Built to house the High Command of the Army and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces during World War II, the Maybach I and II were a cluster of above and below ground bunkers built near Zossen in Brandenburg. They were named after the Maybach automobile engine and together with the nearby military complex, they played an instrumental role in the planning of field operations for the Wehrmacht, connecting the military with civilians along the front lines.
Maybach I was built between 1937 and 1939 in the lead up to World War II and consisted of twelve above-ground three-story buildings that appeared like local housing. Two floors of interlinked bunkers lay below, together with drinking water wells and air-filter systems to protect against gas attacks. Maybach II was completed in 1940 along the same design and it was here that documents conspiring against Hitler were discovered in a safe.
Maybach I and II were both heavily bombed by British and American forces in 1945 and the site was evacuated at midday on the 20 April, just before Russian troops arrived in the afternoon. Both bunkers were largely destroyed by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1946, although the separate communications bunker known as Zeppelin survived.
Today the ruins of Maybach I and Zeppelin are accessible on guided tours, offering a fascinating insight into the events that played out here. Also of note is the Wünsdorf Book Town museum where documents and artifacts detailing the military history of the area are on display.