As you know, huge flak towers were built entirely in 3 large cities of the Reich, but the plans of the Nazis were much wider. Three additional air defense complex was supposed to build in Berlin, plus the ability to convert to a considered anti-aircraft tower Reichstag building. Two towers designed for Bremen, eight — for Munich and another one — for Hamburg. In addition, similar to the size of the smallest structures were built on the initiative of local authorities in the other towns of Germany at that time, for example in Königsberg
We walked the last days of the storming of Berlin. The capital of the Reich was tightly encircled by Russian troops and military fronts, 2-block after block of city purified soldier Wehrmacht, SS and Volkssturm soldiers. But Adolf Hitler continued to hope for magic. He believed that much tattered army in the battle group of SS General Steiner and hastily knocked together 12 students from the fledgling Army General Wenck, striking from the north and the south, it will help out a hopeless cause.
Where Wenk? .. Where Steiner? .. When they are able to start coming? A dying civilization must fight to the last German! .. Desperate questions and hysterical Hitler received orders to the troops in the form of encrypted radio messages through complex radio hidden behind impenetrable walls of the tower «L» antiaircraft complex in the Tiergarten, Berlin’s zoo. Next door was a much more impressive size tower «G». In these 2-giant plants with a 2.5-meter high walls made of heavy-duty concrete played out one of the last scenes drama of the fall of Berlin.
Tower «G», built first as a base anti-aircraft batteries, had a height of 13-storey building, although stories about her was seven. Located inside the hospital, museum treasures were kept, but the main thing — there were rescued from bombs, shells and bullets 10 of thousands of Berliners. When the assault force approached the center of town, in the tower trigartenskoy «G» has accumulated more than 30,000 people. Room for everyone, of course, is not enough. People were standing in the aisles, were sitting on the stairs, sleeping side by side. In the hospital were killed wounded civilians in any of the nerves could not stand, and they commit suicide by taking poison. Five hundred were dead right there, next to the living, because no one would dare to go outside to bring them to the body ground. The air behind the concrete walls of the tower was almost packed with smashing lead.
Antiaircraft fortress in the Tiergarten in contrast to the Reichstag and has not been taken by storm. She passed the Russian troops May 2, 1945, when the commander of the defense of Berlin, General Weidling ordered his troops to lay down their guns. After the war, the two towers of the Tiergarten and other such complex defense of Berlin were destroyed. Sappers had to suffer with the undermining of buildings that did not take any bombs or missiles, and the result has been achieved is not too far from the first sample. It is said that once on the NIGHT MODE is not to conquer the English Demoman wall of one of the towers of someone with pride daubed with paint word Maid in Germany — «Made in Germany».
1) Input 2) Armored shutters 3) Storage of ammunition 4) Basic combat platform 5) The command post and rangefinder 6) Gun turret 7) dual 128-mm anti-aircraft gun Easy 20-mm anti-aircraft gun
Most impressive of all the flak towers — towers «G» of the first generation — were in Berlin and Hamburg. The only surviving structure of the series. The building stands in the Hayligengaystfeld (Hamburg) and is used as a house
Anti-aircraft guns in the town
Even in the prewar period, the German experts at drew attention to a very important factor, seriously hampered anti-aircraft artillery. This factor proved themselves the town of Germany. They are, as in most European countries, high-rise buildings were built, and the distance between buildings often leave the least, and sometimes completely absent. You could walk down the street and more than kilometer, not litsezrev no clearance between the houses. Well and streets, especially in an old quarters, had a very small width.
Anti-aircraft batteries, command posts, observation points were deemed specialists from the Ministry Goering had placed not only on the approaches, and inside the cities of the Reich, particularly those large as Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Vienna. And yet it is in these towns for the objects of air defense was not very much space. Almost to accommodate the batteries could be used only city-skie squares, parks, stadiums. With all this standing around the highest home significantly restrict not only the vertical angles and sectors of fire guns, but even the possibility of aiming. Bomber gunner was visible in seconds, for which impossible to find with sufficient accuracy rate and the target speed, enter the necessary data for the shooting, even when using PUAZO (anti-aircraft fire control unit).
