Dear page visitor, I have doubted whether it is a good idea to add this document onto our website. I have, nevertheless, considered that it does indeed make sense to get an idea of what happened in Germany beside their electronic industry.     The Second World War was a very complex and long enduring conflict. Germany could only sustain this competition when it was capable of producing enough goods. Generally, all goods (products) necessitated sufficient quantities of raw materials, such as rubber, iron, aluminium and of course chemical products like, for instance: petrol and lubricants of all kinds. One, maybe crucial, aspects is the availability iron. In a great war even today 'Fe' is a crucial factor. Considering all this, it does make sense to get an idea as to how some of the German heavy steel industry managed to supply this crucial material.  Please bear in mind - that Germany possessed large coal mines, but lacked greatly their own iron recourses. Most iron was obtained from Sweden, that may have been one of the factors of occupying Norway (April 1940) as its geographical position was crucial in this respect. I have already dealt with another implication in my DEHS 2008 paper: that progress on the long term is only obtainable in a democratic environment. Non democratically ran societies will always sooner or later fail! As did finally the Roman Empire - Napoleon France - the Nazi era and the Soviet ruled hemisphere.       


Hermann Göring Steel Works

Paul Pleiger Hutte

Stahlwerke Branschweig


Reported by Mr. J.D. Dickson U.S. Ord.

Visit 6-15 June 1945

CIOS Target No. 21/399


Personnel of Teams (US)


The investigators of the two men above are incorporated herein. Date of Investigation 21 May 1945



Hermann Goring Steel Works

Paul Pleiger Hutte (Hütte, AOB)

Stahlwerke Braunschweig

Satisfactory steel was produced in sizable quantity from low grade ore mind locally without the assistance of imported high grade ores.

The extensive properties of the Hermann Goring works consisted of mines, blast furnaces, steel plants, and factories. This report covers investigations of the iron ore mines, blast furnaces, steel melting units, rolling mills, foundry, forging plants, and shell machining shops located in the vicinity of Watenstedt-Salzgitter.

It was said that the present investment involved 1,000,000,000 R.M. The plant was designed by N.A. Brassert & Co, Ltd, and was originally planned as four separate units, only one of which was completed.

The mines steel works and shops in this vicinity employed over 35,000 persons, of whom approximately 80% were foreign.

The plants was considered to be of such importance that all installations were surrounded by artificial fog pots for screening against air raids. Flak installations were also noted.

The Paul Pleiger Works of the Hermann Goring Corporation showed Germany their possible independence of foreign ores. It is desired to emphasize the tremendous implication of potential steel production for the Salzgitter ore bodies by means of employed at this plant.

Combined statement of Dr. Strickrodt follows: During 1936-1937 the shortage of iron and steel in Germany became acute. Many of the smaller individually owned plants were forced to close, due to their inability to obtain material with which to work. ...

Shortage finally became so serious that home building was curtailed, due to the lack of steel beams (wood being unavailable) ..

The steel industry of western Germany at first opposed the plan entirely. Later they insisted that the steel plant should be placed in western Germany . Mr. Pleiger as the representative of the smaller concerns, demanded that the plant be located near the iron mines in the Salzgitter district ...

Careful study of the problem of using ores of the Salzgitter district indicated that a more economical operation could be achieved by the construction of a new plant, ..

Personnel interviewed


Iron ores for use in the Reichswerke Hermann Goring (Göring, AOB) were obtained from the mines of the subsidiary company - "Erzbergbau Salzgitter"

During the war the mine manager was Dr. Franz Beckenbauer, assisted by Dr. Heinrich Meyer. Dr. Beckenbauer was under military arrest (by U.S. troops, AOB) and the mines were in charge of Dr. Meyer. The mine administration offices were in Ringelheim Castle.

    Salzgitter Area:

1.    Finkenkuhle at Salzgitter

2.    Georg/Gitter at Gitter

3.    Haverlahwiese No. 1 at Gebhardshagen

4.    Haverwiese No. 2 at Gebhardshagen-Lichtenberg

5.    Haverlahwiese open cut at Gebhardshagen

6.    Hannoversche Treue at Engerode-Calbecht

7.    Worthlah/Ohlendorf at Flachstockheim

Peine Area: Peine I/II at Vohrum near Peine


Keywords: Personnel interviewed; Personnel not available (mostly in captivity owing to their wartime engagements, AOB); mining; raw materials; ore preparations; limestone kilns; Renn process; Coke ovens and by-products; Burden furnances; Blast furnances; Desulphurization and hot metal mixers; Steel making - Thomas - Open heath - Electric furnances - Duplexing - Mixing; Vanadium recovery; Soaking pits and rolling mills; Grey Iron and steel foundry; ammunition plants -underground installation in Hannoversche Treue Mine; Watenstedt plant - 8.8 cm shells; Watenstedt plant 10.5 and 12.8 cm shells; Underground plant at Haverlahwiese mine; Forging plant; Research Laboratories; Transportation facilities, Public utilities; Production statistics; Economics; Paul Pleiger; personnel interviewed; ore preparation; Two electric furnances, each with a capacity of 60 tons, were installed in place of the originally planned open-earth. The 12,000 kVa transformers were too far from the furnances for best operation, and the location of these furnances was inconvenient, as they were ... ; The production of vanadium as an alloying element in Germany during the war was urgent. ... During last half of the war, the production of special vanadium-rich convertor slags at the Hermann Goring works amounted to 50 - 100 tons of contained vanadium per month, representing a substantial part of the vanadium-rich slags produced in Germany. .. On average, the Hermann Goring slags contained a higher percentage of vanadium than most of the other slags produced in Germany ... ; A large laboratory was built to care the problems and control arising in the steel plant planned to have 32 blast furnances and to make 400,000 tons of pig iron per month. .. ; Production statistics Steel production 1940-1944; The total investment in the Hermann Goring Works at Watenstedt, and the mines adjacent to them, was stated to be approximately 1,000,000,000 RM



Back to, or proceed with: CIOS main page

Back to: FAT-CIOS-BIOS main page

Back to: Handbooks, papers and product information