Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stalin Line Tour, Belarus

After Zaslavi, we drove 6 km (3,5 miles) near the village of Loshany to visit the Stalin Line.

This is an open-air museum that opened in 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, or what here is known as the Great Patriotic War.

The Stalin Line was line of fortifications built in the 1920s along the Soviet Union's western border.  The concrete bunkers and pillboxes were meant to defend against an attack from the west.

When Hitler and Stalin carved up Poland, the USSR's western border expanded westward so the decision was made to abandon this line and create another along the new border.

Most of the guns were removed and placed in storage while the construction on the new line commenced.  Big mistake... because when Germany invaded in 1941, the new line wasn't completed and with the Stalin Line in disrepair it provided little defense.

There are several tanks, helicopters, and other military vehicles on display.  There's even an ICBM.  The museum is popular with the kids.

It's also popular with the big kids because adults have the opportunity to fire weapons.

Here's one thing that I didn't expect.  While we were waiting for the tour to start, I noticed a few chaps who gave off a certain "KGB wannabe".  They just had "that look".

Go figure that later on we find out that the Belarus KGB was having a function here.  Who would have thought that I would get to witness part of a Belarusian KGB graduation ceremony?

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