Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Dieter Zinke, askropp and Frech.
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Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 20 Jul 2009 16:09

Oberst Johannes Steinhoff (1913-1994)

In early 1945 Steinhoff transferred to the Jet Experten unit JV 44 then being put together by Adolf Galland. Steinhoff initially acted as recruiting officer for the unit, persuading a number of the best Luftwaffe pilots around to join the unit. On 18 April 1945, after achieving six kills[2] with the unit, Steinhoff's Me-262 suffered a tire blow-out, crashing on take-off. Steinhoff suffered severe burns (spending two years in hospital) which left him visibly scarred despite years of reconstructive surgery. His eyelids were rebuilt by a British surgeon after the war...

Before the tragedy, Steinhoff also known for his "Mensur" scars, a kind that he had from student dueling fencing style back in school time...

Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Steinhoff
http://www.luftwaffe-reich.co.uk/images ... inhoff.jpg
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ ... ?p=3384439
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 20 Jul 2009 16:20

Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel (1916-1982)

In November 1944, he was wounded in the thigh and flew subsequent missions with his leg in a plaster cast...

On 8 February 1945, a 40 mm shell hit his aircraft. He was badly wounded in the right foot and crash landed inside German lines. His life was saved by his observer Dr.med. Ernst Gadermann who stemmed the bleeding, but Rudel's leg was amputated below the knee. He returned to operations on 25 March 1945, claiming 26 more tanks destroyed before the end of the war!

Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Ulrich_Rudel
http://www.cimm.de/Feindflug.htm
http://www.militaryimages.net/forums/sh ... 62&page=29

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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 20 Jul 2009 16:27

SS-Standartenführer Otto Skorzeny (1908-1975)

Otto Skorzeny was born in Vienna into a middle-class Austrian family which had a long history of military service. In addition to his native German, he spoke excellent French and English. In his teens, Otto once complained to his father of the austere lifestyle that his family was suffering from by mentioning he had never tasted real butter in his life due to the depression that plagued Austria after its defeat in World War I. His father prophetically replied, "There is no harm in doing without things. It might even be good for you not to get used to a soft life." Thus his underprivileged upbringing helped make him the feared commando that he became. He was a noted fencer as a university student in Vienna. He engaged in thirteen personal combats. The tenth resulted in a wound that left a dramatic scar - known in academic fencing as a Schmiss (German for "gash") - on his cheek...

Here is the detail :
The scars on Otto Skorzeny's face resulted from the ritual known as the "Mensur", a fencing match considered a rite of passage for German Students that were members of University fraternal organisations. ("Verbindungen", also "Burschenschaften" or "Corps") Before ww2 the vast majority of German Students belonged to such organisations, which were banned by the allies after the war until 1956. Often the facial scars inflicted during the Mensur were considered badges of honor. Walther Schellenberg had a similar scar.
These organisations, and the "Mensur", still exist to this day.

Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Skorzeny
http://belenos.wordpress.com/2008/01/05 ... ramar-sur/
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 7&start=15
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Jul 2009 21:54

General der Panzertruppe Heinrich Eberbach (1895-1992)

During late 1914 Eberbach fought in France as a corporal, by February 1915 he was promoted to Lieutenant. During 1915 he was wounded twice in France, one in 25 September 1915, he severely wounded in the face and lost his nose due to a French bullet (a rubber replacement was made) and was captured by the French in the Champagne south of the Somme. In December 1916 he repatriated to a hospital in Constanze/Switzerland...

On 4 September 1917-11 January 1918 he returned to Germany and transferred to a hospital and convalescent home in Tübingen where he had his nose rebuilt; also assigned to the Replacement Battalion of Infantry Regiment 122...

Source :
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics ... h_Eberbach
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... erbach.jpg
http://www.islandfarm.fsnet.co.uk/Gener ... erbach.htm
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 22 Jul 2009 11:26

Three Gauleiter with the same scar wounds similar with Otto Skorzeny. Maybe they're from the same cause, a fencing battle?

Gauleiter Paul Wegener
Gauleiter Adolf Wagner
Gauleiter Dr. Friedl Rainer

Source :
http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ ... adolf2.jpg
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 7&start=15
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 22 Jul 2009 13:27

SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Wilhelm Mohnke (1911-2001)

He commanded the 2nd Battalion during the Balkans campaign, where he suffered a severe leg injury in a Yugoslavian air attack on 6 April 1941, the first day of the campaign. It was the decision of the medics that his leg would need to be amputated, but Mohnke overrode them. His wound was so grievous that they were still forced to remove part of his foot. During the eight months he was recuperating (due to the severity of his injury), Mohnke was awarded the German Cross in Gold on December 26, 1941...

