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Kindsbach Cave / Germany

Kindsbach Cave

Kindsbach Cave


During research for new targets I stumbled over some notes regarding a quite interesting underground facility, the now abandoned and below described Kindsbach Cave.
It was fortunately not too difficult to get in contact with the owner, Wolfgang Wuermell, grandson of the original owner. He was very kind, gave us a little tour and even allowed us to roam around by ourselves for a couple of hours so that we could take some photos with neither time pressure nor light.
Thanks again to Mr. Wuermell!


In the quiet village of Kindsbach which is very close to Ramstein Air Base, Air Defense Operations Center–Kindsbach, nicknamed the “Kindsbach Cave,” existed during the Cold War as a massive underground U.S. Air Force operations complex. Dedicated to preventing air attacks from the Communist Bloc countries and possible nuclear holocaust, the site vigilantly guarded the European skies against air enemy attacks.
Dug 82 feet under a hillside in 1938, the site began as a sand pit to provide for building the nearby autobahn and then was as an ammo storage depot for the Wehrmacht.
Near the end of World War II, it was renovated into a German Western Front Command Headquarters.
After the war, the French took control, then handed it off to U.S. Air Forces in Europe in 1953, who began enlarging it into what became ADOC, one of the most important tools for preventing a nuclear war, the site of Europe’s underground combat operations center. The center once contained a sophisticated 67-room, 37,000-square-foot facility where USAFE could prevent and, if necessary, direct an air war against the Soviet Union.
The complex boasted a rudimentary computer to plot bombing strategies, cryptographic equipment for code traffic and a photo lab to process reconnaissance photos. But, not a single window!
Responsible for scanning air space even deep behind the Iron Curtain, the center interacted directly with the Pentagon, NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and all USAFE bases.
With its massive telephone switchboard and 80 teletype machines, the cave maintained contact with the outside world by handling more than 1,000 calls every day.
Almost invulnerable, the complex remained fully self-contained with its own water supply, electric generators, climate controls, and dining facilities for 125-man crews. Visitors seldom received passes to enter or to inspect.
Within the Air Operations Center, the largest room in the complex, a three-story map plotted every movement by friendly and unidentified aircraft.
But, time makes technology obsolete. By 1984, the Kindsbach Cave had become too small and, with renovations impossible, USAFE closed the facility. In 1993, the site returned to the German government which, in turn, handed it back to the original land owner.
Today, the Kindsbach Cave remains only as a sealed Cold War monument to an air war that America and its Allies won without fighting deadly air battles or suffering horrific bombings.
Source: http://www.kaiserslauternamerican.com


Further interesting information regarding the history of this peculiar facility can be found here, it is in German language though.


Here is the link to the Slideshow

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About Roman

Hobby photographer since 2005, Canon user. Mainly interested in Urban Exploring and Travel photography. Some first experiments with videos. On the professional side: PhD in Chemistry, working in the generic pharmaceutical industry. German citizen but living and working currently in New Jersey, USA

6 Responses to “Kindsbach Cave / Germany”

  1. Donald 26. Juli 2013 06:03 #

    I worked in the KUF 1983-1985 in Quality Control. It was a neat place to work in those days. Lots of great memories. Was assigned to this unit from 1982 to 1988. Other years I worked at Bann Main above the cave.

  2. Ken 10. Oktober 2013 15:40 #

    Worked in the Cave (KUF) from June 77 through June 81. Lived in Kindsbach as well.

  3. Roman 5. August 2014 20:13 #

    Hi there,

    sorry for my late reply. Here is the e-mail address of the owner of the bunker (it is privately owned): Wolfgang Würmell
    As far as I know, he is willing to give small private tours, but likes to gets a little tip for it in order to improve on his pension.

    Hope this helps. Let me know whether you made it.

    Cheers,
    Roman

  4. Ron Thoams 18. September 2015 04:16 #

    My Dad was assigned there from 1960-65 and we got to go into it once. The lower areas were said to be flooded and not used.

  5. John Barnes 18. Oktober 2015 15:18 #

    I was in this bunker in 1989 teaching a mainframe tuning class to the US Air Force tech guys.

    I recall inquiring about it not being all that deep in the ground and was told that it “could withstand any conventional weapon known to man… In the nuclear age.

    Sterling software was there working like fury to upgrade their computer, which was one of two PDP-11 (Digital Equipment, Inc) computers still in operation, the other was in a museum. Sterling software was reportedly working on a 4381, which was a rather old model in my opinion. I recall the good moral and the great food. I also recall the old German toilet commodes, where you had to clean with a brush if you did the #2 job in them. Obviously a lot of money had been spent. I was told that it was “the prime Nato war fighting bunker in Europe”.
    -jb

  6. Russell E. Cook CMSgt ( Ret) 24. Mai 2016 04:33 #

    I was assigned to Det 1 615th AC&W. I was the Det NCOIC from March 1974 to March 1977. A great assignment and the food in the Dinning Hall was outstanding. A super group individuals in our attachment.

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