Hobart Barracks

Did any of you go into the tunnels that were under Hobart Barracks? I heard some stories that they went all over the place from the bottom gate right around camp and up to the airfield. Did anyone take a peek? And I heard stories on how there was German Army WW2 kit left deep inside the tunnels. Best one was aircraft parts/engines/complete aircraft stored inside. Anyone care to dispel these stories......
Spent 2 years at Hobart but never heard about any tunnels.

I did hear that Ripon Baracks in Bielefeld had a tunnel system, filled with water, ammo and even a tank! Never seen any evidence myself though.
Heard loads of stories during my time at Deathmold but never met anyone who actually got down there; when I flew over last year - big changes - the Germans were in the process of digging out the old main square and the new surface looked a fair bit lower than the old. :(
I remember that at the back of the accommodation blocks to the left of the car park, there were giant steel doors, padlocked, which lead into the tunnels (or old air raid shelter, come tunnels). Maybe its a story that does the rounds in all of Germany: Tunnels under the barracks, contains a tank/aircraft and it's crew, waiting patiently to do battle, etc.........

There were a few small tunnels at Oakington, but these were a mess with water damage and rubble everywhere.
Heard all the stories of tunnels under almost every camp in Germany.... even one bloke swearing that he'd been in the tunnels under Barker Bks in Paderborn. The place where he said that there was a huge bunker they have just built the new cookhouse...... and found nothing. I have realized that 99% of the tunnel stories are all bo11ocks. There may be some that have a bit of truth in them, but I'd have to see them myself to really believe.


Spent my first posting in Berlin, can't remember the name of the camp, but the Britainia Centre was across the road (Where Hess was untill he died).

Was always ment to be underground bunker under the astro turf, where they found german tanks.......

Or was that the sort of story that all new blokes where told?
Nope, that story is true (except for the tanks). The Britannia Centre used to house Herr Hess before he departed this earth for a long meeting with Herr Hitler in Hell. Spandu Prison in er, Spandu had numerous tunnels or air raid shelters littered all over the place. Some of the Inf lads who stagged on at Spandu prison maybe able to enlighten us on the tunnels, if they were allowed to enter them. Berlin was/is covered in 1000's of air raid tunnels/bunkers, seeing as they were constantly shat on from a height.

Most barracks in Germany hawk back to WWII and beyond, and have loads of air raid shelters/cmd bunkers, some only a few feet in length, right up to long winding tunnels and offices. The Germans couldn't conduct a war on ground level when the RAF were using barracks for target practice, so bunkers were built around each camp. I was told, upon arriving at 7 Flt in Berlin that there was a maze of tunnels under the hanger, running throughout the camp. There was evidence of trap doors around the back of the hanger, but the OC and 2IC forbid digging, etc. The forest to the back of the hanger had loads of trenches, complete with dugouts large enough to fit a few people in.

But the Hobart tunnel saga is supposed to be true. I did take a look through the gap in the metal doors at the back of the accommodation, but there was hardly any light, and there was around a foot of water. It would be interesting to know if indeed they did run throughout the barracks.
In Hildeathsheim in 82 I knew a bloke who got into the MOB Stores located in said tunnels. He cut the padlock off and started to run his own Q stores from his room in the block.
Hildesheim was a Luftwaffe base during the second great war. I was stationed there from 79-83 and I heard lots of stories about buried aircraft and spare parts. It was never proved or unearthed.
Same story different Barracks - Taunton Barracks in Celle.

Popular myth had this building as deep undergound as it is tall with tunnels leading not only around Celle - specifically to Trenchard Bks but as as far as Hohne (handy for a quick run the the RoundHouse) and the Bergen-Belson Concentration Camp.

Another story has a diver going into the flooded tunnels in the 1970s - ne'er to be seen again.
In Hilderbanana from 81 to 89. Did a spell in the Officers mess. Everyone remembers Dicky Bird the Barman or Tool Storeman. His wife was the young assistant of the Doctor who looked after Hitler whenever he visited Hildesheim (for stress). Her brother was an Airman there. It was the so called secret air base.

As a child she spent many hours in the building which was their Officers Mess and subsequently became so under British occupation.

Some of us also heard of the stories of tunnels etc. She told us and showed us where the Officer Mess tunnel had been. One of three tunnels she knew of. They were filled in in the early 1950s. The main tunnel ran to what became Mons Camp and another branched off to the Leine and one went to the front of the old camp as it was. From where she only had a vague idea from the tellings of her brother. One was under the old CO quarters behind 652's block and one ran from the old SSO block, joining the one from the old CO quarters before splitting two ways.

They were escape tunnels and most bases in fact did have them. The stories of the Spitfires and Blenheims captured and kept in underground hangars was crap. They did however take shot down Spitfires and canibalise them to make a flying model (Only one made) but it crashed within minutes of a test flight. This was however done in our own Hangars as we knew them.

