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Oblt. Graf von BLUECHER
Old 07-26-2003, 07:50 PM   #1
Eric Queen
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Default Oblt. Graf von BLUECHER

I have always liked this original [ Passbild ] from Oblt. Wolfgang
( Henner Peter Lebrecht ) Graf von Bluecher. He had ( for me ) what was an interesting history. Coming from an aristocratic background, he joined the Calvary ( Reserves ) in 1934 and eventually volunteer for the Luftwaffe ( Paratroopers ) in late 1939. He completed jump training in early 1940, and made the jump near the bridges at Dordrecht ( Operation "GELB" ) as a Platoon Leader ( 3./Zug ) with 2./ FJR 1. Originally, only the 3rd Company, under Oblt. von Brandis ( ex Army Para ) were intended to engage and secure the bridge. But, they met fierce resistance in heavy street fighting on the way there ( in fact, Olt. von Brandis was killed during this ), so, Oberst Brauer ordered all elements of I./FJR1 to reach and secure the bridge. In the process of doing this, the 2nd Company, and especially Graf von Bluecher himself, distinguished themselves. Graf von Bluecher was awarded the Knights Cross on 24.5.40 ( which he wears in this photo ) for this, and his platoons, contribution towards reaching and eventually securring the Dordrecht bridges. Tragically, he was killed just a year later ( 21.5.41 ) on Kreta ( near Iraklion ). Its interesting, and very sad, that two of his brothers ( Lebrecht and Hans Joachim ) were also killed on Crete.

In a way, it kind of reminds me of the Sulivan Brothers story ( 5 brothers kllled at the same time on the same ship )
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Old 07-27-2003, 07:42 AM   #2
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Im curious, is that a hole in his helmet???
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:20 AM   #3
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It's probably a bit of dirt on the print, or a scratch. It could even be a speck of dust on the scanner.

It was indeed a very sad story: three brothers killed in the same battle. In a sense, it harks back to earlier epoques, when the casualty lists of the great European battles of the Middle Ages to the 19th century often included several members of the same aristocratic dynasty. There is another well-known photo of Henner Graf von Blucher wearing the extremely rarely seen Luftwaffe crusher cap, inspired by the Old Style Field Caps worn by Heer officers. Thanks for sharing the image, Eric. I hope that it sparks off an interesting discussion, a discussion like old times.


Prosper

Last edited by Prosper Keating; 07-27-2003 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 07-29-2003, 05:29 AM   #4
Óscar G
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Thanks for the picture, Eric... Derpa´s and von Blücher brothers´events have ever left a profound impression on me.
It´s said that Wolfgang´s platoon was surrounded and shattered by the "Black Watch" near Heraklion. Leberecht (19 years old), the second brother, rode on horse towards his brother´s position carrying them ammunition attached to the saddle. He got it but was killed. Wolfang and the rest of survivors in the platoon were killed the day after. The youngest brother, Hans-Joachim (17) was also killed but his body was never found.
This depicts perfectly what James Lucas argues about the "reputation of Fallschirmjäger for fighting ability, staunchness in defence, comradely self-sacrifice and unit loyalty to a degree found in only the finest of élite troops"
This is a link related to them:
On the other hand, searching info about von Blücher brothers I´ve found this in Greg Way´s website: "Another example of this, is the story of the Schneider twins. Both were members of 3./FJR5 whilst it was in Tunisia in early 1943. During the battle for Ridge 331 near Bou-Arada both were killed. One was killed coming to the assistance of the other mortally wounded brother. Both were aged 17"
Regards. Óscar

Last edited by Óscar G; 07-30-2003 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:27 PM   #5
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Which brothers' ghost is said to still ride the area by the locals?
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Old 07-30-2003, 04:04 PM   #6
Óscar G
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It´s said that it´s the second brother´s ghost (Leberecht). I don´t know anything else about this "legend". Beevor states that some people living near the place where the brothers died, used to see a rider´s ghost. They believed it was a British officer´s ghost .

Regards. Óscar
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Old 07-30-2003, 05:57 PM   #7
Ian Tannahill
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Giday Eric and Oscar,

Firstly thank you Eric for posting this fine photograph of Wolfgang von Blucher. I saw the photo listed on ebay a couple of months ago and am glad Eric that you were obviously the successful bidder.

Oscar, has mentioned the Schneider twins who were killed on Crete. Lets not forget that Alfred Genz had two brothers who were killed on Crete. Unfortunately, I don't have my notes with me, but I will post the names of the two brothers tomorrow.

Because of the death of his two brothers, Alfred Genz was subsequently given a number of non-combative assignments, (reminds me of the film, Saving Private Ryan. However, Alfred Genz was later able to have this order overturned.

All the best,


Ian
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Old 07-30-2003, 06:17 PM   #8
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Hello Ian:
You are right. Alfred Genz´s brothers were KIA in Crete: Günther Genz (FJR3 ) and Harald Genz (2./LL.St.Rgt). You may have more info about them...
Alfred became the only surviving male of his family. After overturning that order commented above, he received the order to re-build I/LL.St.Rgt after its losses in Crete.
Regards. Óscar
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Old 08-01-2003, 02:22 AM   #9
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Hello Oscar,

As you have rightly pointed out, Alfred Genz was withdrawn from active military service due to the death of his two brothers Günther and Harold, on Crete and because he was the last surviving male in his family.

In the absence of Major Koch, who was recovering from wounds he had received during the invasion of Crete, Oberleutnant Genz was on 1 August, 1941, temporarily assigned the task of rebuilding and training the 1st battalion of the Sturm Regiment.

On 1 January, 1942, Alfred Genz was transferred to the Luftwaffe School for Ground Combat at Groß-Born where he was both the officer in charge of training cources for future company commanders and an instructor.

Following completion of a battalion commanders course at the Panzertruppen School at Wunstorf in June 1942, Alfred Genz was assigned various staff and training positions, including a position as an instructor at the Luftwaffe School for Ground Combat at La Courtine, as well as a stint as the officer in charge of ordnance on General Student's staff.

Despite previous requests, it was not until 1 December, 1943, and a general decline in the fortunes of the Third Reich, that Alfred Genz was granted permission to return to active duty. So it was that Hauptmann Alfred Genz was given command of the 3rd Battalion of Fallschirmjäger Regiment 12.

Does anyone have any additional information about Gänther and/or Harold Genz?

All the best,

Ian
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