Living conditions in Maantee

Maantee küla väeosa asus isegi Kuressaarest vaadatuna peaaegu maailma lõpus.

The military unit stationed in Maantee seemed cut off from the rest of the world.

Conditions there were very poor. Soldiers were housed in pre-war barracks, the officers in barracks with stove heating. They were on duty for weeks at a time, changing guard between the bases in Piiri and Kallemäe. The rocket fuel was toxic and it got very hot in the missile control room. The radar picked up signals from as far as 500 km away.

 

Storyteller: Tõnu Veldre
Used sources and references:

Saarte Hääl 31.10.2015

Related objects

Maantee Military Base

This military base in the village of Maantee is situated on both sides of the old highway a couple of kilometres from Sõrve Military Museum.

Construction of the barracks here began in April 1940 after the signing of the Mutual Assistance Pact. The base was constructed by a local company, A. ja M. Edenberg. It comprised two barracks accommodating 350 soldiers, a canteen, a bread factory, a bathhouse, an officers' mess, a clinic and an ice house. The base housed the detachments of the 315th coastal defence battery. Existing farmhouses were demolished to make way for the new facilities, forcing many to move. After the war, the detachments manning the coastal defence batteries in the vicinity were stationed here. The barracks were put back into use during the Cold War, this time by missile troops. In July 1960 the 74907th Division equipped with S-75 missiles arrived here. They began building the Granit missile depot near the barracks. The other barracks housed a single radio-technical company. In 1972, three air defence missiles fitted with nuclear warheads were stored at the Granit depot. The missile unit was disbanded in January 1991. The radio-technical company left the village of Maantee the following year.

Today the buildings are dilapidated to the point of posing a danger. The metal doors of the missile depot have been removed. Nevertheless, the complex remains a popular tourist attraction, albeit one at which visitors must be cautious of the potential hazards.