Nearly 1,000 feet off the coast of Poland, clearly visible from the shore of a remote beach in Gdynia’s Babie Doły district, lies an eerie relic of World War II: a German torpedo launch station abandoned in the Baltic Sea.
The complex, which has since been nicknamed “Torpedownia,” was actively used for torpedo testing for just a few years, from 1942 and 1945, when the area was part of the former German state of West Prussia. After the war, when the Potsdam Agreement partitioned Germany and restored the area to Poland, the station was taken over by the Soviet Army. The Soviets used the facility for military dive training until it was eventually abandoned and fell into disrepair. The station’s technical equipment was taken to the USSR, and probably never reassembled or used again.
The long wooden pier that once connected the complex with the shore was blown up to make the launch station less accessible to visitors. Over time parts of the structure have collapsed into the sea, but it still stands, and can even be explored by swimming or boating across the water.
Know Before You Go
The complex is about 6 miles (10 km) north from Gdynia city center. It is best visited with your own transport, though also reachable by bus. Although a military station is located close to this area, the coast is freely accessible. The beach area looks rustic and has stunning views. The torpedo test complex seems to be unsupervised and accessible, but be aware that it is in a bad state and ready to collapse.