Wolf's Lair (Wolfsschanze) was Adolf Hitler's first Eastern Front military headquarters in World War II. The complex, which would become one of several Führer Headquarters located in various parts of occupied Europe, was built for the start of Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of the Soviet Union - in 1941. It was constructed by Organisation Todt.

The top secret, high security site was in the Masurian woods about 8 km from the small East Prussian town of Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn). Three security zones surrounded the central complex where the Führer's bunker was located. These were guarded by personnel from the SS Reichssicherheitsdienst and the Wehrmacht's armoured Führer Begleit Brigade. Despite the security, an assassination attempt against Hitler was made at Wolf's Lair on 20 July 1944.

Hitler first arrived at the headquarters on 23 June 1941. In total, he spent more than 800 days at the Wolfsschanze during a 3½-year period until his final departure on 20 November 1944. In the summer of 1944, work began to enlarge and reinforce many of the Wolf's Lair original buildings, however the work was never completed because of the rapid advance of the Red Army during the Baltic Offensive in autumn 1944. On 25 January 1945, the complex was blown up and abandoned 48 hours before the arrival of Soviet forces. The Red Army captured the abandoned remains of the Wolfsschanze on 27 January without firing a shot. It took until 1955 to clear over 54,000 land mines which surrounded the installation. Today only impressive concrete ruins exist.

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Kętrzyn, Poland
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Founded: 1941
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

steven freeman (5 months ago)
A long Journey to visit the Wolfs Lair. I post the nearest station, fantastic WW2 site and the bomb attempt to assassinate Hitler. So much to see and also Polish uprising Museum. Entry 20 Zloty (£4) look at pics
Vita Račkauskienė (5 months ago)
This place is must see. To see and understood the real fear and madness of Hitler. Recomendation - get a gide ?
Michael T (5 months ago)
Definitely worth a visit and get the electronic guide for all the details!
Julian Gant (7 months ago)
Absolutely fantastic trip, really well laid out, pathways are clear and clean, lots of information boards around. We had the information tape to walk around with, very cheap to hire. I would highly recommend a visit.
Mario jõgeva (7 months ago)
Great place,quite horrible history. Makes us thinking about war.
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