Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GENERAL DER FALLSCHIRMTRUPPEN HERMANN-BERNHARD RAMCKE

Herman Bernhard Ramcke - Commander of the Ramcke Fallschirm Brigade

Born on January 24th 1889 into a family of farmers. He decided not to follow in the family trade but instead joined the Navy. Ramcke fought on the Western Front in WW1 as a Marine Infantryman. He took part in the fighting at Flanders and was awarded both Iron Crosses. In 1918 he was awarded the Imperial Prussian Service Cross and promoted to Leutnant. He ended WW1 as an Oberleutnant and remained in the post war 100 000 man army of the Reichswehr.

Died: 4.7.1968 in Kappeln - Northern Germany

Promotions:
  • Hauptmann: 1.2.1927
  • Major: 1.9.1934
  • Oberstleutnant: 16.3.1937
  • Oberst:
  • Generalmajor: 1.8.1941
  • Generalleutnant:
  • General der Fallschirmtruppen: 14.9.1944
Commands:
  • Commander of Sturm-Regiment in Crete (May 1941)
  • Commander of Fallschirm-Brigade in North Africa
  • Commander of Fallschirmjäger-Division 2 (13.2.1943-8.9.1943 and 1.6.1944-11.8.1944)
  • Commander of Festung Brest (11.8.1944-19.9.1944)

Awards:
In WWI:
  • 1914 Iron Cross 2nd class
  • 1914 Iron Cross 1st class
  • 17/04/1916 Iron Cross 2nd class
  • 27/01/1917 Iron Cross 1st class
  • 20/04/1918 Golden Military Merit Cross
  • (the equivalent of the Pour le Merite for enlisted ranks)
  • // Wound Badge in Gold (1918)
  • // Cross of Honor

In WWII:
  • 1939 Bar to Iron Cross 2nd class
  • 1939 Bar to Iron Cross 1st class
  • 01/08/1940 Parachute Qualification Badge
  • Knight´s Cross of the Iron Cross: 21.8.1941.
  • Knight´s Cross with Oak leaves: 13.11.1942
  • Knight´s Cross with Oak leaves and Swords: 19.9.1944
  • Knight´s Cross with Oak leaves, swords and Diamonds: 19.9.1944.
  • Ärmelband "Kreta".
  • Armed Forces Long Service Awards
  • Cross of Honor 1914-1918

Notes:
  • On july 19th 1940, Ramcke was transferred to the 7th Flieger-Division and on july 31st joined the Fallschirmtruppen and was awarded the Fallschirmjäger qualification badge at the age of 51
  • The only Knight´s Cross with oak leaves, swords and diamonds to a member of Fallschirmtruppen was to General Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke. Not for his airbone actions, but whilst in command of Festung Brest on the french coast after the D-Day landings, when it came under siege from allied troops. Finally the Fortress surrendered on 20 th september 1944.
  • American POW (20.9.1944-23.6.1951). Ramcke was shipped to the USA as a POW and later to England and France. Here he managed to escape from captivity but soon gave himself up. He was given an additional 5 years sentence, which was subsequently droped
  • Ramcke's only wish whilst in captivity was that his men were fairly treated. He had always been affectionately called "Papa" by his men.
  • On his release, Ramcke returned to Germany and died on July 4th 1968 at Kappeln in Northern Germany.

General Ramcke captured by the US-Army on 20 september, 1944 in Brest.
  
Thanks to Francisco de Asís Romero y Medina and Alessandro Vecchio

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