to protect Vladivostok from anyone trying to move towards the main Siberian Flotilla’s base.

Between 1904 and 1905, the Vladivostok Fortress was able to prevent the Japanese army from taking occupation of the city. From 1910 to 1916 Major-General A.P. Shoshin approved the fortress by Engineer-General A.P. Vernander. He built the Forts 1-7 and strongholds A, E, Zh and Z along the southern section of the Sedanka valley, extending from Ussuriisky to Amursky Gulfs. Forts 9-12 were built on the southern and eastern coasts of the Russian Islands. The new forts have many underground paths and concrete bunkers.


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