The inconspicuous mound in the area of the oerlenbach federal police station is easily overlooked. Walter rugamer opens a gleaming alu-ture and clears the way into what is surely the most massive bicycle cellar far and wide. It is one of four bunkers, relics of the former air tank farm (LTL) with the camouflage name "kirchberg".
The chief inspector (58) and hobby historian "is too much to say" about its history in detail. The result is an informative brochure with almost 70 pages, maps and photos. It deals with the "events in and oerlenbach before and during the 2nd world war". World war 1936 – 1945."
Walter rugamer worked on it for two years. He realized: "there is almost nothing in the way of reliable documentation"." that's why he can't guarantee "absolute correctness" give his description. And: "the more you research, the more interesting it gets."
He had become aware of the LTL through some publications. This included a dummy system with the code name "S 69" at terzenbrunn, which was to direct the air raids of allied bombers towards itself and away from the LTL. Nearby there was also the muna, the rottershausen air munitions facility.
One of the three senior engineers at LTL construction was heinrich kopp, whose house walter rugamer once bought. Kopp had come to oerlenbach in 1936 and had made himself at home here. After the front deployment he was appointed volkssturmfuhrer in oerlenbach. In this function he showed real heroism: he saved the place from destruction by US troops. Before that, he and mayor wilhelm kuhn had removed senseless german barriers – including a 35-ton bomb – on their own responsibility. But that is another story.
Strategically favorable location
That of the LTL as one of twelve throughout germany began in 1936. Because the strategically important double-track rail link between stuttgart and berlin was located here, the plant was built by wifo (wirtschaftliche forschungsgesellschaft mbh) in oerlenbach, coming from the ebenhausen signal box. This camouflage company had not only coarse tank farms, but also explosives factories, tank cars and locomotives. It also used forced laborers. Today, the site is home to the hegler company and the federal police headquarters.
In 1939, hundreds of construction workers had completed the building and 13 tanks by hand, mostly without machines. A railway siding led to the LTL. Here, gasoline was refined into B 4 aviation fuel with up to 100 octane. Delivery and pickup took place by tank wagon. Saturday, 26. August 1939, the line was put into operation. A military column with anti-aircraft guns (flak) jolted in, the soldiers littered the fields and teased the farmers.
1939 was "rigorously, as walter rugamer writes, construction of the barely camouflaged terzenbrunn fuel depot began. An air force construction company took up quarters in reiterswiesen and arnshausen for this purpose. Work was completed in october 1940. The 15 "tanks consisted of wood, wagons and "tracks" also. The pilgrimage chapel became a train station.
Bombers and low-flying aircraft
On 24. August 1949 was the first air raid warning at LTL oerlenbach. However, the bombers continued to fly. However, the air defense was expanded. In january 1943, gasoline entered the open ditch of the village with the sewage and was ignited. The place only narrowly escaped catastrophe. The air alarms piled up. Starting in the summer of 1944, LTL and other targets in the surrounding area were sporadically attacked by low-flying aircraft. Bombs also fell in the process. Particularly the railroad connection suffered considerable damage.
The most serious attack occurred on 30. March 1945: 41 long-range bombers dropped almost 48 tons of bombs. They did not hit the LTL, but free fields next to it and the ebenhausen signal box.
The camp was cleared, the leadership departed at the beginning of april 1945. A kommando blew up the now empty tanks. On 7. April 1945 oerlenbach was occupied by US troops. There was a scam with incalculable damage.
After the war, a lung clinic was to be set up in LTL. However, this did not happen for various reasons. The municipality took over the former infirmary as a school building. Toothpaste was produced in the ex-guardhouse, floorboards in the LTL laboratory and "becherovka" in a cellar-herbal liquor. In 1949 wilhelm hegler settled down. Production of plastic pipes began in 1950.
In 1962, the then BGS moved into its brand-new quarters. In the years before, however, a lot of munitions and bombs had to be removed. Time and again, stowaways emerged, most recently last year. Walter rugamer is of the opinion that "there will be a few more in the direction of ebenhausen"." this is suggested by an aerial photograph taken on 8. April 1945 was shot.
Background: civilian fuel in the 1930s was not good enough for aircraft engines. That's why toxic additives were added to the fuel to make it antiknock. This was used to obtain B 4 and C 3 grade aviation fuel. It was transported by rail in tank wagons to the air bases not only in the surrounding area. In the war years also trucks with barrels were used. In addition, the LTL was used for decentralized stockpiling in case of shortages. The LTL consisted of an administration building, casino, kitchen, canteen, infirmary and guardhouse. Two small tanks and 13 large tanks were built, each with a capacity of 100,000 liters. They were connected by pipes and surrounded by one meter thick walls. The plant was secured with four fla- cannons. The nazis built a munitions plant near rottershausen. There were 89 bunkers for bombs and tinder on 180 hectares with tracks and a settlement. The bombs were completed on two fliebbandern by 45 workers.