Geoff Walden


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Wehrmacht Posts / Kaserne

   Shortly after taking power in 1933, the Nazis began a program to build and modernize military posts all over Germany. Some older Kaserne were remodeled as part of this program, but most posts were new construction. Several different architectural styles were used, as the Third Reich architects wished to blend their military posts into the style of the local area, but all Kaserne shared a basic look.

   Part 1 features posts in the following Bavarian locations: Ansbach, Schweinfurt, Bad Kissingen, Würzburg, Illesheim, Kitzingen, Wildflecken, Bamberg, Fürth, Schwabach. Part 2 features posts in the following locations: Bavaria - Grafenwöhr, Bad Tölz, Berchtesgaden, Bad Reichenhall, Garmisch, Munich; Hessen - Butzbach, Giessen, Frankfurt, Fulda, Bad Hersfeld; Baden-Württemberg - Karlsruhe; Part 3 features posts in Thüringen - Meiningen ; Bavaria - Füssen; Rheinland-Pfalz - Baumholder, Bad Kreuznach; Baden-Württemberg - Schwetzingen.

Note:  This page shows only a few such sites   ...  I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who would like to share similar then-and-now photos from other Wehrmacht posts in Germany. Contact me at:  walden01 (at) comcast.net.

To view various Wehrmacht Kaserne sites in northern Germany, visit the Forgotten History page.

 

Ansbach

The "Kaserne auf der Ludwigshöhe," also known as the Artillerie Kaserne and the "Gneisenau-Kaserne," was built in the Franconian city of Ansbach in 1934-35. This post is used today by the U.S. Army as Barton Barracks. For further info, see the U.S. Army in Germany page.  (from period postcards)  (Google Maps link)  

Bleidorn Kaserne in Ansbach was built in 1935-36 for Reconnaissance Battalion 17. This view is almost identical today, minus the gateposts and flag, and also minus the Reichsadler stone eagle that can be seen in profile on the wall to the right - this eagle (minus its head and swastika) was still there when the U.S. Army was in this Kaserne in the 1950s, but was removed at some point since. This post is now used by the German Polizei. The buildings retain military sculpture above the doorways - left-right, below - cavalry, artillery, a soldier says farewell to the home folks, banner bearers.  (Google Maps link)

 


Schweinfurt

The Schweinfurt Panzerkaserne (or Adolf-Hitler-Kaserne) was built in 1935-36 for Panzerregiment 4, and was located on Niederwerrnerstraße. This post is now used by the U.S. Army as Ledward Barracks (scheduled to close in 2014). This postcard view shows the Panzerkaserne in 1940.   (MapQuest Map Link)
Click here to visit Heinz Leitsch's page on the USAG Schweinfurt (in German - auf Deutsch).

Click here to see many more photos of the Panzer Kaserne in Schweinfurt.

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Adjacent to the Panzerkaserne was the Panzerabwehrkaserne, built across the street to the east to house Panzerjäger Abteilung 38 (38th Anti-Tank Battalion). This monument near the east gate of Ledward Barracks honors the dead of PzJgrAbt. 38, which served in the 2nd Panzer Division. Only three buildings of the Panzerabwehrkaserne still exist, behind the park where this monument is located (this park, the adjacent Youth Center, the Schweinfurt Stadtwerke (city services) complex, and the Mercedes-Benz complex now occupy the area of the former Panzerabwehrkaserne). Click here to see a monument to Panzerregiment 4 in Schweinfurt.

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A Flugplatz or Fliegerhorst (airfield) was built on the western outskirts of Schweinfurt in 1937. Training for Stuka dive-bomber pilots was conducted here. This Luftwaffe eagle appears on the gate building at the main entrance. The post is used today as U.S. Army Conn Barracks (scheduled to close in 2015).

The Schweinfurt Flugplatz during the bombing attack of 14 October 1943 (the attack was aimed at the Schweinfurt ball bearing factories, not the military installations). Close observation reveals 7 or 8 tiny aircraft (type unknown) parked on the airfield. For orientation, north is to the upper left.  (National Archives, RG 343-FH 3A22430)

Click here to see more photos of the Schweinfurt Flugplatz.

The trainee Ju-87 Stuka pilots flew from the Schweinfurt Flugplatz to a small bombing range near Sulzheim, southeast of Schweinfurt. Here they practiced their dive-bombing techniques with both live explosive bombs and concrete practice bombs. The remains of many of these concrete bombs can still be seen at the site today.  (MapQuest Map Link)

 


Bad Kissingen

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The spa town of Bad Kissingen in northern Bavaria was garrisoned by Wehrmacht motorcycle troops in the late 1930s. In 1936-37 Manteuffel Kaserne, named in honor of Freiherr von Manteuffel of old dragoons fame, was built to house these troops. Later, units of the 2nd Panzer Division occupied the barracks. Following the end of World War II, the area was briefly occupied by the U.S. Army Air Forces XII Tactical Air Command. In the early 1950s the post was occupied by U.S. Army border guard troops and renamed Daley Barracks. The major tenant unit during most of the Cold War was the 2nd Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment from 1951 until it was reflagged as the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1972. 2/11ACR used the old Manteuffel Kaserne HQs building as its dining facility. (Click here to visit the area of OP Sierra, one of the border sites guarded by 2/11ACR.)