In the Cellar Bar of the Mess was a wall painting of Goering; flying on a bomb and there was also some little secret cupboards in there. The tunnels however, as said, had been filled in years before.

True or not, I had no reason to disbeleive her. She was as honest as the day was long.
Re. Hobart Bks. - When I was Comd. Avn. UKLF's driver - He once asked me if I had seen anything of the like whilst in Detmold. I said I hadn't but told him I had heard the rumours. He told me that on a visit there the CO had shown him a dump / store behind (I think it was 659's hangar) which was full of kit.
Certainly they dug up aircraft parts whilst re-building back in the early eighties and had a canon from a ME109 on the wall in RHQ.

An ex-RMP told me about the sewers / tunnels below Berlin which were sealed after the war. Bodies and kit were left there because of the sheer numbers. He once had access and said it was unbelievable what was down there.
I went down a closed off tunnel in Jersey some years ago, it was packed with Jerry helmets and gas masks etc, all in pretty bad condition, ie; rusted and covered in slime. Managed to find one helmet that was in fairly good order, which now adorns my garage wall.

Strange thing was that most of the gas masks were for horses.
Spent many a happy year in Detmold, a bloke called Jim used to run the clothing store he was ex-pat living on the German net. He knew loads about the tunnels (added bonus if you sat and chatted he would exchange any kit you wanted). One ran the perimeter of airfield (659 hanger to town gate gaurd room) and a tank leaving through the town gate caved it in. Lots of stories about what was under the parade square, if you went into 4 Regt armoury you could go down another level to a dead end at the bottom of the stairs, same in 71 HQ building. Another little known fact is that Goering had an office in what became the education centre library, he had compulsive dissorder about washing his hands and there was a little sink hid away in the back. Still there when I did my EPC in 1988.
There was an underground hospital in Krefeld (originally built by the Germans) which was kept stocked for use during the Cold War. It was nominated as an alternative location for RAF(H) Wegberg and occasionally used on exercise.
Spoke to Gaz who was the armourer in the 80's and knew both fiendish and wurzel from 4 AAC and he cannot remember any secret passages. Jim the storeman was well known for winding people up with tall stories.

Has any one heard about the camp near Needham Market full of operational aircraft and keen and alert personnel or is this another of those urban myths? 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O
I am an arrse virgin ! but i wont let that stop me hahaha :lol: Idid detters in 83-86 and did work as arms stm during that time, we tried to get down below the stairwell but there was no access and no sign of being bricked over. In the officers mess that the corps used there were tunnels that ran out to the far side of the airfield. Hildesheim had a railway underground to Hannover for fat Hermans personal use so it was said. When 659's hanger was being built there were various a/c parts still in packing cases found this was due to ourselves when we took over the camp after it was liberated, all german 'stuff' was bulldozed into one area and buried.Hence the large amonts of earth that needed to be moved. Bodies were discovered but only one or two. And yes it was me and wally keenan who found and started to clean up the cannon that adorns 659[/img]
Under almost every camp in Germany there should be some form of bunker and tunnel system. Ranching from large to small.

I was posted to Barker Barracks where there is a massive tunnel system. I have been down them, the tunnels are all (of what we discovered) called communication tunnels, used to get coms and electricity down to the bunker, today they are used to feed modern electricity around camp, (why dig time consuming pits when there is a tunnel already) the old cables have all been removed though. There are about 20 etrances via modern manholes dotted around camp.

Both the coms tunnels (there are two seprate main systems running through camp) stop abruptley just short of the main parade square. Neatly bricked up from the other side. My tunneling partner has removed some of the bricks and unfortunatley behind the wall has been filled in by gravel earth. The second tunnel system is also bricked up, but weve never removed any bricks to find out if it is blocked aswell.

Inbetween these two tunnels is a enclosed compound with a blue sink building (behind the reme buildings) if you manage to get inside there is a stair case leading down into the basement, possibe a storage area, on both ends of the basement is a dubble door sized gap in the wall, once again been bricked up from the other side, and after a brick from one of the walls had been removed, filled in with dirt aswell.

This is about asfar as we were able to explore, the next step would be to break the wall down and shovel throught the dirt estamated to be a few feet deep, as we think a hole was made through the sealing to get out and filled in. After both tunnel and basement had been bricked up.

There may be further entrance which we had not found yet, some deppression on the main parade square are visible which leads to suggest a origanal entrance. A former NAZI youth who was based on a nearby camp says that the main bunker had three floor levels and could hold jeeps and possible tanks, (thats bloody big), The possibility that this bunker is this large is supported by the fact of the vast size of the tunnel system.