The solution to all problems lay on the surface — more precisely, at the level of the roofs of houses. If you place the command centers, detection devices, instruments themselves at this altitude, the aircraft approaching possible to see at a distance, one can accurately determine their course, altitude, speed, type of aircraft, their construction. It is very necessary because the remote monitoring stations can only be approximate, approximation. And then there is the commander of the time for decision-making and delivery of the respective teams, while the settlements — in fact, that set the fuzes on the response time, charge the gun, to introduce the necessary amendments in the sights, carefully aim and just right to open fire.
In anticipation of the raid
1942. Anti-aircraft gunners are preparing to repel the Luftwaffe air raid on militant positions towers «G» in the Tiergarten (Berlin). In the distance, the tower is shown «L» with the antenna extended locator
Closer to the sky
But how to raise the air defense system in the right height? In the Russian documentary films dedicated to the defense of the capital, not just flickering footage of the soldier standing on the roof of the hotel «Moscow», peering intently into the distance through binoculars, and behind it there is a 37-millimeter anti-aircraft gun.
Approximately so did the British, placing anti-aircraft guns on the roofs, steeples of churches and cathedrals in the F irst World War, when they had to repel the attacks of German zeppelins. But during the second World War, the Russian and the British preferred to still have bChlshuyu part of its own air defense systems on remote frontiers. Due to the continued mobility of its own anti-aircraft they could maneuver them to focus more on their principal activities. True, it is seen that the Luftwaffe did not have the same air power such as the Anglo-Americans. And it is unclear what would have been the fate of London or Moscow if the Nazis had comparable in combat abilities Bomber.
But how to raise the gun over the city? Houses, whose roof can be installed anti-aircraft guns at the time both in Moscow and in Berlin were very few. And almost any attic floor structure could withstand the weight of the anti-aircraft gun with a caliber larger than 20-37 mm. On guns caliber 88 mm, weighing 8.9 tons, read is not necessary.
In Germany, the solution to the problem of accommodation anti-aircraft guns at the level of city roofs groped back in 1935, when the designer Leo Winkel developed a very sudden construction of bomb shelters for the population. He offered no shelter bury in the ground, and build them in the form of large and narrow towers. Soon there will be the first project of such towers (WinkeltYarme). Outside, it was a cone-shaped high-rise concrete buildings, like termites or a rocket. Their capacity ranged from 300 to 750. Occupying the smallest area, the tower can be erected very close to the places of gatherings of people — for example, near schools, industrial buildings, residential neighborhoods. For the same material consumption as for underground shelters, towers Winkel filmed a lot of the problems associated with land works, ground water, underground utilities, which are not usually so small in towns. The possibility of the bomb hit the tower is relatively low. Besides its shape, such that even dropped onto the tower bomb slides along the outer wall without penetrating inside. And the highest resistance to explosions near structures such as industrial smokestacks well known. After all, even after the Hiroshima nuclear explosion pipes stood there, where everything else was swept away by the shock wave. Tower Winkel had articulated stapled to the foundation in the form of a plate, loosely lying on the ground. At the close of all the explosions of bombs she could swing like a trumpet, and just exactly it rescued it from destruction, and people from death.
Time will reveal and another protective factor towers Winkel. With massive air raids, when the town began the massive fires in almost all underground shelters people died from carbon monoxide, which, as you know, is spread at the bottom. Winkel had taken refuge in the towers were protected from this nightmare.
So extant tower «G» complex Flakturm VIII, set in a park Arenberg in Vienna. Her «sister», also belonging to the second generation of anti-aircraft towers, stands in Wilhelmsburg — Hamburg region
Fortress of concrete
Already in the 1937 draft Winkel aroused great enthusiasm in command of the Luftwaffe, the Wehrmacht and the railroad. Office Goering began to build towers on the aviation industry companies, calling them «Lyuftshuttstyurme» (LuftschutztYarme). Luftwaffe built a 29 such towers, railway workers — 17. The Wehrmacht for their own team in Potsdam Fri Tsossene and built 34 towers. A significant number of towers built a company engaged in the creation of military products.
In October 1940, Hitler gave the order to start the construction of bomb shelters (on projects Winkel and his rival Paul Tsombeka) for the urban population. They were to hold more than 5% of the total urban population.
When the German experts at seriously engaged in the development of air defense of Germany and, namely, anti-aircraft defense of the big cities, they are not lost sight of the towers of the air-raid shelters Winkel and offered to build special facilities that have received the title of flak towers (FlaktYarme).
