The Eagles Nest - From Normandy to Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany - 101st Airborne
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
In this blog in 2019, we explored Normandy, France and followed the D-Day path of the 101st Airborne, Easy Company through Normandy.
This company later fought through the Battle of the Bulge, and eventually ended up in 1945 in the South Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden, Germany.
You may remember their story from the series ‘Band of Brothers’. Today we again visited their path, including one of their final missions.
High above the town of Berchtesgaden, halfway up the mountain was the retreat home of Adolph Hitler, known as The Berghof.
High on top of the same Kehlstein mountain was an additional structure, a day retreat built to impress the world and world leaders. The German name for the building atop the mountain was Kehlsteinhaus, which is known now more commonly by the name the Allied troops also used name ‘The Eagle’s Nest‘.
Hitler and his key military teams spent 1/3 of their time here, away from Berlin, planning, making policies and deciding the fate of the German military history. They enjoyed the area for its beauty, and their families lived here with them. His planning here changed the world.
Today, for the purpose of understanding history, and certainly not as any memorial to the regime that built it, you can tour the area.
It is emotional to step into significant sites of world history such as we did previously at Normandy and we did here today at Berchtesgaden. History includes many events, some of which are certainly a dark or evil period within history, but important to understand.
It was a great celebration in April 1945 when Allied Troops bombed this mountain area, and followed with a surge up the mountain to the Eagle’s Nest, which was left fairly well in tact through the bombing April bombing.
As you walk on, around and in these wartime homes, buildings, barracks, guard gates, bunkers and roads it is emotional. History becomes more interactive. We appreciate the true Heroes, the Allied Troops that brought the wartime evil to an end. It was a celebration well earned for the Allied Troops.
We also celebrate the German people who have rebounded tremendously well from this late WWII period of evil.
Our experience in Germany has been one of extreme hospitality and generosity.
The famous photo of the 101st Airborne, Easy Company, (aka Band of Brothers) upon completing the mission, The Eagle’s Nest.
The Eagle’s Nest, high above the tunnel entrance, circa 1940.
The Eagle’s Nest, high above the tunnel entrance, circa 2021.
Capstone completion date 1938 (above tunnel entrance).
The tunnel entrance, with Allied Troops names scratched onto the doors. Brings history to life.
View from atop the Kehlstein Mountain, of Kehlsteinhaus, The Eagle’s Nest, circa 1940.
View from atop the Kehlstein Mountain, of Kehlsteinhaus, The Eagle’s Nest, circa 2021.
Looking up to the front side of The Eagle’s Nest.
The Eagle‘s Nest fireplace, showing Allied Troops.
The Eagle‘s Nest same fireplace today.
The main fireplace gathering room 1945, with Allied Troops.
The main fireplace gathering room today.
Exiting the tunnel entrance to the elevator at The Eagle’s Nest.
Thousand would trek the mountain to catch a glimpse of Hitler at The Berghof when he was in Berchtesgaden.
The Berghof after Allied Bombing in 1945.
The Berghof today, with only the back support wall, some front steps and bunker remaining. The structure was exploded in 1953 to eliminate any reverence to Hitler.
A view of the left side of the house, with the front facing left. The same view today is below, with only the back support wall remaining.
The back wall of the house the same angle as prior photo.
Shelly with the remaining back supporting wall of The Berghof house visible.
Front steps to The Berghof, used by all guests. Many historical figures Touched these stones.
The Berghof Bunker, in case of Allied Bombing.
The emergency escape bunker for Hitler and family, just the front yard near the house remains.
Extravagant bunker system, including the emergency escape bunker for the main bunker.
Hitler’s 2nd level guard gate.
The same 2nd checkpoint guard gate. Don’t mind the warning sign.
Thank you Allied Troops, Easy Company, 101st Airborne.