Research on the German Armed Forces 1918-1945
This Panzer Division was formed in March of 1945 from the remnants of the
13.Panzer-Division that had been destroyed in
the Budapest pocket in Febuary, 1945.
The remains of the 13.Panzer-Division, along with other various units and men were organized into this new division which subsequently fought many costly battles and provided protection to tens of thousands of refugees who desperately sought to escape from the Soviet juggernaut.
On May 8th, 1945, after receiving the order to capitulate at Budweis in Bohemia, the G-1 of the division, Oberst Schoeneich, contacted the CO of an American division that had reached the area (identity unknown), Major General Butler, to surrender the division to him rather than Soviet forces only a few miles away. When it became obvious that Gen. Butler (whether under orders or acting on his own initiative) was about to hand the men of the division over to the Russians, Hptm. von Lettow-Vorbeck, adjutant to Gen. Baeke, who spoke English, used a brilliant ruse to fool the American general. With Gen. Baeke sitting in his jeep unbeknownst to the Americans, the captain told Gen. Butler that the HQ of the division which Gen. Butler was anxious to see was some miles away to the east, whereupon the general and his retinue promptly roared off in that direction. The German officers and all the men with them went off in the opposite direction to go into U.S. captivity some miles further west, thus avoiding long years of imprisonment in Soviet death camps in Siberia.
Generalmajor Dr. Franz Bäke: 3.9.45 - 5.8.45
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