Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

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Rodrigo
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Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by Rodrigo » 04 Sep 2002 21:11

I need information about this amazing tale. A german secret U Boot base located at the south of Lanzarote Island (Canary Islands).
Is that true?

Fridolin
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Hi Rodrigo

Post by Fridolin » 05 Sep 2002 00:58

de donde has sacado esa historia tan divertida?

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Rodrigo
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Villa Winter

Post by Rodrigo » 05 Sep 2002 01:08

Al parecer, desde principios de los años 40, un aleman, llamado Gustav Winter, se instalo en el sur de Lanzarote, donde construyo una enorme casa, que todavia hoy existe, que supuestamente fue uitilizada como "casa de reposo" de las tripulaciones de los U Boot en el Atlantico.

aenobarbo
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Post by aenobarbo » 05 Sep 2002 10:40

Hola Rodrigo,
Supongo que habras leido la novela de Vazquez Figueroa...

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Rodrigo
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Villa Winter

Post by Rodrigo » 05 Sep 2002 13:18

No he leido la novela, pero se que trata del tema Villa Winter. Lo has leido? Que dice sobre la supuesta base de Lanzarote?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 05 Sep 2002 13:28

Please, keep the discussions in english.

/Marcus

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 10 Sep 2002 22:57

Que Bien. Hay muchas personas aqui en el gente que habaleis espanol.

Estaba en Espana 3 semanas pasado tambien. En el sur de Andalucia. Pero tengo amigos Catalanas en (sorpressa) cataluna.

Anyway, i am studying A-level Spanish, but i am crap with tenses and stuff. Especially past present and future.

Vamos a ver, me parece.....that i need people who could help me when i shout.

Could anyone help with my spanish?

Hasta Luego,

Fridolin
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Yep

Post by Fridolin » 11 Sep 2002 00:09

I can. Just email me
Cheers

HenryS
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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by HenryS » 24 Feb 2010 23:28

Rodrigo wrote:I need information about this amazing tale. A german secret U Boot base located at the south of Lanzarote Island (Canary Islands).
Is that true?
Hi Rodrigo,

What you are looking for are two articles in the German language magazine Nugget. The two issues are July, 1984 and August, 1984, a two part article. It was titled: Der U-Boot Bunker von Fuerteventura. Fuerteventura is the easternmost Canary Island. The villa Winter stood over an ancient volcanic lava blister on this island. The Kriegsmarine (Winter was a General in the Army), carved out three tunnel entrances to the blister, fixed a turntable and accompanying U-boat machinery and so made a secret U-boat base at Fuerteventura. Three treasure hunters found the entrance (two had been blown up after the war) and entered the base through the sea. They found two old U-boats still there!!! They also found some other things but I will not spoil the surprise. This is a well written article and a pleasure to read.

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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by Streckenbach » 25 Feb 2010 03:35

Hello Folks,
HenryS is right.The U.Boot Bunker in question are on the -west side of Fuerteventura.I happen to be at Fuerteventura 2 years,running a vacational tourist club over there on the east coast.You hardly can see any thing from the old Bunker,but the Villa is still there and any tour guide knows the story.It was secret,but not a hiding place,since spain was neutral,but a place to do all the maintenance and get rest , provision and of course fuel.Like I said,it's on the west coast,not far from the little village, of "Morro Jable" on the south,or about 60 km south from Puerto Rosario.

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Takao
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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by Takao » 25 Feb 2010 04:41

IIRC, one of the stories circulating is that this had been "discovered" back in the 1970's, complete with two U-boats. One expedition had their yacht blow up killing all aboard. Yet nothing more has been heard or found. No pictures, no pieces of equipment from the two U-boats, nothing.

Yet, in the Hamburg "Elbe II" bunker there were 3 Type XXIs that had been partially salvaged in 1949-50 and then forgotten about until 1985. However, there are plenty of photographs of those boats. A few can be found here http://www.uboat.net/history/hamburg_elbe2.htm and the history here http://www.uboat.net/flotillas/bases/ha ... unkers.htm

Given that there is a exposed entrance and the lack of photographic or material evidence of these two "U Boats" over some 40 years. I think this is just an "urban myth" that is used as fodder for the tourists.

