In the 1945/1954 aerial photographs, the anti-tank ditch is clearly visible in the middle of the drained Filsø (partially so in the ’45 map)
Function of the Atlantic Wall – Internationally
During WW2, the German occupying forces constructed the Atlantic Wall, a fortification intended as a defence against an Allied invasion via the western European coastlines. The Atlantic Wall stretches from the border between Spain and France in the south to the northern end of Norway, a distance of approx. 5,000 km. The purpose of the Atlantic Wall was to act as a system of defence installations that did not require huge troop numbers.
Near the end of the war, most of Nazi Germany’s troops were tied up on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union. Some 12,000 bunkers were constructed, mine fields laid, anti-tank ditches excavated, and several other military installations were erected.
In Denmark, a particularly large number of bunkers were constructed along the west coast of Jutland during the German occupation of Denmark (1940-1945) – around 2,000 in all. Many are still visible on the beaches, while others have been now covered by the sand dunes. The Atlantic Wall was not just a coastal fortification effort; installations were also placed further inland in the form of anti-tank ditches, anti-tank barriers, trenches, and minefields. The invasion of Denmark never came to pass, and many installations were never completed before the war ended.
The German occupation affected a large number of locals along the west coast of Jutland, where the Atlantic Wall was strongly enhanced. Military operations restricted movement for local citizens, and many houses and properties were requisitioned as quarters for German occupying troops. Henne Mølle and the barns at Filsøgård, for example, were used for this purpose.
More evidence in the landscape on the Panorama Route
When directing your bicycle along the panorama route north of Filsø, you will find the tributary to Fidde Lake, which was dredged to form an anti-tank ditch, east of Kløvbakken. This is still clearly evident from the severely sloped banks. If you carry on to Blaabjerg, 64 metres above sea level, you will find bunkers, a machine gun position and a troop bunker.