37 images of the massive German Flak Towers

Jack
 
 
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Following the raid on Berlin by the Royal Air Force in 1940, the construction of 3 huge flak towers was ordered by Adolf Hitler. These towers were designed to defend from enemy air attacks and better protect the capital. Retractable radar dishes were built into each tower for better communication and defense.

Hitler personally took an interest in helping with the design of these flak towers; he went so far as to produce sketches of ideas for them. They were constructed as quickly as possible and were complete within six months. The urgency of the construction was so important that the German national rail service were made to alter their schedules so they could deliver the materials needed for construction (steel, timber and concrete).

The flak’s constructions consisted thick concrete walls (11ft deep) and were designed to be completely invulnerable from air attacks by Allied bombers. The towers could provide heavy gunfire, up to 8,000 rounds per minute due to their guns being placed multi-leveled and use of a variety of caliber bullets. They had a 360-degree window in which to fire from, ideal for defense.

Although they had the firepower they only had one effective weapon in the tower that could fire upon the RAF and USAAF bombers; their 5-inch guns. These were the only weapons that had the range required to do any damage.

The flak towers were placed in such a position in the outskirts of Berlin that they maintained a good coverage of the city and could ensure this area was better protected.

Soviet Forces tried to cause damage to these flak towers and found it almost impossible; even with their 203mm howitzers (some of the largest weaponry they had). The towers were fully prepared and always had a ready supply of ammunition to use against the enemy.

Following the War the flak towers remain in numbers and some have been put to other uses after having been converted.

This G-Tower in the footage stands in Humboldthain Park, Berlin and was partially damaged following the War.

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Berlin flak tower with quad 20 mm FLAK guns [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-649-5387-09A / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
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Berlin Tiergarten (Zoo) flak tower in use as a hospital [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1997-0923-505 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
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Building a flak tower [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J16840 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
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Berlin flak tower [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1992-0513-502 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]

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Arenberg
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Ausgarten flak tower in Vienna, picture taken in 2008
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The Berlin Zoo flak tower in May 1945
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Ausgarten Flak tower in Vienna
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Ausgarten flak tower in Vienna
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Flak tower Heiligengeistfeld in Hamburg
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Flak tower in Vienna
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Aerial shot of the Ausgarten flak tower in Vienna
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Flak tower in Hamburg
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Vienna flak tower
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Augarten Flaktower
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Augarten Flaktower Vienna, 1985
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The L & G-Towers in Augarten, Vienna
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East Side of flak tower VI in Willemsborg
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West Side of flak tower VI in Willemsborg
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Flak Tower IV in Hamburg
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Flak Tower VI in Hamburg, Wilhelmsburg

 

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Flak Tower In Ausgarten Vienna
Flak tower Humboldthain in Berlin
Flak tower Humboldthain in Berlin

Reichsgebiet, Alarm auf Flakturm
Alarm practice on a flak tower [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-675-7942-02 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Berlin, Flak auf Zoobunker
Berlin, Flak guns on the Zoobunker [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0508-502 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]

Berlin, Flakturm am Zoo
Berlin, Flak guns on the Zoobunker

Berlin, gesprengter Bunker im Friedrichshain
Berlin, demolished flak tower at Friedrichshain [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-M1203-316 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Berlin, Sprengung des Zoobunkers
Berlin, blowing up the Zoo Flak Tower [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S76934 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Berlin, Sprengung des Zoobunkers
Berlin, blowing up the Zoo Flak Tower [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S76935 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Berlin, Sprengung des Zoobunkers
Berlin, blowing up the Zoo Flak Tower [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S76936/ CC-BY-SA 3.0]

Berlin, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Trümmerberg
Berlin, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Trümmerberg
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Flak Tower IV Hamburg Aerial photo 1945
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Loading a Flak gun on top of a tower
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Vienna, flak bunker
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Willemsborg cafe on top of the flak bunker