German POW's captured in Italy

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by clark136, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. clark136

    clark136 Junior Member

    Hello everyone,

    Doing some reading of my Great Uncles affects which include letters which cooberate a story he once told of how at Cassino in 1944 whilst serving with 2 DCLI he was sent forward alone to recce an area at the later stags of the battle by his company commander (Capt. Notley) and came across a German Officer who told him of caves below full of injured paratroopers of the Hermann Goering Division. The officer along with the casulaties were of course subsequently taken prisoner.

    Amongst his affects there is a photocopy of a page from a book with the name Dr Maximilian Becker underlined - who i have since found out was a captain (surgeon) in the Hermann Goering Div.

    I'd like to put 2 and 2 together and suggest that this is the Doctor my great uncle came across and accepted the surrender of.

    Finally my question...

    Is there a way that I can find out when and where Dr Becker was captured, so I can subsequently find the war diary entry for that day?


    Many thanks
    Chris
    (Frank - if you are reading this, i still haven't got my pass to go to Cassino with you next May, but i'm working on it)
     
    Seroster and HA96 like this.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    2 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 170/1379
    Description:
    2 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    Date: 1944 Feb.- June
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    2 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 170/1380
    Description:
    2 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
    Date: 1944 July - Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    TD
     
    HA96 likes this.
  3. HA96

    HA96 Member

    if you, however want to go the other way and try to find Dr. Becker or relatives in Germany, I might be able to point you in the right direction. Like the archives in Kew, archives in Berlin od Freiburg charge a service fee.
    Stefan.
     
  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Chris.

    Fascinating. Keep plugging away for that pass. Cassino is awesome.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  5. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Chris,
    I do have a book that is called, The History of the Fallschirm Panzerkorps Herman Goring by Franz Kurowski. It may be of some use? I will have a butchers, & get back to you if so. Gary Tankard may be able to help out if he sees this thread. I will give him a nudge.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
  6. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey Patron

    Is this Dr Maximilian J Becker, one of the German officers involved in evacuating religious artifacts from the Monastery?


    Lee
     
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: The Battle of Monte Cassino

    " Captain Maximilian Becker, a surgeon in the Hermann Göring Panzer Division "

    Theres also this:
    Nationality: Maximilian J J T Becker | The National Archives
    Reference: FO 298/36
    Description:
    Nationality: Maximilian J J T Becker
    Date: 1946-1951
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: File No. 25/2/14/48
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Monte Cassino (Julius Schlegel & Maximilian Becker) - Axis History Forum
    I can not find anything about Becker after the war. He was a British citizen (his mother was British) but was in Germany when the war broke out

    Intriguing
    TD
     
  8. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Member

    Although you can never say never and I'd love the story to be true, I'd say the odds of your Great Uncle accepting the surrender of Becker himself, I think the odds are against it.

    The moving of the monastery's collection by Schlegel and Becker took place from October - December 1943 and the HG Panzer Division was not near Cassino in the latter stages of the battle (I assume we are talking May 1944). And despite the division's full name (Fallschirm-Panzer-Division 'Hermann Göring') the only 'real' fallschirmjäger that were in the division were those of FJR 5. This regiment was that was renamed Jäger-Regiment Hermann Göring and became part of Division Hermann Göring in January 1943 in Tunisia. It entered Allied captivity with the rest of the Axis forces in Tunisia in May 1943. I have noticed a tendency for contemporary British sources to assume HG and FJ to be one of the same.

    The next time I'm down in Kew I'll get you a copy of the file TD mentions, although it of course might not actually be him.

    Cheers,
    Gary.
     
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Gary, looks has if Franz Kurowski misted out the (Division) in the title of his book. I'm glad you joined in. The scans below are about
    Oberstleutnant Julius Schlegel, the (man) responsible for saving the art treasures of Monte Cassino. Gary, I'm sure you will be able to find any holes in it, or had more to it? Page 217, The Monastery at Monte Cassino through to Page 220, III (Assault Gun) Battalion, Herman Goring Panzer Regiment in the Italian Zone Nov 43-July 44.
    Regards,
    Stu.

