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Old 2nd December 2012, 13:49
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Question Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Who was the pilot?

1. On 23.4.45, Approx. 16:00, Speer is flown from Gatow into Berlin (East/West Axis), in a Storch (Groehler; Der Neue Reichskanzlei, das Ende, p 38. Speer; Inside the Third Reich, p 638)
2. On 24.4.45, Approx. 03:30, Speer is flown out (Joachimsthaler; The last days of Hitler, p 111. Speer, p 647-48)
3. On 26.4.45, Approx. 04:00, Ritter von Greim and Hanna Reitz are flown from Rechlin to Gatow airport in a Fw 190 (Reitsch, The Sky, my Kingdom, p 205). They continue, Greim at the controls, in a Storch and Reitsch lands the plane, after Greim was injured, on the East/West Axis.
4. On 27.4.45, evening. Six Storchs are despatched, protected by some 30 fighters, in a vane attempt to haul Greim/Reitsch out of Berlin. Two Storchs crashes (Koller, p 103)
5. On 28.4.45, 24:00 (or probably shortly after midnight and thus on the 29th), Greim and Reitsch are picked up by an Arado 96 and flown to safety (Reitsch, p 208). They land safely at Rechlin 03:00 in the morning (Reitsch, p 213)*


Flights 1, 2, 3 and five were allegedly piloted by the same, incredibly courageous and skilled Luftwaffe Feldwebel: a stunning feat by an outstanding aviator. Yet I have not been able to find his name, his fate or other references than the ones mentioned here. It sounds rather unbelievable that his identity is not recorded somewhere.

If anyone here can shed more light on the matter, I would be very interested to hear about it.

Dan

* Different versions of the Reitsch/von Greim flight exist. Some historians attribute the aviatrix herself to be the pilot (Tolland, Last Hundred Days, p 583) (and some the plane to be a Storch). Reitsch, on the other hand, says that the plane was an Arado 96 and the pilot was the same Luftwaffe Feldwebel who flew the couple from Rechlin to Gatow a few days before. She names him Feltwebel B – the closest thing to a name, I have found. Although this remarkable woman was also described as hysterical and theatrical, and therefore may not hold the highest veracity rating, she has the unquestionable advantage of having actually been in the plane. Thus, I tend to go with her version.


And btw, since I’m a newbie, thanks for accepting me and a few words about myself: My name is Dan, I am a retired technical writer, 61, live in Denmark, take a strong interest in the turbulent days of the Battle for Berlin and visit the city frequently to roam the places where it all happened.

I also run a couple of websites – www.wartourist.eu and www.krigsturist.dk (Danish language) – the content of which reflects my initial key interest: the Atlantic Wall. I shall have to admit though, that this interest has faded a little over the years and the sites are thus not as well kept as they should be. Must catch up with that

Dan
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Old 2nd December 2012, 15:57
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Welcome aboard, Dan! Finally, after weeks and weeks and weeks of patient waiting at the gates for entry approval. If you let your beard grow while waiting, it must reach down to your waist by now!

Well, now that you have been thoroughly investigated, sliced, diced and vetted by the DBI, let's hope someone here can answer your question about the identity of Feldwebel B. We gave it a good spin over on AHF, but the members here have loads of data on Lw. NCO pilots that the rest of us lack. Hopefully, your post will click with someone here.

Larry

Last edited by Larry deZeng; 2nd December 2012 at 17:37.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 17:33
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

The Ju 52 that had 'successfully managed to land' on the Ost-West-Achse that night and then take-off again was apparently flown by one Oberfeldwebel Böhm from II./TGr 3. This was reported by another young Ju 52 pilot from this unit, Uffz. Johannes Lachmund who described events in his 2009 memoir.
Lachmund mentions discussions via telephone from the 'air traffic control' command-post at the Siegessäule (Berlin's Victory column) between Ofw Böhm and the Bunker in the Reichskanzlei. There was apparently some dispute over the passengers to be flown-out, chiefly because Hanna Reitsch wanted to fly out the Ritter von Greim herself at the controls of the Arado Ar-96, and not leave Berlin as a passenger on this Ju-52 flight.

(excuse i cant remember from where i copy this)
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Old 5th December 2012, 00:03
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Thanks Larry, patience pays off it seems. Let's see how it works out with the Greim/Reitsch affair here ;-)

And thanks O.Menu. I believe the cut could be from O'Donnell (the Bunker) or perhaps Joachimsthaler, although I do not recall having heard of Oberfeldwebel Böhm before. An interesting lead, and I will try to look into it. Thanks!

Dan
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Old 25th January 2013, 00:17
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Unhappy Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

O.Menu, I found it. It's a thread in Axis Forum:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=167239&start=45

Apparently not "our" Feldwebel B, but a good shot...

Regards
Dan
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Old 25th January 2013, 01:59
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Looking at that Axis History Forum thread, reminded me of something slightly off-topic. Gerrard Williams posted there about:
Hauptmann Erich Peter Baumgart, allegedly a Luftwaffe pilot with 128 kills over Crete, Italy, North Africa and the Eastern front . Also an Iron Cross Holder. Appears to have also held SS rank ... Possibly flying with KG 200 in April 1945.
This is the guy Williams' book "Grey Wolf" would have us believe flew Hitler out of Berlin at the end.

I wonder if the Hauptmann was any relation to Uffz. Wolf Baumgart who claimed to have flown two Ju 290 missions to Manchuria with FAG 5 in February 1944. He wound up in the infantry and was wounded in January 1945. He was apparently in hospital for a couple of months and was captured by American troops while making his way home. Source: APWIU (Ninth Air Force) 44/1945 which is in TNA file AIR40/3122.

The report is dated 29 March 1945, so this member of the intrepid Baumgart family probably wasn't available to rescue the Führer ...
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Old 30th January 2013, 09:05
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Hello,
Just came across your interesting thread on these flights Reitsch/v. Greim in and out Berlin. This subject has been discussed in depth in Mombeeck's Stoming the Bombers (JG 4) volume 2. Mombeeck's has interviewed the Ofw. in question: Martin Dekker of JG 11. Apparently (I asked Erik on this matter) he could be still alive now!
Hope that it helps.
Phil
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Old 30th January 2013, 09:56
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Strange... a month ago was promotion of book in Belgrade, British author and book is about Hitler escape from Berlin and life after the war.
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Old 25th May 2013, 22:56
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Gents, sorry for being absent for some time.

Nick: I found a mention of Baumgart in Trevor-Ropers book on Hitler (1956 edition). It appears, that he was a nutcase that cooked the story up, and later was committed to a lunatic asylum in Poland.

Flupke: Thanks. I have tried to obtain that book, but it seems to be out of print and only obtainable used - at horrendous prices. I keep looking ;-)

Pilot: I take it that you refer to "Grey Fox" by Williams and Dunstan? I dunno quite what to think of it yet - I'm not done reading it, but a good deal of their claims seems to be to be unsubstantiated. Anyone here who have read the book in full..?

Dan
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Old 26th May 2013, 00:03
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Re: Who flew von Greim and Reitsch out of Berlin?

Not read book at all but part of day was dedicated to this event (on radio) and there was mention many sources (like Intelligence) as point that Hitler escaped and live later safely. Personally I have no opinion at all but fact is- Hitlers remains was never founded. In today's police terms, he would be credited as hiding or escaping.
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