Bechler, Helmut, born on 02-06-1898 in Grün im Vogtland/Sachsen, was a highly decorated Generalmajor of the Infantry during World War II, who commanded the 85th Infantry-Division. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross . The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. On 11-07-1916 his was wounded on the Western Front and in hospital for three months. As commander of the 7th Company he ends the first world war in the Ukraine, Russia. Bechler isn’t allowed to stay in the new Reichswehr and retired. Reactivated on 15-07-1934 in the rank of Hauptmann, in the 11th Infantry Regiment. He is involved in the battles of Poland, the Western Front, France and the invasion of Russia, serving in the 173rd Infantry Regiment. For his retreating fighting’s, with a summon of soldiers on the Eastern Front, he is awarded with the Ritterkreuz on 26-03-1944. As commander of the 85th Infantry Division, he is wounded during the battle of the Hürtgenwald and lost his left hand. The division under Bechler continued to hold out against Allied advances until its final capitulation in March 1945; the rest of the corps would be destroyed at the Ruhr pocket the following April in the Battle of Aachen. Remnants of the division were merged with others to form Infantry Division Potsdam In hospital Königstein, until July 1945, he is promoted to Major Generalmajor and lands “useless” for battle in the Führer Reserve OKH, (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know). The 85th Infantry Division was raised in February 1944 and placed under the command of Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kurt Chill , Chill died age 81, on 05-07-1981, in Grömitz, previously the commanding officer of the 122nd Infantry . Participating as an occupational division in German occupied France, the 85th was part of the 15th Army’s rear-guard in Northern France during the D-Day landings. It was moved to Normandy in early August as part of a relief force in the forming Falaise Pocket, where it was to replace the 12th SS-Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” by August 11. On August 14, the division received help from second company of the 102nd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion as it traveled from Assy to Maizieres; its commander, SS Obersturmführer, Helmut “Bubi” Wendorff , was killed, age 23 on 14-08-1944, when the escort convoy encountered a group of Sherman tanks attached to the 1st Hussars. The 1st Hussars is an armoured Primary Reserve Regiment of the Canadian Forces . On August 15, the Canadian 4th Armoured Division broke through the 85th defences around the Falaise pocket. Germans’ main escape routes. After Oberst, David Vivian Currie
of the Canadia 4th Armoured Division led the attack on the village of St. Lambert-sur-Dives and consolidated a position halfway inside it, he repulsed repeated enemy attacks over the next day and a half. Despite heavy casualties, Major Currie’s command destroyed seven enemy tanks, twelve 88 mm guns and 40 vehicles, which led to the deaths of 300 German soldiers, 500 wounded and 1.100 captured. The remnants of two German armies were denied an escape route. Currie died age 20-06-1986, age 73, in Ottawa. Bechler is in Russian prison until he in June 1948 succeeded to escape to the West Zone. He lived in the city of Kassel, with many fellow Generals, like Generalmajor der Infanterie, the commander of the Troop Exercise, Friedrich von Both, Generalmajor der Flieger, Walther Friedeburg, Generalmajor der Artillerie, Kommandeur Feld Material, Hans Hederich and Generalmajor der Artillerie, Kommandeur Ersatz Fallschirmjäger, Friedrich Buch.
Death and burial ground of Bechler, Helmut Bernard Franz.
Helmut Bechler died at the age of 72, on 09-01-1972, in Kassel. He is buried with his wife Ilse, born Herrmann, who died age 86 on 28-05-1987, nearby the grave of his fellow Generals on the cemetery of Niederzweren in Kassel.