History and purpose of the Luftwaffe airfields in Denmark
The German Luftwaffe started to take over and build airfields as soon as the German forces invaded Denmark in 1940. One of these was Fliegerhorst Rom, the Rom airfield lay near the hamlet of Rom By in Mid-Jutland, south of Lemvig. Construction started on April the 12th in 1940, only three days after the occupation on April the 9th in 1940. Fliegerhorst Rom was to be an Einsatzhafen, an operational field with a drained grass airstrip. These smaller airfields were able to operate some 30 airplanes. Stützpunktgruppe Flugplatz-Rom was a collection of multiple strongpoints in the vicinity. In this case Fliegerhorst Rom, Stützpunkt Köln, Stützpunkt Berlin and so on.
The aim of these airfields was, besides air defense, the defense and control of the waterways to and from Germany through the Kattegat sea strip between Denmark and Sweden. They controlled the Danish coastline and searched for enemy shipping and submarines who tried to lay minefields near harbors and shipping lanes. They protected the Kriegsmarine ships, u-boots and convoys to and from Norway which resupplied German troops and transported iron ore for the German war industry.
The Rom airfield lay 12 kilometers inland behind the Atlantic Wall and was part of a multilayered defense system consisting of Army or Marine Coastal Batteries, Luftwaffe Flak batteries with searchlight locations and early warning positions with radar, backed up by German fighters from inland airfields.
Rom Airfield was in use from 1941, Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft but mostly Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter-bombers or heavy fighters were stationed here. The runway was an unpaved grass lane. A hangar was constructed on the north side of the airfield and open aircraft shelters were situated in the woods. The Luftwaffe designated these as Feldhangar, Eng. field hangar, these are earth-walled on three side to give some protection from bombs and were covered with camouflage netting. Three buried fuel tanks were placed at the airfield which was protected by 2 heavy and 5 light anti-aircraft guns.
StützpunktGruppe Flugplatz Rom
Around the airfield the Germans build their barracks and work-shops in area’s which they named: “Stützpunkt Koln, Stützpunkt Bremen, Stützpunkt Hannover, Stützpunkt Hamburg, Stützpunkt Lubeck, Stützpunkt Essen, Stützpunkt München and Stützpunkt Berlin as headquarters”. Bunkers were not built from the start of the airfield in April 1940, there were built from 1942 at different strongpoints. The Hospital bunker with 2 floors and 21 rooms, was built to the west of the airfield in the Stützpunkt Köln area. Airfield personnel used the Regelbau types 501, 502 and 622 bunkers, close defense and ammunition was stored in the Regelbau type 607 and Fliegerhorst command was situated in the Regelbau 608 and the Hospital bunker was numbered 118b. Two fire ponds were constructed in the woods. The “Rollbahn”, the taxiway, in the woods from the airfield to the aircraft shelters was constructed with concrete slabs. The entire Fliegerhorst with strong points were shielded off with guard posts, 265 kilometers of barbed wire and over 3760 mines (about 2100 anti-tank mines and 1660 anti-personnel mines).
To the south the Luftwaffe created a dummy airfield to mislead Allied bombers.
After completing the larger Fliegerhorst Grove nearby the Fliegerhorst Rom was used as a backup airfield. In the last part of the war it was abandoned and in April 1944 it was partly demolished by the Germans to prevent Allied forces to use it for their own gain.
Bunker layout at Stützpunktgruppe Flugplatz Rom
Stützpunkt Berlin (headquarters):
Regelbau 622 Doppelgruppenunterstand für 20 man (2x)
Regelbau 607 Munitionsunterstand II
Regelbau 608 Batallions-, Abteilungs- oder Regimentsgefechtsstand, eingeschossig
Stützpunkt Köln – Regelbau 118b Sanitätsunterstand Zweigeschossig
Stützpunkt Bremen – Regelbau 501 Gruppenunterstand für 10 man
Stützpunkt Hannover – Regelbau 622 Doppelgruppenunterstand für 20 man
Stützpunkt Hamburg – Regelbau 502 Doppelgruppenunterstand für 20 man
Stützpunkt Lübeck – Regelbau 501 Gruppenunterstand für 10 man
Stützpunkt Essen – Regelbau 622 Doppelgruppenunterstand für 20 man (2x)
Stützpunkt München – Regelbau 622 Doppelgruppenunterstand für 20 man (2x)
German Refugee Period
After the war Fliegerhorst Rom was used to house German refugees from the east like they did in Oksbøl. These civilians fled the onslaught of the Russian Army. These Soviet forced disliked Germans so much that they did not bother to kill or rape whenever they wanted. The war in the eastern countries created an exodus amongst German civilians.
Besides the brutalities of war the lands were given back to Poland, Czechoslovakia and such after wars end, driving Germans toward the west. Denmark was one of the locations were refugees were housed in former German army encampments, using the left behind barracks and bunkers. From 1945 to 1948 almost 9000 refugees lived at this location behind barbed wire.
Today the airfield is still in use by the Danish for recreational flights. The Bunkers in Berlin and Hamburg are on private property. The Hospital bunker is open for a visit, it seems it was a museum in recent years but was abandoned during our visit in 2023. The area is free to visit, it is a public area with maps of the former layout and information on the airfield and refugee camp. It is a large area were you can bicycle or walk, cars are prohibited.
There are several places to park the car, near the Fire pond, near the hospital bunker and near the Rollbahn (Stützpunkt Essen). You can reach the aircraft shelters and some bunkers nearby these shelters. The airfield is still in use and not open to public.
If you like to see all the sites we recommend a bike ride for the locations of interest are widespread on the former Luftwaffe airfield.
Note of importance: the bunkers on Stützpunkt Berlin and Stützpunkt Hamburg are on private property and off limit.