A big surprise

During my research I discovered an amazing incident. After 57 years I found a German and an American Veteran who were facing each other in the night of 27 March 1945


Unteroffizier Heinrich Große-Berkenbusch led an Anti-tank squad consisting of 5 men, armed with Panzerfausts. In the night of 27 March 1945 they were following 2 single Sherman tanks of Task Force Baum. The tanks were maneuvering in the training area looking for the bulk of the unit. Each time the men came into firing position, the tanks slipped away. When the tanks finally reached a road, they drove away with high speed.


Private Julian Faust was an ammunition loader on a Sherman tank. His tank and another had to guard the crossroad near the Saale River bridge to prevent the crossing of German forces. The two tanks had to wait until dark when they received an radio message to rejoin the unit. The unit was hard to find and so they maneuvered through the training area.

As they were the only two tanks this night driving separately, it is most obviously that Unteroffizier Große-Berkenbusch followed these tanks. Julian Faust didn't know until I told him this story that a Panzerfaust squad was following them.

Both men sent me their photos.



Julian Faust


Fritz Fickentscher, Heinrich Große-Berkenbusch, Peter Domes, Dr. Franz Dülk

On 25 April 2003 I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Große-Berkenbusch personally. It was at his old FLAK-emplacement at Werneck/Ettleben near Schweinfurt. I also meet Dr. Franz Dülk and Fritz Fickentscher, who were 15 year old Luftwaffe auxiliaries in the FLAK-Battery of Heinrich Große-Berkenbusch. They both wrote the very good book "FEUERGLOCKE" (Fire bell), which describes the experience of their youth in the FLAK-emplacement at Ettleben.


2002 © Copyright Peter Domes -  Date of last change: 2005-03-19