Minsk - Stalin Line

The Stalin line was an approximately 1200 kilometers long line of defense stretching from the Baltic coast down to the Black Sea. Construction began in 1928 and was intended as a defence against Poland. At that time, Poland was considered the greatest threat to the Soviet Union and the two states had been at war with each other between 1919 and 1921. The line came to consist of anti-tank weapons, machine guns, tank obstacles, various bunkers etc. The Stalin line was never completed when construction was halted in August 1939. At that time the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and Soviet Union was signed. Soon afterwards the Germany attacked Poland and in mid-September Soviet Union also attacked Poland from the east. After that the Stalin line no longer had any purpose since the borders was moved far to the west. Although the line lay deep into Soviet Union it was never completely abandoned. When Germany attacked Soviet Union in June 1941, some sporadic fighting occured along the line.

Current status: Partly preserved/razed with museum (2007).

Location: 54°03'28.91"N 27°17'46.28"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Most of the Stalin line is abandoned but there is a museum in a preserved part of the line about 30 kilometers west of Minsk. According to them, the museum is the only part of the Stalin line that is a museum. However, there are bunkers in different conditions everywhere along the former line. The museum is characterized by a romantic tribute to the Soviet Union and the Red Army.

Follow up in books: Hook, Adam & Short, Neil: The Stalin and Molotov Lines: Soviet Western Defences 1928-41 (Fortress) (2008).