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A Secret Site In Bavaria

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Martin Bull, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    So much of Germany's WWII history is still 'hidden'; you can easily visit the place and be looking at something interesting without realising it.... :(

    Last year in Oberammergau, I spotted an intriguing group of large, monolithic buildings set in a valley to the East of the town. Asking at my hotel, I was told that it's now the 'NATO School'. A local taxi-driver added that during the war it was the Wehrmacht's Gebirgsjager training school. Interesting, but it looked a bit big for training barracks....

    Over a year later, browsing through Smith & Creek's monumental ' Me 262 ' volumes, there it is.. complete with map and aerial photo.

    From 1943 until the end of the war, this place was known only as Oberbayerische Forschungsanstalt ( Research Establishment ), but it actually WAS MESSERSCHMITT ! After the US bombing of Regensburg, Messerschmitt's key design, technical and prototype offices and workshops with 2,230 personnel were moved here and underground facilities were built into the mountainside.

    Secrecy remained so complete that the Allies never found out, and the Americans were astonished to discover the true identity of the facility at the end of the war.

    Obviously, even today, this is not well-known. And I didn't even take a photo.... :( :rolleyes:

    So if you go to Oberammergau, forget the Passion Play and woodcarvings - spare a thought for the Schwalbe and Stormbird ....

    [ 21. September 2003, 02:48 AM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
     
  2. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    Good find Martin. It really is a shame that there are so many things out there and they're not recorded or looked upon as a "major or strategic situation". I guess every war will always have it's secret compartments and things that'll never be revealed, i guess we'll never know.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I was there in 1980 and refused admittance. There are underground caves in the back of the hillside and much of it according to the sources there in Bayern, is that the tunnels have been demolished. In my opinion they have not been and are now being used for something else......oooooooooooooohhhhhhhh.........

    ~E
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Martin--believe it or not--but Susanne and I passed right through there, and I did take some pictures.

    We drove through the Gebirgsjager Garrison buildings--were stopped by a German Jager, while two groups of Gebirgsjager in groups af appx 50 each. They came storming out of what looked to me like a giant ditch led by an officer waving his pistol in the air.

    I thought this was cool as all and I whipped out my camera and snapped several pics. Susanne was a bit embarassed but--she also knew I don't get to see these kinda things very often. In fact, the last troop movement I saw was in 1988, which was a very long train with tanks and large artillery pieces on it and soldiers stationed all over the train. The equiptment was covered in tarp but--I knew what was there.

    This was in the middle of January during one of our coldest winters on record and at about 3:30 AM. I was then working delivering newspaper for the San Antonio Light Newspaper. I quit what I was doing and walked to just behind the building and stood by the tracks to watch the train. I thought it strange that there were soldiers on the train till I realized that they were moving a unit by rail to somewhere.

    I talked with several of the soldiers and also threw them free newspapers to read. It was a cool experiance for someone who was 18 yrs old. I ran short on a few papers but--I borrowed them from another stack--as always happens when that person is late in showing up for work.

    Anyway, I do have some pictures--still never developed yet but--one of these days I will get them done and will see what all I got pics of.
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    You certainly did better than I did, Carl - did you pop a spare Jumo jet engine into the trunk of the car ?

    And Erich - that was 1980, before glasnost , perestroika and a spirit of European open-ness. Today you'd probably get a guided tour and an 'I Have Visited The Secret Tunnels Of Bavaria' bumper sticker. ;)

    On the other hand...maybe not ! :(
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Martin, no doubt ! anyway in 1980 the place was crawling with security guards a concrete wall with barbed wire at the entrance with those chaps and many an MG and SBG I thought it was best to make a hasty retreat to the schwimbad close by....

    ~E
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Martin--I wish I could have but--unfortunately, the cars trunk was jammed packed full of Susannes and my luggage and also the Militaria we both had bought while in Goslar.

    Maybe before years end--maybe I can finish getting everything developed and ill ask someone to post some choice things here. I have way too many pics fopr that even if I did stick only to ww2 and military related things. I think in all--I took some 600 photos :eek: :eek: during my month there.
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Well, it's taken me ten years to get back to Oberammergau but I made it two weeks ago and was utterly determined to get some pics of the 'Messerschmitt' complex.
    NATO are still in possession so you can't exactly saunter in to poke around, but I took the opportunity of a cable-car ride up the mountain to get a couple of aerial photos.......

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    And, no, I didn't find any Me262 relics lying around.......:(
     
  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Crafty, Martin!
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Just wait for the knock on the door,now,Martin... ;) Top secret photos... Many thanx for sharing them!
     
