By 1914 the coast fortifications along the coast along the coast of Prussia (Memel, Pillau, Neufahrwasser), and the coast of Pomerania (Swinemunde, Stralsund, Rugen), were not subordinate to the navy, but to the foot artillery of the army. Gunnery, torpedo, and submarine mining practice occasionally occured at the German ports of Swinemiinde, Neufahrwasser, and Pillau, during which warning signals are made from the shore. At the same time a pilot steamer is stationed in the offing to caution approaching vessels.
Pillau was fortified and had a harbor, which served as the outer port of Konigsberg, and to some extent also of Elbing and Braunsberg. Pillau is a seaport and watering-place of Germany, in the Prussian province of East Prussia, on the spit of sand (Nehrung) which separates the Frische Haff from the Baltic, on the north of the entrance channel, and 29 m. by rail from Konigsberg. The population in 1905 was 7,374. Pillau had a school of navigation, and was a well-known pilot station. Ship-building, sail-making, fishing and the working of amber were carried on before the Great War.
Pillau is memorable as the place where Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden landed in 1626. It did not obtain civic privileges until 1725, but was fortified shortly after that date. In 1807 it offered a stout resistance to the French. By a treaty of the 24th of February 1812 it was ceded to Napoleon, but on the 6th of February in the following year it was restored to Prussia.
Konigsberg (Polish Krolevntc), a town of Germany, capital of the province of East Prussia and a fortress of the first rank. Fop. (1880), 140,800; (1890), 161,666; (1905), 219,862 (including the incorporated suburbs). It is situated on rising ground, on both sides of the Pregel, 4 miles from its mouth in the Frische Haff, 397 m. N. E. of Berlin, on the railway to Eydtkuhnen and at the junction of lines to Pillau, Tilsit and Kranz. It consistí of three parts, which were formerly independent administrative units, the Altstadt (old town), to the west, Lobenicht to the east, and the island Kneiphof, together with numerous suburbs, all embraced in a circuit of 9 miles. The Pregel, spanned by many bridges, flows through the town in two branches, which unite below the Grüne Brucke.
Königsberg is a naval and military fortress of tie first order. The fortifications were begun in 1843 and were only completed in 1905, although the place was surrounded by walls in early times. The works consist of an inner wall, brought into connexion with an outlying system of works, and of twelve detached forts, of which six are on the right and six on the left bank, of the Pregel. Between them lie two great forts, that of Friedrichsburg on an island in the Pregel and that of the Kaserne Kronprinz oa the east of the town, both within the environing ramparts. The protected position of its harbor made Königsberg one of the most important commercial cities of Germany.
A new channel was made between it and its port, Pillau, 20 miles distant, on the outer side of the Frische Haff, so as to admit vessels drawing 20 feet of water right up to the quays ci 895 Königsberg, and the result has been to stimulate the trade of the city. It is protected for a long distance by motes, in which a break has been left in the Fischhauser Wick, to permit of freer circulation of the water and to prevent damage to the mainland.
From Pillau to Konigsberg there were two channels, viz, the Konigsberg Canal and the channel through the Konigsberger Haff, as the northern part of the Frische Haff is called. Both channels end in the mouth of the Pregel. A new navigable channel was in 1900-1901 constructed across the Frische Haff from Pillau to Konigsberg. Konigsberg Canal, given over to public traffic on November 15, 1901, is l7 miles long from Pillau to the mouth of the Pregel, 20 feet deep, and has a bottom width in the inclosed portion of 33 yards, and in the entrance to Fischhausener Wiek, 82 yards. With the exception of the latter part, where the depth in 1911 was only 13 feet, the canal is separated from the Frische Haff by dams for nearly its whole length ; this unembanked portion is being constantly dredged to a depth corresponding to that of the canal, or 20 feet. The dams have generally a straight direction, except at the bends off Peyse, between Zimmerbude and Widitten, and off Nautzwinkel ; they are formed of pile walls with stone filling. In the neighborhood of Pillau and on the stretch between Peyse and the east end the haff side of the dam is banked up and planted with rushes, willows, and reeds.
From the root of the peninsula, the coast southward to Oxhoft is bare and tolerably steep. From Oxhoft a partially wooded range of hills extends to Danzig, being fronted by a flat stretch of coast between Zoppot and Danzig. Between Danzig and Pillau the coast is formed of dunes with pine woods, especially in the western part: the eastern part of this stretch of coast forms the Frische Nehrung, which fronts the Frische Haff, and is 30 miles long and not more than 1 mile broad. The high land on the southern side of the haff is visible far seaward over the Nehrung. From Pillau to Briister Ort the coast rises gradually to the rugged slopes of Samland.
The See Tief is that part of Pillau Tief between and within the two moles, which extend in a northwesterly direction, and connects the See Gat with the Frische Haff. A bank with less than 3 fathoms on it extends halfway across the channel from the southwest side, beginning about 700 yards within the south molehead. The See Tiet is 1.1 miles long, from 175 to 437 yards wide in the channel, with good anchorage in hard sand. It is open, however, to the northwest, and strong winds between west and north cause an unpleasant swell in the passage.
The entrance to Pillau very seldom freezes over, owing to the strong current. The hafen has its ice broken up daily by an ice breaker, and can be approached as long as fixed ice does not form in the Baltic. The outgoing current causes the heaviest ice drift in the Pillau Tief. In spring as soon as the haff ice is in motion it drifts out during three to four days, and great caution is then required when entering. The Konigsberg Sea Canal is kept open as far as possible by ice breakers.
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