The Führerhauptquartier Werwolf was the key name of one of the largest military barracks of Adolf Hitler during World War II . The name Werwolf means in German ‘werewolf’. The term Werwolf was also used by the Nazi Party to refer to clandestine resistance groups allegedly operating against Germany’s Allied occupation at the end of World War II (see Werwolf ).
Located about 8 km north of Vinnitsa , present-day Ukraine , was used by Hitler between 1942 and 1943 , during the campaign in the Caucasus and the Battle of Stalingrad . The complex was built by the Todt Organization and local Ukrainian workers. He was receiving resources from a nearby airstrip.
Built in a pine forest, the complex had about 20 cottages and barracks, and three bunkers . It was surrounded by barbed wire , and had land defensive positions interconnected by underground tunnels. There were several observation points located on platforms installed in trees.
The inhabitants had a tea house, barber shop, bathroom, sauna , cinema and swimming pool .
Every time Hitler arrived in Vinnitsa, a special Gestapo team searched the entire complex for hidden bombs and microphones. To prepare Hitler’s food, the German firm Zeidenspiner planted a vegetable garden, which was then selected by Hitler’s chef, Hauptsturmführer Fater. All food was tested before being sent to Hitler’s table, and drinking water was periodically analyzed. The laundry was subjected to an X-ray inspection to detect explosives, and the Gestapo was tasked with supplying oxygen to Hitler’s bunker, as he was frightened of the toxic gases that could be emitted by the reinforced concrete.
Hitler spent little time there, preferring the Wolfsschanze . In fact, he only visited the place three times:
- July 16 to 30 of October of 1942 , during the German campaign in the Caucasus and the early stages of the Battle of Stalingrad .
- 19 of February to 13 of March of 1943 , during the counter-offensive of Manstein .
- Of August 27 of 1943 , during the Battle of Kursk .
After his second visit, Hitler made a stop at Smolensko , then Headquarters Group Army Center . This stop was taken advantage of by Henning von Tresckow to place a bomb in the airplane Focke-Wulf of Hitler, that did not explode.