Daley Barracks was closed following the reunification of Germany and returned to the German government ca. 1995. Most of the old military buildings were torn down in 1998, but a few remain. The former headquarters building now houses several businesses, and additional business buildings are being built on the site.  (MapQuest Map Link)

  (Some period views and historical information in this section from the Border Trooper page, http://members.nbci.com/bordertrooper/manteuff.htm, except where noted; period postcard views also from "The Crusader" newspaper, Vol. 8, No. 43, 31 October 1984, page 7.)

For more info, visit the Daley Barracks webpage, http://www.daley-barracks.de/.

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The front gate was guarded by a stone pillar with the national insignia on top. The building at the left of the photo is the former headquarters building. The barracks building on the right has been torn down. The building in the distance of the modern photo is one of the new business buildings built ca. 1998.

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Soldiers marching through the front gate. This photo and the next two period photos are from the service album of a soldier who was stationed at Manteuffel Kaserne (private collection). An exact corresponding view today is blocked by the post-war building at the left of the modern view.

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Above - A sentry stands guard at the main gate, with the headquarters building behind. Below - A close-up of the eagle and swastika on the gate pylon.  (private collection)

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The eagle and swastika Hoheitszeichen are long gone, but the gate pillar still proclaims the site as Manteuffel Kaserne.

Guard mount near the main gate (private collection).

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Motorcycle troops in front of their motor pool maintenance shops. Some of the former motor pool buildings are still standing.

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Military review on the parade ground of Manteuffel Kaserne, ca. 1938.  (period photo from a private collection)

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The spa facilities in the town of Bad Kissingen were popular with the garrison troops. The Arcade is seen above in a view from a soldier's photo album - note the swastika hanging in the center of the upper story. Below, tanks with mounted infantry from the U.S. Third Infantry Division roll across an engineers bridge in Bad Kissingen in April 1945.  (above - private collection; below - U.S. Army photo)

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The quaint Marktplatz downtown was also popular for soldier visits.  (private collection)

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On 20 April 1939 the buildings on the Marktplatz were decorated in commemoration of Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday.

(Stadtarchiv Bad Kissingen)

 


Würzburg

In 1936 Generalmajor Heinz Guderian, commander of the German armored forces (in left foreground) visited the newly-built Nord-Kaserne on Veitshöchheimer Straße, northwest of the Würzburg city center. In the 1936 photo Guderian is seen with the Kaserne Kommandant, just in front of the main gate guardhouse seen on the other side of the gate in the photo below.  (MapQuest Map Link)

U.S. Army Emery Barracks in the 1970s, when the eagle and knight were painted.
(courtesy Stephen L. Cobb)

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The display for the March 1939 Tag der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces Day) included 150mm artillery pieces at  Hindenburg Kaserne. This post no longer exists, but the photo on the right from ca. 1979 shows the same view.  (Stadtarchiv Würzburg; modern photo courtesy Tom Crowder)

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A large military hospital complex was built in Würzburg in 1936-37. When the U.S. Army moved into the area in April 1945, this facility was taken over by the 107th EVAC Hospital, and it continued to serve as a U.S. Army hospital until it was returned to the German government in 2007. The historic hospital building was extensively remodeled into an apartment building in 2010-2011.  (1945 photos courtesy Frank Tompkins - visit Frank's site about the 107th EVAC Hospital)  (MapQuest Map Link)

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The new occupants chiseled the swastika from beneath the eagle over the main doorway,
painted "107 EH" where the swastika had been, and painted the eagle itself red, white, and blue
(this eagle has since been removed).  (courtesy Frank Tompkins)

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Looking from the hospital entrance, past the gates, to the Main River valley and the vineyards on the hills beyond.

 


Kitzingen

Two military posts were built in Kitzingen on the Main River, east of Würzburg. In this photo, soldiers stand in formation inside the front gate of the Kitzingen Flugplatz (or Fliegerhorst), built in 1934-35. This is the airfield where famed Stuka pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel surrendered to the U.S. Army in 1945 (see here). The post was used by the U.S. Army as Harvey Barracks until it was closed in late 2006; it is now used by a private corporation.  (original photo in author's collection)  (Google Maps Link)

A quarters area for officers, including a Casino (Officers Club) was across the road from the Kaserne. This building serves today as the Woodland Inn. Stylized wings representing the Luftwaffe can still be seen in the iron window grillwork of a stone outbuilding. Note: All the buildings shown in the Kitzingen section are now closed, and these posts have been returned to the German government.

