Recollections of the famous blacksmith of Muhu

Andrus Müüripeal(1877-1945) ehk Puka Andrus Lepiku külast Puka vabadikukohalt oli enne sõda Muhus kuulus sepp.

Andrus Müüripeal (1877-1945), a.k.a. Puka Andrus from Puka cottage in the village of Lepiku, was a famous blacksmith on Muhu before the war.

He worked on the construction of the battery in Võiküla along with other blacksmiths from the island. When the workers began mounting one of the guns, it became apparent that the screw thread of the mount had been machined so haphazardly that the nut designed to fasten the gun to the mount did not fit at all. The officers were deeply troubled by this, as this would have required them to break the concrete casing to get the mount back out and to send it back to St Petersburg, which would have far exceeded their deadline. Such delays led to severe punishments in wartime. They turned to Puka Andrus who, after seeing the problem for himself, said that if he were to be provided with assistants, then fixing it would be simple. The Russians were prepared to place the entire company of soldiers at his disposal, but Andrus needed just four men for the machining and was finished in half a day. He was offered anything he asked for as payment, and Andrus supposedly requested that he be taken home by plane. Since no one was aware of any such flight, however, the request is unlikely to have been fulfilled. Andrus was also promised a state decoration, but he did not receive this either. Instead, he was mobilised and sent to the war front.

 

Storyteller: Vassili Kolm
Used sources and references:

Vassili Kolk. Märkmeid Muhu seppadest. JSM _ 615 Ar 1493, 25.oktoober 1952

Related objects

Võiküla 36th 10-inch Coastal Defence Battery and cobbled road

This coastal defence battery is situated between the villages of Võiküla and Rässa. The 36th 10-inch Coastal Defence Battery formed part of the 1st Battalion of the Muhu Strait fortifications during World War I. Its construction began in 1915. The battery comprised five 10-inch (254-mm) Durlacher-type guns, which were mounted on wooden barbettes later upgraded to concrete emplacements standing 70 metres apart. The artillery was protected from the front by a 400-metre-long sand wall piled without the use of machinery, 15 metres wide at its ridge and 25 metres wide at its foot.. The battery was active in combat during Operation Albion, the German offensive in 1917.

It is in good condition, considering its exposure to the elements, but all of the gun emplacements and the cemented front wall are partially overgrown. The cobbled road is in good condition.