Forum Staff Mark Rikmenspoel :
Mohnke was out of action for a while, and some believe he became addicted to morphine while in severe pain during his recovery. Sepp Dietrich was always a patron to Mohnke's career. Mohnke was an original member of the LAH from 1933, and had risen to command a company by the 1940 Western Campaign. During that campaign he replaced his wounded battalion commander, and held that command despite being junior for the post...

After recovering from the loss of his foot, Mohnke was named to form and command the newly activated Panzer Abteilung for the LAH. However, during February 1942 he got into a violent argument with SS-FHA chief Hans Jüttner, and was relieved from his command (Ralf Tiemann writes about this in his book on the history of the 7. SS-PR 1). Jüttner had Mohnke sent to a military hospital, essentially for treatment of "temporary insanity" yet a month later, Mohnke had a new command, that of the Feldersatz Bataillon for LAH. I can't confirm how he got the latter post, but my guess is that Dietrich made the arrangements for it. It was certainly Dietrich who saw to it that Mohnke received one of the early German Crosses in Gold awarded, with Mohnke's dated December 26, 1941 (keeping in mind that Mohnke had basically not seen any combat in 1941). Further, I expect Dietrich had a major say in Mohnke, who only had a few weeks of field experience as a battalion commander (and that in 1940) getting command of the newly formed SS-PGR 26 during the summer of 1943, ahead of more combat experienced men of similar rank such as Wilhelm Wiedenhaupt...

A week after Kurt Meyer replaced the fallen Fritz Witt as 12. SS-PD HJ commander, he recommended Mohnke for the Knight's Cross for his leadership of SS-PGR 26 in the opening stages of the Normandy fighting. Dietrich enthusiastically approved the recommendation, and Mohnke's award was approved on July 11, 1944 (Dietrich personally presenting the decoration to Mohnke, and to Karlheinz Prinz who received it the same day). Soon after, Mohnke's regiment was withdrawn to rebuild, and in late August, he led various reforming and training elements of the I. SS-Panzerkorps in successful delaying actions at crucial Seine River crossing points. The corps was running out of officers of Lt. Colonel rank (SS-Ostubaf.) and above, since much of LAH & HJ had been caught in the Falaise pocket, so Mohnke, with only a month and half or so front experience as a regimental commander was appointed LAH commander, succeeding the wounded Teddy Wisch (and temporary replacement Franz Steineck, who had begun the Normany fighting weeks earlier as commander of the heavy artillery battalion of I. SS-Panzerkorps, and thus wasn't experienced enough to be more than an emergency divisional leader)...

Mohnke was supposedly suffered ear damage in an air raid just after the Ardennes Offensive. This may well be what happened, but it is possible other issues made him stay in Berlin in early 1945 (I have NO idea what the truth is, maybe Mohnke was having morphine trouble, or perhaps his drinking bouts played a part, or it is even possible his nerves were shot, as happened to Peiper during 1944. Or maybe he really did have ear damage, but the I. SS-PK veterans were known to cover up unpleasant truths, such as how Hein von Westernhagen shot himself, rather than dying from shrapnel from a stray bomb). Mohnke returned to action in the last week of the war as the battle commander of central Berlin (zone "Zitadelle"), and then survived over a decade in the Soviet Gulag, returning to Germany in late 1955...

So how did he manage to rise to SS-Brigadeführer rank by 1945, and to command a division? As I suggested above, Dietrich apparently thought well of him, and found him good postings a couple of times, and he was in the right place at the right time at the end of August 1944. A few changes in the course of events early on, and Mohnke might be a hardly known figure, if he hadn't got the battalion command in 1940, he might not have been in the place to lose his foot in 1941. He might have died in any number of actions as a company commander, and there is room for plenty of other speculation. But, the above relates how this officer managed to get through the war with relative success, despite his injury on the first day of the Yugoslav campaign.
Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Mohnke
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 28&start=0
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/sh ... 9&page=130
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_ycWcOONdLok/SDUsp ... 20dogs.JPG
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 22 Jul 2009 13:46

SS-Obergruppenführer Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1903-1946)

Six feet four inches tall, weighing 220 pounds, having a powerful build and dark features, with deep scars on both side of his face from his student duelling days. His scars has been quoted by William Stevenson in 1973 :
Ernst Kaltenbrunner was heading in the same direction, disguised as an International Red Cross doctor, if disguise was possible for a man nearly seven feet tall with a face slashed with scars. He knew of plans to use escape routes through the Alps, but he was not sure if his old friend Martin Bormann could help. He had a rendezvous with Adolf Eichmann, the bureaucrat who took the view that the subhuman breeds should be exterminated. His fellow Austrian Otto Skorzeny had already gone to earth in the region. Earlier when Kaltenbrunner had been asked what to do about syphilitic prostitutes, he had said (with all the majesty of the law behind him as Heydrich's successor): "Bury them."


