Military Review

Führerbunker: Hitler's Bunker

April 1945 of the year. Gotthard Heinrici, commander of the Vistula Army Group, whose defense is cracking under the onslaught of the Soviet offensive, arrives in Berlin to tell the Führer the bitter truth about the situation on the Eastern Front. Seeing the burnt ruins of the Imperial Chancellery, he half-whispers said to the accompanying colonel Eisman: "Just think, three years ago, Hitler ruled all of Europe from the Volga to the Atlantic, and now sits in a hole under the ground"

“Nora” is a very precise definition of the room where the leader of the Third Reich spent the last weeks of his life and met his death. Emotionally accurate. But if we talk about the technical side of the issue, the “Führerbunker” in the basement of the Imperial Chancellery was rather complicated from an engineering point of view, construction. About him, and the story goes.

Not a whim

Preserving the lives of current leaders of states is important only because the continuous control of the state and the army must always be maintained.

There must always be a center where all kinds of information about the situation in all parts of the country and in all areas of activity flow from all sides. The center where information processing takes place, analysis of the situation and where the most important orders come from, which ensure coordinated in time, place and goals, activities in all spheres of military and government activities. Without this, the state and the army are likened to a hive that has lost a womb. The question of death in both cases is only a matter of time.

Naturally, the adversary is striving with all the forces of its intelligence to reveal these key control points, and having discovered it, to destroy it.

And it is just as natural that each side seeks to ensure the safety of its government control posts and those individuals who are currently holding the reins of government.

However, relying on the fact that the enemy does not know the whereabouts of the top leaders is imprudent. Moreover, until the moment of striking them, it is impossible to be confident in the degree of his awareness.

So, besides camouflaging, these command centers must be adequately protected from exposure weapons the adversary.

In past centuries, this issue was not particularly acute, since the range of weapons was small. For example, in the battle of Austerlitz in 1805, the emperors of Russia, Austria and France were directly present on the battlefield behind their troops, not fearing for their lives, and could even see each other through telescopes.

But already during the First World War, Russian Emperor Nicholas II could not afford to get closer to the front line closer than a few dozen kilometers, and his headquarters was located a hundred kilometers from the front.

Aviation The Second World War made it impossible to ensure the safety of government leaders by their remoteness from the front, and the power of aircraft weapons required that senior government leaders be reliably protected from bombs.

This is what dictates the emergence and development of various kinds of shelters during the Second World War (bunker shelters, etc.) for the rulers of Germany, England and the USSR, and not their personal selfish desire to save their precious lives to the detriment of the lives of soldiers, as many believe.

The tradition of building concrete shelters in Germany dates back to the times of the First World War. Pictured model of the 1916 hopper of the year

When Hitler was to leave Wolfsan's 1945 in February and return to Berlin, the four forbunker rooms will be set aside for Goebbels and his family (they will move to this underground dwelling on April 1,2), two of them [3,4) will be accommodated personnel, in two (22) - grocery storeroom and kitchen, in two (5,6) - external security and part of the bunker equipment. And two more rooms [7,8) were occupied by a housekeeper and household property. The Forbunker Corridor [L) will be converted into a common dining room, where all the inhabitants of the bunker will eat, excluding only the Fuhrer himself. The main part of Hitler’s last dwelling, the Führerbunker itself, whose construction began in the summer of 9,10, in the garden of the Imperial Chancellery, was attached to the old bomb shelter [forbunker). Pre-dug a pit of about 12,13 depth, m, and this second part of the bunker was half a floor below the forecocker. It is usually said that the Führerbunker was a two-story one. However, as we see, it is not. There were two bunkers, one of which was lowered below the other and was farther from the Imperial Chancellery building. Both bunkers were in contact with each other, and from one to the other could be reached by a ladder. The Führerbunker (as we will call the new part of the structure, as opposed to the old, which we will call the forbunker) had its own entrance from the garden of the Imperial Chancellery. On the sides of the entrance were two ventilation towers with cone-shaped roofs (one of them remained unfinished by May 1943). Along the whole Fuhrerbunker, a narrow corridor (17) runs from the entry cage to the forbunker transition cage. The entire right side of the bunker is reserved for the meeting room (1945), the reception room (14), the office (15), the bedroom of Hitler (16), and the bedroom of Eva Braun (17). Here are the toilet and bathroom [18). And yet the bunker is small. The room for ventilation equipment and drinking water tanks had to be placed through the wall of the Fuhrer's bedroom, which clearly did not add comfort.
On the other side of the corridor were the offices of Goebbels and Hitler's personal doctor [21,22), the secretariat room (23) (stenographers, typists, clerk), the communications center (24) (telephone switchboard), the computer room (25) [diesel generator, electric motors ventilation systems), switchboard (27), where the switchboard and air filters were located.
There were no rooms for Hitler’s security personnel, and part of the corridor (26) was allotted to the guardroom, where a ladder went out of the forbunker.

