The Scania Line - Per Albin LineShow map
The Scania Line or in popular speech "Per Albin Line" after the then Prime Minister Per-Albin Hansson, is the name of the 500-mile-long fortification line that stretched from Båstad in the northwest along the coast to central Blekinge. At the end of the war in 1945, the line comprised a total of 1,063 defenses of basically four different models. It has been called one of the country's largest buildings of all time and is a unique phenomenon that clearly shows Skåne as a border province.
The distances between each fort are 300–400 meters and most are directly adjacent to the sea and are built according to a fairly similar template. The guards would only act as combat guards with service, weapons and ammunition that would quickly be regroupable. Strategically, the guards were intended for so-called “flanking fires”, that is to say, the firing line along the beach to make it possible to land ascent. Only a few guards had shooting opportunities straight out to the water.
Port cities such as Trelleborg and Ystad were given a more complex system of defense and armor barriers. The various lines of the line were built or supplemented as the military threat arose or intensified. It is only in Helsingborg that the intended defense line was fully expanded with additional lines within the coastline, but the city had also been given a more exposed strategic position in 1940 than in previous years.
First out was the south coast of Skåne and the cities of Trelleborg and Ystad. The fort in Smygehamn was added at an early stage. The most noticeable were the concrete shelters erected along the coast, a stretch of almost 35 km, as well as those in the central parts of the city. In total, there were 173 protections of some kind within the current municipality of Trelleborg.
The harbor area was strictly guarded and literally wrapped in barbed wire. Military units guarded the ferries from Germany.
After the immediate invasion threat from Nazi Germany wore off, the Scania line became largely unnecessary. During the 1950s to the 1960s, some protection was rebuilt in Simrishamn and Åhus and was then equipped with a tank tower with short-legged cannon. This time, the threat was felt to come more from the east than the south.
At the time when Åke Ringberg wrote about the matter (DN 1989-10-22), it had been fifty years since the fort began to be built. It was also the time when the state had signed an agreement with the landowners. When asked what is happening now, Ringberg was given the answer that the legal landowner could extend the agreement with the state or alternatively take care of the fort and then freely use it for private purpose. Both chicken houses and wine cellars are reported to be present.
If there were special reasons, there was an opportunity to blow them away, but the removal of the fort has proved both costly and difficult. In the Smygehamns area, there are today 19 guards left within the old parish boundary.
In the municipality of Trelleborg, from Skateholm in the east to Fredshög in the west, hundreds of shelters were built. Most shores along the coastline remain, while the forts in the ports are removed.
HIKE ALONG THE LINE
Those interested can hike along the Scania Line.
Along a walking path on the eastern shore you can see the protection and shelters. At Summer time a popular place to play for adventurous children.
It takes about 1 ½ hour to walk along the beach from Smygehus in the east to Fågelvik beyond the lighthouse in the west. You will arrive even if it is punitive in its places. And you have even the law on your side if you sit down with coffee thermos on someone's bench in the beach protected area. You can, for example, think about how recent settlements crept ever closer to the once exposed guards, you can also get clear examples of beach erosion. Most guards are sealed, but not all. Only one, fort no 242 A, has been privatized a bit nice, it is located in the garden of the house where once Åke Ringberg lived.