Blücher, Hans Joachim Graf von.

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Blücher, Hans Joachim Graf von, born on 23-10-1923 in Fincken, Mecklenburg, son of Graf Adolf Graf von Blücher and Gertrud (Freiin Marschall) von Nordheim (widowed Gräfin von Blücher), was a Jäger des Fallschirmjäger Regiment 1, under General der Flieger, Kurt Student
tumblr_mrjr6kRpKv1reh0fqo1_400   . He admired his brother Wolfgang and was the reason for him to join the Fallschirm Jäger under command of Bruno Bräuer  as well, at the age of 17, against his mother’s wish. He was one of three brothers who were killed during the Battle of Crete, Operation Mercury, all three of them on 21-05-1941. It was the first battle jump of Hans and he was killed shortly after in a field battle, near Heraklion. The von Blücher brothers were direct descendants of the Prussian General Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher  , who commanded the Prussian army in its campaign in the Napoleonic war, in 1815. The Battle of Crete was a battle during World War II on the Greek Island of Crete.
It began on the morning of 20 May 1941, when Nazi Germany launched an airborne division invasion of Crete under the code-name “Unternehmen Merkur”, “Operation Mercury”. Greek and Allied Forces, along with Cretan civilians, defended the island. In light of the heavy casualties suffered by the paratroopers, Adolf  Hitler forbade further large scale airborne operations. However, the Allies were impressed by the potential of paratroopers and started to build their own airborne divisions. This was the first battle where the Fallschirmjäger (“parachute rangers”) were used on a massive scale. The third brother Lebrecht was missed in action and never found, so only two brothers, Hans and Wolfgang
  have a grave, next to each other on the war cemetery in Maleme, Crete. The fourth son, Adolf Graf von Blücher, was released from duty and left the German navy (Kriegsmarine), to take care of the agricultural firm at home. Tragically he also died 1944 from a gunshot wound while stalking deer with a large hunting party in the vast forests of Mecklenburg. The commander of the 9th Fallschirmjäger Division   Generalmajor, Bruno Oswald Bräuer   executed on 20-05-1947, is buried on Maleme cemetery too. By the 19 April, the remnants of the 9th Division along with what remained of the rest of the LVI Panzer Corps, under General der Artillerie Hellmut Weidling 351px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1983-028-05,_Helmuth_Weidling   were within the Berlin U-Bahn outer defensive ring. During the attempted breakout on the night of 1/2 May a small group of the 9th Division stormed the tower of Spandau Rathaus, Town Hall, from which Soviet machine-gunners were decimating Germans attempting to break out of Berlin over the Havel using the Charlottenbrücke , Charlotten Bridge. During the Battle of Berlin, the Charlottenbrücke was one of the last remaining bridges in German controle and was defended by elements of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth). On 1 May 1945, the German army and many cititzens succeeded to retreat from the centre by crossing this bridge under heavy shelling from the Soviet 47th Army. Heinrich Himmler’s brother (Erwin Himmler) was killed in action during this breakthrough. By the end of 2 May the 9th Parachute Division had ceased to exist. Hellmut Weidling died in Soviet captivity age 64, on 17-11-1955, in Vladimir prison.

Death and burial ground of Blücher, Hans Joachim Graf von.

In 1974, Wolfgang and Hans-Joachim were reunited in a single grave at the German War Cemetery on a hill behind the airfield at Maleme, Crete, which was newly inaugurated on 6 October in the presence of the brother’s sister Gertrud Freifrau von Ketelhodt and hundreds of guests from Germany. Because Leberecht’s body was never retrieved or identified, his name is on a plaque of honor for the unknown fallen close to the grave of his brothers. Gertrud’s own sons carry the names of her brothers.


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