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Flames of War GE: General von Saucken & SdKfz 250 Radio (late)

In 1910 at the age of eighteen, Dietrich von Saucken entered the Imperial Army as an officer cadet. After two years he was appointed Leutnant serving as a cavalry officer of the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm I’ Cavalry Regiment. Wounded seven times in the First World War von Saucken rose to the rank of Rittmeister (Captain). He remained with the army between the wars as a tactics teacher at the Hannover War School, achieving the rank of Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) in 2. Reiterregiment (2nd Cavalry Regiment) of the 1st Cavalry Brigade.
Oberst von Saucken led 2. Reiterregiment throughout the fighting in Poland and France. In November 1940 he was posted to 4. Schützenbrigade (4th Rifle Brigade) of 4th Panzer Division until he took command of the division in December 1941. Promoted to Generalmajor (Major General) on 1 January 1942, von Saucken was severely wounded the next day. He returned to duty as commander of the Cavalry School in August 1942.  
After promotion to Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General) in 1943, von Saucken returned to the front to command the 4th Panzer Division once again. For the next year, von Saucken’s division distinguished itself in a number of decisive engagements, culminating with the battle of Kovel.  


Becoming known as a defensive and counter-
attack specialist, after halting numerous Red Army offensives, von Saucken gained the Oak Leaves and Swords to his Knight’s Cross.
Von Saucken’s mobile counterattack expertise was once again called upon during the Soviet summer offensive of 1944. He led Kampfgruppe von Saucken against Marshal Rotmistrov’s 5th Guards Tank Army. Though casualties were high, and while stopping the overwhelming force of the Soviet advance proved impossible, von Saucken’s blocking actions allowed many German units to escape westward, avoiding annihilation or capture. 
An aristocratic officer, the monocle-wearing General von Saucken came from Prussian nobility and had little time for the Nazis political agenda.
He was one of the few high-ranking members of the Wehrmacht who was neither intimidated by Hitler’s intense ravings nor hypnotized by the charisma of the Führer. 
In early 1945 when the Vistula front collapsed, von Saucken once more successfully smashed his way through the Russian lines and led his corps, consisting of the Grossdeutschland and Hermann Göring divisions, back to the Oder and safety. His last command was at the head of 2. Armee in Poland.
Dietrich von Saucken received the Diamonds for his Knight’s Cross on May 8, 1945, the last day of the war. When finally surrounded he refused a flight to safety and stayed with his troops, sending his wounded on the plane instead. After surrendering, the Soviets sentenced him to 25 years of
imprisonment and sent him to a Siberian work camp.

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