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SHARKHUNTERS International
Berlin Patrol 2012
Monday 4 September

OKW Headquarters

 

We arrive the sleepy village of Wunsdorf and as we see

 

 by the light and the long shadows, it is still early morning

     
 

Above left is an overview of the entire compound and above right is a closer view (shown in red) of the buildings in this HQ compound.  They were built to look like simple farmhouses from the air so the bombers wouldn't think they were worth the bombs, but were hardened to protect the people inside - and there was also a deep bunker complex.

Before we go on to the OKW HQ compound however, we have some other stops to make - places where this history is disappearing right before our very eyes.  We go to the stutzpunkt (the base) of the 5th Panzerkorp.

 

On our way we pass an abandoned Soviet snack bar and train

 

station where the daily train arrived from Moscow in the Soviet time

     
 

LEFT- there is another of those annoying signs.  Shouldn't it be in English and say "Sharkhunters Welcome Here"?

BELOW LEFT and RIGHT - Nature is rapidly taking this history back.  Soon it will be gone, lost in the mists of time and written about in history books that are not really accurate.  How soon will there be nothing left?

     
 
     
 

The tank repair shop stands empty now, a silent

 

sentry to days of history

     
 
The tank sheds are empty now   Grass grows where they once gathered

 

   

If you have even a spark of imagination, let it run free here.  Can you hear the mighty thunder of the panzers as they come out onto the parade ground?  Can you smell the pungent exhaust in the crisp early morning air?  If you cannot, then you should run to your doctor to see if you are even alive, because without imagination to make this history come alive, then what is history really?

 


On we go to "General's Row"

 
Five houses stood along this quiet rood, all for Generals   Only this one remains - and how soon will it be gone too?
     
 
The General had a great view off the balcony   The house appears structurally solid
     
 
Some of the systems need replacing   Who was in this room?  Let your imagination wander
     

While we do not know whether he lived in this house or in one of those that were destroyed, but one of the five houses was used by armored warfare genius General Heinz Guderian.

Now we go to visit the Kaiser..............

 


The Kaiser's Compound

 

At the time of the First World War, Kaiser Wilhelm II built this

 

magnificent compound for his cavalry

     
 
When the Soviets took over, they left their mark - this is Lenin   the main entrance to the main building
     
 
Like everything from the war years, this is allowed to fall into ruin   Another of those signs that say 'Sharkhunters Welcome!'
     
 

Let your imagination wander - who climbed these stairs

 

and who walked these hallways?

     
 
Amazing that such photos can be seen in here   Above and below - the Soviets left their mark here
 

The white structure seen here is the rotunda built by the Soviets to house their panorama of the battle around Berlin.  The panoramas built by the Soviets were extremely well done.  The painting of the battle on the circular walls blended so perfectly with the artifacts on the floor in front of the painting was blended so well that it was difficult to tell where the painting stopped and the artifacts began.  Unfortunately we cannot see that here.  When the Soviets were pulling out, back to Russia, they offered to leave the panorama in place - for a price.  Germany either could not or would not pay what was demanded, so the Soviets took their panorama back to Russia where it stands today.

We now go to another part of this compound, which was used by the 5th Panzers in the Second World War.

 

We are going through this door - but

 

there is yet another of those signs that welcome Sharkhunters

     
 
Who swam in this pool?   Who dived from this board?
     
 
Who changed their clothes here?   Who climbed these stairs?
     
 

.....and who used this telephone to call Moscow?


On the grounds outside we see a stark reminder of an empire that left a huge footprint on the pages of history, but was unable to last more than seventy decades.  This Soviet soldier brings it to us in stark reality.

The underlying observations is that everything that had anything to do with the Third Reich is being allowed to fall into ruin.  Is it because of lack of money?  Is it due to lack of concern or interest?  Or is there another reason?

The "Village"

  As we begin our walk through the headquarters of the OKW, we see an excellent chart of the way this 'village' was laid out.  From the air it looked like a small farming village or no strategic value at all and so was not targeted by the strategic bombing raids.

Walk with us through this ghost town.  Some say it looks like an elephant graveyard.
     
 
We are going through that gate - appears to be a sign there   Ah yes, one of THOSE signs
     
 
This is what it looked like in the war years; Haus A9 - A12   This is how it looked when the Soviets departed
     
 

Operation Valkyrie, the assassination of Adolf Hitler, was

 

planned in one of these buildings

 
     
  AHA!  What can be on the other side of this gate?

Actually, we are going deep underground in the former command
bunker of the OKW - the place where the top generals could go in
case of air attack.  There are many photos, so we added a page
just for those photos.  Join us on the other side of this gate...........

Let's go through and find out:
CLICK ON THE GATE TO ENTER


Please be patient - we are uploading a lot of photos and we are going as fast as we can.

CLICK HERE TO GO ON TO THE NEXT DAY OF ACTIVITY

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