The Kazematten, Bunkers and Surroundings

The Construction

In 1921 it was decided to construct the Afsluitdijk, a barrier between the Inland sea/Zuiderzee and the Wadden Sea. In order to protect the ‘Holland Stronghold’, the Department of War wanted extra defences placed at the northern end of the Afsluitdijk. That is the reason why the fortifications: the casemates (kazematten) were built. It was designed by the army and is made up of a number of casemates, each having a different function. The firing range could be in all directions, but especially towards the Frisian coastline, because from that direction any hostile enemy approaching from the east over the Afsluitdijk could reach the ‘Holland Stronghold’. The standard of the concrete is W21-W28: that means that it could endure a shelling of a calibre of 21 to 28 cm. The outer walls are built out of 2.8 mtr. thick monolith cast reinforced concrete. The inside walls are 1.5 mtr. thick. The construction is built on steel foundations with extra concrete piles to prevent against subsidence due to grenade fire and bombs. Over the top of the casemates is a one metre thick layer of sand. A casemate always has two exits with steel doors. The entrances are low to protect against shrapnel and provided with a drainage gulley to prevent against flooding with rainwater. The gunnery emplacement casemates have concrete parapets with a recess for machine guns on the outside.

The Kazematten

The Kornwerderzand fortification is made up of a total of 17 heavily built casemates, 9 of which are in the 1st line.

  • Command Kazemat IV consisting of the Commander’s quarters, his observation post, the telephone exchange and a machine gun mounted inside.
  • Cannon Kazemat II and VI are equipped with 5 cm cannons.
  • Kazemat XIV the kitchen/air-target depot casemate with the kitchen, store, ammunition room and men’s quarters.
  • Searchlight Kazemat VII. By using mirrors it was possible to shine across the dyke with a strong searchlight that was mounted inside the casemate.
  • 9 Gunnery emplacement casemates with one gun mounted inside and three guns mounted outside.
  • Kazemat III Generator/First aid casemate under the control tower of the bridge and three small generator casemates, Kazemat A,B and C.
The Wonsstelling

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The monuments

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