What Was a Flak Tower?

An old flak tower seen here in Vienna, Austria.
An old flak tower seen here in Vienna, Austria.

The Flak Towers were constructed by the Nazi Germany after Adolf Hitler was angered by an attack in the capital of Berlin. Adolf developed interest by making some sketches of possible flak towers and even ordered the change of the rail schedule to enable transportation of timber, steel, and concrete to construction sites. In an attempt to stop major cities from been attacked, several flak towers were built in Vienna, Hamburg, and Berlin. They consist of concrete towers above the ground that prevented aerial bombardment. In other cities important to Germans, smaller flak towers were also built.

Purposes Served By The Flak Towers

The Flak Towers were constructed primarily for two purposes. First, they contained the cannons that could enable Germans to fight the airplanes belonging to their enemies from the ground. It also served as a place to store valued materials kept in times of attacks. The flak towers were always in abundance of water, air, and electricity so that in a case of an attack people would have their basic needs fulfilled.

Components Of The Flak Towers

Each Flak Towers consisted of two units; one large tower, called G-Tower, and a slightly smaller tower, L-Tower. The G-Tower (Gefechts- Turm) acted as storage for the weapons used in the anti-aircraft defense. The L-Tower (Leit-Turm) were used as a command center, fire-control center and a place where people could run for safety in case of an attack. It also housed hospitals and military quarters.

Flak Towers After World War ll

Hamburg had two Flak Towers, both of which are now demolished. One was a nightclub, and other one a power plant house that is the largest in Europe. Berlin had three Flak Towers (6 towers) - three of them partly destroyed, and the other three destroyed completely. Vienna had three Flak Towers (6 towers) - all these have survived up to now. Two are empty, one houses an aquarium, the other is a place for Austrian army, one contains arts, and the last one is a data center.

Flak Towers Not Built

In Bremen, two towers were never built. In Berlin, there were plans to build towers in Reichstag though research determined it was not suitable for construction, one in Hasenheide and two towers in Tiergarten. In Vienna, the original places of the three towers were Prater, Floridsdorf, and Schmelz. In Munich around the railway station, eight towers were not built. In East Hamburg, one tower was built.


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