Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Documentary: Nazi Mega Weapons Season 2: The Wolf's Lair

This is the continuing PBS series which looks at some of the Nazi mega weapons.  This episode deals with Hitler's shelters.  It also looks at the attack on Hitler in his lair.  Hitler fancied himself a military leader, and wanted to be close to the action.  This served him well inFrance as he made a shelter close to the front, and was able to monitor and direct.  The success of the Germans convinced Hitler this was good strategy.  He even went so far as to make bomb shelters for his trains, covered man made tunnels, which were rarely used.  They were rounded so bombs would bounce off.  Mussolini and Hitler held a meeting in one such structure, it's only use.  This were a waste of manpower and resources.  Hitler's Lair was as far to the west in Germany (Prussia) as Hitler could get. From this location Hitler was to monitor the invasion of Russia.  However he was hampered by distance.  The Nazis were on the verge of taking Moscow.  However Hitler order the troops to take Leningrad first, which proved to be a costly mistake.  He also ordered attacks and other strategies, without having enough information.
Claus von Stauffenberg
Tremendous amounts of concrete were used to build the lair, where Hitler Had a large personal complex, but it was mostly cement and buffer.  The living space was very small.  These enclosed rooms were a hazard,and disgruntled Germans used them to attack Hitler.  In an enclosed space, a small bomb could do great damage as the force would be concentrated.  Colonel Claus von Straffenberg attempted such a move, however the meeting to which he was invited was not held in a bunker, but an outlying building, which was not made of concrete.  However the detonator had already been triggered.  The bomb did not kill Hitler as the force of the blast was not contained.   Several other officers were killed.  For his roll Stauffenberg was executed without trial.  
Hitler's Lair was abandoned when the Russians advanced taking over the area.
Hitler's last bunker was the one in Berlin.  Again this was a massive undertaking.  The bunker was built underground in the center of the city.  In the end the Russians did not have to attack it as Hitler suicided.

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