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Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

Article about: and Finally.... Of course I couldn't visit a site like this without coming away with a few relics dor around and under the ruins. If this had been in any other Country this aite would have b

  1. #1

    Default Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    In September 2009 I spent a couple of weeks in the Ardennes and have already posted on my trip under Iconic Image Journey. But as well as tracing the route of the Northern attack I also took time out to visit the small village of Rodert the site of Hitlers Felsennest HQ.
    Felsennest is on the top of a hill around 400 metres from the village of Rodert. It was built into a copse of trees and was guarded by wooden towers placed strategically along a chain link enclosure. Much of the site was not fortified relying on camouflage for protection, with only a small bunker for the Fuhrer on the top. Down the hill (200 from the bunker) was a log cabin the Lagebaracke where the situation conferences were held. Due to the small size of the site much of the immediate headquarters were dispersed into the village of Rodert.
    Hitler was based here between 9th May 1940 and 6th June 1940, in that time France was defeated and the Allied forces evacuated via Dunkirk in Northern France. It was here where the strange stop order was given to the German forces, buying the time needed to evacuate the beaches? From this base Hitler set off on his famous tour of his WW1 battlefields, and probably the most famous episode at least for photographs, it was here that he awarded the Ritterkreuz to members of Fallschirmjaeger Assault Force Granite who stormed the so called 'impregnable' Fort Eben-Emael.
    Following Hitler's departure from the site he ordered that it was to be retained unaltered which would become a place of pilgrimage for the Thousand Year Reich's future generations. Unfortunately his reich did not last as long as he had hoped and although it had been preserved as ordered, by the spring of 1945 the Wehrmacht (charged with its protection) blew it up as the V Corps of the US Third Army approached.
    I found there was still a lot to see if you're prepared to crawl around through bushes and off the beaten path. Part of the site is now the back garden of a modern villa which I found out by mistake,I took a wrong turn ending up in it's back garden.
    Whilst there I managed to match several photographs (then and now format) with a couple that as far as I'm aware have never been matched. At the end of this post you'll also see a few interesting relics I picked up from around and under the ruins.
    I apologies for the length and number of pictures but i thought they were all of interest and deserve a viewing


    Pictures 1,2,3 and 4 show the Fuhrer coming into Rodert Village on route to his Felsennest. Notice a few of the bemused locals watching him pass.
    Pictures 5,6 and 7 show one of the surviving guard huts, notice the original door sadly access is not possible.
    When I first arrived at the site I chose the wrong wood to explore but in doing so I discovered these concrete plinths picture 8 I later discovered these were set up and levelled to support an 88mm anti aircraft gun, that was initially set up to guard the Fuhrer but remained there for the duration of the war. Picture 9 shows an 88mm in position in a wood that's reputed to have been close to the site. Near the plinths I discovered (picture 10) a short length of zig zag trench some 2 metres deep that I guess was protection for the weapons crew.
    Picture 11 shows the camouflaged dining room/wc, this building was not fortified. Picture 12 shows Hitler stood on the track next to the dining room, today the scene has not changed too much picture 13 no trace exists of the dining room today and due to foliage I had to move a little to the left of the original photographers position.
    Picture 14 shows the arrival of Reichsminister Joseph Goebbels on 5th June 1940 for a meeting with Hitler. He stands to the right of the dining room. My picture 15 shows the same spot today.

    more to come
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Felsennest 1.jpg   Felsennest 2.jpg  

    Felsennest 3.jpg   Felsennest 4.jpg  

    Felsennest 5.jpg   Felsennest 6.jpg  

    Felsennest 7.jpg   Felsennest 8.jpg  

    Felsennest 9.jpg   Felsennest 10.jpg  

    Felsennest 11.jpg   Felsennest 12.jpg  

    Felsennest 13.jpg   Felsennest 14.jpg  

    Felsennest 15.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Nice work Lucky!
    I would love to take a trip out there and see whats left of this stuff.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    I agree, Count me in on that trip.
    Regards to all, Simon.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Now onto probably the most famous picture to come from the site. Picture 16 shows Hitler about to award the Ritterkreuz to members of the Fallschirmjager for the successful capture of Fort Eben-Emael. The scene in picture 17 is easily recognisable today. Picture 18 is the same award ceremony looking in the opposite direction with the dining room to their side. Picture 19 was taken at the end of the dinning room at the bottom of the steps leading to the Fuhrer bunker. This is Hitler with his inner circle which includes, William Bruckner, Dr Otto Dietrich, William Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Martin Bormann, Rudolf Hess, Nicholas Von Below, Rudolf Schmundt, Karl Wolf, Heinrich Himmler, Dr Karl Brant, Karl Jesko von Puttkamer, Dr Karl Brant, Heinz Lorenz, Julius Schaub and Max Wunsche.
    Picture 20 The same spot has changed a little today!, It was a little spooky stood there alone with the thought of all that history. It was getting late and nobody was near.
    From the small bunker at the top of the hill a footpath ran down the hill perhaps 400m to the Lagebaracke where the situation conferences were held. Picture 21 shows Hitler on his way to the Lagebaracke. The same path exisits today picture 22 but its a little faint in places and a new walkers path now runs below it.
    Pictures 23,24 and 25 show various images of the Hitler path.

    more to come
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Felsennest 16.jpg   Felsennest 17.jpg  

    Felsennest 18.jpg   Felsennest 19.jpg  

    Felsennest 20.jpg   Felsennest 21.jpg  

    Felsennest 23.jpg   Felsennest 24.jpg  

    Felsennest 25.jpg   Felsennest 22.jpg  

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Great photos and comparisons mate.

