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Thread: Cold War-era Albanian Bunkers (Read the First Post)

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    Member malioni91's Avatar
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    Default Cold War-era Albanian Bunkers (Read the First Post)

    The bunkerization process in Albania, started in the early 1960s, when Albania, a Warsaw Pact member started to build fortified positions and nuclear shelters in the case of a NATO attack. But this process saw a rapid increase after the country broke off relations with the Eastern Bloc in 1968. Fearing a possible Soviet attack, the Albanian leadership started a massive construction project which saw the creation of more than 200,000 pillboxes of various dimensions and more than 3000 tunnels and other command bunkers. Differently from the doctrines of most of the countries, the Albanians did not position their pillboxes into forming a defensive line, but the idea was that this 200,000 concrete structures would cover all of the national territory. The leadership of the time believed that if an enemy would have attacked the country and captured a sizeable area of land, than they would try to create a "quisling government" and this would threaten the national unity. Some of the most remarkable bunkers, were the naval bunker-base in Porto Palermo where 4 Whiskey-class submarines were stationed, the Gjadri Air Base, the HQ Bunker near Tirana and the "Underground " city of Durres.
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    Artillery tunnels on the island of Sazan




    Ammunition depots


    Albanian soldier inside a bunker




    WW 2 era bunker built by the Italians and repaired and reused during the Cold War. The structure its located outside the city of Pogradec.


    Artillery bunker


    ex-artillery bunker transformed into a Fast Food and bar.




    Entrance to the Porto Palermo Submarine Base







    Gjadri AB was built in the mid 70s by the Albanian Engineering Corps. During the Cold War, here was stationed a mixed regiment of F-6 and F-7 fighters. Their task was to intercept Yugoslav and Italian intruders. Now the base serves as a storage place for retired airplanes.
    Last edited by malioni91; 09-02-2010 at 07:25 AM.

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    Senior Member zad's Avatar
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    Albania is ready for a zombie outbreak. Is your country ready for when deads rise?

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    Very interesting summary and images, thanks.
    That can only be explained because of the spirit of those years; now look like a complete waste of resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by zad View Post
    Albania is ready for a zombie outbreak. Is your country ready for when deads rise?

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    Member malioni91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armored_diplomacy View Post
    Very interesting summary and images, thanks.
    That can only be explained because of the spirit of those years; now look like a complete waste of resources.



    You are right. In fact, the bunkers became useful only once in 1999 during the Kosovo War. The Albanian Army cleaned up and reused the remaining bunkers during clashes with the Serbian forces on the border with Kosovo. But if we hadn't built them, Albania would be much better economically today. From what I've read, the total cost of the project ranged between 150 and 200 million in the $ of 1970s.
    Last edited by malioni91; 09-02-2010 at 08:06 AM.

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    some my photo - artillery and mg bunkers in Tubes mountain near city Lezhe
    Coordinates: 4146'41"N 1939'26"E



    artillery and mg bunkers on Tirana road


    me on Montenegro border
    Last edited by Karstjager; 09-02-2010 at 07:35 AM.

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    Member malioni91's Avatar
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    The Porto Palermo Naval Base (depicted above), was started as a joint Albanian-Chinese project in the late 60s. The Chinese were planning to donate a number of missile boats to the Albanian Navy and bring some of their submarines as well. But diplomatic relations were interrupted before the construction even started for real. As a result, Albania decided to continue on her own and three of our best civil engineers were chosen to oversee the project which ultimately would cost roughly $ 70 million in 1970s dollar. At the end the base was capable of withstanding any kind of attack and even he overhaul facilities and equipment were housed inside the bunker.


    Italian Reportage on the Naval Base of Sazani

    http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=FwaF4YyLqOI&feature=fvw
    Abandoned Bunkers on the shores of the Ionian Sea

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    Senior Member miguelencanarias's Avatar
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    200 million dollars of the 70s, and in a country that wasn't (and isn't) exactly the most prosperous nation on Earth. What a monumental waste.

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    I saw a documentary about this.Many bunkers are now cafe shops and bars.Some were painted by artists.Its better to make new use for them than to demolish them...

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    Member malioni91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritbreaker View Post
    I saw a documentary about this.Many bunkers are now cafe shops and bars.Some were painted by artists.Its better to make new use for them than to demolish them...
    Yeah... here are some examples:






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    Tunnels located near the border with Macedonia




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    some square in Shkodra city- note the bunker

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    Senior Member Al-Bundy's Avatar
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    They are even in places you never expect them to be.

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    Enver Hoxha must've had a serious cult following along the lines of Ceaucescu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-AWZT View Post
    Enver Hoxha must've had a serious cult following along the lines of Ceaucescu.
    More than Ceaucescu, he can be called a mini-Stalin! He adored Stalin and even wrote a book on his memoirs with him.

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