Geoff Walden


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Miscellaneous Sites

Associated with the Third Reich

Part 2


   The following sites can be found on this page. Click these links to proceed directly to a particular site.  Bavaria-Thuringia border (Luftwaffe radar site), Doggerwerk underground factory site (Bavaria), Nürnberg Deutsche Stadion model site (Bavaria), Bayreuth (Bavaria), 11th Armored Division in northern Bavaria (and two 1945 scenes in southern Bavaria), Kampfgruppe Peiper tanks in Tondorf (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Autobahn ruins (Bavaria), Autobahn monument at Hirschberg (Thuringia), Autobahn bridge at Jena (Thuringia), Autobahn service station at Michendorf (Brandenburg-Berlin), Autobahn bridge at Kaiserslautern (Rheinland-Pfalz), Autobahn Rasthof at Hermsdorf (Thüringen).


These are the remains of a Luftwaffe radar site on the border between Bavaria and Thuringia, north of Bad Königshafen in northern Bavaria. This site, built in late 1944 and code-named "Made," housed a "Würzburg-Riese" radar dish and a "Jagdschloß" radar array, along with associated administration and supply bunkers. Above - ruins of the bunker for the "Jagdschloß" radar. Below - left, ruins of the supply bunker; right, mounting base for the "Würzburg-Riese" radar dish. The period photo just below shows a "Würzburg-Riese" radar dish mounted on its base. (Click here to see another such radar site near Schweinfurt.)  (Bundesarchiv Koblenz)   (MapQuest Map Link)

Doggerwerk Tunnel System

As the German military industries moved underground in 1944, a site was planned for assembly of BMW 801 aircraft engines. This was first known as Project "Esche 1," then later as "Dogger." A series of tunnels was dug into the Houbirg hill overlooking Happurg, east of Nürnberg. The planned completed size was some 120,000 square meters, but only about 15% of the tunnels were completed, and production never started. The tunnels were the standard for late-war underground construction, being arches lined with concrete. The tunnel entrances were bricked up or shut with concrete and covered over by the U.S. Army after the war. Most of the entrances are still covered with earth today - the one on the left of the lower group in the plan (seen here on the right) is partially exposed today (this is Tunnel G).


Tunnel F (next to the right in the plan) has been re-opened, but is kept locked. The photo on the right shows a view of the tunnel interior, taken through the bars of the (locked) gate.


This is the entrance to Tunnel E, covered with earth.

Higher on the hill above the tunnel entrances was a concrete water reservoir (one source says this ruin was actually a workshop building at the top of a cable lift system).


The site is now a memorial to the victims from the concentration camp at Flossenbürg, encamped nearby at Hersbruck, who died building these tunnels. On the right is a period relic found at the site - a piece of rail from the narrow gauge railway that ran to the tunnel entrances.  (MapQuest Map Link)


Deutsche Stadion Model Site

Architect Albert Speer designed the Deutsche Stadion, or Great German Stadium in Nürnberg to be the largest sports arena in the world, with seating for 405,000. The stadium (seen as an architectural model on the left) was never built, but a full-scale model of part of the seating area was built, in order to test the view from the upper levels. This model was constructed of wood with concrete foundations on a hillside in the Hirschbach valley, near the village of Oberklausen, east of Nürnberg. On the right, Speer inspects the model along with other dignitaries. The small dark rectangle seen at the top of the seating area was a block of 60 workers, testing the view. And let me assure you - the ground looks every bit as far away from up there today, as those workers looked from down below!  (left - "Die Stadt der Recihsparteitage - Nürnberg und die M.A.N."; right - from "Illustrierter Beobachter," 17 March 1938)


Speer's Stadion would have dwarfed the other structures at the Nürnberg Party Rally Grounds, including the Kongreßhalle, seen at the upper left of the model on the left. On the right is an artist's conception of the Stadion from ground level - the tiny people at the bottom are to scale!  (from "Kunst in Deutschen Reich")


Another view of the architectural model on the left, with an overall view of the full-scale model site on the right, during initial construction.  (left - period postcard)


Hitler (center) visits the site with Albert Speer and others on 21 March 1938.  (Bundesarchiv)


A closer view of the model site, with the corresponding view today. The trees to the right of the rock mask the series of concrete foundations going up the hillside (the lowest one is visible as a dark strip near the bottom, above the road), but the concrete bases for the separate tower can be seen near the top on the right. Apparently, the model tested two different angles for the seating arrangements, as seen on the left. The angles of the hillside for these two sections are still different today.


The wooden parts of the structure were removed by the U.S. Army after the war, but the concrete bases are left today. On the left, one of the massive concrete walls that supported the cross levels of the wooden seating area model. On the right, some of the many smaller blocks that supported the seats themselves. (The wood was used to rebuild a local village, which had been largely destroyed during a defense by SS troops during the U.S. Army advance in April 1945.)


