Welcome to HANAU, GERMANY - land of the Grimm Brothers, linguists and masters of German Folklore! We hope you enjoy your stay! Unlike the typical tourist, you will be here long enough to sample the lifestyle and to get to know the people. Explore Germany. Take advantage of your weekends; they will slip away faster than you think. This can be the most exciting and memorable assignment of your military career! The 104th Area Support Group (ASG) and the 414th Base Support Battalion (BSB) are located in Hanau. The peacetime mission of the 104th ASG and the 414th BSB is to provide quality of life support to the units within the ASG footprint. While many US facilities continue to close in Germany, Hanau and its outlying communities (Buedingen, Gelnhausen, and Erlensee) remain strong. The history of Hanau is both important and interesting. In the early hours of 19 March 1945, Hanau was violently woken by a massive allied air strike. Close to 85 percent of Hanau was destroyed, and it seemed the city, just 11 miles east of Frankfurt am Main, had suffered a mortal blow. Today, Hanau is a small, bustling city of approximately 90,000 people. This figure includes the populations of the smaller communities of Wolfgang, Grossauheim, Steinheim, Klein Auheim, Hohe Tanne, and Mitlebuchen as a result of a merger in 1974. Some 13,000 workers commute daily to Hanau, causing the main traffic arteries leading out of town to swell each afternoon. Although Hanau received status as a city from Albrecht I in 1093, it was not until religious refugees poured into the city in 1597 that it began to flourish. Given religious freedom by the ruling Count, these refugees, mostly Dutch and Belgian Wallons, constructed a new city and started new trades, including gold and silver-smithing. The refugees also built the Netherlands Wallon Double Church which stands today on Franzoezische Allee as a monument. Hanau's Academy of Art was established in 1772 for the training of young people to work in the city's gold and silver trade. It is the oldest existing school of its kind in Germany. The history of the city touched that of America during our Revolutionary War. A treaty was signed in Hanau in February 1776 to hire mercenaries. This treaty provided England's King George III with the first contingent of Hessian soldiers for use against the American Colonies. During the early years of the 19th century, Hanau was occupied by Napoleon's troops and its fortifications were destroyed. In 1886, Hanau fell into Prussian hands. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hanau's Main River Port was built. This paved the way for trade of all kinds. Despite the world wars, Hanau continued to thrive. Its gold and silver industries attracted gem and other precious metal factories. Today, the products of Heraeus, Quarzlampen Company, Dunlop Rubber, Degussa and many others are vital to the city's economic welfare. On 16 October 1991, the US military community in Hanau was redesignated as the 414th BSB in accordance with the United States Army Europe Community Command Plan. Unlike most army posts in CONUS, the Hanau military community is comprised of seventeen smaller installations or "Kasernes". Each kaserne has an interesting history of its own. Pioneer Kaserne was built under Hilter's regime between 1938 and 1939. It was occupied by the German Railroad Recruiting and Training Battalions of the 3rd German Railroad Regiment. In 1944 and 1945 the kaserne was damaged by an allied aerial bombardment and was later attacked by artillery fire. It was reestablished by municipal construction agencies organized by the US Government. Pioneer Kaserne now houses the majority of the facilities for the support and welfare of military personnel and their family members. Fliegerhorst Kaserne was initially built for Hermann Goering's German Air Force in 1937. The construction plan provided for the project to extend over 15 years and was outlined in three phases. The project began in 1937; however, due to the outbreak of WWII, only the first phase was completed. In 1945, the US Army occupied the kaserne and utilized it as a signal depot, consisting of a maintenance division and a storage division. In 1952 the entire depot was transferred to Pirmasens; the installation was redesignated and assigned artillery, transportation, ordnance and aviation units of the 7th Army. Fliegerhorst currently houses aviation and maintenance facilities, government housing, and support and recreation activities for service members and their families. Wolfgang Kaserne was a former WWI ammunition factory. It was upgraded between 1936 and 1938 by the former "Herresamnt" for use as an ammo depot. As a result of enormous construction, Wolfgang is currently a modern facility housing the Hanau military comunity's shopping and entertainment district. Yorkhof Kaserne was constructed between 1905 and 1911 and was first occupied by troops assigned to the German Army Post Depot. It is now the headquarters of the 104th ASG. Argonner Kaserne, named after the Argonner Forest, scene of the famous WWI battle, was constructed between 1937 and 1938 and occupied by the German Army Engineer NCO School. Argonner now houses Medical, Dental and Veterinary Services, a guest house, government housing, and both Hanau Middle and Hanau High Schools. Buedingen also has an interesting history. Buedingen is located just 16 miles from Hanau and is part of the 414th BSB. Buedingen is nestled in the southwestern foothills of the Vogelsberg Mountains. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Franks, seeking to control trade and travel, built many forts in the area surrounded by the Taunus, Vogelsberg, and Spessart Mountains. One of these forts was located in what is now the township of Buedingen. In the 12th century, this small, sandstone fort was replaced by a Carolingian style castle surrounded by a circular wall of stones. The castle, which became the residence of the lords of Buedingen, has been occupied ever since. In order to protect the city, one prince constructed a wall and created a moat. The wall still stands, and the old town is a beautiful example of late Gothic fortification. The Thirty Years War reduced the city's population from 1500 to 500. Today, the city has approximately 7,000 residents. Highlights from a visit to Buedingen include the Rathaus and the Widow's residence which are fine examples of 15th century architecture. There are also numerous gates, walls, and towers from the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. The military installation in Buedingen, formerly known as Krueger Kaserne, was constructed between 1935 and 1939 for the German Machine Gun Battalion 3. This unit was replaced in 1939 by an anti-tank battalion which was stationed on the post until its deployment into combat in 1944. Following the arrival of the Americans in 1945, the kaserne was renamed Armstrong Kaserne in honor of 1st Lieutenant Armstrong. 1LT Armstrong served as an air observer for the 68th Field Artillery Battalion and was killed in action on Anzio Beach head in Italy. Armstrong Kaserne is currently home to the 1st Squadron 1st Cavalry Regiment of Dragoons.