The Cold War

At Stevns, ships or aeroplanes from Poland and East Germany would often violate Danish airspace or territorial waters around Stevns. Similarly, Danish ships and aeroplanes went very close to Poland and East Germany. The contrasts between the East and the West were evident very close-up almost every single day. Read more

In service

Thousands of Danish men and women sat on alert every day, ready for war as a part of the military or civilian defence during The cold War. Close to one million Danish men did their military service from 1945 to 1991. Read more

The defence of Denmark

During The Cold War, the Danish armed forces faced an enormous enemy – the Warsaw Pact in the East. As a consequence, the strongest military defence in Denmark's history was established as a part of NATO. Read more

The threat from the East

The Danish defence was facing the possible attack from the formidable forces of the Warsaw Pact. More than 60,000 soldiers from Poland, East Germany and the Soviet Union were ready to land in Faxe Bay. Read more

The Cold War at Stevns

Stevns' strategically important position during The Cold War meant that a number of military facilities were constructed in the area. Read more

The Cold War – present everywhere

Whether you lived in the former NATO or in the former Warsaw Pact – or somewhere entirely different – The Cold War affected everybody, although the war never broke out in Europe. The conflict between the East and the West shaped the society we live in today, and it is therefore a part of our common world image and history. Read more

The defence of Stevns

In a war, the defence of Stevns would have been the first step in NATO's defence towards the East. By means of its cannons and sea mines, Stevnsfort could block the passage of Warsaw Pact ships, and the war might easily have been launched here with an invasion by Warsaw Pact forces in Faxe Bay.

In this respect, too, Denmark was included in the overall NATO planning. However, the defence of Zealand and the smaller islands was not the top priority. NATO's forces were needed elsewhere – not least in Germany.

The Danish army prepared for such a situation. Part of the army was therefore to fight on Southern Zealand against a highly superior invasion force. The main objective was to prevent the enemy from getting ashore, initially by battling against a landing fleet by means of ships, aeroplanes and artillery. If the USA made it possible, nuclear weapons stored in depots in Northern Germany could also be used. Should the enemy manage to get ashore, the army would gradually retreat and continually slow down the Warsaw Pact's advance by means of tanks and small groups of soldiers, and by utilising natural obstacles in the landscape, such as streams.

 

The weak Danish forces did not expect to be able to defeat the Warsaw Pact's land forces on their own. Instead, they were to gain time until NATO could send reinforcements to Zealand. However, NATO did not allocate land forces for the protection of Zealand until the 1980s. Had war broken out before that, Zealand and the smaller islands would probably have been lost.