What Do You Do with a Surplus Flak Tower?
I found your June 2018 issue interesting, and it was one of your better efforts in recent memory. The article “Flak” was informative. It went well beyond the photos of mangled and mauled B-17s that have already been published countless times. I already knew Nazi antiaircraft guns were effective. I did not realize that they accounted for at least 50 percent of Allied losses.
There are some flak towers mentioned that are still standing, as I discovered on a trip to Vienna in November 2016. I found them purely by chance in the Augarten, a park which is also home to a famous porcelain museum.
I was able to walk close to one of the towers and found it fenced in with warning signs to keep off. There was no effort to preserve it or explain its historical significance. I found this sad but understandable, considering Austrian attitudes toward World War II. It’s easy to see that it is probably much, much cheaper to let a flak tower stand and deteriorate than it is to remove it. You’d think, however, it could be used as a museum or something.—BD