Surroundings of Jastarnia
Góra Lubek (commonly called. Libek) is the highest dune (12,5 m above sea level) in the western part of the Hel Peninsula. The name „Lubek” comes from the ship „Lübeck” which ran aground here and crashed in mid-17th c. A story has it that it was looted by the inhabitants of the peninsula and the castaways were killed.
It wasn’t until two weeks after the battle of Wielka Wieś (today Władysławow) that German ground forces launched an attack against the Hel Peninsula. At that time a reconnaissance of Polish forces was being made and German artillery and navy were fighting against Polish batteries.
In1945 the German troops that were defending the Hel Peninsula prepared numerous field fortifications. They used places fortified already in 1939, a particularly strong defense was set up on the line between Chałupy and Kuźnica villages. Three fortified lines with anti-tank trenches and two dikes joining the sea with the bay were made.
The ambition to gain control over the Baltic’s waters as well as Polish-Swedish wars over king Vladislaus IV’s heritage led to the creation of the Polish Navy in the first half of the 17th c. The new fleet needed a new sea base, independent of Gdańsk and deeper than Puck.
The decision was made, therefore, to build a new naval port on the Hel Peninsula together with defensive fortifications.
In the spring 1939, in the face of war with Germany, the decision was made to build permanent fortifications for the defense of the Fortified Front „Hel” from land. The location was chosen in the middle of the peninsula’s length, i.e. around 3 km from Jastarnia and 8 km from the area of the Fortified Front „Hel”.
The port in Jastarnia was built in 1926-1931, and the dug- out sand was used to shape the dockside and level the surrounding area. Although the port was planned to serve fishing boats, it was made 5 metres deep and given long docksides. The naval port in Hel did not exist at that time, so such size allowed to berth warships.
Already in 1939, while creating the Kriegsmarine in Gdynia, the German command decided to use the Puck Bay as torpedo proving grounds. The Hel Peninsula shelters its waters, thus providing convenient conditions for test- firing of torpedoes and their recovering after the tests.
The importance of Gdynia, invaded in 1939, as the new base of the Kriegsmarine on the Baltic, resulted in an immediate installing of heavy artillery in the Gdańsk Bay. A year later, during the preparations for the war with the Soviets, the plan to strengthen the defense with the heaviest artillery was implemented. On the Hel Peninsula, next to onshore batteries equipped with cal.
The Hel Peninsula belonged entirely to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland until 1526, when the settlement of Hel together with half of the spit was handed over to the City of Gdańsk by king Sigismund I in exchange for the access to the Elbląg port.
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