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 Benkhausen

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Peter Kroos
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PostSubject: Benkhausen   1/3/2011, 10:43

Hallo,
my name is Dr. Peter Kroos. I am an german architect. I am looking for any informations about a castle, called benkhausen, nearby LÜBBECKE. In this castle the british army was from 1945 to 1962. We cant find any old plans or photos from the castle in german archives.
Can anyone help us, please?
With kind regards
Dr. Peter Kroos
(Sorry for my very bad english)
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Dolmetscher
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   2/3/2011, 11:20

Hello, Peter, and welcome to the forum. Your English is quite good, by the way. Smile
I'm sure if anyone has the information you require, they will give you an answer shortly.
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   2/3/2011, 11:56

I found this Peter,

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schloss_Benkhausen

Don`t know if it is of any use ,as my German is not a patch on your English
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jim
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   3/3/2011, 10:53

Hi Peter and welcome, I hope you find the ifo you require.

Your English is very good indeed.
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Peter Kroos
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   3/3/2011, 15:35

Hello everyone,
thank you so far!
I knew this wikipedia page allready.
Now i try to find out, which exactly part of the BAOR was in Benkhausen. I think it is easier for you then to help me. "Schloss Benkhausen" is very near by Lübbecke and Bad Oeynhausen.
Greetings from Dortmund
Peter


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Hardrations
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   3/3/2011, 15:41

Dortmund!!!

Do they still have that Schniel Imbiss under the railway bridge just past the Huapt Bhanhof Peter? They sold a mean curry wurst back in the 60's.
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Peter Kroos
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   3/3/2011, 15:55

Well, we had a lot of imbisses nearby the hauptbahnhof. some of them are very old. Still the currywurst is delicious!!!
I have heard that Montgomerys head quarter was in "Schloss Benhausen" for some days.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   4/3/2011, 17:02

Liebe Doktor Peter

Herzlich wilkommen

I am one of a small team of members of this site who are currently researching the detailed military organisation of the British Army of the Rhine in the period 1945-1947. The work is ongoing but I do have some information which may be of interest. In particular I have carried out a preliminary study into the Royal Navy presence in the British Zone and this indicates there was a significant Headquarters in the Minden area between Summer 1945 and 1947.

As you may already know the British established three major Headquarters in their Occupation Zone in early Summer 1945 The Army, with Field Marshall Montgomery in over all command, in Bad Oeynhausen, The Royal Air Force in Bad Eilsen and the Royal Navy in the Minden area. An organisation called the Control Commission Germany (CCG) was set up to be responsible for civilian affairs, political, economic and humanitarean including the establishment of the current system of Federal Government. CCG often shared accommodation with three fighting Services.

My initial studies showed that the Royal Navy established their main Headquarters in the former Melittta factory in Melle. Initiall this was known as Headquarters Allied Naval Expeditionary Force (ANCXF), was soon renamed Headquarters Royal Navy Germany and there was a number of further changes of titles in subsequent years. The main Headquarters moved to the Hamburg area in 1947/8 as obviously RN activities and interests were concentrated on the Baltic (Ost See) and North Sea, with subordinate RN units being based in Cuxhaven, Kiel, Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven. However there must have been a small stay behind RN liasion HQ to link in with HQ BAOR

Whilst the Melitta factory provided the majority of working accommodation living accommodation must have been provided elsewhere. I wonder if your Schloss was used for this purpose? There are numerous examples of the British forces requistioning similar buildings in this period. Alternatively it might have been used as the Residence for the RN Admiral and his personal staff

The Melittta factory was clearly quickly handed back to its original owners but the Schloss may have been used by the British (including the CCG) until 1952 when with the signing of the German Peace Treaty the status of the British Forces changed from Occupying Power to NATO partner and the main British Headquarters left the Bad Oenyhausen area and moved to the new NATO Headquarters in Rheindahlen.

