There were many sides to Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, he had a multitude of offices and titles, everything from SA Chief, C in C Luftwaffe, Huntsman and at the end, War Criminal at the Nuremberg War Trials.
There was one interesting fame which seems to be left out of the catalogue of Goerings claims ....... that of Model Railway Enthusiast!
In Carinhall, Goerings stately home, there was a huge model railway on the upper floor. Goering loved to entertain and he would take guests up to the attic to show off his model layout. This was a Märklin "O" gauge made of tinplate and typical of the pre-war model railways of the 30s. The trains could be electric or clockwork. The wind-up locos can run on both rail systems, but the electric ones can only run on the specially made track which has a third central rail which carries the electrical 12v current.
Top diplomats and world leaders would be invited to view the Märklin model railway. Goering would delight in pressing a button that would then release a model Stuka along a thin wire. The Stuka would come down low over a model train, which Goering had timed to perfection and a wooden bomb would be ejected over the moving train... to the delight of the visitors.
Sadly, nothing is known as to the fate of the model railway. Most of it would have been destroyed when Hermann Goering blew up his home with explosives in 1945 as the Russians were advancing towards Carinhall. In fact typical of the man, he pressed the plunger himself and then turned to the sergeant in charge of the demolition team and said "The things a man must do".
In 2000 there were several visits to the remains of Carinhall and under some rubble someone found a wheel of one of the trains. It should be noted that the staff at Carinhall were told that they could take anything that they wanted before the home was blown up. However, they had to sign for each item. Perhaps one or two items of the model railway survived after all? I would like to think so.
Hermann Goering with his Märklin model railway at Carinhall. The other fellow could well be Franz von Papen.
I just love this picture.... clearly a post war fake, perhaps someone with Goerings model railway in mind?
Märklin PDF Files
Click on the image to read a PDF file Märklin Catalogue from the mid 1930s.
Click on the image to view a PDF File of a Märklin catalogues special limited editions.