BAOR Locations

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The small picturesque medieval market town of Plön, a town of about 13,000 inhabitiants, is in Schleswig-Holstein and is is situated midway between Lubeck and Kiel.  It is the administrative centre for the surrounding prosperous agricultural (mainly dairy farms) Kreis (County). The actual town is surrounded by hills and lakes, hence the alternative name for the area of Holsteinische Schweitz (Holstein’s Little Switzerland). The town is also dominated by an imposing 17th century castle, one of the former residences of the Dukes of Schleswig Holstein.
In 1937 the German Navy purchased a large farm and adjacent land on the shores of the Grosser Plöner See for the creation of an initial training establishment for recruits for the increasing numbers of Kriegsmarine warships based in Kiel. In 1940 its role changed and it became the training centre for submarine crews destined for the U Boat fleet based mainly in occupied France. A secondary role was to provide Rest and Recreation facilities for the survivors of the Battle of the Atlantic. Some sources claim that early development of the rocket systems ultimately known as the V1 and V2 Flying Bombs was carried out in the area.
In April 1945 Hitler, by then besieged in the Fuhrer Bunker in Berlin, appointed Grand Admiral Doenitz as his Deputy and Successor. Doenitz established an alternative Government and military Headquarters in Plön but was forced to move further north to the Flensburg area to avoid capture by the units of the advancing British 8th Corps immediately prior to the German Surrender.
Headquarters 8th Corps briefly occupied the Barracks in early May 1945 but quickly left for the Hamburg area, being replaced by Headquarters 6th Guards Armoured Brigade (official title, more usually known as 6th  Guards Tank Brigade). Their stay too was brief and at the end of June the Headquarters left to rejoin the rest of the Guards Division by now based in the Cologne area.
Their replacement was the Royal Navy, HMS Royal Alfred, Headquarters of the Flag Officer (subsequently Senior Naval Officer) Schleswig Holstein responsible for the overall command of the many RN establishments operating throughout Schleswig Holstein and the Western Baltic waters. In June 1946 the Royal Navy returned to Kiel and the barracks reoccupied by Headquarters Guards Division who had moved north from the Rhineland with the two subordinate Brigades, based one in Hamburg, the second in the Neumunster area.
The Barracks was officially renamed Connaught Barracks after the Duke of Connaught a distinguished Guards Officer, The Guards Division returned to England in June 1947 but a small Headquarters renamed Headquarters Schleswig Holstein Sub Area remained, this too moved in February 1948 and the site was quickly adapted as a secondary boarding school for the children of Servicemen and Entitled Civilians stationed throughout BAOR.
King Alfred School Plön, probably in its time the most successful of all the BFES Boarding Schools, was home to some 4,500 pupils and staff and closed in July 1959, due to ever increasing costs, declining demand for boarding school education and its relative isolation from the future 1 (BR) Corps major Garrisons. The pupils for the future Windsor Girls School used the facilities for the Autumn 1959 Term whilst work to convert the former Newcastle Barracks Hamm was completed.
In 1960 the site was handed back to the German Federal authorities and Bundesmarine in particular. It was named Marine Unteroffizier Schule (MUS) and reopened in its original role as the major Training establishment and Centre of Excellence for the German Navy, a function which continues to this day.



British Units and Establishments known to have been based in the town include

Headquarters 8th Corps early May 1945

Headquarters 6th Guards Armoured Brigade (official title, more usually known as 6th Guards Tank Brigade, retiled 6th Guards Brigade 14th June 1945) mid May-late June 1945

HMS ROYAL ALFRED June 1945-June 1946

HQ Guards Division June 1946-June 1947

Headquarters Schleswig Holstein Sub Area June 1947-February 1948

King Alfred School May 1948-July 1959

Windsor Girls School September-December 1959