Source :
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GE ... runner.htm
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ernst_Kaltenbrunner
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for- ... p_0001.htm
Book "From Nuremberg To Nineveh" by Mark Turley
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 24 Jul 2009 17:02

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Oberst Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (1907-1944)

In 1943, Stauffenberg was promoted to Oberstleutnant i.G. (lieutenant-colonel of the general staff), and was sent to Africa to join the 10th Panzer Division as its Operations Officer in the General Staff (Ia). On 19 February, Rommel launched his counter-offensive against British, American and French forces in Tunisia. The Axis commanders hoped to break rapidly through either the Sbiba or Kasserine Pass into the rear of the British 1st Army. The assault at Sbiba was halted, so that Rommel concentrated on Kasserine Pass where primarily the Italians in the form of their 7th Bersaglieri Regiment and 131st Centauro Armoured Division had defeated the American defenders. During the fighting, Stauffenberg drove up to be with the leading tanks and troops of the 10th Panzer Division. The division, together with the 21st Panzer Division, took up defensive positions near Mezzouna on 8 April...

While he was driving from unit to unit, directing them, his vehicle was strafed on 7 April, 1943 by British fighter-bombers and he was severely wounded. He spent three months in hospital in Munich, where he was treated by Ferdinand Sauerbruch. Stauffenberg lost his left eye, his right hand, and 2 fingers on his left hand. He jokingly remarked to friends never to have really known what to do with so many fingers when he still had all of them. For his injuries, Stauffenberg was awarded the Wound Badge in Gold on 14 April, 1943 and for his courage the German Cross in Gold on 8 May, 1943...

For rehabilitation, Stauffenberg was sent to his home, Schloss Lautlingen (today a museum), then still one of the Stauffenberg castles in southern Germany...


Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claus_Sche ... auffenberg
Book "Stauffenberg" by Peter Hoffmann
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 25 Jul 2009 17:22

General der Infanterie Ludwig Wolff (1893-1968)
Ludwig Wolff wurde am 26.05.1940 durch eine belgische Nachhut bei Deynze von hinten mit seinem Fahrer vom Krad geschossen. Hierbei erlitt er einen Nackendurchschuss und die schweren Gesichtsverletzungen. Der Fahrer starb...

Daraufhin wurde er in ein Speziallazarett für Gesichts- und Kieferverletzte nach Brüssel transportiert und operiert. Zur weiteren Behandlung kam er dann in die Westdeutschen Kliniken nach Düsseldorf. In der Folge musste er sich noch 47 Operationen aufgrund dieser Verletzung unterziehen...
Note : Below is two pictures of General Wolff before and after he got his facial wounds. Interestingly enough, the first picture was taken on May 1940, so it's shortly before the event!


Source :
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _Wolff.jpg
http://www.historic.de/Militar/Personen ... Ludwig.htm
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 25 Jul 2009 17:42

SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinz von Westernhagen (1911-1945)

An interesting quote from Wilhelm Kiesselbach :
1940: First SS Armored Division, LSSAH: Company Commander - Western Front, (Holland, Belgium, France)
1941: First SS Armored Division, LSSAH: O-1, 1st Battalion - Balkans, Greece
1941: First SS Armored Division, LSSAH: First Special Missions Staff Officer - Russia
1942/43: First SS Armored Division, LSSAH: Commander, Assault Gun Battery - Russia
His younger brother Rolf joins the Assault Gun Battery from an artillery unit in the Waffen SS Division "Das Reich".
Heinz receives a severe head wound during Operation Zitadelle in the Kursk salient (July 1943). 8 months convalescent leave.
1944: First SS Armored Division, LSSAH: Battalion Commander, 101st Heavy Tank - Russia, Normandy - 6 months convalescent leave, (recurring complications of the head injury.)
His brother Rolf joins the 101st Heavy Tank
1944/1945: First SS Armored Division, LSSAH: Battalion Commander, 501st Heavy Tank - Ardennes, Hungary