A few final point of intrest.Next to block 3, infront of the Naafi is a odd shaped structure with concrete side structure leading to suggest that this may also have been a small shelter, near 1 RRW and the church is a pillar box, also brick up from the inside. At the very bottom of camp near the old POL point is a drain overflow tank, it has also been suggested as being an old bunker and was easily converted to a overflow tank. And although I never saw this, when the new cook house was build a bunker was descovere with rotten uniforms and rusted rifles.

A word of caution, if you ever do decide to go into these tunnels, bear inmind that although it is no crime to walk round underground tunnels, the millitary may frown upon such activity especially if you decide to start bulldozing walls down. And although these bunkers are bomb proof you still are doing this at your own risk.

An American perspective here FWIW...I found this site while doing a Google search on Berlin's tunnels. I was at Field Station Berlin from 1979 to 1982 and lived in the barracks at Andrews Kaserne in Lichterfelde. Used to be an elite Prussian military cadet academy, later became the training HQ for Hitler's personal Liebstandarte. As such, you can image, it was a haven for the most fanatical of idealogical fanatics...a place where the last few holdouts fought to the death when the Soviets entered the city in the final days of WWII. This was graphically borne out by the numerous bayonet marks and bullet holes located in the building's attic, which had been barred and off-limits to us soldiers...After the US Army moved us into a new barracks sometime during 1981, several of us sneaked into the attic of the old building and found many clumps of these marks all around.

There had always been rumors that a network of tunnels under the old barracks had been sealed off and flooded by the Russians when they entered the city. The bodies of the drowned Germans/Nazis were left as they were, and when the Americans came in and occupied their portion of the city, the tunnels (at least under Andrews) were never excavated, nor the bodies removed. I can't vouch for this but I do know that in addition to the attic, we 'explored' the basement, found a couple of heretofore blocked-off sublevels, and on the lowest one, we found several depressions in the cement (?) flooring. The depressions were three-four feet in diameter\ and were blocked off by chunks of mortar, bricks, bits of rebar and wall, rocks and other debris. The debris started about a foot or so below the level of the floor.

I would love to know what became of Andrews. Rumor had it the Germans wanted to convert it the entire complex into some kind of museum; I don't think that happened, but as recently as 2000 the buildings were still standing and a group of Berlin vets went there on a reunion tour. I don't think they were allowed inside, though.

Can't find much else on the Net about flooding of the tunnels at the end of the war. If any of you know of any books that reference this, I'd be glad to hear of it.

The "Ami"
For anyone who is interested..... The Barker Barracks tunnel maze and bunker has been cracked !

Many thanks to those who came with me, if the RSM found out, we'd be tapping the boards for a while.

Pictures abvailable on request.

The tunnels lead all over the camp, linking each block to another, used origionally for cables, water supply etc etc. They were built in 1937 ish by some graffiti in one of the tunnels, presumably by a constructor.

All the tunnels lead in the general direction of the square, and thats where they are blocked.

The main store room by the square has two entrances (Also blocked), believed to enter tunnels that also go under the square.

Previously we removed some brick work, only to find some quality mud.
Each entrance has this feature, and was not taken furthur.

On the Square itself a depression appeared on a piece of reletively new Tarmac..... It sunk about 1ft, and the contractors were called in.... I followed. Uniterested, they explaned that there was some benzin tank below, this was where the cover was, and the tarmac had fallen it a bit.

They tented the part, got to work, and removed the old tarmac, exposing a hole in the ground with some broken concrete lid barely hanging on. removing the "Lid" exposed a crappy ladder going down. They said they would make a new lid from concrete and plonk it in when it had set (By the way... I speak German, their English was poo)

Later that day when they had done one, myself, and my tunneling crew went to investigate.

Nope, no tanks or planes.
Going down the ladder drops you into yet another tunnel some 10ft under ground. The tunnel goes down, and leads to the remains of a heavy metal blow to bits door.

Through this doorway, you enter a underground complex, damp, dark, and trashed, some parts with water.

You fight to get through bent twisted and rusty bunk beds. On your left there are 8 rooms with various junk in them, one appears to be a med centre with a round large lamp off the ceiling, on your right the entrances to 2 large hangers. Smelly, with no tiger tanks. Just bits of engine, some track etc. the hanger entrances are bricked up

You will not believe me when I tell you the following, but I dont care. All of it is rottern, rusty or in bits.
This place was littered with weapons, helmets, bits of motors and stuff, and worse of all, bones.

Anything wooden had rotted, anything metal had rusted, anything fleshy had decomposed.

at the end of the complex there is a mud slopped wall, I guess the exit to the tunnels.

The complex is quite large, the roof looks like its about to come in, and I aint going back down there.
I took no trophies, as we all agreed that this place was a grave (And the badge would kill us if he found out)

My thanks to Marcel for your previous help in trying to find this place.
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