Faces of war
#1 Max Wünsche
Max Wünsche was born on 20 April 1914 in Kittlitz as the son of a gardener. He went to school in Bautzen and later attended Mercantile school.
In November 1932 Wünsche joined the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), and in July 1933 he joined the SS.
After being posted to the “Leibstandarte”, he became a member of the “Begleitkommando des Führers” (Hitler’s SS bodyguards) in October 1938.
During the first years of World War Two, Wünsche served as platoon commander of the 15th Motor Cycle Company in France, as Adjutant to Sepp Dietrich during Operation Barbarossa and carried out reconnaissace flights over Russian positions himself.
In February 1942 Wünsche was given the command of the LSSAH Sturmgeschütz (Assault Gun) Battalion, with which he performed several successful operations in Russia, such as the savior of his former commander Kurt Meyer from an encirclement.
In June 1943, Max Wünsche, now “Sturmbannführer” was ordered to transfer to a new division forming in France, which later became the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend (12th SS Panzer Division Hitler Youth), and take command of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment.
Fighting American and British troops after their landing in Normandy on the 6th of June 1944, he was woundet and captured on 24 August.
Max Wünsche spent his time as prisoner of war at Caithness, Scotland which was a special camp for high-ranking German officers.
He was released in 1948 and returned to Germany. He married, had five sons and became a manager of an industrial plant in Wuppertal until his retirement in 1980. He died a few days short of his 81st birthday, on 17 April 1995.
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