I am absolutely convinced that, in is heart, Heinz was much, much more a soldier than a National Socialist. His loyalty and commitment were first to his country and secondly to his comrades. On many occasions in the circle of friends he said that, "after this war is won, we have another one on our hands: against the Nazi party." In the 26 letters to his bother Harald he does not mention the party once. They demonstrate what really moved him: The terror and suffering of the war, the dying, his exhaustion, desperation and his determination. Most of all they express his hatred for and fear of the "Red Horde" from whom he must protect Germany. He had experienced what they were capable of and he, like most of the Germans were familiar with the stories of the atrocities committed by them all along the eastern front and towards the end of the war, against millions of German refugees. He once wrote: "When this is over, we are all going to collapse like empty potato sacks." I believe that, at this, the final stage his primary loyalty was to his men - considering the situation, there could not have been anything else. That and total physical and emotional exhaustion...

What happened at the end is telling and, in my opinion represents his final legacy: I had no idea until, about a year ago an American military historian e-mailed me and told me that Heinz had not been killed by a single, small, errand Russian bomb, as I, all of us, had been told all these years. According to him, Heinz had shot himself after having been relieved of his command. Although devastating information, it made sense. It also affected me deeply because it provides the final punctuation of futility to the life of a man who not only had given everything, but had been one of the best, most respected and heroic. Now, as a final consequence he clearly acknowledges that all had been for naught. Agte in his book "Michael Wittman and the Tiger Commanders of the Leibstandarte " perpetuates the bomb story. When I questioned him about that, he claimed he had never even heard of another version. Wolfgang Schneider on the other hand, in his book "Tigers in Combat II" clearly relates the truth: "March 20, 1945: "The battalion commander (worn down by illness) is relieved of his command. During the procedure of handing over his command there is an enemy air raid. According to the official statement, Obersturmbannfuhrer von Westerhagen is killed by an aircraft bomb; but in fact he shoots himself with his own pistol. (He was 34 years old.) Sturmbannfuhrer Kling is appointed to be the new commander." - Reference: Schneider...

When I wrote Mr. Schneider, he quotes 2 witnesses who came forward by name, unfortunately they are both now dead. Nevertheless, I believe him. While Agte has a very personal association with the Leibstandarte, Schneider was and is a historian with a focus on historical correctness. It is my personal opinion that this lame "bomb" fable diminishes Heinz von Westernhagen as a man and a soldier and that he deserves better!

"SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Heinz von Westernhagen received a surprise order to leave his Tiger battalion and join the officers' reserve. With a heavy heart he was forced to hand over his battalion. There was bitterness and disbelief in the battalion staff over this decision." - Reference: Agte.

The background and circumstances of Heinz' relief from command have never been explained and, in my opinion, are highly questionable. Why? He was universally recognized as the superb combat commander of one of Germany's highest regarded medium sized heavy armor units and as an outstanding leader of men. (As a matter of fact, there is no question and it has been acknowledged that it was his leadership and his personality that made the 101st /501st into the formidable fighting unit it became.) Furthermore, tactically there could not have been a worse time, (the Russians were attacking mercilessly), to relieve a proven and beloved combat commander in the middle of an engagement. It makes absolutely no sense - unless Heinz's loyalty to his men went beyond the "required" loyalty to the "Thousand Year Reich"...

It could well have been his debilitating head wound-it also could have been something else. Did he begin to doubt and object to the senseless dying of his men? In my opinion, it was not the bullet that killed him. It was his sense of honor and the commitment he had to his men who had followed him through years of hell. Having to leave them at this, the darkest hour must have been unbearable and unacceptable to this model soldier. His loyalty truly was his honor...