  11. midnight

    midnight recruit

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    I lived in Oberammergau as a civilian for over 15 years in the 1980´s and a local guy took me for a quick look inside the complex before the entrances were sealed with concrete,they are re-opened now and again for damage inspection,apparently there´s 22 kms of tunnels though I find that hard to believe that could be achieved in such a short time,all that is left are a few gantries for moving engines etc,parts are still used by the NATO school but as they used to say `Loose lips lose ships´so speculating on the subject might not be in anybodies interests.Jets flew over from the Luftwaffe basis at Lagerlechfeld almost daily in the early 1980´s as the Warsw Pact wanted to test their awareness but I can assure you that no tanks or heavy artillery were moving on the rail head at that time as they wouldn´t have had space to get them off the train anyway,as for `Gebirgsjäger rushing out of ditches´,well they moved out after WW2 and there´s a school for Ministry of Defence(Bundeswehr) clerks,maybe they were brandishing biros;) Heavier security was started in 1984 after German Terrorists of the Red Army Faction successfully got a car bomb into the facility and they were very lucky,and only lucky that dozens weren´t killed or maimed.
    At the end of WW2 Oberammergau was basically a factory not only for Messerschmidt but also for Osram who used the World Famous Passion Play Theater for production purposes,refugees were also kicked out to provide companies with lodging for engineers etc .There are conflicting stories whether the US knew of the importance of the underground factory in the Laber Mountain but they were greeted by engineers showing them the designs for the next generation of jet fighters,take a good look at the Stealth bombers of today and the plans from 1945,luckily the engineers didn´t concentrate on the problem´s of the day but the future that never happened.
    Henry Kissinger was stationed in Oberammergau,has never discussed what he did there but I can make a very good guess, and,he didn´t pay all of his Hotel bill,the owner still has a suitcase of his and is waiting for him to kick the bucket so that can he get get it onto E-Bay!I think Henry K will outlive him though;)
    There was a tank,a Leopard 1 inside the barracks in 1982 for the 50th Anniversary Party of the Bundeswehr Verwaltungs Schule,the above mentioned clerk´s training, and other military kit ,maybe they were on the train but if you look on google earth they´d have a hell of a job getting them off.
    The internet is full of facts and fiction about the Messerschmidt factory in Oberammergau,the Passion Play has been denounced by other´s who have never spent even a few days or seen the Play itself,one stupid woman has even recently written a book about Oberammergau describing it as a `remote mountain village´,In fact it´s been on the main trading route,the Rott Stasse,for about 2000 years and the Celts and Romans lived here also,remote as New York I suppose!
    Ein Kriegsende - Garmisch-Partenkirchen in den letzten Apriltagen 1945

    All the Best!
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Welcome to the Forum, midnight - and many thanks indeed for the most interesting post ! :cool:

    Don't discount the 22km of tunnels ; some almost incredible feats of tunnelling and civil engineering took place in WWII , not just in Germany but also in the UK.

    My curiosity was taken by this entrance on the other side of the mountain, alongside the Oberau-Munich road and just a few metres from the main rail line. Obviously, the canopy is recent and the tunnel entrance is now used by the electricity company. But it did make me wonder...............

    [​IMG]
     
  13. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    The above comment made me reel back in to my seat when I read it. Martin Bull not finding any relics astounded me! :D

    That entrance in to the mountain side just begs to be explored. It's a shame you couldn't gain access.
     
  14. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Indeed. Welcome Midnight and thanks for the additional info.:cool:
     
  15. midnight

    midnight recruit

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    That´s now a large water reservoir or rather a `pumping house´due to gravity they can transort over 1000 liters a minute for Munich without using any energy I believe,some say it was part of the factory and others dismiss it depending on what you read and by who ;)!Very confusing I know but there´s even talk about a secret uranium plant underneath the Wank mountain(yes that´s the real name!) near Partenkirchen and apparently children became ill after handling funny looking `stones´ just after the war.
    Hitler ordered all production to carry on underground and even the newly built for the 1936 Olympic Games tunnel near Eschenlöhe on the B2 was used as a production site,it´s still used and most travellers have no idea of its former use.
    Sadly this site is only in German but has lots of pictures so its easy to know what´s being written about,there was also a series on Spiegel TV a few years ago about Hitler´s Underground Factories so Youtube should be full of it;The first UFO´s were sighted in Oberammergau and Wernher Von Braun brought his team there to escape the Russians,after complaining that one bomb on their single barracks would destroy the whole team they moved to scattered farms in the Ammer Valley,he probably just wanted more freedom to move and be ready to sell himself and his scientists to the US which is basically what happened, even though Winston Churchill and the rest of Britain wanted him hung!
    I live in Garmisch now and the history here goes back to Celtic times and the Romans,the locals obviously don´t like talking about `ze War´but the internet makes life a lot easier,I´ve worked on the German net for over 30 years now and being a taxi driver I get to take the ex POW´s to their weekly Stammtisch and some of the poor buggers spent many years in Russia.I noticed one guy had a shiny new Audi and asked him why,he said that he wants a car to get away in case the Russians ever show up again, I replied that they the were never going to invade and he just looked at me and said `That´s what that lying B*st*rd Adolf told us as well!´More tragic than funny if you´ve watched all you mates die in Siberia.
    Herbert Thiess : Die unterirdische ehemalige Flugzeugfabrik in Oberammergau (Bayern)
     