On the left, the supports for the model of the upper rim of the stadium, above the seating area - seen at the upper left of the full-scale hillside model photo. On the right, concrete supports for the separate tower model, on the opposite side of the hill face.  (MapQuest Map Link)



The Haus der Deutschen Erziehung (House of German Education) was located on Luitpoldplatz (this part is now called La Spezia Platz) in the northern part of the downtown area. The building was substantially damaged by bombing during World War II, and was rebuilt in 1947. Subsequent renovations have changed its appearance considerably. Today the building is used by the E.ON energy corporation.  (period postcard)  (MapQuest Map Link)


The long building to the left was known as the Steno Haus, but it has been replaced by modern construction.  (period postcard)


Dedication of the House of German Education on 12 July 1936.  (left - from "Illustrierter Beobachter," 23 July 1936; right - from Fr. Prof. Gerdy Troost, "Das Bauen im neuen Reich," Bayreuth, 1938)


Inside the building was a large Hall of Honor, with a statue at one end representing the German Mother. The photo on the left below was taken on 23 April 1945, and shows the destruction inside the building at the end of the war (the white marks are editor's crop marks on the original photo). On the right below is a GI artist's conception of the state of the building in April 1945.  (above left - from "Illustrierter Beobachter," 23 July 1936; above right - period postcard; below left - U.S. National Archives, RG 111-SC-333014; below right - "History of the 71st Infantry Division," 1945)


This market hall was built in Bayreuth in 1935. The fresco on the front wall was painted by Oskar Martin-Amorbach, a respected artist whose works were displayed in the Haus der Deutschen Kunst. Now called the Rotmainhalle (after the "Red" branch of the Main River), the building is almost surrounded by the modern Rotmain Center.


11th Armored Division in Northern Bavaria, April 1945

At the end of the war the U.S. 11th Armored Division moved through northeastern Bavaria, from Coburg to Kronach, Kulmbach, and Bayreuth, then from there to the southeast through the Bavarian Forest, and into Austria. This M4A3 Sherman tank passed through the village of Marktzeuln, southwest of Kronach, on 12 April 1945. The view is almost exactly the same today.  (National Archives, RG 111-SC)  (MapQuest Map Link)


This M4A3 Sherman tank is advancing into the center of Kronach, which burns from the fighting, on 12 April 1945. The Fachwerk building in the center background was not rebuilt in its original style. (Many thanks to Louis Lanier Hurdle, who identified this location (which had eluded me) and sent the modern photo.) (U.S. National Archives, RG111-SC)   (MapQuest Map Link)


GIs of the 101st Infantry Regiment move into the upper town area of Kronach, near the castle, as an ammunition trailer explodes in the background. All of the buildings in the center background were later replaced by more modern construction. (Many thanks to Louis Lanier Hurdle, who identified this location and sent the modern photo.)  (National Archives, RG 111-SC-206235)  (MapQuest Map Link)


This M4A3 Sherman tank was photographed while  driving on the Autobahn (now A9) north of Bayreuth, toward Berlin, on 19 April 1945. This was the interchange for the secondary road leading to Marktschorgast and Gefrees (now Exit 37 for Gefrees).  (National Archives, RG 111-SC)  (MapQuest Map Link)


The 11th Armored Division eventually moved southeast from Bayreuth, ending the war near Linz in Austria. This M4A3E8 Sherman tank is moving through the town of Gallneukirchen, northeast of Linz, on 4 May 1945. The large building in the period photo is now gone, but the building seen behind the tank appears in the left-center of the modern photo (which was taken on 5 May 2005).  (National Archives, RG 111-SC)  (MapQuest Map Link)


This is not the 11th Armored Division nor northern Bavaria, but an M4A3 Sherman tank of an armored unit advancing toward Berchtesgaden in early May 1945. The tank had come from Munich (north) and was passing through the town of Miesbach, where it turned east toward Rosenheim and Berchtesgaden. A column of German POWs (including some mounted on horses) can be seen marching toward Munich.  ("The Epic of the 101st Airborne," 101st Airborne Division Public Relations Office, Auxerre, France, 1945)  (MapQuest Map Link)


Again, not the 11th Armored Division nor northern Bavaria. This is Troop B of the 116th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 12th Armored Division, in Murnau am Staffelsee in southern Bavaria. According to the combat photographer's caption, as the U.S. unit arrived in Murnau on 29 April 1945 to liberate Polish prisoners at the military barracks, SS staff cars drove up and two SS soldiers were killed during the resulting gun battle. The barracks is now the Bundeswehr Werdenfelser Kaserne.  (U.S. National Archives, RG 111-SC-205617)  (Google Maps link)


Tiger Tanks of Kampfgruppe Peiper in Tondorf

And now for the German side ... These stills from films shot by SS cameramen show the Tiger B tanks (Tiger II or King Tiger) of s.SS-Pz.Abt. 501 moving through the village of Tondorf on 16 December 1944, on their way to join the initial attack during the Battle of the Bulge. The unit was part of Kampfgruppe Peiper of the 1st SS Panzer Division (see "Tigers in the Ardennes"). The view has changed very little today, with the Gasthaus Zum Weißen Roß still in business.  (National Archives, RG 242-MID-3136)  (MapQuest Map Link)


