Stepina – Anlage Süd

This FHQ is located along the railway line between Jaslo and Rzeszow in a small village called Stepina just outside Strzyzow in southeastern Poland. It was built in 1940 and was completed in 1941 and came to be called anlage Sud. It consisted of a tunnel about 500 meters long that would protect Hitler’s special train America. In connection with the tunnel, a number of maintenance barracks and bunkers were built. The tunnel, barracks and bunkers were carefully camouflaged so as not to be detected either from the air or from the ground. On August 27, 1941, Hitler met his Italian ally Mussolini at Stepina. The meeting took place on Hitler’s train and lasted several hours where probably the war against the Soviet Union was discussed. Both Hitler and Mussolini had traveled to Stepina in their respective trains and the tunnel in Stepina came to house Mussolini’s train while Hitler’s train parked in a tunnel in Strzyzow, Strzyzow, about fifteen kilometers from Stepina. Both Hitler and Mussolini spent the night on each train and travelled on the next day. Hitler eventually returned to Stepina in October 1941, but did not stay overnight. In addition to Hitler, SS leader Heinrich Himmler and field marshal Erwin visited Rommel Stepina.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2015).

Location: 49°52' 17.92" N 21°35' 30.52" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The Tunnel is a museum and inside there are various military objects as well as information about Hitler’s and Mussolini’s visits. All information is in Polish. But it is still more interesting to walk around in the tunnel and its side paths. On the outside there are also bunkers to see that were part of the complex. The tunnel in Strzyzow where Hitler’s train was parked can also be visited but then it is safest to book an appointment in advance. The Germans built several planned FHQ because they did not really know how the war would proceed. If Hitler thought he was needed at a certain front section, there would already be one in place to save time. In addition to South there was also a North and Mitte. North was Wolfschanze in northeastern Poland where Hitler spent most of the war and Mitte lay as the name suggests in the middle of Poland. Hitler never visited Mitte.

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