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Flakbunkers in Hamburg

Location:

Hamburg is located in the north of Germany along the river Elbe.

History:

During the second world war, Hamburg was main target for Allied airraids because of the presence of a number of large shipbuilding factories such as Blohm & Voss, H.C. Stülcken & Sohn, Howaldswerke and the Deutsche Werft. These shipyards produced most of the German U-Boats.

To protect Hamburg from Allied airraids, the Organisation Todt started to build three huge Flakbunkers (Flak means Flugzeug Abwehr Kanone, Anti Aircraft Artillery). These Flakbunkers were equipped with large Anti-Aircraft guns (12,8cm Flak 40). Each Flakbunker usually consisted of two building, a "G-Stand: and a "L-Stand". "G-Stand" was the Gefechtsstand, the bunker with the armament. "L-Stand" was the Leitstand, used for the control of the Flak. The "L-Stand" was usually equipped with a radar (for example a "Würzburg Riese").

A total of three Flakbunkers (G + L-Stand) were build. One in a Hamburg suburb called Wilhelmsburg and two in the town centre (a place called Heiligengeistfeld).

The Flakbunkers also provided airshelter for the civilians. Each bunker on the Heiligengeistfeld could provide airshelter for 18000 people. During heavy airraids 60000 people were pressed in the bunkers!

Current status:

Shortly after the far, English engineers undertook attempts to blow up the bunker at Wilhelmsburg. It failed and the bunkers still exists. The British engineers successfully blown the L-Stand in Wilhelmsburg. A few hundred yards behind the Wilhelmsburg bunker still exists the HQ bunker of the Luftgaukommando XI. The organisation responsible for the air defense of Luftgau XI (roughly the area of Hamburg)

One of the Heiligengeistfeld G-Stand bunker was demolished in 1974. The other G-Stand bunker at Heiligengeistfeld still exists and is transformed to living quarters. The L-Stand are all gone.

Flakbunker in Wilhelmsburg   Flakbunker in Wilhelmsburg (1991)
     
Flakbunker in Heiligengeistfeld   Flakbunker in Heiligengeistfeld (1991)

References:

 

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