Thousands of tons of gold and silver lie in the Merkers Salt Mine in Germany, 15th April 1945.
As Nazi Germany expanded it’s control, it confiscated the gold reserves of countries such as Austria and Poland. Gold was a holder of value, the paper Reichsmark was not, and so Germany needed to expand it’s gold reserves to fund it’s war machine.
The accumulated reserves had been moved from the central Reichsbank to Merkers late in the war due to the heavy Allied bombing, and the advance of Allied forces into Germany.
On April 4th, Allied forces entered Merkers and heard rumors of a top secret cargo, recently trucked in from Berlin and buried in a nearby mine. The mine was investigated, and the tunnel was found to be blocked by a large steel door. A message was sent to General Patton, who wanted to blow the door. Instead, the surrounding brickwork was blasted, as it required much less explosive power. Inside they found more than 7,000 carefully stacked bags.