Ernst-Günther Baade

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Ernst-Günther Baade
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-315-1110-09, Ernst-Günther Baade (cropped).jpg
Born (1897-08-20)20 August 1897
Died 8 May 1945(1945-05-08) (aged 47)
Bad Segeberg
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Third Reich
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1914–45
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held Schützen-Regiment 115
90. Panzer-Grenadier-Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Generalleutnant Ernst-Günther Baade (20 August 1897 – 8 May 1945) was a German general serving during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He was wounded in action and died from his injuries on the last day of World War II in Europe.

Military career

World War I

Ernst-Günther Baade volunteered for military service in 1914 at the age of seventeen and joined the 9th Ulanenregiment (light cavalry). Baade distinguished himself in the fighting on the Eastern Front and was chosen for officer candidate training. He was commissioned as Leutnant in August 1916. In 1918 he transferred to the Western Front where he was wounded during a poison gas attack.

Second World War

On 6 March 1942 Baade was assigned to the active reserve of officers (Führerreserve). He subsequently transferred to the 15th Panzer Division in North Africa and took command of the 115th Rifle Regiment on 15 April 1942, at that time committed to action in Libya and Cyrenaica.

Baade became a legend in the Afrika Korps and was known to go into battle dressed in a Scottish kilt and carrying a claymore, a double-edged broadsword.[1][2]

Baade distinguished himself on 27 May 1942 by his leadership and decision making, checking an armored attack to the rear of the 15th Panzer Division. A battalion of the regiment under his command managed to infiltrate into Bir Hacheim on the next day, defeating the British attackers after 24 hours of bitter fighting. Baade was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for these actions. He was again wounded on 28 July 1942 at El-Alamein, when his position was hit by artillery fire, then was evacuated to Rome and Germany for a period of convalescence.

During the successful evacuation of German forces from Sicily to the Italian mainland in early August 1943, Baade was placed in charge of the force defending the Straits of Messina.[1]

Promoted to Generalmajor, Baade was given command of 90th Infantry Division at Monte Cassino. He was known for his occasionally eccentric behavior, his very small staff, and his frequent front-line inspection visits, all of which made him popular with his troops.[3] He was one of the few general officers who earned the wearing of a Tank Destruction Badge on his upper right sleeve for the single-handed destruction of an enemy tank with an infantry weapon.

Baade was wounded in the neck and lower leg by a phosphorus projectile on 24 April 1945, when his Kübelwagen was strafed by a British fighter aircraft near Neverstaven in Holstein. He was taken to a hospital at Bad Segeberg, where he died of gangrene on 8 May 1945, the last day of the war in Europe.[1]


Wehrmachtbericht references

The daily Wehrmachtbericht (Wehrmacht propaganda report) noted the following:

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
8 February 1944 In den harten mehrtägigen Abwehrkämpfen nordwestlich Cassino hat sich die 44. Reichs-Grenadierdivision "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" unter Führung des Generalleutnants Franek mit einem unterstellten Bataillon des Grenadier-Regiments (mot.) 8 und einer Kampfgruppe unter Führung des Oberst Baade besonders ausgezeichnet.[11] Northwest in the tough multi-day defensive battles at Cassino, the 44th Reichs-Grenadier Division "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" under the leadership of Lieutenant General Franek with a subordinate battalion of the Grenadier Regiment (mot) 8 and a battle group under the leadership of Colonel Baade particularly distinguished themselves.
27 May 1944 In den Kämpfen der letzten Tage hat sich die schon bei Cassino bewährte 90. Panzergrenadierdivision unter Führung von Generalmajor Baade mit unterstellten Verbänden des Heeres und der Luftwaffe erneut besonders ausgezeichnet.[12] In combat of the recent days, the 90th Mechanized Infantry Division which has already proven itself at Cassino, led by Major General Baade, with subordinated units of the Army and the Air Force has again particularly distinguished itself.

Footnotes and references



  • Atkinson, Ricky (2007). The Day of Battle – The War in Sicily and Italy 1943–1944. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-72560-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hapgood, David; Richardson, David (1984). Monte Cassino. New York: Congdon & Weed. ISBN 0-86553-105-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). Rommel's Desert Commanders — The Men Who Served the Desert Fox, North Africa, 1941–42. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3510-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Plehwe, Friedrich-Karl von (1998). Das eigenständige Leben des Generals Ernst-Günther Baade. Rheinfelden, Germany: Schäuble Verlag. ISBN 3-87718-249-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham – Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-20-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Senger und Etterlin, Fridolin von (1960). Krieg in Europa. Translated by Malcolm, George. London: Macdonald & Co. Ltd. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1987). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 1: A–Be (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1153-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Eberhard Rodt
Commander of 15. Panzergrenadier-Division
October 1943 – 20 November 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Rudolf Sperl
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Carl-Hans Lungershausen
Commander of 90. Panzer-Grenadier-Division
December 1943 – December 1944
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Gerhard von Schwerin
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Friedrich Köchling
deputy Commander of LXXXI. Armeekorps
10 March 1945 – 13 April 1945
Succeeded by