Führersonderzug

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Adolf Hitler's special train, the Führersonderzug was named Führersonderzug "Amerika" in 1940, and later Führersonderzug "Brandenburg". The train was used as a headquarters until the Balkans Campaign. Afterwards, the train was not used as Führer Headquarters, however Hitler continued to travel on it throughout the war between Berlin, Berchtesgaden, Munich and other headquarters.

General[edit]

Before the first permanent Führer Headquarters Felsennest was used in May 1940, the Führersonderzug served as a mobile headquarters. Hitler and his entourage used this train to visit various fronts and theaters of war. For safety, a front train and rear train was used to prevent any possible attack.

Components[edit]

The exact elements of the train are not known, but some details were revealed by the departure information "Bln 2009", when the train departed the Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin on 23 June 1941, arriving at Wolfsschanze on 24 June 1941;

The individual 17 components (locomotives and cars) in order were:[1]

  • Two BR52 Class locomotives
  • a special Flakwagen armoured anti-aircraft train flatbed car with two anti-aircraft guns, most often a pair of Flakvierling cannon batteries, one at each end of the car
  • a baggage car
  • the Führerwagen, used by Hitler
  • a Befehlswagen (command car), including a conference room and a communications center
  • a Begleitkommandowagen, for the accompanying Reichssicherheitsdienst
  • a dining car
  • two cars for guests
  • a Badewagen (bathing car)
  • another dining car
  • two sleeping cars for personnel
  • a Pressewagen
  • another baggage car
  • another Flakwagen

Otto Dietrich indicates that the Flakwagen never had to be used when Hitler was travelling. The "Pressewagen" was to receive and release press reports, not for journalists.[2]

Other Sonderzüge[edit]

There were other special trains (Sonderzüge in German) used by prominent German officials;[3][4]

  • Ministerzug (Ministers' Train), used by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Heinrich Himmler
  • Sonderzug "Afrika" (also called "Braunschweig"), used by the chief of the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW))
  • Sonderzug "Asien" (also called "Pommern"), used by Hermann Göring
  • Sonderzug "Atlantik" (also called "Auerhahn"), used by the supreme commander of the Navy (Kriegsmarine)
  • Sonderzug "Atlas" (also called "Franken"), a command train used by the Armed Forces Operations Staff (Wehrmachtführungsstabes)
  • Sonderzug "Enzian", a command train used by the chief of the Intelligence branch of the Luftwaffe (Nachrichtenwesens der Luftwaffe)
  • Sonderzug "Ostpreußen" (also called "Sonderzug 4"), used by the Army General Staff (Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH))
  • Sonderzug "Robinson 1", used by the chief of the Command Staff of the Luftwaffe
  • Sonderzug "Robinson 2", used by the chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe
  • Sonderzug "Steiermark" (also called "Heinrich" and "Transport 44"), used by Heinrich Himmler
  • Sonderzug "Westfalen", used by Joachim von Ribbentrop
  • Sonderzug "Württemberg", used by the Army General Staff (Gen. St.d. H. – Generalstabs des Heeres)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raiber, Richard, Guide to Hitler's Headquarters, After The Battle, No. 19, p. 2.
  2. ^ Otto Dietrich. The Hitler I Knew. Memoirs of the Third Reich's Press Chief. Skyhorse Publishing (2010). p. 189. ISBN 978-1-60239-972-3.
  3. ^ Raiber, Richard, Guide to Hitler's Headquarters, After The Battle, No.19, pp. 48–51.
  4. ^ Der Kommandant Führerhauptquartier from Das Bundesarchiv (German, www.bundesarchiv.de)