Whatever really happened, clearly, there were a number of very good reasons to hide the truth: Firstly, an attempt had to be made to keep it from his men already deeply shocked at losing their beloved leader who had been with them since the early days. Under the prevailing circumstances, the consequences if they found out could have been disastrous. (Coincidentally, not long afterwards when the time for surrendering had come, Jochen Peiper spoke to them and specifically told them that suicide should not be an option "because the country still needed them.") Secondly, it was considered to be defeatism at its worst and I am convinced that the people involved decided to spread the lie in order to protect Litty, his pregnant wife. Still, they could not even get the story straight. Rolf, his brother, told me that he always thought that the "bomb story" was a very flimsy fabrication, (he, as a matter of fact believes it to be entirely plausible that Heinz was shot by one of the fanatics who were still around and who objected to his point of view.) Furthermore, Heinz's son Heiner told me that he had never heard that version of his father's death. He had always been told that it had been a bullet (!!) from a sniper. I am absolutely convinced that the version of his suicide is true. Beyond that, it makes sense: Heinz had given everything he had. He was finished, emotionally and physically. The debilitating head wound he had received while in command of the assault guns during Operation Zitadelle in Russia bothered him greatly. Rolf told me that in the final months of the war, Heinz regularly had to be flown to Berlin to the hospital for treatment. He could not sleep anymore and had absolutely no appetite-there was nothing left of him and yetÂ…he kept driving himself, kept fighting a war which he must have known could not be won. Under these circumstances and considering his sense of duty, the consequences were inevitable...

Heinz von Westernhagen was a brave and decent man who deserves to be remembered with respect, love and understanding. In a different time and under different circumstances he would have been a hero. He is one of mine!

Source :
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/gen12.htm
http://www.panzerace.net/english/pz_per_wes.asp
http://www.ss501panzer.com/menandunit.htm
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 25 Jul 2009 22:56

Oberstleutnant Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. rer. pol. Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte (1907-1994)

The photo below clearly shows the scarring on his head from the aircraft crash he experienced in February 1943.This was over Elba. Heydte was seriously injured and spent four months in hospital...


Source :
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_ ... der_Heydte
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &p=1261113
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... e#p1135097
http://forum.axishistory.com/search.php?t=44067
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 26 Jul 2009 18:17

Generalmajor Rolf Lippert (1900-1945)

Born on 29 October 1900, Rolf Lippert was an officer cadet in June 1918 and served in the infantry. At the outbreak of World War II, he was a Major and commander of Aufkl. Abt. 216. Promoted to Oberstleutnant on 1 October 1941, Oberst on 1 June 1943 and Generalmajor on 1 January 1945. He fought the entire war in armored or motorized units. We find him in command of Pz.Rgt. "Grossdeutschland" (25 August 1943), Pz.Rgt. 31 (1 November 1943) then 5. Pz.Div. (16 October 1944). He died in action on 1 April 1945. Awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (9 June 1944)...

I could not find his scars or wounds history, only that he died because of his wounds on 1945...

Source :
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1103846
Book "Panzertruppen" by François de Lannoy & Josef Charita
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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 26 Jul 2009 20:39

Hans-Christian Blech (1915-1993)

He was a German film, stage, and television character actor who found success both in his native land and in Hollywood...

He made his earliest film appearances in 1949. Blech was introduced to American audiences in the role of Tiger in 20th Century Fox's Decision Before Dawn. Thereafter, he was frequently seen as military types in such all-star World War II re-creations as The Longest Day (1962) and The Bridge at Remagen (1969)...

He made his English film debut in the 1951 'Decision Before Dawn'. In this and many of his other Hollywood films, he played a German soldier. Indeed, he actually fought on the Eastern Front in World War II, where he acquired his famous facial scars...


Source :
http://movies.amctv.com/person/6727/Han ... ch/details
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Christian_Blech
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &start=135
http://daveswarmovieworld.blogspot.com/ ... blech.html

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Re: Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 27 Jul 2009 14:50

Oberstabsarzt Dr. med. Ernst Gadermann (1913-1973)

A Luftwaffe Medical Officer. In the attached picture he's wearing the "Geschwader Immelmann" cuffband. In retrospect, Ernst Gadermann was of course no 'ordinary' doctor as an examination of the awards on his tunic will testify!

Oberstabsarzt Dr. med. Ernst Gadermann (born 25 December 1913 in Wuppertal – died 26 November 1973 in Hamburg) was German World War II doctor in the Sanitätsdienst . After World War II he became a well known cardiologist...

During World War II he flew more than 850 combat missions as aerial gunner in the Junkers Ju 87 [1]. From May 1944 until his last mission on 9 February 1945 he flew with the most decorated German serviceman of the war, Hans-Ulrich Rudel. On this last mission he saved Rudel's life by pulling him from their severely damaged Ju 87 and applying first aid. Rudel's lower leg had been almost shot off, but he managed to land the aircraft before losing consciousness...

Gadermann was chief of the 1972 Summer Olympics sports medicine faculty. He died of heart attack on 26 November 1973 in Hamburg on his way to a lecture...

So many pictures showed the same pattern of scars, and I've often readt that this usually caused by mensur duel...


Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Gadermann
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/uniform ... index.html
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ ... ?p=3384439
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Mensur (Student Duel)

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 27 Jul 2009 15:05

A form of noble duel – mensur fencing – was widespread in Germany during the 16th century among young people, particularly in the student community. (The word originated from German Mensurfechten – fencing in confined space). Duelists wore protective eyepieces with metallic netting. The chest and neck were protected by a leather chest guard and a thick scarf. They wielded prototypes of the saber – "schlagers" with sharply pointed ends. Opponents faced each other and took turns at hits, aiming for the only unprotected body part - the opponent's face. When fatigue set in or one of the opponents let down his guard, his opponent broke through his parries, leaving a cut on his face, which eventually scarred over. As we know, scars are said to give a man's face character. As a result, both duelists left satisfied: the winner with a sense of triumph, and the loser with a sign of courage on his face...

Surprisingly enough, this type of fencing, which cannot be considered duel or sport fencing, endures in the student community of Germany to this day. The modern mensur fencing (also known as academic fencing) cannot be called a sport proper since it has no winners or losers. At the same time, it is not a duel since it is not used to resolve any disputes. Mensur fencing does not rule out the possibility of sustaining injuries. However, in this case inflicting injuries is not an end in itself. Neither the government nor the church has banned mensur fencing in Germany. What is more, the church sanctioned it in 1988, while the government lifted its ban in 1953, which has been in place since 1933...

The modern statute of mensur fencing states: "...the aim of mensur is to promote courage and self-confidence, and the return of the medieval tradition is no proof of its reactionary tendencies, but merely a tribute to the ancestors". As for the technique of handling the weapon and rules of the fight, a distinctive feature of the art of mensur fighting until the mid-19th century had been the fact that it was mobile. The distance between the opponents was such that they could hit each other only by thrusting. Each of them had the right to defend himself not with the weapon alone, but could also dodge the weapon. The duel continued until the opponents drew first blood. In 1850 new mensur fencing rules were introduced. The distance was reduced, and fencing was no longer mobile, but static. It was forbidden to retreat or dodge with the torso. Only the weapon could be used to parry the attack. Yet, like before, the bout continued until the opponents drew first blood, that is, it had characteristics of a duel designed to resolve a dispute...

The weapon wielded by the fencers is called the schlager. Essentially it is a "saber", but if translated verbatim, it can be called a "hitting stick", which is also synonymous with the German term for tennis racket. The modern German word for "saber" is "sabel". The schlager is a heavy weapon, three times the weight of the modern sport saber...

In the 1890s, an estimated 8,000 student rapier duels were fought each year at German universities, students trained daily in the practice room in their corporation houses. Though they wore protective clothes, their faces were left unprotected in the Mensur since a scar on the cheek was considered proof of “extraordinary courage and bravery” and an ability “to bear both physical and emotional pain”...

If challenge, students were obliged to fence in Mensuren against other fraternities and to challenge anybody who had impugned their honor or that of their corporation. Failure to do so resulted in the exclusion from the student fraternity, as did “unmanly behaviour during the duel”...

For a German, the badge of courage was the duelling scar mostly on the left side of the face, where blows would fall from a right-handed duellist. This was the up-market tattoo of the day borne by a generation of doctors, jurists, professors and officials, certifying the owner’s claim to manly stature and cultivated rank. Motivation to obtain the duelling scar that it was certain to attract the pretty girls because it signified virility and breeding. Schmisse were the products of male vanity and were regarded as jewellery because they guaranteed the wearer an active love life for the rest of their days...

Possible Mensur duelist :
Reichpost minister Franz Seldte
Dr. Jacob 'Jay' Katz
Gauleiter Paul Wegener
Gauleiter Adolf Wagner
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs (Corps "Suevia" zu Heidelberg im KSCV)
Oberst Johannes Steinhoff
SS-Standartenführer Otto Skorzeny
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei Hermann Behrends
General der Panzertruppe Dr. med. dent. Karl Mauss, Burschenschaft "Germania" Hamburg
Oberst Dr. iur. Ernst Kupfer, Burschenschaft "Alemannia" zu Heidelberg
Other Prominent Persons ??


Source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_fencing
http://www.fencingfuture.org/cntnt/eng/ ... rnoe_.html
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &sk=t&sd=a
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ ... ?p=3384439
http://www.uni-paderborn.de/uploads/pic ... __1888.jpg
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Last edited by AlifRafikKhan on 27 Jul 2009 16:50, edited 3 times in total.

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