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Stirling House
 
Originally named ? Kaserne, the barracks was home to command headquarters of the General XI. Armeekorps, Wehrkreiskommando XI. The building work started in 1936 with it being completed 13 months later in October 1937.
During the war years the building suffered significant bomb damage. In the spring of 1941 twenty seven fire bombs landed on the stables and surrounding areas. Fortunately the horses were saved, however the roof was lost to the flames.
On 8 October 1943 a flying bomb landed in front of the building, on the tram tracks of Misburger Dam. This destroyed the military district library and factory buildings, ensuring that their continued use was impossible.
On 29 March 1945 the building suffered further damage with high explosive bombs landing on the west wing. The bombs penetrated as far as the cellar killing two soldiers and six civil servants. The building would eventually be repaired by the occupying British forces, traces still being visible to this day.

With the war coming to an end 4th US Infantry Division occupied the grounds on 9 April 1945. Soon afterwards the British inherited the building with Major Stirling assuming command on 23 April 1945.

From December 1945 the building housed the 229th Regional Military Government for the Lower Saxony district. After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, the military government was replaced. The seat of the new federal government was now situated in the building of the former General Command.

After a total of 12 years and 11 months the building was handed over to the Bundeswehr on 14 March 1958. On 30 September 1975 it was named Kurt Schumacher Kaserne. It is still to this day a barracks with 800 military and civilian personnel working in the building.

 

 

 


The complex as it is today.
 

 

Newspaper article regarding Stirling House dated 15th March 2008. It can be viewed at better resolution by clicking here.

 

My time at Tofrek Barracks was quite short and began when I was posted, as a newly-trained RASC clerk, to the Station Staff OfficeR, Hildesheim, which was located in Tofrek West  For messing and accommodation purposes I was billeted with 54 Company RASC who were located in Tofrek East.  Their role was as transport support to 33 Lorried Infantry Brigade and they wore the 11 Armoured Division flash.  From what I remember there was an armoured unit located in Tofrek West and I passed the back of their tank park on my way to and from work on the road running alongside the airfield.  I am afraid I cannot remeber who they were.
 
After a few weeks I was offered a transfer to HQ Hannover District located at Stirling House on Hans Bockler Allee in Hannover, about a mile from the village of Kleefeld.  This was the HQ for the whole of Hannover District and a few months after I went there we became responsible for the area previously controlled by HQ Hamburg District, located at Blankenese, a few miles east of Hamburg.  I played football there once and the railway line into Altona passed the former U-boat pens, with the holes where the bombs had gone straight through the roof.
As you can imagine every branch of the Army was represented at the District HQ.  I had been trained as a staff clerk and whilst I was at Stirling House I did spells in G Branch, A Branch and finally in Q Branch, working in Q(Ops).  The District Commander at the time was Brig. L.F. Heard whom I met a few times and was, in my opinion, a thorough gentleman.
 
I left Hannover in June 1957 and from what I have gathered the whole complex was handed back to the Bundeswehr about nine months later. and from September 1975 it has been called the Kurt Schumacher Kaserne.  So it is now once again a headquarter unit of the German Army, its original purpose when it was built in 1936. 
 
Between 1972 and 1989 I was a member of the TA with 150 Regt RCT (V) and visited Germany a further 13 times on Annual Camp. I last saw it in 1993 when I was visiting my son who was stationed in Nienburg and at that time and there was some building being done on what was formerly the vehicle park.
Norman Angell
Ex SSgt RCT(V)