Fort Knox

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Coordinates: 37 ° 53 '0 "  N , 85 ° 57' 55"  W.

Fort Knox
Location of Fort Knox in Kentucky

The Fort Knox is a base of the US Army in the US state of Kentucky . It is mainly as a warehouse for the gold reserve of the Treasury of the United States is known, the so-called United States Bullion Depository . Fort Knox is home to one of the largest amounts of gold in the world. However, according to their own statements, even more gold is in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York , although there is also gold from foreign banks and central banks.


The fort was built in 1862 during the Civil War and was then still called Fort Duffield . It was neglected after the war. During the First World War , the fort was put back into operation and enlarged. It was named after Henry Knox , a general of the Revolutionary War and later Minister of War . At times, the fort extended over an area of ​​162 km 2 . After the war, however, operations were reduced again significantly.

In the 1930s, the fort became a permanent location for the armored forces . The United States wanted to catch up with the heavily mechanized German Empire at the beginning of the Second World War . Around 1943 Fort Knox consisted of 3820 buildings covering a total of 432 km 2 .

Stationed units

Gold warehouse

The outside of the US Bullion Depository

The Treasury Department established the Bullion Depository adjacent to Fort Knox in 1936 as a warehouse for part of its gold reserves . It is a heavily secured two story building. 465 cubic meters of granite, 3,200 cubic meters of concrete, 750 tons of reinforcing steel and 670 tons of structural steel were used for the construction. The construction costs amounted to 560,000 US dollars . Based on today's value, this corresponds to about 10.3 million US dollars.

From January to June 1937, much of the US gold reserves were shipped there by rail through the Railway Mail Service.

The warehouse had become necessary when a secure home was needed for the private gold holdings that were nationalized in the 1930s. The Presidential Executive Order 6102 of 1933 prohibited the private possession of gold coins and gold bars (see gold ban ). The gold had to be transferred to the Treasury Department for compensation in US dollars . With the termination of the Bretton Woods system in 1973, this regulation ended.

Today, 147.3 million troy ounces (approx. 4580 t ) of gold are stored, with a current value of approx. 157 billion euros (as of November 13, 2018).

During the Second World War, Fort Knox kept the American Declaration of Independence , the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights and a copy of the British Magna Carta .

In contrast to the world's largest gold reserves, which are stored in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and consist largely of gold that is owned by various foreign state banks and international organizations (especially the IMF ), Fort Knox only stores gold , which is owned by the United States .

security system

The building is lined with four watchtowers on each corner, which can only be entered from the inside. In the course of the construction phase, the adjacent forest was completely cleared so as not to provide any cover for potential attackers. The entrance is a 20-tonne door made of steel plates, double-T steel girders and steel cylinders. No single person knows the entire number combination necessary to open it. Instead, several employees have to enter various codes independently of one another in order to open the door.

Patton Museum

The history of the cavalry and armed units of the US Army, as well as the career of General George S. Patton, can be viewed free of charge in the George Patton Museum on the grounds of Fort Knox.

The exhibits include various military vehicles and uniforms as well as two fire engines that were used on September 11, 2001 in the third of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon . Personal items of the eponymous general are also presented.


In the James Bond -Spielfilm Goldfinger 's largest gold smugglers in the world, Auric Goldfinger breaks into Fort Knox to the stored there gold reserves to irradiate radioactive and so the value to increase his own gold. Since no interior shots were allowed for security reasons, the interior of the warehouse building was built entirely as a backdrop.

Web links

Commons : Fort Knox  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Currency & Coins: Fort Knox Bullion Depository. Retrieved November 13, 2018 (American English).
  2. Automatically updated and documented by template: inflation .
  3. Behind The Badge: Protected Shipments. Smithsonian National Postal Museum, November 13, 2018, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  4. ^ President of the United States: Executive Order 6102 . ( [accessed November 13, 2018]).
  5. Fort Knox Bullion Depository | US Mint. Retrieved November 13, 2018 (American English).
  6. Wolfram | Alpha Knowledgebase, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018 (American English).
  7. Fort Knox Fun Facts | US Mint. Retrieved November 13, 2018 (American English).
  8. ^ British Ambassador Lord Lothian, Library of Congress, Britain, United States, England: Magna Carta Comes to America - Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor | Exhibitions - Library of Congress. November 6, 2014, accessed November 13, 2018 .
  9. ^ "About the Fed: Gold Vault" - Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Accessed November 13, 2018 .
  10. Solveig Grothe: Fort Knox: Honey, are you there? In: Spiegel Online . January 23, 2012 ( [accessed November 13, 2018]).