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Fritz Darges

fritz darges, fritz darges memoirs
Fritz Darges 8 February 1913 – 25 October 2009 was an Obersturmbannführer lieutenant colonel in the Waffen-SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross He served as an adjutant to Martin Bormann and later was a personal adjutant to Adolf Hitler

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 World War II
    • 21 Dismissal
    • 22 Service in the Eastern Front
  • 3 Post-war
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links

Early life

He was born in Dülseberg near Salzwedel After attending school, Darges volunteered to join the SS in April 1933 By 1934 he had been selected to become an officer and attended the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz After graduation in April 1935 he was promoted to Untersturmführer second lieutenant In 1936 he was named Adjutant to Reichsleiter Martin Bormann In May 1937 he joined the NSDAP Nazi Party, and in September of that same year he was promoted to Obersturmführer first lieutenant

World War II

In October 1939 he returned to the Waffen-SS as a company commander in the Deutschland and Der Führer Regiments in the SS-VT He fought in the Battle of France and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class in July 1940 and promoted to Hauptsturmführer captain

Darges was then posted to the newly formed SS Division Wiking, took part in Operation Barbarossa and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st class in August 1942 In March 1943 he became a personal adjutant to Adolf Hitler He was assigned to the Führerbegleitkommando, an SS bodyguard unit which provided personal security for Hitler He was promoted to Obersturmbannführer lieutenant colonel in January 1944

Dismissal

On 18 July 1944, during a strategy conference in the Wolfsschanze, a fly began buzzing around the room, allegedly landing on Hitler's shoulder and on the surface of a map several times Irritated, Hitler ordered Darges to dispatch the nuisance Darges suggested that, as it was an airborne pest, the job should go to the Luftwaffe adjutant, Nicolaus von Below Hitler took Darges aside, dismissed him on the spot and had him transferred to the Eastern Front Another version of this story claims Darges was merely snickering as Hitler looked up from the map Yet another version of Darges' dismissal and transfer by Hitler involves his refusal to marry Eva Braun's sister Gretl Braun, who was pregnant at the time

Service in the Eastern Front

In August 1944 Darges returned to the SS Wiking to replace Johannes Mühlenkamp as the commander of the 5th SS Panzer Regiment It was in command of this unit that Darges was awarded the Knight's Cross for his actions on the night of 4 January 1945 The division was advancing towards Bicske when it was stopped by the 41st Guards Rifle Division of the Soviet 4th Guards Army Darges initially probed the Soviet line with a mixed Panzer and Panzer Grenadier Kampfgruppe and succeeded in breaking through the line at dawn Subsequently he ambushed and destroyed a Soviet task force, knocking out four 122mm guns, four 76mm anti-tank guns, twelve trucks and a number of supply vehicles He then attacked Regis Castle, forcing the garrison to retreat Darges then found himself surrounded by Soviet reinforcements and was forced to repel several attacks Three days later when they were relieved by another Kampfgruppe from SS Wiking, they left behind more than thirty destroyed Soviet tanks

Post-war

Not much is known about his activities after Germany's surrender He had a career as a car salesman after the war He appeared in the 2000 documentary Hitlers Krieg im Osten, credited as himself

Shortly before his death, Darges stated that he found Hitler to be a "genius" and that "I served him and would do it all again now" Darges authored a manuscript recounting his experiences as a member of Hitler's inner circle, with instructions that it be published after his death It is hoped that these memoirs will shed light on Hitler's personal involvement in the Holocaust and other topics

Notes

  1. ^ SS #722220
  2. ^ a b c Mitcham 2007, p 260
  3. ^ a b c d Hamilton 1984, p 143
  4. ^ NSDAP #4166963
  5. ^ Hoffmann 2000, pp 55, 56
  6. ^ Destined to be wrecked just two days later by a bomb planted by Col von Stauffenberg
  7. ^ Williamson 2006, p 251
  8. ^ O'Donnell 2001, p 208
  9. ^ Mitcham 2007, p 243
  10. ^ "Fritz Darges 1913–2009" Retrieved 2012-01-07 
  11. ^ a b Hall, Allan 30 October 2009 "Memoirs of Hitler aide could finally end Holocaust claims" The Daily Telegraph London Retrieved 2009-10-30 

References

  • Hamilton, Charles 1984 Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol 1 R James Bender Publishing ISBN 0-912138-27-0 
  • Hoffmann, Peter 2000 Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Führer 1921-1945 New York: Da Capo Press ISBN 978-0-30680-947-7 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W 2007 The German Defeat in the East, 1944–45 Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books ISBN 978-0-8117-3371-7 
  • Williamson, Gordon 2006 The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror New York: Barnes & Noble ISBN 978-0-7607-8168-5 
  • O'Donnell, James P 2001 The Bunker: The History of the Reich Chancellery Group Da Capo Press ISBN 9780786743889 

Further reading

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer 2000 Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile in German Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6 

External links

  • Fritz Darges' obituary in German

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    29.10.2014


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