The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Gerhard Kegler, the general, who dared to disobey Himmler – Part III

1

The Woldenberg Division and Himmler’s Order to Defend Landsberg

Excerpt Taken from the book ‘The Siege of Küstrin: Gateway to Berlin 1945’ by Tony Le Tissier, Publishers: Pen and Sword Books

If you missed reading the related posts, go back to May 13 and 22.

Lieutenant Rudolf Schröter, whom we last encountered west of Landsberg on the morning of 31 January, was completely unaware that he and his 400 recruits were part of the ‘Woldenberg’ Division,’ as he related:

Field Commanders discussing a Desperate Situation - Photo Credit: softairmania.it

Field Commanders discussing a Desperate Situation – Photo Credit: softairmania.it

On the morning of the 31st January my unit rejoined the Königstiger SS-sergeant-maior about 4 kilometres west of Landsberg in the Wepritz area. As we were still without a super­ior command or orders, I had us retreat westwards.

Beyond Dühringshof I was met by a car with a general, who received my report, did not introduce himself nor did he name his formation. He ordered me to deploy left of the road to Diedersdorf. My left-hand neighbor would be Second- Lieutenant Clemens’s unit.

When we stopped a Russian armored reconnaissance vehicle with infantry fire, the soldiers jumped over the sides with a blanket that was supposed to protect them from our fire. That night the first Russian attack occurred with more on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd February. Small enemy breaches were driven back with counterattacks by the exemplary fighting recruits.

On the 3rd February I was summoned to a conference by the divisional staff in Vietz town hall. Here for the first time I discovered that my unit belonged to the ‘Woldenberg’ Division. The divisional commander, Major-General Kegler, described the situation.

The division was surrounded by Russian troops. Vietz station on the south-eastern edge of the town was in enemy hands. Blumberg was also occupied by the Russians. Two enemy infantry regiments were at Gross Cammin. Communication with Küstrin was severed. Re-supply was only possible by air. His decision was to leave.

The orders handed out by the divisional chief of staff for my unit and that of Second-Lieutenant Clemens were not possible of execution or would entail heavy losses. I therefore rose to protest and suggested that we should first disengage ourselves from the attacking enemy so that the immovable heavy weapons and especially our infantry could get out of the diffi­cult terrain and deep snow.

As the general declared to the chief of staff that this was also his opinion, the following radio message arrived from headquar­ters 9th Army: ‘Report situation and intentions. Hold Vietz.’ Major-General Kegler promptly rescinded his orders for the division’s withdrawal.

My Uncles Günther and Gerhard Kegler at the Grave of their Brother in 1940

My Uncles Günther and Gerhard Kegler at the Grave of their Brother in 1940

Back in my position and after speaking to my left-hand neigh­bor, both of us fearful of having pointless high casualties among our recruits, I decided to convince the divisional commander that he should stick to his plan to withdraw, and that in any case I would decide according to my conscience. I returned to Vietz.

 To be continued …

One thought on “Gerhard Kegler, the general, who dared to disobey Himmler – Part III

  1. Pingback: Gerhard Kegler, the general, who dared to disobey Himmler – Part VI | The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Chocoviv’s Lifestyle Blog

Mommy blogger, who loves to share what she loves!

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Floweryflower

If you like Flowers, Nature, Photography and pretty quotes, Welcome!

Dave Bikes America

One man, two wheels, Pacific to Atlantic

Elizabeth Gauffreau

Fiction Author

euredurchlaucht

Bilder, Eindrücke und Blödeleien

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Vigilant Knight

Exploring the history!

GenTraveling

Collecting stories from family historians who are climbing their family trees and planning trips to where their ancestors actually lived!

Educated Unemployed Indian

Trying to benefit from education & (a little) from unemployment!

tanja britton

Lives and writes at the foot of Pikes Peak

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

Poetry and Prose

From soul to soul

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

DaleDucatte.com

"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Deepa Kadavakat

Celebrate the ordinary & beautiful self

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, nature, photography and a creative life

Backyard Photographer

Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time

PETER GRAARUP WESTERGAARD

Independent blog about literature, philosophy and society in words and images

Floresphotographic

Flower & Nature Photography.

The Hejhej blog

Another blog that you dont need

The Flowers of Art

In the kingdom of life, with the strokes of the brush, the bow and the pen, artists have sowed their hearts to contrive, fields rivalling in beauty the Garden of Eden.

The Timeless Treasure

A Sneak Peek of My Life !!!

Theresa J. Barker

literary & science fiction writer

Jupp Kappius

Zur Erinnerung an Josef "Jupp" Kappius

Calmgrove

Exploring the world of ideas through books

A Walk to Stressfree Life

be thankful for this blessed life!!!

Karolina Górska & Piotr Jurkiewicz

fotografia z naszej perspektywy

Melissa Blue Fine Art

Celebrating the Healing Beauty of Nature

The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

The Back Road Chronicles

Curious soul...and it makes me wanna take the back roads!

MaritimeMac

Go Explore

Inspire me

Love, Relationship, Lifestyle, Purpose, Marriage & Family

Travelling around the world

Traveller, photography

Intrepid Venture

Exploring the realms of the arts, sciences and politics

Megha Bose

A peek into Megha's mind

natureliteratureculturejournal

This is a journal about the things that inspire me: a beautiful landscape, a good book, a fascinating museum.

Candid Chicana

Chicano Culture, Inspiration, Self-Development

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Plants and Beyond

Green Plants Based Living and Gardening

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number

Think Ahead

Des' Online Journal

%d bloggers like this: