DARGES Fritz NEW
* 08.02.1913 Dülseberg, Krs. Salzwedel/Altmark
+ 25.10.2009 Celle
Knights Cross awarded : 05.04.1945 as: Obersturmbannführer Funktion: Führer PzRgt 5 "Wiking"
Fritz Darges was born in Dülseberg on 8th February 1913. He worked as an export clerk and joined the Schutzstaffel in April 1933. The following year he was selected for officer training and attended the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz.
In April 1935 Darges was promoted to Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant). In 1936 Darges became Adjutant to Martin Bormann. In May 1937 he joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), and in September of that same year he was promoted to Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant).
A member of the Waffen SS he took part in the invasion of France and in July 1940 was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class and promoted to Hauptsturmführer . Darges also took part in Operation Barbarossa and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st class in August 1942. In March 1943 he became Adjutant to Hitler and was promoted to Obersturmbannführer in January 1944.
Darges spent most of the time at Hitler's eastern headquarters the Wolf's Lair at Rastenburg or at his holiday home, the Berghof, on a mountain in Berchtesgaden. Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge, knew Darges during this period and argues that he worked closely with Otto Günsche: "The people who had most work to do were the young adjutants Fritz Darges and Otto Günsche. They had to organize the journey, getting the vehicles ready, telling everyone what to do, fixing the train's itinerary and time of departure, giving instructions to those who were staving behind. Everything had to be done as fast and in as much secrecy as possible. The telephones were in constant use: the administrators at the Berghof had to be told when we were arriving, the Fuhrer's apartment in Munich had to be prepared for him, and not least the special train, even though it was always kept near Hitler and ready to leave, had to be prepared for a long journey carrying many passengers."
Darges made a serious error of judgement during a conference on 18th July 1944. A fly began buzzing around the famous conference hut - destined to be wrecked just two days later by an assassin's bomb. It landed on Hitler's shoulder several times, as he stooped over the battle maps, and he irritably squatted at it and missed, while his adjutants began to snicker. Called upon to dispatch the insect, Darges misjudged the mood and suggested that as it was an airborne pest, the job should go to the Luftwaffe adjutant, Nicolas von Below. Hitler dismissed Darges on the spot and he was banished to the Eastern Front."
In August 1944 Darges replaced Johannes Mühlenkamp as the commander of the 5th Panzer Regiment. He won the Knight's Cross for his defence of Berlin against the Red Army in January 1945. It is claimed that during this time his regiment destroyed more than thirty Soviet tanks. Darges was eventually captured but was not charged with committing war crimes.
Fritz Darges died on 25th October 2009. Aged 96 Darges was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and was present for all major conferences, social engagements and policy announcements for four years of the war."
Signed postwar photo measuring 4 " x 5 3/4"
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