Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 2
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Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 2, commanded by Dr. Franz Bäke, was a late World War II Wehrmacht armoured division. It was formed in March 1945 of the remnants of other divisions and stationed with a home base at Wehrkreis XX. It was moved to Slovakia in 1945 where it fought its only battles (Slovakia and the upper Danube). It was later disbanded.
The Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 2 was formed in March 1945 from the Replacement and Training Brigade Feldherrnhalle, which had been forced out of Danzig early that year. The new division was sent to join the 8th Army which was located in Slovakia at the time. In April 1945 the division fought its only battles, in Slovakia and on the upper Danube.
On May 8, 1945, the division was given the order to surrender. The commanding officer, Major General Butler, from an American unit was contacted about accepting the surrender of the division. The Americans desired to hand the German troops over to the Soviets in the area, however the Germans fooled the Butler by taking him to see a HQ which the Germans placed forward of their main lines. This allowed the German unit to move into the captivity of the Americans as they headed in the opposite direction.
The Division was composed of many units. Despite the amount of units, or remainder of units, the division was barely at regimental strength.
- Panzer Regiment Feldherrnhalle 2; Panzer Grenadier Regiment Feldherrnhalle 2; Panzer Artillery Regiment Feldherrnhalle 2; 13th Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion; Tank Destroyer Battalion Feldherrnhalle 2; Motorized Engineer Battalion Feldherrnhalle 2; Motorized Signal Battalion Feldherrnhalle 2; Army Flak Artillery Battalion Feldherrnhalle
These are only approximate numbers. The numbers given are the amount of manpower that made up a division and regiment under ideal conditions. As you can see the huge gap in the amount of manpower a division is supposed to have and the amount of manpower the Panzer Division Feldherrnhalle 2 had.
- Officers 400
- Officials 100
- Non-Commissioned Officers 2000
- Enlisted Men/Crews 9300
- Total Strength 11800
- Machine Guns 220
- Mortars 50
- Infantry Guns 10
- 37mm Pak Guns 50
- Howitzers & Cannons 28
- 20mm Flak guns 12
- Armored Scout Cars 100
- Tanks 324
- Trucks 1400
- Passenger Cars 560
- Motorcycles 1300
- Sidecars 700
- Tanks 90-190
- Infantry 3049
- Dr. Franz Bäke's (1898-1978) profession was dentistry. He joined the German Army in 1915, his unit was the 53rd Infantry Regiment. By the time he was discharged, 1919, he had risen to the rank of sergeant. In 1937 he was recalled and was promoted several times until the end of World War II.. Was considered a very brave officer having, himself, knocked out at least three Soviet tanks in battle.
Held the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, the second most prestigious award in the German military.
- The Knight's Cross was a medal awarded to soldiers in all branches of the German military. It was awarded for bravery in combat. The Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves was the second level of this award and was awarded for further acts of bravery. The third stage of this award, which Dr. Franz Bäke held, was the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. It was also awarded for even further acts of bravery. This is award is the second most prestigious award in the German military. The highest is the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. Only 27 people were awarded with this prestigious award. There was another higher award known the Knight's Cross with Gold Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. There was to be twelve of these awards given to the bravest of the Germans after a victory, but only one was awarded.
- 1937 recalled as second lieutenant of reserves
- 1939 promoted to lieutenant of reserves
- 1941 promoted to captain of reserves
- 1942 promoted to major of reserves
- 1943 promoted to lieutenant colonel of reserves
- 1944 promoted to colonel of reserves
- 1945 promoted to major general of reserves
- 1940-1941 commander of 1st company, 6th Reconnaissance Battalion
- 1941-1942 1a of 11th Panzer Regiment
- 1941-1942 commander of I/11th Panzer Regiment
- 1942-1943 commander of II/11th Panzer Regiment
- 1944 commander of 106th Panzer Brigade Feldherrnhalle
- Was not formally assigned commander of the 13th Panzer Division until March 9, 1945
- Book review of "The Panzer Legions: A Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of World War II and Their Commanders"
- The Knight's Cross
- Surrender of the Division
- Approximate statistics for all major units of the German military
- Picture of Major General Franz Bäke and other generals