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Bäke, Dr.med.dent., Franz

Date of birth:
February 28th, 1898 (Schwarzenfels/Hesse-Nassau, Germany)
Date of death:
December 12th, 1978 (Hagen/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (Second-Lieutenant)
Unit:
Führer 1./Panzer-Abteilung 65
Awarded on:
September 26th, 1939
Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on July 15th 1916.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant der Reserve (1e Luitenant)
Unit:
Führer 1./Panzer-Abteilung 65
Awarded on:
June 1st, 1940
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major der Reserve (Major of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur II. / Panzer-Regiment 11 / 6.Panzer-Division / Heeresgruppe Don
Awarded on:
January 11th, 1943
The following wartime excerpt describes why Bäke was awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“On the 01.01.1943 Bäke and his men conducted a round of bitter urban combat in Nowo Marjewka against 2 Soviet battalions and about 30 tanks. 27 of these were destroyed in the resultant fighting, and after this Bäke launched a counterattack on his own initiative. The result of this latter move was the destruction of a Soviet armoured wedge that had advanced between Nowo Marjewka and the II./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 114 (Werchne Obliwiski). Another 32 tanks (including 20 T-34s) were destroyed, and with this the latest attempt by the Soviet 25th Tank Corps to break through to the railway line west of Morosowskaja was prevented.”
1425th Award
Submitted on January 10th 1943.
Preliminary document dated January 17th 1943.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major der Reserve
Unit:
Panzer-Regiment 11
Awarded on:
August 1st, 1943
Panzerkampfabzeichen II Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major der Reserve (Major of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur II. / Panzer-Regiment 11 / 6.Panzer-Division / III. Panzer-Korps / Armee-Abteilung Kempf / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on:
August 1st, 1943
The following wartime excerpt describes why Bäke was awarded the Oakleaves…

“On the 11.07.1943 the reinforced Panzer-Regiment 11 reached the village of Kasatschja, which was located northeast of Belgorod at a point 12 km before the Donez river. Bäke persuaded his regimental commander to go against the divisional order by capturing the village of Rschawez by night and creating a bridgehead over the Sswernyi Donez. During the following night Bäke’s Vorausabteilung (II./Panzer-Regiment 11 and the II.(SPW)/Panzergrenadier-Regiment 114) thrust past enemy anti-tank gun positions before finding itself side by side with a column of 20 T-34s. Then 6 T-34s began to surround Bäke’s command Panzer, which was only armed with a wooden gun as camouflage. Bäke and his Ordonnanzoffizier, Leutnant Zobel, left the command Panzer and eliminated 4 T-34s with magnetic anti-tank grenades. The charges placed by the Major on the 5th and 6th tanks did not explode. Bäke clambered onto an approaching Panzer sent to support them and directed it to destroy both of these enemy tanks. The partially destroyed bridge near Rschawez was taken.”
262nd Award.
Submitted on July 27th 1943.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major der Reserve
Unit:
Panzer-Regiment 11
Awarded on:
August 16th, 1943
Panzerkampfabzeichen III Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant der Reserve
Unit:
Panzer-Regiment 11
Awarded on:
December 5th, 1943
Panzerkampfabzeichen IV Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant der Reserve (Luitenant-kolonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Regiment 11
Awarded on:
January 31st, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant der Reserve (Lieutenant-colonel of Reserves)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Regiment 11
Awarded on:
February 21st, 1944
The following wartime excerpt describes why Bäke was awarded the Swords to his Knight’s Cross…

“Awarded for the special operation that his specially prepared schwere Panzer-Regiment Bäke (consisting of the Stab Panzer-Regiment 11, 34 Tigers of the schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 and 47 Panthers of the II./Panzer-Regiment 23) conducted in the time period 23.01.-01.02.1944. During this armoured raid Bäke launched a thrust via Shaskow in order to relieve the III. Panzer-Korps. In the process 268 Soviet tanks and assault guns as well as 156 guns were destroyed.”
49th Award.
Submitted on February 19th 1944.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberstleutnant der Reserve (Luitenant-kolonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Regiment 11
Awarded on:
April 26th, 1944
Panzerkampfabzeichen IV Stufe
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst der Reserve (Kolonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Brigade 106 "Feldherrnhalle"
Awarded on:
October 5th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst der Reserve (Kolonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Panzer-Brigade 106 "Feldherrnhalle"
Awarded on:
December 6th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Silver version.
Panzerkampfabzeichen (ohne Zahl)

Sources

  • Photo 1: Wikimedia foundation
  • Photo: Wikimedia Foundation (used unde US Fair Use policy)
  • - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1997.
    - WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 2004.
    - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Federl, C., Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Panzerdivisionen 1939-1945, VDM Heinz Nickel, Zweibrücken, Germany, 2000
    - Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer, Elite of the Third Reich - The Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-45: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, England, 2003
    - Williamson, G., Knight’s Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients 1941-45, Osprey Publishing Ltd., Great Britain, 2005
    - Breyette, T.W. & Bender, R.J., Tank Killers – History of the Tank Destruction Badge, R. James Bender Publishing, U.S.A., 2000
    - Berger, F., Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern – Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Selbstverlag Florian Berger, Wien, Österreich, 2002/03
    - Helden der Wehrmacht II, Sammelband (Miscellany), FZ-Verlag GmbH, München, Deutschland, 2003
    - Axis Biographical Research
    - en.Wikipedia.org
    - Panzer-archiv.de

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