Howard Katzander ©Stars and StripesBerlin, September, 1947: One of the three huge anti-aircraft cannon emplacements designed to protect Berlin from allied bombing raids still looms over the landscape two years after the end of World War II. The reinforced concrete structures, with walls several feet thick, were also designed to shelter about 8,000 people during air raids, but it is believed that as many as 40,000 may have been crammed into one of them as the attacks intensified in 1945. Three weeks after this photo was taken, Stars and Stripes reported that an attempt to demolish one of the buildings with 25 tons of explosives had failed, and a second attempt with four tons of TNT merely resulted in a few cracks. Today, one of the bunkers — at Volkspark Humboldthain in Berlin's Wedding section — serves as a a lookout point, climbing wall, and home for several species of bats. A good account of life in these shelters during the war can be found in Cornelius Ryan's "The Last Battle."

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now