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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by Streckenbach » 25 Feb 2010 17:33

Hello Takao,
like I said in my posting,I know the story,I been there lots of Time,I even was trying to find the entrance to the Bunker,but everything seems to be blown up.There are some Bunker looking structures,but this as well could be natural,as particular on this coast are many caves and holes into the Lavastones. I never found any remaining U Boats,or any parts of it.But the Villa Winter is still there and a lot of stories arround this building.Which is unsual build, for Fuerteventura ,very huge and in a special shape and Designe ,in the middle of nowhere.

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Takao
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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by Takao » 25 Feb 2010 20:10

I'm not doubting the existence of such a structure, only it's contents and use.

HenryS
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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by HenryS » 25 Feb 2010 21:30

Hi Guys,

Besides Nugget, there was another German magazine which covered this story but I forget its name. If I come across it, I'll post it. General Winter had quite a history before his villa days. In fact, he was an engineer and developed a device which throws a magnetic compass off true North. I think this device was invaluable to the Germans. It seems Winter was getting on in years when WWII happened and he was given the money for the Villa with the understanding that it would be developed. The legend is that German mechanized units, with boring machines landed and connected the sea to the volcanic blister with three tunnels. Immediately after the war, two were blown up and after the adventure described in Nugget (which I guess everyone here already knows) the remaining tunnel was blown up (according to the Nugget article).

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Popp-Köhler
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Re: Villa Winter: A secret U Boot base in Spain

Post by Popp-Köhler » 17 Apr 2010 06:58

The large tower at Villa Winter was intended for a secret Nazi laser. Just kidding.

My grandmother was very friendly with the Winter family, and my uncle, now deceased, spent lots of time with the man he called "Oncle Gustavo". In fact, I have in my possession a letter sent to my mother in 1960 describing the time spent on Jandia. I do not know if they stayed at the villa.

As a side note, My uncle was actually one of the early developers of tourist infrastructure on Lanzarote and Fuertaventura in the 60s and 70s, and I believe it was Winter who helped him get his start. He was also a pilot, and I recall flying in his Skymaster from Las Palmas to Lanzarote as a small boy. This was when the road from the airport to Arrecife was two lanes and there were mostly dirt roads in Pte del Carmen.

Winter had two sons, apparently. One was named Gustav like the father and the other was named Fritz. Fritz also lived in Gran Canaria after the war, but I understand Gustav junior, a private pilot, lost his life in a plane crash in Europe. This apparently had a profound effect on Winter, and he nearly died of sorrow. Perhaps the guards at the villa were simply to protect his privacy.

While many details are yet to emerge from our archives, I have been told on numerous times that the Winter family had dreamed of an escape to warmer climates. If you notice in some of the pictures there are semi-circlular volcanic berms built into the hillside...those are for growing grapes, you can see these all over the island of Lanzarote. Pretty innocent stuff. Winter had also attempted to reforest a part of the island, but this failed.

I have never seen Winter positively identified as a Nazi party member. Never heard he had a military rank. My understanding was that they were from an old shipping family in Hamburg. One family story passed down to me is that my grandmother actually helped select a piano that was to be shipped to the villa from Berlin.

I realize that there is a lot of conjecture about U-boats and secret Nazi plastic surgery labs....but keep in mind, this villa was pretty much completed a year before Hitler invaded Austria. Winter arrived in the Canaries before the Nazis came to power and the Canaries really had little strategic value. No oil. No timber. No coal, iron ore, or wheat. And far from shipping lanes. I would guess Hitler had no thoughts of a Plan-B until the Red Army crossed the Oder River.

Also, these islands are basically porous volcanic rock, so they are filled with caves and eroded pools. Also, the vast amount of earth that would have to be moved, and the concrete that would have had to be poured would certainly be in evidence today...in that climate, a small hole dug 50 years ago might still be visible. How would you hide the tailings for a u-boat base?

Unless documents prove otherwise, I see Villa Winter simply as one family's dream to escape a cold and angry Europe.

As I get more documents translated, I'll be sure to post anything that might be of interest.

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