Monday 5 September 2022

Excavating General Sergei Kabanovs underground command post from the early days of Operation Barbarossa (1941). Day 1/10.

The last leg of the 2022 excavations of the massive underground command post of Soviet General Sergei Kabanov kicked off today. During the upcoming two weeks we will excavate the area of the operative room and try to get as much information as possible of the remains prior to the large scale excavations in 2023. 

General Sergei Kabanov was the commander of the Sovjet Naval Base in Hanko in 1941.

The underground command post was built in July-August 1941 after German planes had bombed Hanko and Finnish artillery pounded the besieged town on a daily basis. It was discovered by Swedish and Finnish troops in December 1941 after the Soviet troops had left Hanko.

General Kabanovs underground command post photographed soon after its capture by Finnish and Swedish troops in december 1941. Photos SA-Kuva.

In 1948 the people of Hanko wanted to leave the tragedies of war behind and get rid of the rapidly deteriorating command post. A decision was made to demolish the construction and re-use the tiles to build a new building called Halmstadsgården

A picture possibly showing the dismantling of the command post in 1948. Photographer unknown.

As the years went by in 2017 no one knew wether the command post had been completely demolished in 1948 or if parts of it still remained under ground. Ground penetrating radar and trial excavations in 2019 showed that parts of the building had survived remarkably well.

MA Teemu Väisänen used ground penetrating radar to relocate the remains of the command post

The excavation and resarch of the history of the site has received private funding from Mr, Kari Karvinen. The Conflict Arcaheology excavations are carried out in co-operation with Hangö Sommaruni, and Hanko Front Museum. In 2023 excavations of the command post with schoolchildren from swedish speaking schools in the larger Helsinki region will be conducted with the help of funding from Thure Galléns stiftelse.

Schoolchildren from Hanko excavating the command post in May 2022.

In the future and with the results of the excavation at hand we hope that the structure will be made into a tourist attraction and educational centre in Hanko.

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