Das Bundesarchiv

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Records lost as a result of war

The archives from the period up to 1945 suffered considerable losses as a consequence of war. Many of the records of the central service units of the armed forces and of the army leadership, those of the service units and troops of the army below divisional level and those of the air force have been lost. Naval archives, on the other hand, and the bulk of war logs belonging to the command authorities of the army and the divisional headquarters up to 1943 survived the Second World War. The archives of defence technology facilities and service units of the armed forces likewise remained virtually intact. Most of the files of the Prussian Army were destroyed in the army archives fire in Potsdam in 1945.

The archives of the Bavarian, Saxon and Württemberg contingency forces can be used in their place. This archive is accessible in the relevant state archives.

Even more files are still held in foreign archives, particularly in Moscow and Prague, but also in Washington and London as well as in formerly occupied countries and former colonies.