    Count me in with 381 and SW about a run over there for a dig around if possible.

    Regards etc

    Ian D.

    AKA: Jimpy

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Picture 26 is a photograph that was taken looking through the window of the Lagebaracke while Hitler studies a situation map with Jodl in attendance. The next picture 27 is taken by me stood in exactly the same spot as the photographer all those years ago, the Lagebaracke has now gone, just a memory but the foundations remain, it was getting dark and raining when I took this sequence of pictures. I believe I'm the first to match this picture together with the next two.
    Around the back of the Lagebaracke stood a table and bench, here picture 28 we see Keitel and Von Ribbentrop taking a breather from a situation conference. Notice the chicken wire netting for the camo and the two small trees. Picture 29 is my comparison of the same spot notice that the two trees are still there.
    Behind the Lagebaracke site is a very overgrown flat plateau it is here I believe the next picture was taken. Picture 30 shows Hitler with Von Ribentrop and Hoffman perhaps taking tea or should it be coffee. My comparison is again a first, picture 31 you'll notice the area and even contours of the land is the same and its position was also very convenient for a meetings at the Ladebaracke, I'm sure this is the same spot.
    In the spring of 1945 the bunker was blown up just before the Allies reached it, Picture 32shows US troops examining the site, my comparison picture 33 shows nothing has changed except the growth of vegetation.

    More to come
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Felsennest 26.jpg   Felsennest 27.jpg  

    Felsennest 28.jpg   Felsennest 29.jpg  

    Felsennest 30.jpg   Felsennest 31.jpg  

    Felsennest 32.jpg   Felsennest 33.jpg  

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Luckystrike, Great post, more if you have them. Very interesting Thanks for sharing. John

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'


    As usual, nice work. Always fasinated by your photo's.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Wandering around the site of the bunker I took a series of pictures 34,35,36,37,38,39 and 40 to show what is still there to be seen today, notice how thick the rook was. For reference refering back to picture 38, this is the other end of the path leading from the dining room to the Fuhrer Bunker where Hitler posed with his inner circle in picture 19.

    By Hitlers standards Felsennest was only a small Headquarters and he enjoyed this intimacy, however it could not accomdate all the personel and their Depatments needed in the HQ Sperrkreis I area. So to get around this problem much of the Fuhrerhauptquartier staff were actually accomodated in the village of Rodert which was known as Sperrkreis II.
    Picture 41 Shows Hitler, Himmler and Keitel walking from Felsennest to the village which is around 500m away. Sadly the old paths have now been removed and its not possible to get a meaningful comparison.
    In the village, the house pictured 42 (marked with a red cross) was a cinema that was set up for Hitler, who came not only watch the latest feature films but also get the first viewing of the Die Deutsche Wochenshau weekly news reels. Of course at that time all films were Victories. After his viewing and agreement they were then passed out for national distribution to the German cinema's. Whilst taking this picture I got chatting to a resident who told me that Hitler used to enjoy a beer whilst watching these films.
    The building in picture 43 is just outside the village and was Felsennests Communications Centre, I noticed defensive trenches in the woods opposite. We now head back into the village, picture 44 shows a building used as a barracks when Hitler was at Felsennest and was later used as part of the Bauprogramm in 1942/43. The building in picture 45 was the bath house for Felsennest and was later used by the Bauprogramm 1942/43. Picture 46 shows a building that was used as a guest house for Hitlers visitors and then the Bauprogramm 1942/43.
    Finally I liked this original wooden house picture 47 still in superb original condition, it was again used by the Bauprogramm.


    more to come
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Felsennest 34.jpg   Felsennest 35.jpg  

    Felsennest 36.jpg   Felsennest 37.jpg  

    Felsennest 38.jpg   Felsennest 39.jpg  

    Felsennest 40.jpg   Felsennesr 41.jpg  

    Felsennest 42.jpg   Felsennest 43.jpg  

    Felsennest 44.jpg   Felsennest 45.jpg  

    Felsennest 46.jpg   Felsennest 47.jpg  

  10. #10

    Default Re: Hitlers Headquarters 'FHQu Felsennest'

    Hi, great photos and great information, loved to see the comparisons, a job well done luckystrike.
    Best regards

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