DORA 1 is a former German submarine base and bunker built during World War II in Trondheim, Norway. In German, Trondheim was called "Drontheim", and the name "DORA" is the letter "D" in the German phonetic alphabet.


Construction of what was going to be the biggest German naval base in Northern Europe started in the autumn of 1941, one year after the WW II invasion of Norway. The concrete roof was h:title|11.5 feet|3.5 meters thick, and reinforced with steel to repel bombings by enemy air forces. The walls were also made of concrete, but these were only h:title|10 feet|3 meters thick. The whole bunker was h:title|502×345 feet|153×105 meters. The work was done by the Organisation Todt Einsatzgruppe Wiking and the Sager & Wörner building company of Munich. Organisation Todt employed slave labor extensively, and five Serbian workers died when a wall fell over them. This incident has fueled a widespread urban legend that claims that the Germans simply let the bodies remain inside of the wall. While German engineers did calculate that the five bodies would not weaken the fortification considerably, the bodies were actually removed before the constructon continued.

"DORA 1" was handed over to the German Kriegsmarine on 20 June 1943, now the home base of the 13. Unterseebootsflottille ("13th submarine flotilla").The bunker, which could be hermetically sealed when attacked, had room for 16 U-boats and housing for many soldiers.

Construction of a smaller bunker situated to the west of the existing one, the "DORA 2" was started in 1942, but it was only half-completed by the end of the war. The building is presently used by a shipyard.

After WW II

After the war, the "DORA 1" was to be blown up using dynamite, but this project was eventually canceled. Because of the massive construction and the sheer size of the bunker, blowing it up would have caused serious damage to the surrounding buildings as well. The base was used briefly by the Norwegian Defence Forces, and two extra storys painted in blue were built.Today, the former naval base is the home of the city and state archives, a bowling alley, and several other businesses. The submarine pens made for holding German U-boats are now being used as a harbor area for civilian boats and commercial tugboats

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External links

* NRK, [ Historien om Dora]
* [ List of U-boat and torpedo bunkers]
* [ article]

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