The fruit of distrust and suspicion

The bunker [or rather, its first stage], which will later become Hitler’s last abode, was planned as early as 1935, during the renovation of the Imperial Chancellery building, like a conventional bomb shelter. Initially, he had only 12 small rooms (approximately 3 x 5 m) and was not intended for the Fuhrer personally. The construction was carried out as part of a nationwide program to protect the population and institutions from enemy air attacks. The thickness of the ceiling did not exceed 2 m, ceiling height - 3,05 m, wall thickness ranged from 1,6 to 2 m.

Hitler in the future war was going to personally lead the fighting of the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe and the kriegemarin. In what form it will be performed, it has not yet been defined. However, the Fuhrer was not going to fight from Berlin. This was inconvenient for a number of reasons: remoteness from the front, possible bombing of the capital of the state with all the ensuing consequences. Yes, and not very much the Fuhrer trusted his army, the police and the metropolitan people. Therefore, in various parts of the country, a whole series of bunkers was created, and in some cases, bunker complexes to house the main structural division of the government - the Fuhrer Stakes. The isolated position of such bunker complexes made it possible to reliably ensure the protection of the head of state from all sorts of accidents, including the attempts of the conspirators to physically eliminate the Führer, who was very suspicious of army generals.

The most famous complex to accommodate Hitler’s headquarters is Wolfsan in East Prussia, 7 km from Rustenburg, where Hitler spent most of the war and where the only nearly successful attempt on his life took place in 1944. However, the construction of "Wolfschance" began only in 1940 year, when it was decided to attack the Soviet Union.

Führerbunker: Hitler's Bunker

After the end
The eyes of Hitler's bunker visiting Soviet soldiers presented an erelish of decline and ruin

Concrete necklace

There were several more bunkers for the work of Hitler and his apparatus, of which three are best known in the western part of Germany and three in the USSR. This is "Felsennest" in the mountains on the banks of the Rhine; "Tanneberg" in the mountain forests of the Black Forest; "Wolfshlucht" on the former French-Belgian border near the town of Prüe de Pesch; "Berenhalle" in 3 km from Smolensk; "Rere" e Galicia and "Ver-wolf" in Ukraine near Vinnitsa.

Sometimes they talk about the "Berghof" in Southern Bavaria, but this chalet, although equipped with a bomb shelter, was only Hitler's resting place and a place where he received some guests. Strictly speaking, there were only two full-fledged bunker complexes - Wolfsan and Werewolf.

The start of the French 1940 campaign of the year Hitler met in the Felsennest bunker. Most likely, the Führer made this choice in order to feel himself at the front. His adjutant from the Luftwaffe, Lieutenant-Colonel von Belov, writes in his memoirs that originally a castle near Bad Nauheim was chosen for Hitler’s headquarters, but he did not like it, and he demanded that the headquarters be placed “front-line”. Experts from the organization Todt found a suitable place in the position of anti-aircraft battery at Münstereifel. In total there were built three bunkers and a hut for the dining room.

By the end of hostilities in France, Hitler moved his headquarters to the Belgian town of Brulee de Pesch. However, due to the end of the war, no bunkers were built there and they did not start.

After the fall of France, the need for bunkers in the west was gone, and they were actually abandoned. In July, 1940, Hitler returned to Berlin. But the air raids of British bombers on Berlin, the first of which took place on 25 in August on 1940, created certain inconveniences, and on 23 on June 1941 of the year, Hitler transferred his headquarters to East Prussia, in a complex of bunkers called Wolfsanz. According to von Belov, there was nothing extraordinary in these bunkers. There were only ten of them, and they were all located on the surface of the earth. The back wall was about 2 m thick, and the front wall could only protect from fragments. In addition to bunkers in this camp there were the usual wooden barracks for various purposes.

From the headquarters of Hitler in the Soviet Union, the most famous, "Werewolf", was under | Vinnitsa. Its construction began on December 19 | 1941 of the year. By May 1942, the first stage was completed. 16 May 1942, Hitler transfers his headquarters from East Prussia, from Wolfsan, to a new location north of Vinnitsa to the village of Kolo-Mikhaylivka. By June, the move was completed. However, by November 1942, the Fuhrer returned to Wolfsan. The second time, Hitler tried to settle near Vinnitsa at the end of February 1943, when the troops of Manstein inflicted a successful counter-attack near Kharkov and the Wehrmacht was able to stabilize the front for several months. But a month later, Hitler left Vinnitsa again. He visited the site several times during the summer, but at the end of August 1943, the Werewolf was finally abandoned, and all the buildings in February and March of the 1944 were blown up.

