The "NW Pizidia" Battery Site
The site is located ca 1.5 km NW of the Pitsidia village, on a low ridge (97m) overlooking the Messara Bay. During WWII the 3. Battery of Heeres-Küsten-Artillerie-Abteilung 283 was stationed here.
Though it is situated near the popular tourist destinations of the southern Heraklion coast, the site is preserved in a relatively good condition. Parts of structures, fragments of concrete and some small finds are scattered all over the complex.
Still easily visible to this day are some of the big circular gun emplacements, an extensive network of well-prepared trenches and MG positions, as well as clusters of ruined buildings, where the garrison was once stationed. Of particular interest are the decorated wall surfaces as they retain drawings and inscriptions in the original WWII colours.
Field-walk on 2008 established the presence of an underground network, consisting of narrow tunnels dug in the soft rock (sandstone). They provided cover and storage space for personnel and equipment. Some are very long (and dangerous to fully explore) and, based on local testimonies, they, originally, were open-ended.
The site, mentioned in German sources as “N.W. Pizidia”, was operational by October 1942. The unit stationed here was the 3. Batterie Heeres-Küsten-Artillerie-Abteilung 283 (3rd Battery of Coastal Artillery Battalion 283), operating six 15.5 cm caliber naval guns. HKA 283 was the battalion responsible for the long range coastal defence of the Tymbakio airfield area. In total, it commanded 22 guns in 4 batteries, deployed at the villages of Kokkinos Pyrgos, Klima and Pitsidia.
The position was abandoned (and probably partly demolished) at September 1944, when its garrison moved into Tymbakio airfield, ca. 4 km to the north..
Special thanks to archaeologists Peter Callaghan and Deborah Harlan for helping with this one.