|It has been suggested that [[::Brothers von Blücher|Brothers von Blücher ]] be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since July 2013.|
|Wolfgang Henner Peter Lebrecht Graf von Blücher|
Wolfgang Graf von Blücher
|Born||31 January 1917|
|Died||21 May 1941(aged 24)|
|Place of birth||Altengottern|
|Place of death||Iraklion, Crete|
|Buried at||German War Cemetery at Maleme|
|Years of service||
|Rank||Oberleutnant der Reserve|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Leberecht Graf von Blücher|
Hans-Joachim Graf von Blücher
Wolfgang Henner Peter Lebrecht Graf von Blücher[a] (31 January 1917 – 21 May 1941) was a highly decorated Oberleutnant der Reserve in the Fallschirmjäger during World War II. 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 recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Wolfgang Graf von Blücher was one of three brothers who were killed during the Battle of Crete, all three of them on 21 May 1941.
Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 24 May 1940 as Leutnant der Reserve and platoon leader in the 2./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1 
Death in battle[edit | edit source]
The first to fall was Hans-Joachim Graf von Blücher, who was attempting to resupply his brother, Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant) Wolfgang Graf von Blücher, with ammunition when the latter and his platoon were surrounded by members of the British Black Watch. The 17-year-old Hans-Joachim had commandeered a horse which he attempted to gallop through British lines; he almost reached his brother's position, and in fact was shot before his brother's very eyes.
The same day, 21 May 1941, 24-year-old Wolfgang was killed with his whole platoon, followed by the younger brother, 19-year-old Leberecht Graf von Blücher, who was reported killed in action on the same day but whose body was never recovered.
For years afterward, Cretan villagers reported seeing a ghostly rider galloping at night down a road near the spot where Hans-Joachim was shot; yet until they were told the story of the von Blücher brothers, they had assumed that he was British.
In 1974 Wolfgang and Hans-Joachim were reunited in one grave at the German War Cemetery on a hill behind the airfield at Maleme, Crete.
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- a Regarding personal names: Graf is a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin.
References[edit | edit source]
- Thomas and Wegmann 1986, p. 25.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 115.
- Beevor, Antony (2005). Crete: The Battle and the Resistance. London, England: John Murray (Publishers). ISBN 978-0-7195-6831-2
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knights of the Wehrmacht Knight's Cross Holders of the Fallschirmjäger. Schiffer Military. ISBN 0-88740-749-8.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz and Wegmann, Günter (1986). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil II: Fallschirmjäger (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-1461-6.