Zossen, Military Headquarters

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Zossen, Military Headquarters

Post by teatotaler » 30 Nov 2002 13:20

Could anyone please tell me a little about Zossen, the German Military Headquarters, near Berlin. How big was it. How many floors underground. How many staff. Anything would be a good start. Would anyone have photos or plans of it. Thanks, Teatotaler

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Post by Marcus » 30 Nov 2002 13:31

http://www.schifferbooks.com/military/g ... 301640.gif

You might want to try "The Underground Military Command Bunkers of Zossen, Germany" by Hans George Kampe.


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Post by Andy H » 30 Nov 2002 16:30

Wern't they used by the Russians after the war and I believe that there are plans to open up areas to the public?

:D Andy from the Shire

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Zossen, Military headquarters

Post by teatotaler » 02 Dec 2002 11:41

Thanks Marcus. I'll check it out. And you too, Andy. I never thought about the Russians using it, Teatotaler. :idea:

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Post by Qvist » 04 Dec 2002 11:36

Zossen was indeed the Hedquarters of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. I do not know specifically if they used the old bunkers, but you would think so, wouldn't you?


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Post by panzertruppe2001 » 02 May 2004 23:33

Pierre Miquel in his "Second World War" says that during the war the Allied did not know the existence of this HQ. When they discovered it in 1945 they were surprised with the communications systems of the German Army

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Post by Geheime Feldpolizei » 06 Oct 2004 01:12

Actually, Allied interrogators were aware of the Zossen compound as early as July 1944 by virture of an interrogation of a Feldwebel who was captured in Italy. The Feldwebel had served at Zossen for some time ang gave his interrogators considerable information about the facility, although the extent of the communications system does not appear to have been emphasized in this particular report.

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Re: Zossen, Military Headquarters

Post by varjag » 09 Oct 2004 11:47

teatotaler wrote:Could anyone please tell me a little about Zossen, the German Military Headquarters, near Berlin. How big was it. How many floors underground. How many staff. Anything would be a good start. Would anyone have photos or plans of it. Thanks, Teatotaler
I cannot add much but 'Zossen' was big and I think on at least 2 underground levels. It was codenamed Maybachlager (Maybach Camp) and split into two (mostly warring, entities) Maybach I and Maybach II. Forgotten which was which - but one was the OKH and the other the OKW and intercourse between the two was barred by sentries and checkpoints. A kingpin at Maybachlager was 'Europes biggest telephone exchange' - (it had a codename, but I've forgotten it's name) where immediate connections to any part of the 'German Empire' could be effected. The whole complex, mainly underground, was expertedly camouflaged - and even if the (western) Allies knew of it's existence it would have been extremely hard to pinpoint and attack from the air. Most sources claim that the Russians 'stumbled' upon it though they must have some knowledge of it's existance. It appears that when the Russians approached and Maybachlager was abandoned in April 1945 - some German officers - with a view beyond Götterdämmerung, had the good sense to display large placards in Russian, in and around that telephone exchange saying This equipment is NOT to be destroyed or tampered with! A foresight that served postwar communications in the chaos very well.

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Post by ohrdruf » 09 Oct 2004 15:27

Plans were drawn up prior to the Nazi period for a protected HQ for the High Command, Chief of Army Transport and the General QM. Zossen, south of Berlin, had been a military training camp since Imperial times and was chosen as the appropriate site.

The decision to begin work at Zossen as an underground military communications centre codenamed "Zeppelin" was taken in August 1936. Construction took from 1937 until just before the outbreak of war.

Anti-aircraft defence was 19 "sugar-loaf" type flak towers.

The telephone/telex bunker "Amt 500" covered 4881 sq.m on two levels. Walls were up to 3.2 metres thick, ceiling was 3 metres thick concrete with an outer 1-metre thick shell above it.

MAYBACH I consisted of twelve concrete structures disguised as residential houses, each 36.2 m x 16.39 m. There were two levels of fortified underground cellar, a single ground level floor and another level in the roof, all sub-divided into rooms. The houses were hermetically sealed against gas attack. Water was supplied from underground springs. All buildings were connected by an underground gallery. Maybach I was occupied by the Army General Staff on 26.8.1939 and it was from Zossen that the orders were issued, and retracted, for the attack on Poland scheduled for that day. The OKW command centre was transferred to Zossen from Berlin on 29.3.1943.

MAYBACH II was completed during the war as a Fuehrer-HQ: it consisted of 23 more buildings similar to those at MAYBACH I, seven of which were allocated for Hitler and his entourage. Hitler never occupied MAYBACH II mainly because he felt uncomfortable at being surrounded by Army personnel. The other buildings were occupied by Army Transport. Other branches joined later in the evacuation process from Berlin.

In the major US air raid on 15 March 1945, 675 heavy bombers inflicted damage amounting to the destruction of several wooden barrack huts and putting the main telephone cable out of use for two hours.

Zossen was evacuated before the Russian advance on 20 April 1945 and fell more or less intact into Soviet hands. Once the state-of-the-art telephone equipment had been carted off, the entire site was reported destroyed by explosives. However it later served as the HQ for Soviet Forces in Germany (GSTD), and passed to the Federal Republic in 1994.

Source: Seidel and Zeigert: The Fuehrer-HQs, Greenhill Books 2004. There is more information contained in this book relating mainly to the telephone/telex side.

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Post by Pat D » 15 Oct 2004 03:26

Does anyone know the current status of the complex? When the russians pulled out in '94 did the reunited German government take it over and use it or is it now just abandoned or destroyed? Anything to the rumor that it is open for tours?

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Re: Zossen, Military Headquarters

Post by Geoff Walden » 27 Jun 2012 12:00

I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere in AHF, but I just ran across this thread.

The bunker areas at Zossen/Wünsdorf are indeed open for public tours. I just returned from a trip to Berlin, and I spent an afternoon at the Zossen museum area. They offer a regular tour that goes through the ruins of the Maybach I bunker area (OKW HQs), and then into the Zeppelin underground bunker complex (AMT 500 commo center). I highly recommend this tour - it was well worth the money! The tour was in German, but the tour guide was kind enough to offer to provide info in English for my fellow explorer and myself. There are other tours that are available for groups upon prior registration (these tours cover other Wehrmacht and Soviet bunkers and buildings in the area).

The Maybach I complex was blown up after the war by the Soviets, and only ruins remain (very interesting ruins!). The Zeppelin bunker was partially blown up, but was later repaired and modified to serve as a HQs for the Soviet forces in East Germany. So what you see now is mostly its Soviet appearance, but there are a few rooms/artifacts that go back to the Wehrmacht days.

There is an intact Winkelturm air raid shelter tower that is open for touring (they call it a Spitzturm or "Cigar" tower), and several blown up Winkeltürme in the area. There are three museum buildings, and the one that deals with the Wehrmacht is a wonderful little museum - one of the finest small military museums that I have ever visited. You can get a one-price ticket that covers the standard bunker tour and entry to all of the museums.

More info at http://www.buecherstadt.com/de/ (there is a tab to click for English).

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Re: Zossen, Military Headquarters

Post by valkyrie » 11 Jul 2012 00:20

I believe Maybach II is completely gone - true? Its a job of work to find any reference to this important installation where a lot of history transpired. I bought the Schiffer book noted above and it is a complete waste of money if one's main interest is the sister facility to Maybach I.


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Re: Zossen, Military Headquarters

Post by kstdk » 11 Jul 2012 09:10

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Re: Zossen, Military Headquarters

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 11 Jul 2012 09:49

Interesting publication on Zossen 1945:



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