    CCF07082018_0004.jpg
    CCF07082018_0005.jpg
    CCF07082018_0007.jpg
    Picture of Julius above.Not a good copy. CCF07082018_0006.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  10. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Stu.

    Love the book. What is the full title?

    F
     
  11. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Frank.

    I will stick it in the post. It will save you buying it..

    See my post 5 for the full title! Edit. I do hope Gary will be able shed more info on it.. If he can, then I would like to see it? I'm sure he will come up with the goods.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  12. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Member

    Hi Stu,

    The books covers Fallschirm Panzerkorps Herman Göring which came into being in October 1944. As well as Fallschirm-Panzer-Division 'Hermann Göring' (transferred from Italy to Poland in July 1944) it also contained the newly created Fallschirm-Panzergrenadier-Division 2 Hermann Göring. All formations fought in Prussia, Poland and Germany from then until the end of the war.

    Also - *nerd alert* - I did spot this hole in the above pages:

    upload_2018-8-7_20-40-56.png

    It's nice to see it wasn't only the Allies who misidentified every German tank as a Tiger. There were no Tigers that far south in Italy at this point (and then only 1 company's worth near Modena far to the north).

    Cheers,
    Gary.
     
  13. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Gary,
    nice one for that (not a *nerd alert*) if you are asking me. Well spotted. I've had a look at the sources at the rear of the above, & it looks has if most of them will be in German text. This is the only book that i have that is in English. Do you know of any other books that are in the latter, that cover the fighting for the four Battles around Cassino?

    Chris, apologies for crashing your thread, I will have a look through THE DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY 39-45, By
    MAJOR E. G. GODFREY M.C. CHAPTER XI The Second in Italy-1.It may well give you some detail until you get the relevant diaries?

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
  14. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Chris,
    here are the scans from the above book. Not sure if you have a copy, or have seen one? The Acknowledgements page has a (list has long has your arm) of the Officers who have contributed in compiling this History. It runs into two pages. You would have thought that they would have had a look at the various War diaries of the different battalions of this regiment? It looks has if they may well not of.

    Amongst the works that have been consulted are various books (nine in total!) Again, no mention of any war diaries. Hope to see you at Cassino next year? Get a wiggle on, & don't miss it!;) Circumstances permitting that is..Edit: I'm starting to take a interest in all the war diaries that have been mentioned in this thread.

    Regards,
    Stu.

    187..jpg
    188,189..jpg
    190,191..jpg
    192,193..jpg
    194,195..jpg
    196,197..jpg
    198,199..jpg
    200,201..jpg
    202,203..jpg
    204,205..jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  16. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Tom,
    i did read one of the links that TD provided in his post 7. Sorry if i'm missing something here. The second link that you have provided is more or less has to the scans that are above. See my post 9. I'm thinking more of the war diaries of the 2 DCLI for the period of Feb-June 44.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
  17. clark136

    clark136 Junior Member

    Hi everyone,

    sorry for only just replying - i have had really trouble with my internet lately.

    Thanks so much for the input, it is superb!

    I will have a good read through that section of book Stuart - thank you!

    Gary - I agree that it would be unlikely he personally "accepted" the surrender; my wording wasn't exactly great there. I can believe however (in so much as it is plausible) that it is possible that he did indeed encounter Becker who told him that he wished to surrender and presumably Great Uncle Herbie would have went back to inform his company commander.

    War stories are so fascinating, and although there may always be elements of "embellishment" now and then, there is often a great deal of truth in them. I particularly enjoyed the story he told of how him and his mate had to hide up a chimney whilst a german patrol went through the house they were in. Sadly they also often tell of the true horrors of war, such as why he simply couldnt have a real christmas tree in the house because the smell of pine haunted him from when a machine gun opened up on his section and only a couple of them survived.

    Thank you all once again!
    Chris
     
  18. clark136

    clark136 Junior Member

    Just a quick edit - He didnt like the smell of pine because the only reason he survived that incident was because he was protected by a pine tree and after the bullets hit the tress, the smell of pine was strong. So the smell of it brought memories back.
     

Share This Page