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SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

Obersturmbannführer  MAX  WUNSCHE  (3964-1994)
Waffen 
SS

 

WUNSCHE commanded the Panzer Regiment 12, SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” in faithful summer of 1944, he and thousands of the youngsters under his command served at the front with the Hitler Youth Division.  For the stubborn defense of his divisional area, as well as for his own personal bravery, Max Wunsche was decorated with the Oak leaves on 11 August 1944, and was promoted to the rank of SS-Standartenfuhrer.  Max Wunsche’s military career had been extremely successful.  As a young man of only 30, he had reached the rank of full Colonel, was commanding a Panzer Regiment, was an adjutant on Hitler’s staff, was in combat posting with the Leibstandarte as a platoon leader and company commander during the Polish and French campaigns winning both second and first class Iron Crosses.  He also saw service during the Greek and Yugoslavian campaigns before being given command of the Sturmgeschutz Abteilung of the Leibstandarte in time for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Subsequently, he also commanded the 1st Abteilung of the division’s Panzer Regiment, winning the award of the Knight’s Cross during the intense fighting in the battle for Kharkov for skillfully leading his tank unit.  Wunsche also served as divisional adjutant and performed duties as a staff officer, taking temporary command of units whose commanders had been killed or wounded, flying battlefield reconnaissance in a Fieseler Storch.  Served on two occasions as the LAH’s Chief of Operations.  Max Wunsche proved in his 1939-44 career that courage uttered a truth about all men, for which he is remembered for his indomitable spirit as much for his considerable personal qualities as for his prowess in combat.  Max Wunsche was a leader of promise as well as a proficient commander and the bearer of a sharpshooter’s reputation and was daringly aggressive.  Wunsche was captured on 24 August 1944 after a rearguard action around the Falaise Gap assisting the escape of thousands of German soldiers.  At the time of his capture, he had been recommended for the Swords.  Max Wunsche was held in British captivity until 1948.  He died in Munich on April 17 1995, three days before his 81st birthday.

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