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  16. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The book 'Nazi Gold' by Ian Sayer & Douglas Botting includes this story ; apparently the uranium ( in the form of small cubes ) was stockpiled in the Kreuzeck above Garmisch. As the US Army approached, the cubes were loaded onto trucks and dumped in the River Loisach. Later in the Summer of 1945 the cubes were discovered by children swimming in the river which sparked a 'uranium rush'.....

    Anyhow, I was in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last month and it's amusing to consider some of these stories over a beer or two at the Braustuberl ;)
     
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  17. midnight

    midnight recruit

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    There´s still quite a few looking for that Gold,thought to be hidden around the Walchensee area which also has a Me109 and a Lancaster Bomber in it,I think most of it got spent in Munich though,who´s going to bury the stuff when you know the wars over?Be carefull If you try looking for relics as there´s a story about a truck full of panzerfausts and the surrender wasn´t as bloodless as most believe,there´s quite a lot of ordinance waiting to kill and maim lying around still and a hand grenade turned up in a local stream quite recently.
    Das Reichsbankgold a local metal detectorist has been all over the area like a rash!

    Off to work!There´s another Bierfest on in Partenkirchen.
     
  18. midnight

    midnight recruit

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    Just a quick note,I cast doubt about heavy military involvement in Oberammergau in the 1980´s etc,however scraping at what´s left of my brain I remembered there was a NATO conference or 2 there with armed soldiers actually patrolling the streets with,and I sh@t you not,Mauser K98´s carried with shoulder straps so as not to scare the civilians,which as an ex NI veteran made my blood nearly curl,I wasn´t impressed with their `mobile patrols´ in Passat´s with the doors still on either;) !
    I worked in a Hotel in Oberammergau where there were more US Generals at one time than all the War films I´d seen as a kid including `The Longest Day´, it was quite amusing to see 1,2 and 3 Star Generals brace up when the 4 Star USAF General arrived, but don´t worry folks these were protected by Washington´s Finest, though they didn´t seem to realise that by having them all sitting by big panoramic windows that a simple blast grenade or a couple of sticks of gelignite would have saved the US Pension service a fortune ;) !
     
  19. cockerellc

    cockerellc New Member

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    Hello folks!
    My dad was stationed in Oberammergau back in 1960 - 1964, and I was almost 12 to almost 16 years of age, so exploring the area was always a high priority with me and my friends. I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this discussion.
    I was able to enter the Messerschmitt caves many times even though the entrances had been blown up after WW II. Here is some miscellaneous info...
    1) according to documents on the walls at Hdqtrs and Hdqrts company where my dad worked, there were 22 miles of caves dug into the Laber mountain.
    2) There was maybe 1/2 mile or so still "explorable" within the caves. One of the neatest things inside (all the equipment had been removed before the caves were sealed) was the locker room which was filled with dozens of downed lockers... being a kid, I did not have means to lift the blown down and flattened lockers, but some were accessible... In one locker I found an old shirt with a pocket calendar page from May of 1942 still in the front pocket.
    3) There was a machine gun nest on the west (?) side of the Laber near the "bear cave" that didn't have a view of the road leading into O'gau, so we kids assumed there was an entrance to the caves somewhere up there, but try as we might, we could never find it. I have read accounts that verify that there was an entrance "up there" somewhere. This "rumor" was personally verified to me back around 1964 when I entered the caves again and found, in a concrete pit a good distance from the entrances (pitch black inside, BTW), a dead chamois... my only reasonable conclusion was that it had fallen into the pit from some sort of access through the roof of the tunnels; there was no way it could have / would have made its way in the pitch black to the location where I found it. But, again, I could not find that access!!!
    4) I spoke to "Rudy", the owner of "Rudy's Gasthaus" just outside the Kaserne gates, and he told me that all of the machinery had been removed from the caves; my explorations verified that.
    5) There were / are 2 tunnels in the caves that have been sealed (sand and rock debris up to the roof) and that I was never able to get through.
    6) On the road to Munich, near Murnau, there are two tunnels that back then went into the mountain for may 50 yards before they were sealed; rumor was that these caves connected to the Messerschmitt caves.
    7) There are also underground tunnels near Eschenlohe, a few miles away from O'gau. I was not aware of those when I was in O'gau. Rats!
    8) The caves have now been sealed very effectively, with concrete walls where the old blown and jumbled rock entrances had been when I was a kid. These walls have vents in them that are inspected from time to time by "authorities"..
     

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  20. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for the update.
     

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