D.A.G Fabrik Bromberg was a secret Nazi Germany factory, located in the Bydgoszcz area in Poland. Its darkest and most prominent years, however, were during the period between 1939 and 1945, when the factory served to meet the military needs of the Third Reich.
The factory manufactured riffle bullets, shells, anti-tank and anti-infantry miles for the German land forces, as well as torpedoes and naval mines for the German navy. According to experts, in 1944 DAG was responsible for one third of the entire gunpowder production – the impressive 13 thousand tons per month.
The gunpowder production began in 1942-1943 and the lucrative plant could manufacture as much as 60 half-tone bombs and 5,000 artillery shells in just one day. DAG Fabrik was built and powered by prisoners of war, as well as prisoners from concentration camps, and the local population of the Bydgoszcz area. Experts have estimated that the total number of people working there was at least 57 thousand, of them at least 3 thousand concentration camp prisoners, women included.
The head of the company was Adolf Kampf, a well-known and experienced chemist. DAG Bromberg was planned to become the biggest DAG plant. After the mass gunpowder production started, in 1943, nitrocellulose production was launched. To reduce explosion risks and impact, different buildings hosted the different stages of the production process. Most of them were small and connected to each other via a tunnel system. The warehouse and production buildings were constructed in timber frame and reinforced with concrete posts. Explosion protection walls, made from light wood-glass structures, were also added. There were a number of escape routes in the tunnels, as well as shelters, designed to protect the workers. In fact, one of the surviving camp remains of the DAG Bromberg is an air ride shelter that could host around 100 people. Thirty similar shelters were discovered in the area.
The DAG factory was supposed to be entirely invisible for the aircraft of the enemy forces. To achieve that, the architect and designers of the factory dyed the facades of the buildings, as well as all routes and tracks, in khaki and green. The roofs were additionally covered with a thick soil layer, where plants and shrubs were planted. The Nazi Germans even began construction of a second, fake factory in 1944, located just a few kilometers from the actual DAG Bromberg.
Apart from the concealing measures, the DAG Bromberg was also protected day and night by a fence, constantly watched over by guards. Stringent safety measures were introduced and only a handful of people could travel freely throughout the factory premises.
Gunpowder production continued all the way up to the liberation of Bydgoszcz. In January 1945, the army of the second Belarusian front captured the area. The Soviet army plundered and abandoned the factory, after which DAG was transferred to the Polish Authorities. Some of the buildings were left and never used again, while others were employed as production facilities and warehouse. Recently, the DAG Bromberg plant was open to the public, as well.