Torpedownia, an Abandoned Luftwaffe Relic off the Coast of Poland

Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0

Torpedowaffenplatz Hexengrund, better known today as Torpedownia, is another abandoned Word War II relic left standing in the Baltic Sea in the Bay of Gdansk.

This derelict building is a reminder of the dark history of this region. This old, derelict concrete building has an eerie air, and it reminds us of what took place here in the past. It may not be easy to get close to it, but even viewing it from the beach gives one a tingle along the spine.

styczeń 2006 -CC BY-SA 3.0
styczeń 2006 -CC BY-SA 3.0

History of Torpedoes

Torpedownia is not a well-known site, but it should be on your must-see list for World War II history fans when visiting this fascinating country.

Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0

The building of Torpedownia started in 1940. The Germans called it Torpedowaffenplatz Hexengrund. It was used by the German military from 2nd April 1942 until 5th May 1945 when the Red Army seized control of the area. The Soviet army then continued to use it for military training exercises.

The Luftwaffe made full use of the building, not as offices or barracks but as a base for their aerial torpedo training. The building’s U-shaped, central part was several stories high. It contained an observation tower along with a fire control room and two torpedo launch tubes.

Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0

Two smaller buildings were erected further out in the bay. These buildings were connected with an underwater net. Torpedoes to be tested were fired, without explosives, from the launch tubes and then caught in the net.

Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0

The building was connected to the beach via a pier. Aircraft would fly toward the building and drop torpedoes into the sea. Once in the water, the torpedo propelled itself under its own power toward a target.

Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0
Leszek Pietrukaniec / CC BY-SA 3.0

At the start of the war, the Germans purchased aerial torpedoes from Japan and Italy, but in 1942 Hitler decided that the Germans were to develop their own torpedo. As it was to be dropped from the air, the project was handed to the Luftwaffe, who used Torpedownia as a testing ground for their torpedoes.

Torpedownia today

Today it has been left to rot and remains abandoned, but swimmers are able to swim out to investigate what remains, whilst some can take boats out to visit it.
Today it has been left to rot and remains abandoned, but swimmers are able to swim out to investigate what remains, whilst some can take boats out to visit it.

Today the buildings stand abandoned to the whim of wind and wave. Time has taken its toll on the structure and reduced it to a skeleton.

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Some companies advertise that they conduct tours of the facility, taking tourists out in canoes as the pier is no longer standing. The beach is public, and the building is visible from the beach as it is around 300 to 400 meters from the shore.