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Lost Places at the End of the World: The abandoned Air Force Base Bluie East Two on Greenland

During the Second World War, deadly dramas took place in the icy waters of the North Atlantic: Due to their initial superiority, submarines of the German Navy sank countless Allied merchant and warships on their way between North America and Europe.

After the occupation of Denmark by the Germans in April 1940, their former colony, Greenland, also acquired geostrategic importance. German weather teams set up several outposts on the east coast of the largest island in the world for better forecasting.

At the same time, with the Hull-Kauffmann Treaty of April 1941, the Danes allowed the United States to set up military bases on Greenland. About a dozen bases arose along the east and west coasts, which were simply numbered consecutively. Because the American soldiers could not pronounce the Greenlandic place names correctly, they used “Bluie” as a designation for the respective military bases.

Some of them, such as Bluie West Six, today Thule Air Base, are still in operation or are used civilly like Bluie West One as Narsarsuaq Airport or Bluie West Eight in Kangerlussuag. One station on the east coast that only operated between 1942 and 1947 was Bluie East Two.

First a weather station was built here, and later a 1,500 meter long runway. But due to the adverse weather conditions, BE-2, the internal abbreviation for Bluie East Two, was hardly used for transatlantic traffic, rather as an alternate airport and for operations against the Germans: In March, B-24 bombers launched in Bluie East Two were destroyed the German weather station on Sabine Island 600 kilometers further north.

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