Remains of Autobahn "Section 46"

Hitler's planned Autobahn highway system called for three main north-south highways, linked by several east-west connectors. Some of the construction projects were halted by the start of war in 1939 - one of these was the north-south section between Fulda and Würzburg, known as "Strecke 46" (Section or Stretch 46). Several bridges had been built, and parts of the highway were ready for surfacing. However, the eventual completed north-south highway in this area, today's Autobahn A7, was built about 20 kilometers east of the planned route of Strecke 46. So the remains of Strecke 46 can now be found along its original route.  See the Strecke 46 homepage (in German) - (info on guided tours also on this page).

The relic seen above was a bridge abutment for a bridge across the valley of the Fränkische Saale river, at Schonderfeld west of Hammelburg. The artifact is used today by climbing clubs, who put the cross and railings on the top.  (MapQuest Map Link)


This bridge over a small road near Burgsinn, north of Gemünden, is in surprisingly good condition today. Just passing under the bridge, one would not realize there is actually no roadway up above. This road was part of the route of Task Force Baum, whose tanks passed directly under this bridge and went on up the hill, toward Gräfendorf and Hammelburg(MapQuest Map Link)


Autobahn Border Monument near Hirschberg

The Berlin-Munich Autobahn (A9) bridge spanning the Saale River at the border between Thüringen and Bavaria was the site of a Nazi monument - a tall stone pylon topped by a Reichsadler with swastika. The site remains much the same today, minus the pylon and eagle, but it is no longer a pull-off for Autobahn traffic. Below is an artist's concept of the site. Behind the monument was a small picnic area, which has remained virtually unchanged. Only the stone pylon is missing (its base remains), and the entrance to the stone stairway that led down to the right has been blocked (the stairway itself is still there, although the bottom is now buried).  (above - period postcard; below - from Georg Fritz, "Strassen und Bauten Adolf Hitlers," Berlin, 1939)  (Google Maps link)
 A note for visitors - It is illegal (and very dangerous) to exit or pull over on the Autobahn here. This site can only be safely (and legally) reached by a path beneath the bridge.


A view from the other end of the bridge. A somewhat similar pull-off was located on this end.  (Bundesarchiv)


The bridge over the River Saale still shows the classic design of many Third Reich period bridges.  (from Fr. Prof. Gerdy Troost, "Das Bauen im neuen Reich," Bayreuth, 1942)


   The Hirschberg Saale Bridge site was featured in Nazi propaganda posters advertising the German Autobahn highway system.

   This aerial view shows the entire site as well as the bridge, which was similar to the Holledau Bridge. This scene would look radically different today due to the large amount of traffic that now travels the German Autobahns.




Autobahn Bridge at Jena

One of the longest bridges in the Autobahn system was that crossing the valley of the Saale River south of Jena (on the current Autobahn A4). The view on the left above shows an architectural model of the bridge. On the right, a GI inspects a destroyed span that was blown by retreating German forces in April 1945.  (right - National Archives, RG 111-SC-324085)  (MapQuest Map Link)


The Jena Brücke as seen in 1938, with a corresponding view today.  ("Das Bauen im neuen Reich" by Fr. Prof. Gerdy Troost, Bayreuth, 1938)


Autobahn Service Station at Michendorf (Berlin)

   One of the few remaining original buildings that was once a service station for the Autobahn system can be seen on the southwest side of Berlin, at Michendorf.

   The building is located on the eastbound side of Autobahn A10 (south side). The building is no longer a service station, but is part of the Michendorf Raststätte (rest area and restaurant).

(MapQuest Map Link)


Autobahn Bridge at Kaiserslautern

The Waschmühltal Bridge for Autobahn A6 at Kaiserslautern was built to a design by Fritz Todt and Paul Bonatz.  (1. Deutsche Architektur und Kunstahndwerk Ausstellungskatalog, 1938)  (Google Maps link)


Autobahn Rasthof at Hermsdorf

One of the earliest rest stations on the Reichs Autobahn system, complete with restaurant and hotel, was built at the intersection of Autobahns A4 and A9 at Hermsdorf, in Thüringen, ca. 1937-38. The complex continues to serve the same function today. The final configuration was somewhat different from the artist's conception at left above. (above - Herbert Hoffmann, "Deutschland baut," Stuttgart, 1938; below - period postcard)  (Google Maps link)


The Hermsdorf Raststätte is similar to that at Chiemsee, built during the same time period, with marble columns and doorway surrounds, but not to the same extent as at Chiemsee. The original tunnel and staircases that led from the parking area on the other side of the Autobahn can still be used.


   Go to Miscellaneous Sites, Part 3

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