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Wolfsschlucht II Fuhrer Headquarters main area

Extensive site with over 800 buildings... where Hitler spent just one day!

Wolfsschlucht II Fuhrer HQ main site overview

What to see

If there was ever a bunker site which highlighted Germany’s waste of valuable resources, then the Wolfsschlucht II, around Margival in northern France, was it.
Created to be one of Hitler’s Fuhrer Headquarters and a command base for his generals, this site features one of the largest numbers of concrete structures constructed in one area of occupied France.
From September 1942 to 1944 around 22,000 workers constructed over 800 buildings here, including over 150 defensive positions, 230+ anti-aircraft and searchlight posts, personnel shelters, storage structures, office buildings, generator bunkers, and heavy-duty command bunkers. There’s even a swimming pool.
The inner site covered around 12km with building 001, the Fuhrer HQ, at the heart of it.
Surrounding the central position were over 20 anti-aircraft gun sites and several searchlight positions, while the nearby villages of Laffaux, Mailly-Urcel, Margival, Neuville-sur-Margival, Terny-Sorny, Vauxaillon, and Vregny all became defensive fortresses and troops positions, creating a ‘ring of fire’ around the Fuhrer HQ.
Several underground quarries were also dug for storage. It’s estimated that the total area of the site, with its supporting buildings, covered over 80 square kilometres.
In total, Hitler spent just one day at the location.
On June 17, 1944, he met with Field Marshalls Erwin Rommel and Gerd Von Rundstedt to plan Germany’s response to the Allied landings in Normandy earlier in the month. While he was there the site was subjected to an air raid and he left shortly afterwards.
Wolfsschlucht translates to English as ‘Wolf Canyon or Gorge’ and links to Hitler’s codename of ‘Grey Wolf’ and the fact the site is located in wooded valley.
The area, to the north east of Soissons, also boasted a 650m long railway tunnel, buried 30m underground, which was the perfect location for Hitler’s private train to seek shelter from Allied attacks.
It was the second FHQ built, the first Wolfsschlucht site on the Belgium-France border was where Hitler spent most of June 1940 as he waited for the conclusion of the battle of France – May 10 to June 25, 1940).
Following the withdrawal of the garrison at Margival in late August 1944, US forces from the 3rd Armoured Division and 1st Infantry Division passed through the area but it was the 602nd Engineer Camouflage Battalion who are credited with its ‘capture’ after entering the heart of the site to inspect and survey the buildings.
It was the first of Hitler’s headquarters to fall into Allied hands.
Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the site became a French military base and was later used by NATO as a communications centre, which has ensured that many of the buildings have remained in good condition.
Today the site is open to the public and still boasts an incredible number of remaining structures which can be visited with care. Many of the outer lying buildings stand on private farmland or are incorporated into private properties, but the heart of the Wolfsschlucht II location can be viewed.

Fuhrer HQ site buildings
At the centre of the site, you can walk along concrete and cobbled roadways to the main buildings and offices, while a woodland track behind the FHQ will take you to the swimming pool site. As no original plans of the site remain, the original function of some of the buildings still remains unknown. Today, most of the structures are closed off for safety reasons.
The FHQ itself is closed off following vandalism and a major fire in 2007 but you can see how it differs from the other builds at the site. A central bunker with 3.5m thick walls and roof stands at the centre of a larger buildings with further concrete office space surrounding it.
Three large entrance doorways lead into a main reception room with annexes to the left and right – the left side being the location of Hitler’s meeting with his staff on June 17. Both annexes lead to the entrance of the heavily protected Fuhrer Bunker inside.
The overall building is around 50m long and 23m wide, with the Fuhrer bunker measuring 23m by 17m.
The largest of the office buildings here is 005 which is over 100m long and 25m wide due to the annex of concrete offices to its front. It also features an inner bunker of 93m by 18m and is believed to be the main communications site.
In total, seven of the large buildings which form the inner complex featured heavy bunkers with annexes surrounding them.

Wolfsschlucht II complex – HQ area

Building 001 – Fuhrer HQ
Heavy bunker with a central core of a 23m by 17m concrete bunker and brick-built offices around the edge taking the overall build size to 50m long and 23m wide.
Post war was numbered as 027 and named Haut-le-Wastia.

Building 002 - Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW)
German Army High Command heavy bunker and one of the largest buildings on the site with an inner concrete core of 60m by 18.5m surrounded by offices which measure 72.5m by 25.5m.
Post war was renamed as Zucarello and currently used by local Margival site association as a café.

Building 003 – Cinema
Located across the railway tracks from the Fuhrer bunker, this light bunker was a cinema for the troops and staff stationed here.
Post war was renumbered 029 and renamed as Krasnoe. It’s currently used by local farmers for storage.

Building 004 – Teleprinter exchange
Heavy bunker for communications. Post war was renumbered 029. It’s currently used by local farmers for storage.

Building 005 – Telephone exchange
This is the largest building at the inner complex site and measures a massive 108m long by 25m wide. It’s mainly offices but there are also underground rooms where you can still see heating boilers, fuel tanks, and spaces for electricity generators.
Post war was renumbered 024 and renamed as Constance. It’s currently derelict and unsafe to enter.

Buildings 006, 007, and 008 – Light bunkers
A series of office buildings. Post war they were renumbered and renamed 023 Derly, 022 AC Bahl, and 019 Berezina respectively. Currently used by local association as a small museum site. Outside of building 007 is a memorial to the slave labourers who worked at the site and all over France.

Swimming pool
Built as a gift for Eva Braun but never used by her or Hitler, this large pool still has its tile walls and bottom in place along with filter intakes. Today you can see post-war steps and handrails but also the location of the original steps into the pool.


Directions to bunker sites in this area...

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