SS-Begleitkommando des Führers
|SS-Begleitkommando des Führers; Führerbegleitkommando|
|Active||1932 - 1945|
SS-Begleitkommando des Führers (literally: "SS Escort Command of the Führer"), later known as the Führerbegleitkommando (Escort Command of the Führer; FBK) was originally an eight-man SS squad assigned with protecting the life of Adolf Hitler during the early 1930s. It was expanded and remained responsible for Hitler's personal protection until 30 April 1945.
It was formed on 29 February 1932 to protect Hitler while he travelled outside Munich and the borders of Bavaria in Germany. In 1934, the Führerschutzkommando replaced the SS-Begleitkommando des Führers for Hitler's overall protection throughout Germany. The Führerschutzkommando was officially renamed the Reichssicherheitsdienst (Reich Security Service; RSD) on 1 August 1935.
Expansion and renamed
The Begleitkommando des Führers was expanded and renamed the Führerbegleitkommando (Escort Command of the Führer; FBK). The additional members for the FBK were drawn from 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Hitler used them for guard duty, but also as orderlies, valets, waiters, and couriers. The FBK continued under separate command and remained responsible for Hitler's personal protection. The FBK accompanied Hitler on all his travels and was always present at the several Führerhauptquartiere (Führer Headquarters) located in various parts of occupied Europe.
The last FBK commander was SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Schädle who was appointed on 5 January 1945, after the dismissal of Bruno Gesche. Thereafter, Schädle and the FBK accompanied Hitler (and his entourage) into the bunker complex under the Reich Chancellery gardens in the central government sector of Berlin. By 23 April 1945, Schädle commanded approximately 30 members of the unit who stood guard therein for Hitler until his suicide on 30 April 1945.
- Kurt Gildisch (1899 - 1956)
- Franz Schädle (1906 - 1945)
- Bruno Gesche (1905 - 1980)
- Erich Kempka (1910 - 1975)
- August Körber (1905 - ?)
- Adolf Dirr (1907 - ?)
- Willy Herzberger (1895 - ?)
- Bodo Gelzenleuchter (1905 - ?)
- Hoffmann, Peter (2000) . Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Führer 1921-1945. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-30680-947-7.
- Joachimsthaler, Anton (1999) . The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, the Evidence, the Truth. Trans. Helmut Bögler. London: Brockhampton Press. ISBN 978-1-86019-902-8.
- Kempka, Erich (2010) . I was Hitler's Chauffeur. London: Frontline Books-Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-1-84832-550-0.
- O'Donnell, James P. (1978). The Bunker: The History of the Reich Chancellery Group. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-25719-7.
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