The Bayonet-Obelisk

The Bayonet-Obelisk. Photo, 2008.One of the main elements of the memorial complex is a 100-meter obelisk in the shape of a cruciform bayonet attached to the famous Russian Mosin rifle. The obelisk symbolizes the victory over the enemy, eternal glory to the heroic defenders of the fortress. It is a complex engineering construction, weighing 620 ton, 104.5 m tall.

For the first time in the USSR such a construction was assembled, using large sections, manufactured in the factory. The project of the obelisk was developed by the Byelorussian branch of the Central Research Institute «Proektstalkonstruktsia».

Fireworks at the Brest Fortress.It is an octagonal steel framework with supports on 4 sides, coated with plates, that form four bayonet's edges. At bottom the obelisk is 5 by 5 m, narrowing further up to the top to 2.6 by 0.45 m. The obelisk inside is made of steel bars 30x40 mm thick. Outside it is clad with 1.5 mm thick plates of titanium steel, weighing 14 tonnes.

The whole obelisk is divided into 10 sections, 10-13 m long each. The sections were made in Molodechno Metal Structures Plant «Minmontazhstroi». To transport the sections special lorries were used.

To damp swing of the top that could cause destruction of the structure, damper devices were installed on two levels: at the 93.0 m and 97.0 m mark.

In addition, there are special air passages in the shape of vertical narrow slots that are from 40 m mark and up to the top of the obelisk.

The assemble of the framework of the bayonet-obelisk was supervised by the Brest department of «Chimmontazh» construction trust.

Start of the Bayonet-Obelisk lifting. Photo, 1971.To lay out the assembled sections of the obelisk in a straight line, a pit 40 m long was dug by the foundation, that required to excavate over 700 m3, wooden scaffolding was built. That made it convenient to assemble the obelisk, weighing 575 tonnes. Also a wooden frame was made to protect the memorial plates against the contamination. The foundation had to ensure the safety of the the obelisk.

After the framework was assembled on the ground, it underwent anti-corrosion processing (sandblast cleaning and metallized paint-and-lacquer coating). Following the anti-corrosion treatment, the outer surface of the obelisk was assembled, using plates of titanium steel.

Start of the Bayonet-Obelisk lifting. Photo, 1971.The most responsible moment was the lifting of the bayonet-obelisk, carried out on July, 5 1971.

The erection of the assembled obelisk was carried out in two stages: the first, the most important, elevation of the obelisk to the angle of 45 degrees, the second, final, putting it to the upright position. The entire work lasted 5 hours 30 minutes.

The whole Soviet country took part in the construction of the obelisk. Metal and gears, equipment and tools came from Magnitogorsk and Zhdanov, Nizhny Tagil and Leningrad, from the enterprises of Moscow, Odessa and Minsk. All the works here were going on for 64 days. The metal elements assembled totalled 820m.

In 1998, four damper devices were replaced, the frameworks and fasteners of titanium cladding were examined.

In 2000, the specialists of «Brestrestavratsia» strengthened the foundation of the Bayonet-obelisk by adding a concrete embankment with granite cladding around it.

In 2008-2009, the experts of the companies «Promtechmontazh», «Volan», and «Brestpromalp» replaced fasteners on the outer steel cladding the Bayonet-obelisk.

All photos in photogallery...