In 1910 a garrison of the Imperial German Army was established at the Waldstadt section of the Wünsdorf community. By the First World War in 1914 it had become Europe’s largest military base. During World War I it was the site of several prisoner-of-war camps, including the "crescent camp" (Halbmondlager) for Muslim fighters of the Triple Entente, where the first wooden mosque in Germany was erected. From 1939 to 1945, Wünsdorf hosted the underground headquarters of the German Wehrmacht (OKW) and Army's High Command (OKH). After World War II the area became a Soviet military camp, the largest outside Russia, until 1990. Since then it has been returned to civilian use.
You can actually pay the security guards 15 Euros to take a wander around here but we chose to sneak in instead and try our luck. It just so happened it was our lucky day as there was a nude photo shoot taking place, so all the doors were wide open! Result! Anyway, on with the photos.
1. Haus der Offiziere (Officers’ House). Unfortunately we didn't see inside here as security was onto us before we had a chance (cue much hiding....)
2. Statue of Lenin
10. This is where the naked girl appeared from randomly!
11. Plant room valves labelled in Russian
12. Theatre Entrance
15. Still kept in stunning condition
17. Some nice natural decay inside here
20. Russian newspapers were pasted onto the walls underneath the paintwork throughout
23. The doors were padded both inside and out along this corridor. Perhaps a secure ward.
Maybach & Zeppelin Bunkers
25. Maybach I was built in 1937 and became operational in 1939 as the threat of war loomed. The complex consisted of twelve three-storey buildings above ground designed to look from the air like local housing, and two floors of interlinked bunkers with two-foot thick walls below. Deeper in the subterranean levels of Maybach I, there were wells for drinking water and plumbing, air-filter systems for protection against gas attacks, and diesel engines to keep the system operational. Later in the Second World War, the site was further camouflaged by the use of netting. During 1945 the site was heavily bombed by both the British and Americans.
26. The entrances were all partially destroyed by the Russians in 1946 to make the bunkers ineffective for military use so we had to scramble underneath this mess of twisted steel and collapsed rocks to gain access.
27. Inside the walls were filthy from fire and smoke damage.
28. The ring tunnel connecting all the Maybach bunkers was backfilled so we were only able to walk a few hundred metres in any direction before we reached a dead end.
29. Russian scribbles cover the walls and ceiling throughout
30. Handy that someone has placed these beer crates as stepping stones over an oil spillage
32. Another small bunker a couple of hundred metres away.
33. This small entrance leads to a much larger interior
35. One of the entrances to the Zeppelin bunker, a highly modern underground communications centre which had walls up to 3.2 meters thick and a 1 metre shell around it. The Nazis’ entire second world war campaign was guided from the Zeppelin bunker, providing direct contact through telex to the fronts at Stalingrad, France, Holland and even Africa. Constructed in 1937 it was one of the largest newsgathering hubs in operation during the Second World War. The Zeppelin bunker later formed part of the Soviet Cold war era installations in Wünsdorf under the name Ranet. Further bunker installations were subsequently added to house the central command and communications functions of the Soviet army in the GDR. The bunker grounds were demilitarised following the closing of the army base in 1994, when the last Russian troops left Germany
36. Unfortunately the bunker was sealed beyond this blast door and we ran out of time. We will be back!
Thanks for looking