Minsk - Stalin Line


The Stalin line was an approximately 1200 kilometres long line of defense between the Baltic coast and the Black Sea coast, consisting of both artillery and machine guns. Construction of the Stalin line 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 Stalin line was never completed, but it was still built until 1939. It was then that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and Germany’s attack on Poland changed the political and geographical conditions. The fact that the Stalin line was a few miles west of Minsk is due to the fact that the borders of Europe looked different during the twenties and thirties than they do today.

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 defense 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 somewhere along the former defense 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).