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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Berlin - We Climbed The Humboldthain Flak Tower

Humboldthain Flak Tower - before it was covered.
Now it looks like a mountain.
Hitler personally designed 6 of these to surround Berlin.
They piled rubble around them from war.
We just got home from climbing the Humboldthain Flak Tower - a vital link to the defense of the fortress Berlin. Hitler personally designed and sketched the flak towers that we designed to protect this fair city from air attacks. Hitler fancied himself as an artist and architect - who was going to challenger him on that. 6 were designed to encircle Berlin - 3 were built. Others were built to protect Vienna and Hamburg. Simply - they built their own mountains so the guns on top were high above the 7 story city. 8 guns on the top of each flak tower had a range of 8 miles with no obstructions. They were designed to shoot bombers down with flak. Ironically - the towers had a perfect view of the Russian troops advancing from the east. Poland was only 30 miles away. The high guns were designed to shoot up - but when the Russians were coming - they shot down at the tanks. 

The first time I read about the flak towers - I thought they were science fiction. They are huge. Their walls are 10 feet thick of steel and concrete. 

After the war - an attempt was made to blow them up. After much trouble - it was decided to cover them up with war rubble. 

This tower is remarkably close to our home in old East Berlin. 

Lulu and I climbed to the top. In April - they do offer tours that go deep down into the flak tower - which is now mostly covered. Not only did the flak towers make a bombproof place to store ammo - at one time they were capable of squeezing 60,000 people in the the tower. 

It was a beautiful day today - sunny - 40s -
as we climbed the flak tower
The gun platforms on top
held 8 - 150mm shell guns

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