Hel is a town in Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland, located on the tip of the Hel Peninsula, some 33 kilometres from the Polish mainland.
During World War II the Kriegsmarine used the Hel naval base to train U-Boat crews. At the end of the war the village was the last part of Polish soil to be liberated: the German units encircled there surrendered on May 10, 1945, two days after Germany capitulated.
After the war the village yet again became a naval base. In 1960 a road linking Hel with Jastarnia on the mainland was built. Three years later city rights were reintroduced. Since then the tourist industry started to recover and several hotels, guest houses and pensions were built. In 1996 the Polish Navy sold all remaining parts of the peninsula to the civilian authorities and only a small naval base is located there today.
The harbour now serves primarily as a yacht marina. Hel houses a sea life biological laboratory and there are interesting examples of naval armament and equipment exhibited throughout the town.
The most easterly edge of Hel, which was a military territory, couldn't have been accessed on foot, making it impossible for the general public to walk all the way round the peninsula. This changed lately as the military is leaving Hel because it is no longer a strategic place. One nuclear bomb delivered by a missile would take the entire town below the sea level, so this "Fortified Area" is useless nowadays.