SAM Base – Miskovice, Czech Republic

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Czech Republic
Tags: , ,

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For 45 years, USA and Soviet Union kept a tense relationship. From both sides of Europe – western and eastern – an incredible war arsenal was positioned, ready for the was which fortunately never came. Prague was by then the capital city of Czechoslovakia, therefore, part of “the other side”. The country was an important link of the Warsaw Pact, hosting the Soviet headquarters for the Central Army. Czech foreign policy was completely subordined to Soviet Union interests.

With the end of the Cold War and reduction of Defense budgets, many military facilities were abandoned. Amongst them, a network of air defence missile bases around Prague. It was their mission to protect the city against air attacks. Miskovice was part of such system.

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We reach Miskovice, in the northern end of Prague, using a bus from the city public transportation company. It will drop us a few hundred meters from the entrance of Miskovice former base. In the short walk to the spot where once the gates were located, we will observe the way people used the withdrawn of the military to cover the area, taking grounds which used to be strictly forbidden. There now stands a multitude of small weekend houses and vegetable-gardens.

The small base was strategically placed, only a few kilometers far from the air force field of Kbely. It was here that a fair number of Soviet military units and support materials were dropped during the invasion of 1968. Nowadays Kbely has a minor operational role, operating helicopters and cargo planes. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Miskovice was deactivated.

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The area of the base wasn’t that big. A walk from end to end of the perimeter will take about 300 meters. Still, it was enough to host an efficient force of SAM (Surface to Air) missiles S-125. In the area we will find a few small bunkers, used for storing the missiles, as well as controlling and commanding the operations. We will be able to walk through some of these facilities with the help of a few torches. Although modest and vandalized, these facilities may offer us an idea of day to day life during those times marked by the tension of Cold War, when westerners were definitely the potential enemy for the Czechs.

The kind of missiles which used to be in this base.

The kind of missiles which used to be in this base.

Despite the neglected aspect, we sill can use our imagination to feel the atmosphere os past days. Crossing the asphalted tracks we almost can see the jeep of the commander passing by, heading for the main courtyard, where the launchers were disposed. One can easily imagine the exercises, the days of tension in the barracks, while Kennedy and Krutschev played their games over Cuba. Or the sentries, walking around the fence, carrying their AK-47. It could be a scene of a Bond movie.

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Entering coordinates:  50° 9.376’N  14° 33.024’E

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Comments
  1. harrysmoke says:

    Unfortunately, this base is not accessible now (11/2014). There is a small opening in the smaller area nearby, but it’s not very interesting anymore…

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