Batterie Vara 38 cm Kristiansand Norway

last week I visit Norway and visit also the Kanonmuseum at Kristiansand.
hope you like it …

Shortly after the German invasion of Norway was completed in the spring of 1940,the Wehrmacht started contruction of a large number of artillery installations placed along the coast, including the VARA battery.

Similair battery was built in Hanstholm,Danmark for the purpose of guarding
the shipping lanes to Norway which were the lifeline of the German occupation.
It was also to prevent British warships from entering Norwegian and Danish waters,and to control the Baltic approaches.Kristiansand-Hanstholm is the narrowest section of the Skagerrak between the two countries.Armament at both sides included 38 cm cannons.

With a range of 55 km, these batteries covered most of the Skagerrak,save for a small zone in the middle where mines were laid out. Contruction of the Movik installation was led by the Todt organisation which employed workers from Germany-Danmark,and Norway,as well as a unknown number of Russian prisoners of war.
Aproximately 1400 men were t work here during the autumn of 1941.

The Cannons were fabricated in Germany by Friedrich Krupp (Essen)
in 1940.
They were of the same type at the armament aboard the Battleships ‘Bismarck’and’Tirpitz’ The remaining cannons production number is 79

Caliber 38 cm
Crew of 52 per cannon
Total weight 337 metric tons
Armour-piercing shell 800 kg
High-explosive shell 800 kg
Siegfried shell 500 kg
Range (800 kg) 43000 m
Range (500 kg) 55000 m
Firing rate 1 shell/min

After the second World War and up to 1952,the battery was named Movik Fort and was included in the Norwegian coastal artillery.
Artillery crewman were trained here during this period,and live shells were fired a number of times.
22 rounds were fired from each cannon in 1949 alone.
The last shots nfrom Movik were fird in 1952.
The era of the Big Guns was over.

out side the battery

Skagerrak vieuw…

38 cm cannon

inside the battery

under the Battery

display of Big shells

info at

Interesting photos. I see one photo shows a case next to a 38 cm shell. Do you know of any of those cases in collections in Norway?

Are the guns still in firing condition or have they been disabled?

Great pictures and posting. Wow - what a gun! Jason must be in “giant cartridge heaven” looking at this rig!

Postings like this really put into perspective what this ammunition, and the guns that fired them, are all about. Showing the actual field of fire (potential target area) is as interesting as the guns and ammunition themselves.

Thanks Gyrojet. I envy your trip!