Koralle (OKM)

About twenty kilometres northeast of Berlin outside a small town called Lobetal lies the ruins of Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine (the German navy) headquarters. The site was called Koralle and began construction in 1939. But it was in January 1943 that the naval headquarters moved from Shell-Haus in Berlin to Koralle due to the increased enemy bombing of Berlin. Koralle consisted of about fifty bunkers and barracks and was built like a small town. It was from here that the Germans directed their submarines towards allied cargo ships in the oceans. Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of the submarine fleet, had a private villa (preserved) outside Koralle. In April 1945, when the Red Army approached, the headquarters moved to Plön outside Kiel and later to Mürwik outside Flensburg. After the war, Koralle was taken over by the Soviet Union, which used it for military purposes. Exactly for what and for how long I do not know, but before they left they blew up the bunkers.

Current status: Demolished (2010).

Location: 52°44'23"N 13°34'43"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

There are no posts or anything about the ruins, just follow one of the paths leading into the forest and you’ll find the ruins. But have in mind that there are many paths that crosses each other, it’s important to remember which path you have walked so that you can find your way back. The ruins themselves are undeniably majestic and invite climbing, but you have to be careful. The ruins are not only tall, there are also deep cracks that can be lethal if you fall into. But all this makes the visit a little more exciting. If you’re careful and aware of the risks, the place is well worth a visit.

Follow up in books: Padfield, Peter: Donitz: The Last Fuhrer (2001).