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2010 SHARKHUNTERS Patrol to the
'Southern Redoubt' of the Third Reich
Adolf Hitler loved the Bavarian Alps and
spent more than one third of his time in power on the Obersalzberg. Always
one to seize an opportunity, Martin Bormann turned the entire top of the
mountain into a Reichsicherheitstzone - a security zone for the leaders of the
Reich under his control. He did not seize the properties on the mountain as post-war stories
purport; all these properties were purchased at a fair market price including Haus Wachenfeld which was later known as
the Berghof and was extended to suit the needs of a head of state.
First visit however, was the huge manor house of Dietrich Eckhard. In case the name doesn't ring a bell with you, he was more or less the founder of the Party, the NSDAP and in the early days of his political career, Hitler met frequently with Eckhard in planning sessions. At the end of World War Two, the United States had control over the entire area here but some years ago, they relinquished it back to the Bavarian Government - all, that is, except for the home of Eckhard. For some reason, the U.S. Government, the Army in particular, did not relinquish the house but kept it. Furthermore, there are signs all around the property telling people to keep out. Why?
By great good luck, as I was driving past before meeting up with the Members on the 'Patrol' I noticed a car in the drive and it appeared that the doors and windows were open. I walked in and found the German who was more or less in charge and asked him if I might take photos of the place. He asked for identification so to try to flim-flam my way past him, I showed him my U.S. Coast Guard (Aux.) ID card. He smiled and reminded me that this place was owned by the U.S. Army, not the U.S.C.G. Okay, at least it was allowed to take photos outside.
|If you do not read German, this
"Harry is Welcome Here!"
|This is a BIG house!|
This is a VERY big house -
estimate more than 24 rooms.......maybe closer to 30 rooms. His favorite
restaurant was just a short walk away. He and Hitler met there many times but we will get there later in this 'Patrol'.
Now let's go visit part of Bormann's farm. He had control over miles and
miles in the Alps. We also walk along the Autobahn to Italy. Watch for
traffic.............but first, part of one of the farms.
This is the 'cooling house'
on one of Bormann's dairy farms. Note the almost fortress-like
construction, meant to insulate the place. The milk was brought
here straight from milking the cows and placed in the house which was deeply cooled by ice.
The ice was cut in blocks from the frozen lakes in the area during
winter, kept in sawdust to prevent it from melting, then used to cool
the milk during the rest of the year.
Now it is time to walk along the Autobahn through the Alps to Italy. Watch for speeding cars............
Before we get to the part of the Italy Autobahn,
we stop to look at a bridge built in the time of Reich.
We are standing on what would have been the road and are looking at the concrete tunnel for people who wanted to walk under the autobahn. Hundreds of tons of dirt would be added to completely this tunnel and the roadbed would be paved on the top where we are standing.
The face of the walking tunnel entrance. The tons of fill dirt would have the road running from left to right (or right to left) overhead while pedestrians could pass under the road in safety.
|The retaining wall for the road that was never built||JEFF CARSON, the Tunnel King, leads us through the tunnel|
The massive retaining wall, shot from both directions, was designed
to hold the roadbed in place once the fill dirt was added.
|Photo above - The black line shows the distance from the ground to the planned roadbed above was about ten meters - about 35 feet.|
Not to leave anything to chance. the Reich engineers paved and
blocked the sides of the footpath that ran beneath the roadway.
|They even engineered state of the
art drainage facilities.
The arrow points to a drainage culvert under the footpath.
We head back through the footpath tunnel, away from the road that never quite got finished.....but can't you just look into your imagination and see the bright red Mercedes sports car, the black touring cars, the trucks driving over the tunnel? Let your mind wander a bit........
If you look closely at these structures
that we show on our various 'Patrols' you will note the extremely
high degree of engineering that went into building these various structures,
tunnels, buildings, airfields and more. These were not done by slave
laborers but rather well paid and highly skilled professional tradesmen.
In addition to a good standard of pay, they also got bonuses for such things as
being away from their homes for certain amount of time, having to work in wet
ground etc. They lived in camps that were quickly erected at the work site
and when the bridge or tunnel or whatever was completed, they moved the camp to
the next work site.
Click on the photo above to join us on the magnificent Königsee. the scenery is breathtaking. Don't you already wish you had been with us?
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