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Traveling to Europe


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#1 harolds

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:01 PM

In a few days I'll be heading out on a tour of central Europe. I'll be visiting Berlin, Warsaw, Krackow, Prague, Budepest and Vienna. In each of these stops we'll have some free time to explore. Does anyone here have some suggestions of WWII-related places to visit? I would appreciate any suggestions.

#2 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:00 PM

Obvious one: in Budapest there is a very nice military museum inside the castle complex with both ww2 and 1956 revolt exhibits.. Of course the castle itself was a key location dutring the siege and through a lot of other military episodes.

Edited by TiredOldSoldier, 05 June 2012 - 06:11 PM.

Truth is the first victim of conflict

#3 gtblackwell

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:43 PM

Some things to see. A do not miss is the Kbely Air museum just outside Prague. You can take a tram to the edge of the city then switch to a buss. . it is in an old airbase and full of WW1 and 2 planes as well as Cold War jets.
Rarely any visitors . Out back is an 88 and one section of an armored train. Full of great WW2 planes. P 51, ME 109 and Spitfire close together, All the Yaks and a Stormvik and ME 262 and P 47.

Kbely Airmuseum-Letecke Muzeum-Praha

If you have the time take a train or bus from Prague to Terezin on the Czech border with Germany. The Theresienstadt concentration camp is there and now a museum. If you have not seen one it is well worth the visit. Profoundly moving . Last time I was there I found 2 T-34/.85's new the entry but perhaps 300 meters away along with a Su 85 or 100. They may be post war production.

If you do not get to Terezin, maybe 90 minutes away, do go to the old Synagogue in Prague for a good bit of the camp's material has been moved there to be more accessible to tourist. Auschwitz may be too far off your path.

I concur with Tiredoldsoldier about Budapest.

Vienna has the best collection of intact flak towers in existance. Impressive.The city center is pretty much spared and thus were the towers, Impressive.

#4 George Patton

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:08 PM

The Flak towers in Vienna are a must-see. There are six of them around the city -- two "octagonal" fire towers (ie: the ones that mounted the heavy AA guns), 1 "rectangular" fire tower, and the three rectangular "fire control" towers (ie: the ones that had that mounted the equipment used to direct the guns. The towers are arranged in three sets (1 control tower, 1 fire tower), forming the vertices of a triangle that surrounds the downtown core. The northernmost ones are in Augauten park (check the spelling-- I'm doing this from memory) near the banks of river across from the Vienna International Center and the Donauturm. The fire control tower here is basically untouched, and you can go fairly close to it. The octagonal fire tower was heavily damaged by an accidental explosion after the war, but it did not have enough force to bring it down. In 2007 the city cut off two of the gun platforms as a safety precaution, and wrapped the top with thick cables to prevent pieces from falling off. These two towers are probably the best of the six. If I recall correctly, the other octagonal fire tower is used to house records on a Austrian army base, 1 of the other fire control towers is now a aquarium and the other two are untouched. If you look carefully, you can see these other 4 towers from the top of Stephansdom church in downtown Vienna.

About 45 minutes south of the city is a former salt mine that was used for the production of He-162 jet fighters. Most of the mine was flooded after the war, and you can take a boat tour of it. In several places you can look down into the clear water and see pieces and tools associated with the He-162 production. If you're traveling with family, they might be interested to know that parts of the "Three Musketeers" was filmed here.

The Arsenal Museum (Heeresgeschichtliches) is also worth a quick visit. Although not heavy on WWII items (the museum covers everything from the medieval period to the modern day), there are some interesting things, including Archduke Ferdinand's car, his blood-stained uniform and the pistol that shot him -- which of course sparked the First World War.

While you're there, be sure to get a schnitzel at Figlmueller's. They have a few locations -- but the easiest one to get to is right downtown, located on Wollziele 5. The Strandcafe has good ribs (its located on the east side of the city), well inside the former Soviet sector of occupation. You can see the difference between the Allied and Soviet sectors even today -- the Allied sectors are more developed and architecturally-varied.

Edited by George Patton, 06 June 2012 - 06:51 PM.

Best Regards,
Alan





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