Having landed on the beaches of Normandy on D Day, the RAF Regiment took an active and offensive part in the campaign across North West Europe- often being the forward unit of the Allies as they raced ahead to capture airfields from the Luftwaffe. One little known fact is that Hitler's successor, Admiral Doenitz-the last leader of the Third Reich- was captured by the RAF Regiment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Four days before the end of the war, nine RAF Regiment task groups were sent to occupy Schleswig-Holstein before any ceasefire was agreed, with the aim of securing Luftwaffe airfields and materiel. In the confused situation, Squadron Leader Hobden’s force first encountered Soviet forces, before being held up at the Kiel Canal near Rendsburg by an SS Panzer battalion, whose commander refused to accept that the end of the war was at hand.
Hobden had 50 men with him and after an hour of “forthright discussion”, the German colonel gave way and Hobden’s small force crossed the bridge to resume its advance to Flensburg, where it secured the airfield. At Flensburg, Admiral Doenitz, Hitler’s appointed successor, was found and arrested.
After occupying 16 airfields and securing the aircraft and equipment on them, the various regiment task groups took the surrender of 50,000 Germans. For his services with 2 TAF, Hobden was mentioned in despatches.
#RAFRegiment #RAFRegt #RAF #RoyalAirForce #RAFReg #PerArdua #Rockapes #military #Britishmilitary #ww2 #wwii #Nazi #Doenitz #Donitz #Victory #militaryhistory #ThirdReich