This period postcard shows the Kitzingen Flak-Kaserne, built in 1936-38 for the 1st Battalion of Flak Regiment 19. The post was used by the U.S. Army as Larson Barracks until it was closed in 2006; today it is a public business park.  (Google Maps Link)

 


Wildflecken

A large military post with training area was built in the Rhön highlands in northern Bavaria and adjacent Hessen, near the town of Wildflecken, in 1936-38. The training area was popular with Panzer units, particularly from the Waffen-SS, although the harsh Rhön climate could lead to miserable times (for soldiers then and now), producing the Landser saying "Lieber den Arsch voller Zecken als ein Tag in Wildflecken!" (better an ass full of ticks than a day in Wildflecken). The post was used after the war by the U.S. Army, and is now used by the Bundeswehr as the Rhön-Kaserne. The period photo shows a soldier formation on the Adolf-Hitler-Platz, which is hardy changed at all today.  (Wildflecken Museum)  (MapQuest Map Link)
Visit the Comrades.de Wildflecken page

SS chief Heinrich Himmler visits Waffen-SS trainees at Wildflecken. Seen to Himmler's left are Gauleiter Otto Hellmuth (in rear), Youth Leader Artur Axmann, unknown (in rear), Gerhard Hein. The modern view has been pulled back a little to show more of the buildings in the background at the side of the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz.  (Wildflecken Museum)

Another parade in the Adolf-Hitler-Platz, with members of the 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division "Wiking."  (Wildflecken Museum)

Pzkw. III tanks of the 5th SS "Wiking" Division convoy down one of the main streets on the Kaserne.  (Wildflecken Museum)

This barracks building, shown on the left in a 1939-dated postcard, exhibits the general style of many of the buildings on the Wildflecken Kaserne.  (author's collection)

Soldiers march down the street alongside barracks buildings, from a 1939-dated postcard.  (author's collection)

Soldiers load a truck in front of one of the Wildflecken barracks buildings.  (Wildflecken Museum)
Although the Kantine (Club) building has seen several changes, it is still recognizable. On the left, from a 1939 postcard; on the right, from a soldier's photo.  (author's collection)
In 1940 a memorial stone was erected to honor the workmen who died during the construction of the Wildflecken post. The photos above show the unveiling of the monument. The monument still exists, but it is located today beside the post museum, and the original memorial tablet has been replaced.  (Wildflecken Museum)

Click here to see a nearby munitions factory bunker storage area at Oberwildflecken.


Bamberg

Two Kaserne were built in the Franconian city of Bamberg in 1935-36. Both were on Zollnerstraße - one a Panzerkaserne (occupied by Panzerregiment 35 of the 4th Panzer Division) and the other an Artilleriekaserne. The two posts together are used today by the U.S. Army as Warner Barracks (scheduled to close in 2014). This building is near the Zollnerstraße gate.  (MapQuest Map Link)
This headquarters building is near the center of the post, by the parade field.

 


Fürth

A Fliegerhorst, or Luftwaffe post, was built in Fürth (near Nürnberg) from 1934-39, by modernizing and enlarging an existing World War I airfield. The photos above show the front gate. The post was used by the U.S. Army as Montieth Barracks from 1945-1995. It is now partly in use by small businesses.  (U.S. Army in Germany page)  (MapQuest Map Link)

On the left is a view ca. 1937 showing bi-planes and their crews - the hangers and administration building in the background can be seen in the modern view.

 


Schwabach

Another Kaserne in the Nürnberg area was the Nachrichtenkaserne (Signals Post) in Schwabach. This post was built in 1936-37 for Signals Battalion 17. After the war it was used by the U.S. Army as O'Brien Barracks, but was returned to German control in the early 1990s. Many of the buildings have since been torn down, but some remain - the gate building on the left is now the city museum.  (U.S. Army in Germany page)  (MapQuest Map Link)

Rstone.gif (1273 bytes)     Continue to Part 2, featuring the Bavarian sites of Grafenwöhr, Bad Tölz, Berchtesgaden, Bad Reichenhall, and Garmisch; Butzbach in Hessen; and Meiningen in Thüringen.

     Back to the Third Reich in Ruins homepage

 

Third Reich in Ruins, http://www.thirdreichruins.com/

All contents copyright © 2000-2014, Geoffrey R. Walden; all rights reserved.  All photos taken by or 
from the collection of Geoffrey R. Walden, except where specifically noted.  Please respect my property rights,
and the rights of others who have graciously allowed me to use their photos on this page,
and do not copy these photos or reproduce them in any other way.

This page is intended for historical research only, and no political or philosophical aims should be assumed. 
Nothing on this page should be construed as advice or directions to trespass on private or posted property.

This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.


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