Photos and historical info.
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The line of defense (or defensive contour) of the city of Gorky (now - Nizhny Novgorod) was a deep ditch of a certain size, with anti-tank hedgehogs in front of it, and pillboxes and a mound behind it. This defensive structure was built in record time (only 2 winter harsh and cold months) in order to protect the city of Gorky, which at that time was already one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of various types of weapons and equipment for the Red Army. The complete capture of the city of Gorky and its control were planned by Nazi Germany in the second half of September 1941.
In the fall of 1941, as the enemy advanced, the leadership of the USSR decided to create a fortified ring of defense on the territory of the Gorky Region, primarily on the far approaches to the city of Gorky - at a distance of 70-80 km from it. Defensive ditches formed an almost continuous broken line (red one on the map).
About 350 thousand inhabitants of the Gorky region, including 150 thousand workers and students of various educational institutions, often manually using a shovel and a crowbar, made this impossible mission. During the two harsh winter months, on the far approaches to Gorky, in the forests and fields, 12 million cubic meters of earthwork were carried out. For comparison: the White Sea-Baltic Canal - 20 million cubic meters, which were built in 20 months, and the line of defense of the city of Gorky - in just 2 months!
By January 1, 1942, the construction of defensive structures was completed. 1134 km - the total length of the anti-tank trenches. At the defensive lines there were built: 1116 bunkers, 1026 dugouts, 114 command posts. Hazardous areas (where military equipment could pass) were blocked off with gouges, iron "hedgehogs" and blockages.
In truth, this is a real labor feat of the inhabitants of the Gorky region.