The design of the anti-aircraft towers engaged beloved designer Albert Speer, Hitler, who in August 1940 offered the first projects approved by the Fuehrer. Construction of anti-aircraft towers, was entrusted to the municipal military-industrial corporation Organisation Todt, the well-known, namely, the construction of the German autobahns.
Concrete shelter construction Leo Winkel, something resembling phallic megaliths primitive times, have been very effective cover, protects against both bombs and poisoned by combustion products
Make out in more detail one of the «G»-towers — built in Hamburg Hayligengaystfeldskuyu Tower IV. It is almost like all three of Berlin, but unlike them has survived to the present day.
The tower is a seven-story reinforced concrete building, square in plan. Side of the square — 60 m height (at gun-sites) — 39 m tower garrison consisted of 8,000 people. From their calculations of anti-aircraft guns — about 300 people. Apart from the garrison in the tower during an air raid shelter could to 18,000 civilian officials.
For life support tower had its own stand-alone diesel generator power station with capacity of 100 kW, autonomous water supply system to obtain water from a well, a kitchen. On one of the floors housed a hospital for 200 beds. The first floor was intended to preserve the artistic and cultural treasures of the museums and art galleries. According to some information in complex I in Berlin sheltered archaeological collection of Heinrich Schliemann, known worldwide as the «Gold of Troy».
The thickness of intermediate floors reaches 2 meters, the roof — up to 2.5 m, the walls — 2-2.5 m This provides protection against direct hits from high-explosive bombs weighing up to 1 ton
Languid anti-aircraft guns were placed in the highest part of the building in special concrete turrets. Below each of the heavy anti-aircraft guns on the towers surrounding the sites were located on three single-barreled 20-mm anti-aircraft guns and two quad. Their main task was to protect the instruments from the languid attack aircraft such as Thunderbolt or Tempest. In the center of the roof of the structure housed the command center.
Mechanized ammunition feed system from the lower floors of the structure, which served as artpogrebami, were taken from the Navy and provide an uninterrupted supply of ammunition, the removal of spent cartridges for a long time. All arrangements have been electrified.
These towers were not designed and equipped as strongholds against ground troops, as it was clear that withstand the heavy artillery they still fail.
Tower «L» VII complex in Vienna (left) is empty, but maybe over time it will position the computing center. On the left side of the frame — Tower «G» complex VIII (Vienna), which is used as a repository for works of art. In the distance — a tower «L»
Castle with an aquarium
Of course, these are massive and solid fortress boggle the imagination, inspire respect for national-socialist state, and give the Germans the belief that the genius of Hitler, Goering fighters and anti-aircraft guns, builders Todt and Speer provide them with security and invulnerability.
But the ideological significance of anti-aircraft towers, apparently, much more than their purely military sense. July 24, 1943 Anglo-American bombers started to bombard Hamburg. By August 3 killed nearly 43,000 inhabitants and 37,000 were injured. The city was completely destroyed. In just one raid on the night of February 3, 1945 in Berlin, killing 25,000 people. February 26th Berlin has experienced a massive airstrike fortieth. The scale of the bombing were such that there was nothing seriously to oppose them Luftwaffe could not. When Russian troops came to the Oder, in preparation for the final assault on the German capital began to raid not only the Anglo-American high-altitude bombers, and low-flying attack aircraft with reddish stars. Trying to fight off the attack Russian pilots, the German anti-aircraft gunners were required to shoot through traffic, nearly horizontal, and because of gaps anti-aircraft shells at low altitude civilian population Berlin’s New suffered terrible casualties.
The diagram shows the roof and the second level of the top of the tower «G» VII complex in Vienna
1) Location of light flak 2) Repositories for ammunition 3) Lifts for ammunition 4) Engine Platform 5) Better for anti-aircraft guns 6) Crane 7) The firing position Engine Room
Anti-aircraft towers, embodied within themselves the age-old Teutonic gloom at once unique and thought process of German fortification engineers can see and our days are. In Vienna and Hamburg kept all 5 «G»-towers and three «L»-tower (all in Vienna). In some of them have even arranged aquarium.
The fate of the other towers in Berlin. The city had been divided by allied areas, and the alliance was soon broken favorites ‘Iron Curtain’: cool war began. The Western Allies and the Soviet Union are mutually afraid that yesterday’s allies in the war would use the tower facing each other, a first for intelligence purposes. This led to the fact that all three complexes were demolished. In general, the remains of some towers still preserved to this day.