Vistula Spit and Neutif Airfield

Evgeny Morozov/

The journey to the abandoned Luftwaffe airfield of Neutif begins with a ferry ride to the Vistula Spit, which takes no more than ten minutes.  

The Vistula Spit (or Frische Nerung in German) is a thin strip of land separating the Vistula Lagoon (Kaliningrad Bay) from the main part of the Gdansk Bay. The spit is 65km long. Thirty five kilometres in the north-east are Russian territory. The rest is Polish territory. The spit is 300 to 1800 metres across in the middle and southern parts, and 8 to 9 km in the north. The Vistula Spit is famous for its snow-white sandy beaches, forested dunes and, certainly, its It is easy to find some here simply strolling at the water’s edge.

The Nazi airfield of Neutif on the Vistula Spit was built in 1937–1939. The airfield had two heated runways, a hydro-harbour, three ferroconcrete warplane hangars, and two metal hangars for ancillary machinery.  The airfield was a Luftwaffe base for Аг-196, Не-59, Не-60 and Не-114 warplanes.

The Nazis had abandoned their airfield shortly before the Soviet Army stormed Pillau in 1945. They fled in haste and, contrary to their own plans, did not destroy the hardware and facilities. After the war, the airfield was used as a Soviet naval airbase until 1995.