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Hans Refior was an officer in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) during World War II.

On 18 March 1945, Colonel Refior became the Chief of Staff for Lieutenant General (Generalleutnant) Helmuth Reymann during the Battle for Berlin. Reymann was named the commander of the Berlin Defense Area on 6 March. From the beginning, it was clear to Refior that Reymann's predecessor, General Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild, had left them nothing.

By early April, Refior and Reymann confirmed to themselves that Berlin had no chance of holding out with the forces at their disposal. They recommended to Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, that civilians be allowed to leave. Refior and Reyman indicated that this was especially important for women and children. Goebbels' feeble response made it clear to Refior and Reymann that he had never considered nor had he any idea of the logistics required for such a mass evacuation. [1]

In an attempt to determine how many soldiers and how many weapons could be counted on, Refior and Reymann attempted to make an accounting for what was available to them in the "Berlin Defense Area." They soon discovered that the title "Berlin Defense Area" carried no significance. "Berlin Defense Area" was just another phrase, like "Fortress" (Festung), coined by German dictator Adolf Hitler. [2]

On 22 April, Reymann was replaced by General Helmuth Weidling as the commander of the Berlin Defense Area. Weidling kept Refior and made him his "civil" Chief-of-Staff.

Early on the morning of 26 April, Refior was awoken from a brief sleep in Weidling's headquarters, the Bendlerblock. What woke him was a rapid sequence of ranging shells (what the Soviets called "framing"). Refior noted that these were "old frontline hares." He knew from experience that these were the "greeting" before a salvo of katyusha rockets. [3]

On 2 May 1945, along with Weidling, Theodor von Dufving, Weidling's "military" Chief-of-Staff, and other members of Weidling's staff, Refior surrendered to the Soviets.

References

  • Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5

Footnotes

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5, p. 177
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5, p. 178
  3. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-670-88695-5, p. 320
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