Am Wingertshübel 20, 66862 Kindsbach.
A6 exit 14 Kaiserslautern-Einsiedlerhof, to Kasierslautern, then right towards Kindsbach, Landstuhl. In Kindsbach take second Kreuzstraße left, then right again. A6 exit 13 Ramstein Miesenbach, through Landstuhl to Kindsbach, turn right into Kreuzstraße, then right again.
Adults EUR 8.
|Guided tours:||D=90 min, Min=10.|
Air Defense Operations Center Kindsbach, Wolfgang Würmell, Am Wingertshübel 20, 66862 Kindsbach, Tel: +49-06371-17792, Cell: +49-172-937-54-10.
Zentrum Pfälzerwald Touristik, Hauptstraße 22, 67705 Trippstadt, Tel: +49-6306-9923961. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|192?||Used as a sand pit by Formsandwerke Ludwigshafen am Rhein.|
|1937||Parts of the site confiscated by the German Wehrmacht.|
|1937-1940||Bunker complex built for 1.5 million Reichsmark.|
|1944||the "High Command West" allegedly moved into the complex.|
|1945||occupied by French troops.|
|1951||taken over by the American army.|
|15-AUG-1954||taken over by the US Air Force and used as a Combat Operations Centre (COC), among other things for Ramstein Air Base.|
|1984||begin of decommisioning.|
|31-OCT-1993||returned to the owner.|
The Air Defense Operations Center Kindsbach is a former NATO bunker in the village of Kindsbach, between Landstuhl and Kaiserslautern. The Kindsbach bunker has many names, which is probably also due to the fact that it changed hands very often.
The company Formsandwerke Ludwigshafen am Rhein, founded by Wilhelm Würmell, acquired the site as a sand pit to mine moulding sand for foundry purposes. The sand was transported in transport buckets by cable car across Kindsbach to the railway. In 1937, parts of this site were confiscated by the German Wehrmacht for the construction of the Westwall. From 1937 to 1940, a large bunker was built on behalf of the Wehrmacht, which served as a storage facility for anti-aircraft ammunition. According to a local rumour, the "High Command West" moved into the facility in 1944. Allegedly, all documents from this period were destroyed when the German Wehrmacht cleared the site. The eastern part of the tunnels was used as an air raid shelter for the population during the last years of the war.
After the end of the war, the site was occupied by French troops and was to be blown up. However, the deep well of the bunker facility was necessary for the water supply of Kindsbach, so the facility continued to be used as an ammunition depot until 1949 instead. In 1951, the Americans took over the facility, renovated it and expanded it.
Now the most important phase of the facility began; between 1954 and the mid-1980s, the bunker was an important NATO air defence facility with a personnel strength of about 200 men. 15-AUG-1954 was taken over by the US Air Force and used as a Combat Operations Centre (COC), among other things for Ramstein Air Base. In the early 1960s, the facility was expanded with bomb-proof reinforced concrete porches, which were covered with earth and camouflaged. Further land was confiscated, fenced off and closed off. Rather oddly, the Würmell family, the original owners of the sand pit, succeeded in concluding a leasehold agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance for the entire site. Thus, this was probably the only bunker in the world built on a leasehold basis. It also explains why the descendants are the owners of the bunker complex today. In the 1980s, more and more tasks were transferred to the bunker facility in Ruppertsweiler because the facility had become too small. Eventually, only a core crew was left in the bunker, and decommissioning began in 1984. Until the end of the Cold War, however, the facility was Alternate War Headquarters 4th Allied Tactical Air Force (aWHQ 4ATAF). You have to love those acronyms.
The facility, unlike other fallout shelters, was not an emergency facility activated only for exercises. It was in operation for decades. It is sometimes referred to as the "German NORAD", which is certainly an exaggeration, but gives an idea of the purpose of the facility.
The bunker, which is now privately owned, still contains much furniture and equipment from the 1960s. Since the bunker has not been in use for 40 years, the electric lighting is defective and much of the equipment is mouldy or rusty due to the high humidity. The bunker is not a museum and has no official opening hours. Nevertheless, the owner is willing to guide interested groups through the bunker, and so there are a number of dates when the bunker can be visited. Its popularity is quite high, not least because the bunker was shown in detail in the programme Lost Places. Warm clothing and torches are necessary.