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WW2 castles

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1939 - 1942' started by bronk7, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    thread on WW2 castles... I guess the men in the castles would think of the medieval times when they were standing watch......I would also think some of the castles were updated, but some were not.
    ..I remember reading where they were cold in Colditz, ....I think Wewelsburgs was actually in the pc game 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein'...Wewelsburg with it's sinister mystique has to be one of my favorites..
    what is the most famous castle in France, Germany, and England? I would say Colditz for Deutschland........

    http://militaryhistorynow.com/2015/01/26/the-castles-of-world-war-two-nine-medieval-strongholds-and-their-curious-role-in-modern-wartime/

    this link tells of a few castles of WW2
     
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  2. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Bronk, An interesting topic. When you ask what is the most famous castle do you mean relative to WW2. If so I would agree about Colditz. It is a true castle and used as a prison. To me a castle is the defensible seat of an important person, a Duke, Earl, Baron, King, etc all of whom had small armies and had to defend their position. These true fortress like structures, often built on hills or if not moted, were of thick stone and had outer ring walls for successive defence interspersed with towers and draw bridges. Many had a huge tower or keep, donjons in France that were the last line of defense. Living quarters were not luxurious. The use of gunpowder doomed the defensible castle. and buildings split into fortified houses and citadels for true defence which made Vauban famous such as Gravesend in France.

    In Germany Wartburg, Reichsburg, Burg Eltz or Heidelberg are more famous but have lost much of their defenses and been modified for better living . Newschwanstein is probably Germany's most famous "castle" but actuall was build to look like a castle but is a grand house. Stolen art was keep there after the war .

    In France the most famous structures often called castles but are actually Chateau, beautiful, full of windows, some more fortified than others but not really castles, Versailles, Chenonceau, , Vau Le Vicomte fit this description . My favorite castle in France is the Fort de Joux near the Swiss border. it started life as a medieval castle but was heavily modified into a modern fort. If you like the history of warfare it is a great study. Near by is the Citadel de Besancon, another masterpiece. Not a castle but a fortress with a fantastic setting , Vauban worked on it. the Germans occupied it and held resistance members there and now it is a museum to the Resistance and a great zoo.

    In the UK I would choose Dover Castle as the best known one linked to WW2, not far to Calais it was full of tunnels, modern electronics, weapons, a true outpost. It is a true castle and well preserved. A V-1 is on display there.
    More famous are the Castles of Windsor, Leeds, Warwick, The Tower of London, an endless list, Edinburgh, Stirling, Bamburgh.....Gordon lives just down the road. , and my favorite Lindesfaun projecting into the North sea..

    I love genuine castles so Colditz, Le Fort de Joux, and Dover are my top three with WW2 connections.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    yes, I meant regarding WW2......o yes, I did see where Gordan was....I told Gordy he was lucky....sure, include the most famous Chateaus, which were probably used more, no??......great reply GTblackwell..much thanks for the info.....really stirs me up, and i just want to gobble up some books, info, etc on it....
    I see Lindesfaun looks like a ''classic'', lonely castle on the island...? the Besancon does look like a big complex....interesting to ponder what the Germans did there...
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Not one of my German mates had ever heard of Colditz.
    Made me smile.

    Dover's a good call, Gaines. Magnificent site with c.1000 years of active military history.

    Off the top of my head in a WW2 context I'd throw in Gorey/Mont Orgueil on Jersey.
    Not only a beautiful castle, one of the most scenic I've visited, with all the requisite 'castley' features, but still sporting German observation posts from the occupation grafted onto the towers - not something you see in the average medieval fortification.
    (Pics nicked from Wiki, as I can't find mine)

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    great one, Von P....yes, on an occupied island....the occupied islands have always fascinated me...overlooking the sea....much mystque there....must be a magnificent view from up there!! but, I'm sure, the German guards got bored eventually,....great pic with the harbor....and here is a pic Wewelsburg
     

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  6. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

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    Castle Itter -- location of likely the only instance in World War 2 where German and American soldiers fought side-by-side. Probably not the most famous, but worth mentioning. Very interesting thread topic.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    I am german and I can assure you, that Colditz is popular here. Maybe most people don't know exactly what was happening there, but it is a famous castle. And I live far away from it.

    Neuschwanstein is the most popular german castle, followed by Burg Eltz and Hohenzollern, but they are not really involved in WW2. Castle Sigmaringen was, Pétain reigned Vichy-France from there, it was the actual capital of Vichy-France for half a year.

    [​IMG]

    Not a castle, but I think the most famous historical building involved in WW2 was Monte Cassino abbey.
     
  8. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Stirling Castle was/is RHQ to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. In WW2 it also used as an ammo dump, and played a part in operation Skye, the radio deception part of operation Fortitude North.
    Edinburgh was also "home" to the fictional British Fourth Army as part of Fortitude.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    very interesting...reminds me of the odd movie ''Castle Keep'' with Burt Lancaster where a small group of GIs try to defend a castle...the scenery is good

    good call..I should've included famous buildings, etc...the abbey was like a castle, overlooking the entire area...part of one of the great battles

    still in use! seems like a great place to be stationed.... the architecture of these castles and buildings is phenomenal to say the least....they built these without computer software, graders, modern cranes, etc...nowadays, they get rid of 20 year old stadiums!!

    much thanks for the replies and pics.....
     
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Schloss Adler! :)
     

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  11. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    "Neuschwanstein is the most popular german castle, followed by Burg Eltz and Hohenzollern, but they are not really involved in WW2."


    It housed some Nazi plundered art. Which interestingly enough was not mentioned during my tour 8 years ago :).
     
  12. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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  13. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    ...or Schloss "Brunwald" out of the Indiana Jones Trilogy (IJ and the last crusade).
    In reality it is a castle in Germany (not Austria) and far away from the alps near Burg Eltz.
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schloss_B%C3%BCrresheim
     
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    from my favorite battle...I'll never forgot reading my first time about it in 1977

    good one....used in the movie, but not the war, ..?? the spec ops assaulting a castle! ?

    how did they build those?????! they are usually on a hill, steep sometimes...Eltz has a river on three sides !? they did have lots of free time back then....and no OSHA
     
  15. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    Well, Cologne Cathedral took more than 600 years to build...

    Neuschwanstein is on a small hill below a real mountain, you can climb it easily. Which i did and from the summit, it isn't on a hill anymore...
    http://www.bilder-upload.eu/show.php?file=672b59-1411327917.jpg

    You can carry materials with an aerial lift, not such a big problem. Neuschwanstein isn't even an old castle, built in the 19th century. So was Hohenzollern.

    Cologne Cathedral is something different, starting to build a church as high as a skyscraper in the 13th century was very ambitious, to say at least!
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    ""Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880"" from wiki..I guess they had a few problems--financial, etc

    here is a Panther in front of the Kolner Dom-Cologne--destroyed by an M26......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFG2i4y3kXs here is the video, which I'm sure a lot of you have seen

    so Triton, this is a very famous WW2 building !! also with it surviving surrounded by incredible destruction...good call
     

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  17. Matt smith

    Matt smith New Member

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    IMG_5723.jpg New member here, trying to ID this from my grandfather's ETO photos.
     
  18. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Any specifics that will help our search? Country, etc.?
     
  19. Matt smith

    Matt smith New Member

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    I know my grandfather landed in LeHavre, France. Went through Bonn, Cologne, crossed the Rhine, liberated Dachau and then to Munich, then Austria.
     
  20. Owen

    Owen O

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