Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Proving Grounds – Rechlin, Germany


Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe proving grounds – Rechlin, Germany

Luftwaffe Erprobungstelle Rechlin

Just 7 kilometers from Erprobungstelle Rechlin (Eng. proving grounds Rechlin) the Germans built constructions on a heath to test their new ordnance. In this case they reconstructed an apartment building in the middle of the heath with different heights. The buildings were covered with a light colored brick which was referred to as the white houses.

Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Stairwell – Rechlin, Germany

Stairwell Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Stairwell at Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Stairwell from above, Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Stairwell from above, Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany

It was here that the Luftwaffe tested their pressure bombs on the apartment buildings to see the damage they caused and if they delivered what their engineers had calculated.

After the tests were completed only four stairwells were left behind. Two higher and two lower constructions can be found in the forest today for the heath is overgrown in 2023.

Stairwell from above, Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Stairwell from above, Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany

Nearby is another test object. A reinforced concrete wall stands silently in the woods. There is a lighter part near the center, with just some superficial damage. But closer inspection shows otherwise because on the other side the wall seems to be exploded from within. Huge concrete part sticks out like the energy movement is frozen in time.

Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany

This wall was a test object for ordnance impact as well. A gun with an 560 mm barrel fired on the wall with the same bombs and armor penetrating ordnance, these were used on the white houses as well form high altitude bombing.

Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany

Germania

There is talk about these white houses and a link to Germania, and not without reason. Germania was the newly built capital designed by Adolf Hitler and his architect Albert Speer. Welthauptstadt Germania or World Capital Germania was a redesign of the city of Berlin with majestic buildings and a gigantic triumphal arch. They made a model of the city and these apartments constructed here up north should have been built like the ones in the new world city. Their strength was tested at the heath near the Rechlin proving grounds.

Model of Germania, by Adolf Hitler and Abert Speer, Photo from 1939 – Bundesarchiv_Bild_146III-373

Two smaller concrete walls were erected near the apartment building. These two vertical concrete walls reinforced with iron and approximately 1m thick were built to test the penetration power and the resisteing strength of concrete ceilings in buildings and the penetrating power on decks of ships when the bombs were dropped from great heights while the bomb-tip hitting the target first. This is why they were designed in the first place, a strength test for buildings and the penetrating and destructive force of the German bombs. For this purpose, the Rheinmetall company developed an anti-tank gun, the Korperwerfer 66, which fired PC/SC 1000 to 2000 anti-tank explosives and explosive bombs horizontally at distances of 80 to 100 meters on the walls. One still stands but the other toppled, unknown if it was felled by tests or fell over by the ravages of time.

Toppled test wall at the Rechlin proving grounds near the Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses
Toppled test wall at the Rechlin proving grounds near the Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses
Hardly any damage on the other test wall at the Luftwaffe Testing grounds near Rechlin
Hardly any damage on the other test wall at the Luftwaffe Testing grounds near Rechlin
The other sides shows de real force of the impact though, heavy damage on the test wall - Luftwaffe proving grounds near Rechlin
The other sides shows de real force of the impact though, heavy damage on the test wall – Luftwaffe proving grounds near Rechlin
Heavy damage on the test wall - Luftwaffe proving grounds near Rechlin - Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses
Heavy damage on the test wall – Luftwaffe proving grounds near Rechlin – Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses
Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Patrick inspects the damage on the test wall - Luftwaffe proving grounds near Rechlin - Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses
Patrick inspects the damage on the test wall – Luftwaffe proving grounds near Rechlin – Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses
Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Only a small part of the brick wall is left- The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Small arms damage at the White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany

The white houses were stairwell constructions of above-ground bunkers and served as target houses. The damaged floor towers, which were however preserved in their original condition, were originally residential units built with a gable roof, which were destroyed by the massive bombing tests.

These tests made on protective structures for the construction plans for the White city or New Berlin named Germania showed the Germans were constructing bomb proof stairwell bunker type buildings where civilians were saved from allied bombs.

Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany
Die Weisser Häuser, The White Houses – Luftwaffe Testing grounds – Rechlin, Germany

Visit

The heath turned into a forest over the last 80 years but some forest paths take you near the object. Leave the path when you are near. We used the smartphone to navigate in the woods.There are warning signs about unexploded ordnance which seem plausible so beware !!

 

 


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