Thomas, Kurt.

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Thomas, Kurt, born 02-03-1896, in Bünde / Westphalia, joined the Royal Prussian Army as a Fahnenjunker shortly after the beginning of the First World War on 15-08-1914. The son of a Oberlandmesser came here to the Hanoverian Pioneer Battalion No. 10. On 31-10-1914 he then came to the II./Hanoversches Pioneer Battalion No. 10 to the front. There he was promoted to Fahnrich on 14-07-1915. On 07-10-1915 he was promoted to leutnant without a patent. Not only was he wounded  in World War I, as reflected in the award of the Wound Badge in Black. In addition, he was awarded both Iron Crosses during the First World War. After the war he was used again in December 1918 at the Hanoversche Pioneer Battalion No. 10. Then he was taken in the fall of 1919 as a leutnant in the Reichsheer. He came at the beginning of April 1920 to the Rider Regiment 13. This he also belonged to the 200,000 man transition army in the spring of 1920. In the formation of the 100,000-man Army of the Reichswehr he was then taken to the 13th (Prussian) Riders Regiment. In this he was then used for the next few years as a Squadron Officer. On 01-07-1922 he received a patent from 01-09-1915. At the latest from the spring of 1924 he was then used at the training squadron of the 13th (Preuß.) Reiter-Regiment in Hanover. In the spring of 1925 he was then part of the 2nd Squadron of the 13th (Preuß.) Reiter Regiment also in Hanover. In this he was promoted to leutnant in the summer of 1925. His seniority was set to 01-04-1925. In 1927/28 he was then transferred to the staff of the 13th (Preuß.) Reiter Regiment, under command of Oberst Ernst-August Lassen also in Hanover. After only one year he was transferred back to the 2nd squadron of the 13th (Preuß.) Reiter-Regiment. He was commissioned for the next few years with the leadership of the Eskadron. On 01-11-1930 he was then promoted to Hauptmann. As such, he was now appointed head of the 2nd squadron of the 13th (Preuß.) Reiter-Regiment in Hanover. On 01-10-1933 he was then commanded to test-command of the 6th (Preuß.) Kraftfahr-Abteilung. In the expansion of the Reichswehr to the Wehrmacht he belonged on 01-10-1934 to the Kraftfahr-department Kassel. At the Enttarnung of the associations he was transferred on 15-10-1935 to the 3rd Panzer Brigade to Berlin. In this he was then used for the next two years as an adjutant. As such, he was promoted to major on 01-12-1935. On 07-07-1937 he married Gerda Boll. On 12-10-1937 he was appointed commander of the Panzer Division 65 on the military training area Senne. This site was intended only as a temporary location. Later he was to be transferred with his department to Iserlohn. On 01-01-1939 he was promoted to Oberstleutnant. At the beginning of World War II in the summer of 1939, he led his Panzer Division 65 in the connection of the 1st Light Division in the Polish campaign.  He was given both clasps for his Iron Crosses.  At the end of 1939 he gave his command. He was appointed on 01-01-1940 commander of the Panzer Replacement Division 1 in Erfurt. After two weeks, he resigned his command and was transferred to the Führerreserve. On 22-01-1940 he was appointed commander of the Führer Accompanying Battalion. In mid-February 1940, he was then appointed as successor to Generalmajor Erwin Rommel commander of the Fuhrer-Haupt-Quartier (FHQ). He kept this position for the next few years. Initially, he was responsible for the expansion of the “rock nest” above Münstereifel. At the beginning of June 1940, the FHQ moved to “Wolfsschlucht I”. From the end of June 1941 he was almost constantly responsible for the Wolfsschanze at Rastenburg. On 01-12-1941 he was promoted to Oberst. On 17-12-1941 he then received a patent from 01-10-1940. In the summer of 1942 he gave his command to Oberstleutnant Gustav Streve . In early October 1942, he was then charged with setting up the Africa Brigade 999th At the beginning of February 1943 he was then assigned to lead this organization in the expansion of his brigade to the 999th Africa Division. On 01-04-1943 he was promoted to Generalmajor.

Death and burial ground of Thomas, Kurt.

He was then appointed commander of the 999th Africa Division.  On the night of 5 to 6 May 1943, Kurt Thomas he disappeared on a Mediterranean flight between Sardinia and Tunisia. His smaller divisional staff was transferred to Africa with two aircraft that night and attacked by a British night fighter. His plane was shot down. On 01-10-1943 he was subsequently promoted to Generaleutnantl. His seniority was set to 01-05-1943. The 999th Afrika Brigade was a German Army unit created in October 1942 as a penal military unit. Penal military units, including penal battalions, penal companies, etc., are military formations consisting of convicts mobilized for military service. Service in such units is considered a form of punishment or discipline in lieu of imprisonment or capital punishment. It was later expanded into the 999th Light Afrika Division, after the death of Thomas under command of Generalmajor Ernst-Günther Baade and began deploying to Tunisia in early 1943. However, this was interrupted by the surrender of Axis forces in that theater. Those elements that made it to Africa before the collapse fought as independent units rather than as a division, and were lost in the general collapse. The remainder were sent to Greece for garrison duties and to conduct security warfare, where a number of those forced into service because of their anti-Nazi activities continued them, such as Falk Harnack, who deserted and formed the Anti-Fascist Committee for a Free Germany with other soldiers. During the only fight many of the political prisoners in the division went over to the US troops or retreated, the US Army taking their positions without any heavy fighting. Generalmajor Baade was wounded on 24-04-1945, when his staff car was strafed by a British fighter aircraft near Neverstaven in Holstein. He died of gangrene in a hospital at Bad Segeberg on 08-05-1945, age 47.

 

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