Fallschrimjäger Max Schmeling

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Danny
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Fallschrimjäger Max Schmeling

Post by Danny » Sun Jun 08, 2003 4:56 pm

I am looking for information on Max Schmeling´s military career in
WWII.
All I know is, that he took part in the attack on Kreta an was severly
wounded.

I´d be greatfull for any info on this topic, specially on decorations etc.

Thanks in advance,

Danny

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Jason Pipes
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Post by Jason Pipes » Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:43 pm

He was a member of 4.Komp/I.Abteilung/Fallschrimjager-Regiment 3. At the time of his service in this unit he was the world boxing champion. He survived WWII and went on the fight five more times after the war.

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Post by Danny » Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:43 am

Thank you very much for the quick answer!

Does anyone know of decorations etc. award to Max Schmeling during
WWII?

An was he mainly used for propaganda issues or did he rather lead a
normal soldier´s life?

Thanks again in advance.

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Rommel8
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Post by Rommel8 » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:11 pm

they got him in propoganda when ever they could, but he tried to lead a normal soldiers life. But like alot of celebrities in war, they were kept under close eye.

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Jason Pipes
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Post by Jason Pipes » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:35 pm

I've read conflicting accounts, one said he injured his back after his first jump and he didn't see a lot (or any?) combat afterwards, and another that seemed to indicate that he took part in the attack on Crete, etc.

Anyone know his record for sure?

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mikerock
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Post by mikerock » Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:56 pm

Baron von der Heydte in "Daedalus Returned" stated that he came down with diarrhoea on the night of the jump, he jumped anyways but reported to the medical orderlies soon after.

--Mike

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Post by Danny » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:05 pm

Thanks again for the fast replies.

And another question...

Have you maybe seen photographs of Max Schmeling as a Fallschrimjäger
or even better, know where I can find them? (links would be perfect)

The only one I have seen, and I guess it is the most famous one, is the photograph on the title of "Signal."

Looking forward to your response,

Cheers

Daniel

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Schmeling in Crete

Post by Dale » Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:57 pm

I've read that Schmeling made the jump and then was struck with (or had when he jumped ??) dysentary. He made the jump but saw no combat.
Sorry I don't remember the source...
I corresponded with him a few years ago. He owns a Coke distributor in Hamburg. He was in his 90s then but a great letter writer !

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Post by mikerock » Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:32 pm

"Our champion boxer also arrived at one stage, saying that he suffered from a severe attack of diarrhoea. He was in a quandry, he explained, because if he reported sick it might be assumed that he was trying to shirk, and this he did not wish to do under any circumstances. So I advised him, as I think any battalion commander would have done in a similar situation, to tie his waterproof jumping-suit especially tightly from below and to fly and jump with the rest of us.

'You can report sick, my dear fellow, when we get to Crete,' I told him. 'Our medical staff is flying with us.'"

p.51 of "Daedelus Returned," excellent book.

--Mike

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Post by Helmut » Wed Jun 11, 2003 12:34 pm

mikerock wrote:Baron von der Heydte in "Daedalus Returned" stated that he came down with diarrhoea on the night of the jump, he jumped anyways but reported to the medical orderlies soon after.

--Mike
Servus!
It's funny but when I was stationed in Berlin I was made an Honorary member of the Kameradschaft Brauer, a FJ Veterans group. They told me the same story about Schmeling's diarreah. they said he was a decent enough fellow but was exploited for his propaganda value. No one seemed to know what happened tohim after Kreta.

Regards,

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Post by Jason Pipes » Wed Jun 11, 2003 12:50 pm

So from the sounds of it seems like he didn't take part in combat in Crete?

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Post by mikerock » Wed Jun 11, 2003 1:19 pm

Not the initial combat, but I seem to remember him popping up a little later on in the battle. I'll have to go through it again to see if I can find anything else.

--Mike

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Post by ctschatz » Wed Jun 11, 2003 3:41 pm

In German Paratroopers by Chris McNab there are several pics of Max in traning. The ISBN # is 0-7603-0932-9. Not a great book, but almost all pics.
Christian
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Post by Danny » Fri Jun 13, 2003 5:07 am

And what about decorations.

I can´t imagine such a famous person not being awarded at least
something pro forma.

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Post by Daniel » Sun Nov 30, 2003 8:17 pm

I think you guys have the wrong boxer in VDH's account. Schmelling wasn't in his unit... VDH is talking about another boxer.

Schmelling wrote at great length about his experience in his biography, which I read about a year ago. Good photos too.

He did make the jump at Crete and hurt his back upon landing. He was ordered to the field hospital and was out of the action for the remainder the battle, and was soon moved out of the FJs.

According to Max, he was the only professional athelete to serve in a front line unit during the war, and he wasn't happy about it. It came at a bad time for him. Joe Louis had just beat him badly and Hitler had no use for him as a propaganda tool. Further, Hitler wanted Max to fire his agent in NYC who was a jew. Max refused. Shortly thereafter, Max was called up into an FJ unit. Accoriding to what he wrote, they kept telling him that he'd never see combat, and was prevented from participating in any training whatsoever. Nevertheless, he was swept along to the battle of Crete and found himself making a jump without ever having been taught how to fire a riflle. He made it sound like he was being punished for refusing to follow Hitler's order. It was lucky for him that he got out with only the minor injury that he did.

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