Seen from a military point of view, the world we live in now has changed considerably in the last few years.
Today we have a completely different perception of our enemy and consequently, a major part of the defensive weapons, which we used to consider important and which, from a Danish point of view, were still quite effective, are now on their way out. In this context, we think in the first place of the Danish naval mines service. Denmark used to play a leading role in the development of this terrible, but highly effective and cost-effective, weapons system.
The Museum of the Cold War Langelandsfort has managed to save a number of these weapons from the scrap heap. This collection consists of 14 sea mines and 2 depth charges, of 6 different types. They all look differently and were designed for diverse purposes. They were all in readiness and could have been laid at any time during the Cold War.
In case of war, Langelandsfort would have plaid an important part. Due to its location at the entrance of the Great Belt, it could control which ships would be allowed to transit the Belt, which was of vital importance to the Warsaw Pact countries to exit the Baltic Sea.
Sea mines can be divided into two main categories: contact mines and influence mines. As their name implies, contact mines need to be touched by the passing ship or submarine before they detonate, whereas influence mines are triggered by the magnetic field, the acoustic sound of the propellers or the water pressure displacement of the passing ship. These three types of detonators can also be combined in several ways. Influence mines can also be used as cable controlled mines (or command detonation mines). The individual mines in a minefield are then interconnected by a cable and may be switched on or of as the situation requires.
The following maps, which have only recently been published, show where minefields were planned within the area of responsibility of Langelandsfort.