Little is known about the third complex, in the Smolensk region. Construction "Berenhalle", or rather, the reconstruction and restructuring of the former command post of the General Staff of the Red Army, was carried out from October 1941 to August 1942. The complex in Krasny Bor consisted of 42 structures for various purposes. Personally, for Hitler, only one new bunker with an area of ​​just 43 m2 was built. However, the Führer only visited here twice - in the middle of November 1941 of the year and 13 of March of 1943. The bunkers were used by the headquarters of Army Group Center, and his arrival here was most likely associated simply with a visit to the headquarters of the group.

Safety in exchange for comfort

At the end of winter 1945, the Führerbunker was mostly used only as a safe apartment for Hitler, where he could rest without fear of Allied aviation raids. The Fuhrer led the country and the fighting from his office in the Imperial Chancellery, where it was possible to get through forbunker. There he held operational meetings with the supreme military leadership of the Wehrmacht, the party and state elite. In case of danger, Hitler and the closest employees could quickly descend into the bunker. The rest of the staff of the Imperial Chancellery were supposed to hide in other shelters.

From the point of view of the fortification, the Führerbunker was a conventional bomb shelter of standard sizes.
and standard equipment. The ceiling overlap was 4,5 m thick, which was generally characteristic of high-class shelters in Germany. It provided protection against direct hitting even very large-caliber bombs. The outer walls had a thickness of up to 3,5 m, which, in combination with the underground location, also provided reliable protection. The thickness of the internal walls did not exceed 1 m, and for the most part the partitions were no thicker than 0,8-0,5 m. The ceiling height was 3,1 m.

Like all the seekers of the time, the Führerbunker was airtight and provided complete protection against poisonous gases. Indeed, by the time the Second World War began, no one doubted that a war would necessarily be chemical with the widest use of poisonous gases. Thus, until the very last moment the air in the bunker was clean and fresh.

Given the possible disruption of nearby power plants and the destruction of the city's power grid, the bunker had its own diesel generator, for which a separate room was set aside.

Heating system in the bunker was not provided. Normal temperature should be ensured only by heating the air in the ventilation system.

The trouble with the Führerbunker, like most underground structures, was groundwater, the level of which in Berlin is very high. Obviously, for this reason during the construction of the bunker did not begin to lower too deep. The water in the drainage system was diverted by pumps outside the bunker. And yet in the room
The news was rather damp, which obviously did not add health to its inhabitants.

Spicy detail: the bunker was not equipped with toilets, because it was below the level of urban sewage. And only for the Fuhrer and Eva Braun was made a personal toilet with manual waste disposal. The rest of the bunker dwellers were supposed to use the toilets of the Imperial Chancellery, which was very dangerous in the last days of the defense of Berlin.

On the whole, consideration of the design and equipment of the Führerbunker leads to the conclusion that it was intended only for a short stay of Hitler in the case of Allied air raids. Neither for work, nor for permanent finding it was not designed and adapted. The allegations that “... in the Fuhrer’s bunker are drowned very hot,” “Hitler with his retinue during the long night hours of raids on Berlin, whiled away the time in the bunker watching movies,” can be considered only a fiction that does not have nothing to do with reality.

The Fuhrer drove the Red Army into this crypt when he no longer had a place on the ground. Irony stories - Hitler died, already under the ground.

Nothing remained of either the Imperial Chancellery or the Führerbunker. Today it’s just a wasteland on the corner of Wil-Helmshtrasse and Fossstrasse near the eastern edge of the Tiergarten. However, there are almost no traces of all the other bunkers today, except for the cyclopean concrete ruins in the forest near Rustenburg and some fragments near Vinnitsa.

Like all the seekers of the time, the Führerbunker was airtight and provided complete protection against poisonous gases.

Indeed, by the time the Second World War began, no one doubted that a war would necessarily be chemical with the widest use of poisonous gases. Thus, until the very last day, the air in the bunker * was clean and fresh. Given the possible disruption of nearby power plants and the destruction of the city's power grid, the bunker had its own diesel generator, for which a separate room was set aside. By the way, putting a diesel in a residential building is not the best idea. No sound insulation and sealing will not save from the noise, the smell of fuel and oil and leakage of exhaust gases. It is more reasonable to build power supply points at some distance, in a separate bunker. But, obviously, the Führerbunker became the refuge of Hitler in the last weeks of the war only because of harsh necessity and not prepared for long stays specially.
Originator:"rel =" nofollow ">
Add a comment
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.