What Do You Do with a Sur­plus Flak Tower?

Flight Journal - - EDITORIAL - Wil­liam Re­iche

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

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