In the far east of Russia, there are a lot of abandoned things that are fascinating to look at. Because of its location so close to Japan and the Pacific Ocean, as well as its borders with China and North Korea, this region is extremely important from a strategic standpoint.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that during the period of the USSR, there was a sizable military presence and many military facilities (as is the case now as well). However, some of those Soviet constructions are currently in disrepair, such as coastal battery number 26.
The location of Artillery No. 26 can be found in the Russian Primorskiy region, particularly on the southern portion of the island of Askold. It was built in the Shkotovsky fortified region to protect the approaches leading to the Ussuri Bay entrance, the Strelok Bay entrance, and the Vostok Bay entrance. The battery is armed with four 180-mm cannons in two turret tower sections designated as MB-2-180.
In 1936, the precise location of the battery was established, and construction started the following year. At the end of October 1938, the battery was put into operation even though it had not yet been finished. The finishing touches were put on the building all through the year 1939. The finishing details and the addition of a power station were finished.
The battery itself was an extremely amazing feat. It comprises two tower blocks made of reinforced concrete, a power station, a command center, underground posterns, land defense structures, and a town full of barracks.
Each tower block had an artillery unit MB-2-180 that featured a two-gun turret. The vertical armor of the blocks has a height of 203 mm, while the depth of the roofs is 152 mm. A distance of 169 meters separates each tower block from the other.
The MB-2-180 tower unit is composed of four separate compartments that are built on top of each other. The upper compartment served as the fighting space for the ship and was where the turrets were located. The working compartment was the next stop down, and it revolved along with the tower.
This was further divided into 18 sections, each housing shelves for keeping projectiles and gun targeting mechanisms.
The next level held a reloading facility with mechanisms to supply ammunition to the turrets. The level below held a technical space filled with wires and pipes of compressed air. The tower’s projectiles ranged up to 50 miles and weighed nearly 220 pounds each. Their maximum possible range was 50 miles.
The power station and the command center were each in distinct blocks. The rotating armored cabin of the stereoscopic rangefinder DM-6 was placed in a separate reinforced concrete block. This block was then connected to the command post via a covered passageway.
An underground postern served to connect the various essential parts of the battery. The entire of this underground passage stretched for very close to one kilometer.
The command post, power station, and reinforced concrete tower blocks were all built to resist an 8-inch shell attack. Protective clothing made of steel and iron inserts was sited on the structure’s upper floors so that it would be ready to wear if incoming projectiles required covert defense.
The town that served as the barracks for the battery was quite sizable. It was meant to provide accommodations for 228 Red Fleet marines, as well as 28 commanding officers and 20 junior commanding officers. In addition, the town had facilities for storing food and fuel sufficient for three months’ worth and one hundred hours’ worth of operation, respectively, for the tower buildings.
In addition, due to the frequent presence of fog in the region, a specialized low-ground observation station was built on a small rocky toe that can be found between cape Yelagin and cape Palchy.
Askold island is located in a difficult-to-reach location, which is one of the reasons why so few people have traveled there to check out the battery. As a direct consequence, it is in an acceptable state overall. Surprisingly, the rangefinder can still revolve, despite the fact that many of the details and optics have been removed from it.
Despite this, a “metal hunter” successfully removed many of the structure’s metal parts. The cycle of nature has run its course, and the battery is gradually losing capacity. It is quite risky to go to this location because there are many hidden holes, and in some areas, the roofs of the buildings are fragile and have the potential to fall right under your feet.
Many thanks to KFSS for the amazing photos, information, and more found here.
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