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The Skåne Line - Protecting Sweden's Coastline

The Skånelinjen, or Skåne Line, was a line of fortifications built along the southern coastline of Sweden during the Second World War to guard against an invasion. Planning for the defence line began in 1938 but was accelerated following the German occupation of Denmark in May 1940. Construction of the line was ordered by the Swedish Prime Minister, Per Albin Hansson, and it is alternatively referred to as the Per Albin Line.


The line comprised of a chain of concrete pillboxes, armed with machine-guns and light anti-tank guns, built along vulnerable stretches of beach. A second line of bunkers for troops was built to the rear, screened by barbed-wire entanglements. Rows of anti-tank cubes were also emplaced at Falsterbo and Landskrona. The defence line would eventually consist of over 1000 fortifications built to standard designs at intervals of 300 to 400 metres, running from Helsingborg southwards around the coast of Skåne to Ystad.


This feature describes elements of the Skåne Line near Malmö, photographed on 27 July 1942 by an aircraft of the RAF's No.1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit (1PRU), during a sortie to Denmark.


During the Cold War, the line was strengthened by fitting tank turrets to fortifications and by building additional bunkers. Following the end of the Cold War, in the late 1990's Sweden's network of coastal forts and bunkers was decommissioned.


This image shows a complex of bunkers and weapon pits covering the western approaches to Malmö, identified and ringed in wax pencil by an Allied photographic interpreter. In the full frame, two stretches of infantry trench are visible to the east of this location, covering the beach at Ribersborg.
Observation and reporting positions can be seen on the mole north of Malmö port, along with a bunker on the eastern quay.
An enlarged view of the bunker, within a protective earthen revetment, on the eastern quay of Malmö port.

This image records the positions of two pillboxes, at top-centre and lower-left, both enclosed within a ring of barbed-wire.


This location is south-west of the Öresund Bridge, built in 1999 to provide a road and rail link between Sweden and Denmark.

This image of Malmö port illustrates its importance to Sweden's economy. Oil storage tanks and trans-shipment warehouses are served by tankers and cargo ships, while dry-docks enable important repair and maintenance work to be carried out.