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Map of Führer Headquarters[1]

Führerhauptquartier, also Führer-Haupt-Quartier (FHQ and F.H.Qu.), is the general name for Hitler's command post (Führer Headquarters) as Commander-in-Chief of the German Wehrmacht in World War II. The FHQ must not be confused with the Reichskanzlei in Berlin, official seat of the Führer as Reichspräsident and Reichskanzler. The last FHQ was the Führerbunker during the Battle of Berlin.


Führerhauptquartier cuff title, 1st model (top), 2nd model (bottom)
Hitler celebrates his 52th birthday (Führergeburtstag) with Reichsmarschall Göring, Reichsführer-SS Himmler, Generalfeldmarschall Keitel, Großadmiral Raeder, Generalfeldmarschall von Brauchitsch and others in front of his Führersonderzug near Mönichkirchen (FHQ Frühlingssturm) on 20 April 1941 during Operation Marita.[2]

The FHQ was not always in the same place. Depending on the situation at the front, the FHQ was moved in different directions. It was located for the longest time near Rastenburg in East Prussia (Wolfsschanze). For a short time, it was in the area of ​​Vinnitsa in the Ukraine (Werwolf). In the west (Battle of France), the Führer's headquarters were at Münstereifel (Felsennest), in Bruly de Peche in Belgium (Wolfsschlucht), near Soissons in France (Wolfsschlucht 2), in the northern Black Forest (Tannenberg) and near Ziegenberg in the Taunus (Adlerhorst).

During the war, efforts were made to conceal Hitler's whereabouts as much as possible. That's why the quarters were mostly in the forest, far away from villages and towns and very well camouflaged. The Führer's headquarters was created in the first days of September 1939, and its composition actually did not change until the end of the war. In addition to Hitler, the FHQ included his adjutants (e.g. Otto Günsche and Richard Schulze-Kossens), secretaries (e.g. Traudl Junge), doctors (e.g. Dr. med. Theo Morell), stenographers, driver (Erich Kempka), people from the state and party as well as officers from the Wehrmacht command staff (Wehrmachtführungsstab).


Security was of great importance. The Leibstandarte SS “Adolf Hitler” took over security and surveillance within the restricted area I (inner ring), while members of the Führer Escort Battalion (Führer-Begleit-Bataillon) provided military security outside (outer ring). The FBB should not be confused with the Führer Escort Command (Führer-Begleit-Kommando), which, sometimes together with the Reich Security Service (Reichssicherheitsdienst), was responsible for the personal protection of the Führer as a bodyguard.

Cuff title

The Führerhauptquartier cuff title (Ärmelstreifen) was originally introduced prior to the outbreak of WWII in August 1939 and was intended for wear by personnel who served in the Führer-Begleit-Bataillon (Führer Escort Battalion) at Hitler’s assorted headquarters. Personnel serving with the Führer-Begleit-Bataillon were specially selected from elite units. Originally, the cuff title was manufactured with a black base and golden yellow Gothic script until regulations of 15 January 1941 introduced a second pattern with silver Sütterlin style script. The second pattern cuff title was utilized for the duration of the war. The version for members the Kriegsmarine serving with a FHQ was in naval blue.

List of headquarters

Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross at FHQ Wolfsschanze on 15 January 1944;[3] from left to right: General der Panzertruppe Sigfrid Henrici, Colonel Eugen König, Colonel Heinrich Voigtsberger, Lieutenant Colonel d. R. Adolf Weitkunat and Major Willy Johannmeyer; picture by Heinrich Hoffmann.
  • Adlerhorst (Eagle's Nest): Bad Nauheim, Germany; used by Hitler during the Battle of the Bulge
  • Anlage/Askania Mitte (Center Facility): Tomaszów Mazowiecki (Generalgouvernement); only industry
  • Anlage Riese (Giant Facility): Waldenburg; never used
  • Anlage/Askania Süd (South Facility): Strezow (Generalgouvernement); Hitler met with Mussolini here on 27–28 August 1941
  • Berghof (Mountain Farm): Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden, Germany; also thought by the Allies to be within an Alpine Fortress "last stand" territory of the Third Reich
  • Bärenhöhle (Bear Cave): Smolensk, Russia
    • Platform of Gniesdovo station lengthened for Führersonderzug; used only by Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte)
  • Felsennest (Cliff Nest): Rodert, Bad Münstereifel, Germany; used by Hitler during the Battle of France in May 1940; Winter 1944/1945 (Heeresgruppe B under Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model)
  • Frühlingssturm (Spring Storm): Mönichkirchen, German Austria; used 12 to 27 April 1941 Balkans Campaign, goods station for the trains Amerika and Atlas, and for Mönichkirchen
  • Führerbunker: Berlin, Germany; used during the Battle of Berlin
  • Führersonderzug (Führer's special train "Amerika" / "Brandenburg"; active use
  • Olga: 200 km north of Minsk, Belarus; never used
  • Wolfsturm (S III, Olga etc.): Ohrdruf, Germany; never used
  • Siegfried / Hagen: Pullach, Germany (south of Munich); never used
  • Tannenberg: Freudenstadt/Kniebis, Germany; used 27 June to 5 July 1940
  • Waldwiese (Forest Meadow): Glan-Münchweiler, Germany; never used
  • Wasserburg (Water Castle): Pleskau); assigned to Army Group North (Heeresgruppe Nord)
  • Werwolf (Werewolf) / Eichenhain (Oak Grove): Vinnytsia, Ukraine
    • On 28 December 1943, Hitler ordered its demolition after failure of Operation Citadel
  • Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) / Askania Nord: Rastenburg, East Prussia; active use, site of the failed 20 July plot on Hitler's life
  • Wolfsschlucht I (Wolf's Gorge) / W1: Brûly-de-Pesche near Couvin, Belgium 1 May 1940 yes yes. A further bunker planned near the Wolfspalast (formerly the village inn) was not completed.
  • Wolfsschlucht II / W2 / Zucarello: between villages of Margival and Laffaux, France.
    • The Führerbunker was 2 km up the track from the Margival train station; built around a railway tunnel with armoured doors to protect the Führersonderzug. The compound had six large bunkers; an OKW bunker was adjacent to the Führerbunker, also signals and guest bunkers and anti-aircraft emplacements.
  • Wolfsschlucht III / W3: Saint-Rimay, 15 km west of Vendôme, France; Built around a railway tunnel with armoured doors to protect the Führersonderzug, with bunkers for Hitler and for his staff at northeast entrance. Had anti-aircraft emplacements. Never used.
  • Zigeuner (Gypsy) / Brunhilde: Thionville, France; used Maginot Line tunnels; never used

See also


  1. Adolf Hitler’s Headquarters (Archive)
  2. Münchner Illustrierte Presse, 18. Jahrgang, Nr. 18 from 1 May 1941
  3. Adolf Weitkunat, shaking hands with Hitler, originally writes with blue ink, that the award ceremony took place in December 1943. Later he adds with pencil: "Richtig: 15.01.1944", therefore correcting the date to 15 January 1944. This explains why Johannmeyer, who had been severely wounded on 25 November 1943, is recovered and present, something that surely would have been immposible in December 1943.