After navigating the morning rush hour through Berlin traffic unscathed I hit the open road, but it’s no fun driving in Germany, there seems to be a lack of lane discipline, one cannot drive on auto pilot when the excess damage policy on the hire car is €1100!
I arrived in the countryside mentally exhausted!
I was warned that I could expect a bit of a hike to find the base.
I challenged that viewpoint. I knew I wouldn’t see it all as the area covers 22sq. miles.
Very foolish of me! Arriving back at the car 5 hours later. Surviving on just a banana and a packet of extra strong mints.
Was it worth the effort?
Stupid question, enjoy.
I did not encounter the suggested wild boar that roam the woods, just a few fallow deer, and some lovely bits of fungus.
Construction began in 1951 and became home to around 15,000 soldiers and civilians, and approximately 500 buildings, tanks, anti-aircraft missiles, tactical missiles and – nuclear missiles.
Soldiers carried out maneuvers at night to avoid western surveillance, I wonder if the locals had any idea what was going on behind those guarded walls.
An hour in.....I guess I was getting close to some interesting stuff. Zum Glück verstehe ich Deutsch nicht.
A few totally battered buildings started to appear very sporadic and sparse. A nice little electrical substation
Barbed wire, more of those warning signs and bits of treasure must mean I’m getting close
The sounds of heavy machinery, working somewhere in the distance could be heard, the sounds got louder the further in I ventured, lots of buildings now, most stripped bare.
A school of some sort in the trees
“studying foreign languages enriches the mother tongue“
Yes, there was some stunning graffiti.........
............but also some fantastic surviving murals
In 1959, As part of ‘Operation Atom’ R5-M we’re stored here, four of the missiles of the weapons were allegedly destined for England, to take out Thor PGM17 missile bases in Lincoln and Norfolk out, while others were for US air bases in Western Europe and at population centers such as London, Paris, Brussels. The East Germans were not informed, and the missiles were delivered under cover of nighttime
These things were HUGE, weighing 29.1 tons and reaching over 75ft in length,and over 20 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
A further battery of mobile launching units and 12 missiles were deployed capable of striking targets up to 700 miles away.
Although I had been given a map of the site there were now no traces to be found of the launch sites or bunkers but there again I may have been in completely the wrong area!
Some internal shots of random buildings
I was distraught! I eventually came across a team demolishing some fantastic buildings, three mechanical choppers wreaking havoc. Why? Why? WHY?
It’s not an area where new luxury buildings could be built, it’s pointless state vandalism, these buildings are worthy of saving even just for the likes of the urban explorer!
The demolition was taking place just beyond these stunning, stunning Soviet murals, three weeks on I wonder if they too have been smashed to bits? They must have been awesome years ago
So with the workers being so close I changed direction to return back to the car, I stumbled upon what at some point , I guess, was a communal canteen, rest area, stunning (sorry if I use that word to often), original murals and historical newspapers, all jackboots to be removed before entry
With the Soviet Union’s production of the R-14 missile, which had much greater range, the need for armed nuclear missiles in Germany, was removed, and in 1962 the elite Zhitkovichi regiment was withdrawn.
Subsequently The Red Army’s 25th Tank Division was based here and between 1983-88 the storage of TR-1 nuclear missiles.
The Russians eventually completely withdrew from the area in 1994, and at 15:37 hrs, 27th September 2020, I too made a tactical withdrawal