Maybach I and II were a series of above and underground bunkers built 20 kilometres south of Berlin in Wünsdorf near Zossen, Brandenburg to house the High Command of the Army (in Maybach I) and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (in Maybach II) during the Second World War. The complex was named after the Maybach automobile engine.
Maybach I was a built between 1937 and 1939 as the threat of war loomed. The complex consisted of twelve three-storey buildings above ground designed to look from the air like local housing, and two floors of interlinked bunkers with two-foot thick walls below. Later in the Second World War the site was further camouflaged by the use of netting.
Maybach II, completed in 1940, was of the same design with eleven surface buildings.
World War II
Midday 20 April the OKH evacuated to Eiche near Potsdam and OKW to Krampnitz, and the Russians arrived in the afternoon, finding the site empty apart from four German soldiers.
Cold War era
The two Maybach bunkers were largely destroyed by the Red Army in late 1946, according to the stipulations of the four-power agreement on the occupation of Germany and an Allied Control Council order, although some buildings survived, including the almost entirely intact separate communications bunker Zeppelin. The Zeppelin bunker later formed part of the Soviet Cold war era installations in Wünsdorf under the name Ranet. Further bunker installations were subsequently added to house the central command and communications functions of the Soviet army in the GDR. The bunker grounds were demilitarised following the closing of the army base in 1994, when the last Russian troops left Germany.
Present day remains and exhibition
The ruins of the above-ground bunker entrance houses remain inside the former Soviet military base area in Wünsdorf-Waldstadt. Some parts of the underground complex of Maybach I remain accessible through the ruins of the entrance buildings, together with the neighbouring communications bunker Zeppelin. The area and underground bunkers can be accessed by guided tours, and a museum in the Wünsdorf Book Town houses exhibits on the military history of the town and bunker complexes.
- Beevor, A (2003) Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, P151
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