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2012 Sharkhunters "Patrol"
in Berlin, Germany!
1 through 8 September 2012
Berlin is a great cosmopolitan city and filled with history - and we are here again! We have prepared quite a tour. Here are just some of the highlights of this EIGHT DAY "Patrol"
We visit many places - some are really OFF LIMITS..........but not to Sharkhunters.
In this mansion in Berlin, Jodl and Keitel thought they
were signing the unconditional surrender of Germany and all German forces.
They were unaware they were also signing their own death warrants along with those of so many
German military men. It is now a museum and we are there.
Just outside the city of Berlin.............
After the Allied landing at Normandy and
their push across France, the U-Boat bases on the Brittany coast were all
overrun. The flotillas themselves moved to Norway while the OKM (Ober
Kommando der Marine or Naval High Command) moved to facilities near Berlin.
It was in this top secret compound where Gro▀admiral Karl D÷nitz and his staff
controlled the Kriegsmarine. It was code-named "Koralle" (it means
'Coral') with false houses and four man-made lakes so that from the air, it
appeared to be a simple farm with no strategic value for the bombers.
It was intact when Germany surrendered and the Soviet Union took control of this area. When the Soviet Union pulled out of what was then East Germany, in an agreement with the West, they blew up this bunker compound.
the KAISER'S ESTATE
|We are pretty sure that this
"Sharkhunters Welcome Here!"
|The swimming pool, now abandoned,
was part of the
recreation and physical training. It now sits abandoned.
Around the turn of the last century the
Kaiser built this magnificent, massive estate which became the home for his
cavalry regiments. In World War Two, the 5th Panzerregiment was housed
here. At the end of the war, the Soviet Union had control of the place.
The Soviets did nothing to maintain this estate and with the fall of the Soviet
Union and the evaporation of East Germany, the estate has been allowed to
deteriorate at an ever increasing speed. We spend a great deal of time in
this estate - walking in the footsteps of history.
Reich built a nice home for Dr. Josef Goebbels outside Berlin so he could get
away from the hectic pace of city life, but it was not enough for him - he
wanted bigger and better, and so he had the house at Bogensee built for himself
and his family. As he was also in charge of the film industry, many of the
aspiring starlets visited him, especially when his wife was not there, for their
turn on the 'casting couch'. German film beauty Lida Barova had
such a torrid affair with him that her fiancÚ broke off their engagement.
Whereas Adolf Hitler had one large window that completely retracted, Goebbels had TWO windows that retracted (upper right) to let in fresh air AND to allow people to walk in and out to the patio. When we were there a couple years ago, these windows still operated perfectly. The huge coolers for vegetables and meat in the cellar still operate and once past the working areas of the cellar, we see the entrance (lower left) to Goebbels' bunker and tunnel complex. Like everything else that had been under Soviet control, this estate is falling into disrepair. About three years ago, the German Government was going to offer to sell this estate to the highest bidder - then quickly changed their minds because they were afraid that some wealthy neo-Nazi might buy the place and hold meetings there.
OKW Headquarters - and Operation VALKYRIE
|One of the six hardened buildings||Into the 90 meter deep tunnel system|
When the Soviet forces left, they abandoned a great deal of
books, blueprints and anything else they couldn't carry
|Deep, deep underground|
OKW HEADQUARTERS - OKW was the Ober
Kommando der Wehrmacht or the High Command of the entire German military and
here they had a command complex with six hardened buildings that were made to
look like suburban houses from the air, and with a massive tunnel complex below.
Operation VALKYRIE, the planned assassination of Adolf Hitler, was
plotted in one of these six buildings. With the end of the war, the Soviet
Union took control of this area and as with all other hardened sites, they blew
up these six houses when they left.
More Historic Places
|It says Panzer Regiment 5; Wunsdorf||Horse stables under the Kaiser in
Tank facilities of the 5th Panzers in WW II
The odd shaped structure (upper left and
right) was an air raid shelter and while all but this one were destroyed by the
Soviets when they departed this area, this one still stands and we go inside.
Some of these former stables; former tank facilities - are now museums of
everything from weapons to motorcycles over the decades.
Back in Berlin
Getting our passports 'stamped' at Checkpoint Charlie by some beautiful German
girls in American uniforms Sounds like the beginning of a spy movie.
Deep beneath the busy streets of Berlin
in the air raid bunkers
High in the Berlin sky atop a giant flak bunker
then deep, deep into the insides of the flak bunker
In this Flakturm (Flak Tower( there were
mounts for the famed 88mm anti-aircraft guns, 3.7cm and even 2.0cm automatic
guns. This must have been an impressive wall of fire when it was in full
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CLICK HERE to get an idea of what we did, where we went, what we experienced etc. on previous "Patrols".
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