Panzer-Division “Feldherrnhalle 2”
|This Panzer Division was formed in March of 1945 from the remnants of the 13.Panzer-Division that had been destroyed inthe Budapest pocket in Febuary, 1945.|
The remains of the 13.Panzer-Division, along with other various units andmen were organized into this new division which subsequently fought manycostly battles and provided protection to tens of thousands ofrefugees who desperately sought to escape from the Sovietjuggernaut.
On May 8th, 1945, after receiving the order to capitulate at Budweis inBohemia, the G-1 of the division, Oberst Schoeneich, contacted the CO of anAmerican division that had reached the area (identity unknown), MajorGeneral Butler, to surrender the division to him rather than Soviet forcesonly a few miles away. When it became obvious that Gen. Butler(whether under orders or acting on his own initiative) was about to hand themen of the division over to the Russians, Hptm. von Lettow-Vorbeck, adjutantto 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 toldGen. Butler that the HQ of the division which Gen. Butlerwas anxious to see was some miles away to the east, whereupon thegeneral and his retinue promptly roared off in that direction. TheGerman officers and all the men with them went off in the oppositedirection to go into U.S. captivity some miles further west, thusavoiding long years of imprisonment in Soviet death camps in Siberia.
|Generalmajor Dr. Franz Bäke|