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No museums, no parking lots, no people. Just some remote investigation of some amazing German ruins from WWII. And be sure to watch to the end to see the most ridiculous thing that I saw in Europe.

 

 

Always looking for stuff from the 40th Infantry Division (Korean War), the 7th Armored Division (WWII), USS Bunker Hill (WWII) and USS Mullany (WWII).

Check out my history page on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/historyunderground

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Great video.

I was stationed at Baumholder from 1980 to 1983.

West and slightly north of Baumholder there were remnants of a secondary line of defense.  There was a village that I used to drive through that had perhaps 20 buildings in it, if that many.  But along its western edge towards France there was crescent shaped ring of dragon's teeth.  It only went so far, and was not continuous with any other site.  It was probably there to protect the road junction that was on the eastern side of the town.  I suspect it was probably a fortified village during the war.

The young people showed what they thought of these war relics by painting flowers on them.

On occasion, driving by the border you would come across a bunker that served as a strong point at a road intersection.  The roads had not changed, and you could understand why it was there.  But still the main line eluded me.

I managed to talk to a senior staff officer at the 8th ID Division Headquarters who was also interested in the Siegfried Line.  He told me that since the obstacles were still there, they still appeared on military maps of the area.  Unfortunately I could never get my hands on one.  But he gave me some hints on where to look.

I had a book with me called The Architecture of War.  It had a large scale map giving the rough outlines of the primary and secondary lines.  I decided my best bet was to head towards the Belgian border in the vicinity of Prum, which is south of Aachen, and probably not far from where you were at.

I drove out there one Saturday and drove as close as I could to the Belgian border.  I suppose I was expecting to see rows upon rows of sun bleached concrete like you saw in the prewar propaganda films, but no such luck.  I was about to give up when I pulled over at a roadside restaurant and gas stop.  They had some manner of four story forest tower, the kind that might be used for a fire watch.  I figured what the heck, I might spot something so up I went.

At first, all I saw along the eastern side of the road, interior to Germany, were fields and pastures.  But then I noticed something odd about them.  There appeared to be a number of concrete gray rock formations that did not seem to match the landscape.  I finally realized what I as looking at... a series of demolished bunkers and mobile artillery positions!

I dashed back to the car and off I went.  

In the course of driving up farm roads towards the bunkers, I finally found what I was looking for... rows of continuous dragon's teeth.  Additionally, a little further in the woods, I found the remains of a command bunker as well.  All of the prepared positions would of had interlocking fire, and most look like they had been prepared for mobile anti-tank weapons.

Unfortunately, I do not my photos from this expedition any longer, except for this one.  As with yours, the early spring weather was not ideal.  The bunkers had all been collapsed and really only looked like huge slabs of concrete on top of each other.

One thing you might have noticed.  Often these obstacles were placed on the downward slope away from the enemy.  If they had been approached by an enemy coming up the hill from Belgium, they would not have been spotted until the enemy had come over the hill and was drawn into the trap.  

I am glad you had the opportunity to walk the ground and see these for yourself.  There has been talk over the years of demolishing them.  But as you could tell, this would be a very costly effort. 

Siegfried Line (200).jpg

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Oh wow. Thanks for sharing that. Very interesting. Dang, it would be a shame if they ever moved forward with destroying these things. Can't understand how people think sometimes. 

Always looking for stuff from the 40th Infantry Division (Korean War), the 7th Armored Division (WWII), USS Bunker Hill (WWII) and USS Mullany (WWII).

Check out my history page on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/historyunderground

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When I went to the Hurtgenwald in 1993 (I was stationed in Germany from 1989 to 1998), I found a ton of these in a farmers field. If you look closely, you can see that they were poured in layers - not as one single "tooth". I found one where the very top portion had separated over time. I thought to myself, "Self, how heavy can that one piece be?" So I schlepped it about 100 yards to my car, and it weighed a ton. As I moved around the world and back to Ohio, I've kept that piece the entire time, just because it was such a task to carry it. It's still in great shape - apparently they made really, really good cement back in the day.

There's also some good teeth and bunkers down around Pirmasens (I think that's where they were)...one large bunker has been preserved and turned into a museum.

 

Mark sends

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
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Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

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Mark... I imagine that really added to your weight allowance when you shipped home!

I forgot to mention.... many GI's spent their off time looking for these fortifications.

I worked with an officer who told me in the early 1970's they were still pulling material out of some of these.  He recounted one bunker that was flanked by a gorge.  To get to it, him and his friends had to rappel down to it.  Apparently it was  worth the effort... they pulled a submachine gun out of one of them, helmets and the occasional uniforms out of others.

All of that was gone by the time I was there.

I cut some strands of barbed wire off of one of the bunkers.  Somehow it did not make it back to the states with me.  Oh well... so much for souvenir hunting!

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Surprisingly I was still under weight when we PCS'ed to Ohio. If I ever get around to it is to build the lower section from plywood, cover that with a light cement coat and put the original piece on top and install it in the Museum....just gotta requisition some motivation first....

 

 

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Miami-Valley-Military-History-Museum/111268115594349
Official Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration: www.vietnamwar50th.com
Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

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Thank`s for posting. If you can have a look at the bunkers and position for instance in the Huertgen Forest. Obtain military relics from battlefields is not the conviction in Germany. This is the Ochsenkopf in the Huertgen Forest today....

Huertgen1.jpg.3673b50b4ce5d0503054defcd8df6842.jpg

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Cool video James. Thank you Sir !!!

For all the labor money material that went into the sigfried line, I read somewhere that our troops would

bulldoze dirt over a section fill it them in and drove right over them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/26/2020 at 4:58 PM, rooster77 said:

Cool video James. Thank you Sir !!!

For all the labor money material that went into the sigfried line, I read somewhere that our troops would

bulldoze dirt over a section fill it them in and drove right over them.

 

Pretty cool to be able to see them in person. And yeah, I don't think that they held up quite as well as the Germans thought that they would.

Always looking for stuff from the 40th Infantry Division (Korean War), the 7th Armored Division (WWII), USS Bunker Hill (WWII) and USS Mullany (WWII).

Check out my history page on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/historyunderground

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On 5/24/2020 at 8:59 AM, Backtheattack said:

Thank`s for posting. If you can have a look at the bunkers and position for instance in the Huertgen Forest. Obtain military relics from battlefields is not the conviction in Germany. This is the Ochsenkopf in the Huertgen Forest today....

Huertgen1.jpg.3673b50b4ce5d0503054defcd8df6842.jpg

Wow! I'd love to see that.

Always looking for stuff from the 40th Infantry Division (Korean War), the 7th Armored Division (WWII), USS Bunker Hill (WWII) and USS Mullany (WWII).

Check out my history page on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/historyunderground

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