Anti-tank wall RitthemBack Schorer Polder, Ritthem
Concrete anti-tank wall built against a dyke talud (slope), finishing the eastern part of the Vlissingen ‘Landfront’ defense line.
- Year of construction
- Architect / Design
- General der Pioniere und Festungen, Obercommando des Heeres, Berlin
- Protected status
- national monument (monument no. 527331)
The Germans made a practice of constructing concrete anti-tank walls in all coastal areas where a strong defense was planned. Walls of this type were used to block streets and roads in coastal towns, at the approaches to strategic points, and on the outskirts of towns, generally. Often the Germans prepared a continuous obstacle along the entire sea front of a town by constructing concrete walls in line with the front elevation of existing buildings. First, rough timber shuttering was erected along the site proposed for a new wall, and then the concrete was poured. Light steel reinforcement was sometimes used, but often there was no reinforcement at all. Often metal hooks projected from the top of a wall, to serve as anchors for barbed wire. To improve the effectiveness of a concrete antitank wall, the Germans often dug a ditch in front of the obstacle or prepared a tank trap in the form of a pit covered with planks and gravel, or garnished netting.
In areas where there are quarries which can supply large quantities of stone, road blocks were often constructed of the native stone, instead of concrete.
The Ritthem anit-tank wall was built in mid-1944, by making use of reinforced concrete. The construction got an overhanging edge to make the climbing of infantry and tanks more difficult.
At regular intervals tobruks (five in total, for armaments with a machine gun) with on both sides additional loopholes were constructed.
Very rare is a Regelbau 700 Schartenstand für 7,5 cm PAK 40 mit Deckenplatte (Casemate for 7,5 cm AT gun 40 with roof armoured plate), being part of the anti-tank wall Ritthem. Instead of a steel concrete reinforced roof it had a thick armoured steel plate as top cover. This is the only remaining 700 on the whole AW as the type was built only a few times.