Surveillance and Communication

Observation Sites

Coastal Observation Post

Osmussaar

Osmussaar

Full name of site:

Osmussaar. Osmussaar island.

Location:

Osmussaare / Odensholm, 91217 Läänemaa, Estland

Operational period:

1940

to

1993

Primary user:

Soviet Border Guards

Description:

The island of Osmussaar is situated off the north-west coast of Estonia. The whole island was annexed for the use of the Soviet Army, with a signal unit stationed there. The island was claimed under the Mutual Assistance Pact in 1940, forcing the locals to leave.

Of all the intricate coastal defences planned on the island in 1940, only two batteries and an underground ammunition storage were ever built. The 13-metre fire control tower (or range finding tower) was completed in 1941.The battery comprised two twin 180-mm guns. Some sources state that the battery was ready for combat by 1 September 1941, four months ahead of schedule. Others claim that only the 180-mm gun facility to the south had been set up by this time. This 130-mm coastal battery is located, in the north-western part of the island. The 130-mm battery and 76-mm air-defence guns were the only firepower on Osmussaar for the first two months of the war in 1941.

After the war, there was only a border guard unit on the island, and former residents only got the opportunity to visit the island again in the early 1990s. The last representatives of the Soviet military left the island in 1993.

Ownership:

Estonian State Property

Valuation of authenticity and integrity:

Baseline 1993. The coastal batteries and observation tower are in bad shape, can be observed only outside.

Status and access:

Access: Full. Public access. The coastal defence batteries are equipped with safety barriers, info stands are installed. The territory of the island is partly private and partly publicly owned. Guided tours are offered by the administrator of the island.