Kämpfe Helmut

Publié le par Roger Cousin

Kämpfe Helmut Helmut Kämpfe (1909-1944) was a Sturmbannführer (Major), in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II. He was also one of only 631 men to be awarded the rare Close Combat Clasp in Gold. Kämpfe, the commander of the III. Battalion, 4th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Der Führer, 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, was captured by the French Resistance on 9 June 1944 by a group headed by Jean Canou. Canou then placed him in the custody of Georges Guingouin. The following day Kämpfe was executed on the orders of Guingouin and his body was burned.

When it was clear that Kämpfe had been kidnapped, the Germans sent out forces to try to locate him. Among these was a unit under the command of Adolf Diekmann, I. Battalion, 4th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment. On 10 June 1944, Diekmann was given information regarding Kämpfe by two members of the Milice, French Vichy-controlled paramilitaries which collaborated with the Germans. Kämpfe was the highest-ranking officer ever to be captured by the Resistance. His execution was to be a big event. That same day, Diekmann's battalion went mistakenly to nearby Oradour-sur-Glane and massacred most of its inhabitants. The massacre was, according to Diekmann's superior, Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding, an act outside of his order and would therefore have subjected Diekmann to a court martial if he had survived the following battles in Normandy.

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