3ad.patches.jpg (7420 bytes)

Coleman Kaserne

1-33ar.gif (16616 bytes)

Coleman Kaserne
Gelnhausen, Germany

 Coleman Kaserne in Gelnhausen  is renowned for its well-kept buildings and peaceful atmosphere. The housing areas there are currently being remodeled.

The Kaserne is home to numerous 414th BSB family members. Although there is family housing at Armstrong, most married soldiers assigned to 1-1 Cav "The Blackhawk Squadron" live in the Gelnhausen Community (Coleman Village Family Housing Area). This community is about 18 kilometers from Hanau and has family housing, a small commissary, and temporary billeting facilities. Most Single soldiers live in and around the Budingen community or in neighboring towns.

Gelnhausen’s official history begins in the year 1170, when Friedrich I., called Barbarossa ("Redbeard") founded the "Nova Villa" ("…"). The advantages of the town were obvious – it is seated close to the Kinzig-river, therefore vivid shipping was possible, and one of the main medieval trade routes went through the area. Three considerably older villages were united and widely enlarged to one new city.

In the southeast of the city on a Kinzig island, a representative residence for the emperor developed called the Kaiserpfalz ("Imperial Castle"). It is known that from 1180, when Gelnhausen was declared a free city at the Reichstag (Imperial Diet), until his death, the emperor resided here for some time every second year. His son, Henry V, called the castle his most beloved place. Although the castle had been neglected some time in the past, the ruins still bear witness to the impressive achievement in architecture and give an idea of medieval splendor.

The fact that Gelnhausen is seated close to the Kinzig-river as well as the important trade route from Frankfurt to Leipzig made it possible for Barbarossa to grant Gelnhausen privileges that supported Gelnhausen’s development to a highly frequented trading center. Gelnhausen was amongst the richest cities in the empire and attracted wealthy merchants as if by magic.

The most important part of the city’s image is the beautiful Marienkirche ("St. Mary’s Church"). Formerly a small village church it was soon enlarged after the foundation of Gelnhausen. The western parts of the church are built in a simple

Romanesque style, whereas the cross-house, the eastern towers and the choir show important influences of the decorative French Gothic style. Soon after 1200 several modern Gothic master builders came to Gelnhausen.

The streets of Gelnhausen were a feature of massive stone buildings in former times. That saved the wares of the merchants from fire and theft. But in the 30 Years War the trade routes were used as military roads. Gelnhausen was raided and sacked, it was uninhabitable and depopulated. After the war the people came back only slowly, poor craftsmen and farmer took the place of the rich merchants of the past. They built their typical half-timbered houses on the ruins.

Today Gelnhausen has 23,000 residents and is the cultural and economical center of the Kinzig-Valley.


Click here to link to the Kaserne before World War II (from Wolfgang Scherp website)

This translation is from Wolfgang Scherp.
Also, the below mentioned initial building was Building 1601, which is labeled on the Lageplan jpg  sent yesterday as "Stab u. Nachr. zug" (Staff (HQ), Communications, and Medical) . . . Building 1601 later housed HHB (Headquarters Battery) 2/6 FA, US Army. 
PS: I've also attached a WORD document with the text information
Also, as you may recall, Steinau is just up the valley between Waechtersbach and Schluchtern.  The name Steinau an der Strasse refers to it being on the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Road (which the Germans call the Maerchenstrasse).  The BG were born in Hanau & lived for awhile in Steinau (their house there is an attraction) before heading north -- there are BG related statues in both Hanau & Steinau.  The Fairy Tale Road actually goes through Steinau to Schluchtern before it makes a hard left and heads north. (I've also attached a recent, fuzzy pg of the FT Road)

Gelnhausen Kaserne construction information translated from page 19 of Die Panzer-Abwehrabteilung 9 in Gelnhausen und ihr Schicksal 1935 1945 by Gerhard Freund. (Steinau an der Strasse, Germany: Maerchenstrassen-Verlag, 1996.)


The Kaserne is being built in the Herzbachtal area. At first, they built the building for the Staff (HQ), the Communications Detachment and the Medical Detachment; next, they followed with a building each for the 1st and the 2d Company; next, the building for the Officers Club (Kasino), the dining hall, and the Kantine (small restaurant); after these, they continued with another building for two Ersatzkompanien (called E-Companies) in anticipation of the ongoing mobilization and preparation of a possible war. In these Ersatzkompanies (note: like inactive reserves) the older citizen/soldiers were trained in 8-week rapid training cycles and released for a pool of trained soldiers awaiting their call to be sent to the Feld (war zones). Next, were the building for 3d Company, followed by a maintenance (shop)  and spare parts building; also an armory (storage & repair of arms); next came an indoor small caliber weapons range, a gas station, the parade ground, and the vehicle halls along highway B 40. Finally, a sandstone and wire fence was built around the Kaserne complex. Then a large pond, fed by the water from the Herzbach creek, gave the Kaserne the looks of a picturesque and peaceful (what irony) landscape impression.




P9ColViw.jpg (82342 bytes)



East Gate







Stone work on Bldg # 1603


Gelnhausen Kaserne




Looking west from cathedral before NCO housing or uphill barracks built




3ad.patches.jpg (7420 bytes)

Return to main page