In the spring of 1941, the German preparations for Operation Barbarossa were in full swing. But a coup against the German-friendly regime in Yugoslavia led Hitler to attack (Operation Marita) Yugoslavia and the rest of the Balkans in early April 1941. During previous campaigns on the western front, the special FHQ was established from which Hitler and his staff led and followed the war development. Hitler’s decision to attack Yugoslavia and Greece came quickly and therefore the Germans did not finish any FHQ like the former FHQ. For lack of time, a makeshift FHQ was placed in Hitler’s Sonderzug America (special train) next to a small train station called Mönichkirchen, about 70 kilometers southwest of Vienna. The place was well hidden in a valley and there was a long tunnel that Hitler’s special train could take shelter in case the place was attacked from the air. Right next to the station was the hotel Mönichkirchnerhof where Hitler and his staff were accommodated. This was quickly established FHQ was named Frühlingssturm and served as a provisional FHQ during the approximately two weeks of the campaign against the Balkans. The station was abandoned without being destroyed.

Current status: Preserved (2008).

Location: 47° 31' 13" N, 16° 4' 9" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Not much has changed since the time of Hitler. The hotel is closed, but still remains. The station and tunnel are also still there, but now the trains just pass without stopping. The only thing different from the pictures in After the battle – A guide to Hitler’s headquarters no 19 is that the vegetation is more palpable than in the spring of 1941. It has been discussed and is still being discussed whether this hastily developed campaign came to affect Operation Barbarossa. The attack on the Soviet Union was scheduled to begin in late May but was delayed for about a month due to the campaign in the Balkans. The debate is about whether this month was decisive for whether Germany would have defeated the Soviet Union before the autumn rains and winter struck.

Follow up in books: Seidler, Franz W. & Zeigert, Dieter: Hitler’s secret headquarters (2004).