My preliminary studies that in accordance with Naval tradition the Factory complex was known as HMS Royal Henry with the Guard Force provided by elements of 4 Commando Brigade Royal Marines but they left for the UK and disbandment in late Summer 1945. There was also another RN establishment known as HMS Royal Albert in the Minden area in Summer 1945 but as yet I have no detailed knowledge of its exact role and location

Our resident expert on the British 30 Corps District deployment in Niedersachsen is currently moving house but hopefully he may be able to add a little more information in due course, particularly those Army units which may have been in the Lubbecke area after the depature of the Royal Navy and prior to the formation of Headquarters 2 Division in the late 1960s.

I hope this information is of interest

Mitt freundlich grusse
JPW
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   5/3/2011, 09:28

Our resident expert on the British 30 Corps District deployment in Niedersachsen is currently moving house but hopefully he may be able to add a little more information in due course, particularly those Army units which may have been in the Lubbecke area after the depature of the Royal Navy and prior to the formation of Headquarters 2 Division in the late 1960s.

Peter and JPW

Can only help with Tunis Barracks Lubbecke and the details of 2 Division that formed in Feb 47

Feb 47 – 2 Division Signal Regiment formed from 53 (Welsh) Infantry Division Signal Regiment St David’s Barracks Hilden moved to Tunis Barracks Lubbecke returning to St David’s Barracks Hilden in 1952 as 2 Infantry Division Signal Regiment moved to Birdwood Barracks Bunde Jun 1958 on the disbandment of 6 Armoured Division Signal Regiment then HQ 2 Infantry Division moved into Tunis Barracks Lubbecke from St David’s Barracks Hilden 1958 and remained until the move to UK Imphal Barracks York Dec 1982

Unsure who was there 1952 to 1958

Best regards
Steve study
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Peter Kroos
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   8/3/2011, 09:43

Thank you so much Steve and JPW,
a german person working in the maintenance of the homeland (Karl Friedrich Hüsemann
>Ortsheimatpfleger<) told me, that there were no troops in Benkhausen, but parts of the headquarter of field marshal Montgomery. In 1946 he was replaced by General Brian Robertson, Oberkommissar and Militärgouverneur. A daughter of this general married in Schloss Benkhausen, a big tent was built beside the Schloss.
In 1952 a special part of the Royal Navy came to Benkhausen. Than a "Diensstelle der Britischen Kontrollkommission für Deutschland" was within the Schloss. At least the "britische Militärseelsorge" used the castle as a "Exerzitienhaus" for catholic soldiers.
Sorry again for my very bad English. For some words i don't know the translations.
With best wishes from Dortmund in Germany
Peter


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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   9/3/2011, 12:37

Doktor Peter

Thank you for your latest comments which provide some useful background information

It looks as if the Schloss was first used as a senior Officers residence in 1945

Your comments regarding the Royal Navy and the Control Commision Germany are very interesting , they support a query some 18 months ago regarding a person with some specialist technical knowledge who was employed by that organisation. I believe however CCG had virtually ceased to exist by 1952 since the Federal Government in Bonn had assumed full responsibility for all matters in West Germany and the British CCG was therefore redundant

The last use you mention is as a Retreat House for Roman Catholic soldiers however by 1960 this had moved to Cologne though it was to return to the Lubbecke area together with the Anglican equivalent (Church House Wuppetal) in the 1980s

Food for thought for Steve and I in our ongoing quest for information on the early days of BAOR
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Peter Kroos
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   9/3/2011, 17:53

Hello JPW and Steve,
hello everyone,
originally i thought there must be a central archive of the BAOR, or of the royal army. You know, something "official"? But even in the British embassy in Berlin they cannot give me an answer to this question. I am sure, somewhere in the world there must be some old plans or photos of Schloss Benkhausen. I'm quit disillusioned...
Greetings from Germany
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   9/3/2011, 18:12

Dr. Kroos,

I am sure you have thought of this, but it seems to me if you went to the archives or state historical society or something of Lubbecke or Bad Oeynhausen you might find, at the very least, some additional information regarding the Schloss.

I have done some research here and there on other things and I find -- as I am sure you have -- that while some of the original information you come across is of little or no use to you, it does lead you to something else which, in turn, leads to something else again and there, buried in some reference is something of use!

One has to dig through a lot of crap to find the gem...
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   9/3/2011, 20:37

Doktor Peter

You are correct I dont think there is any official archive which records the history of the British Army of the Rhine which is based in Germany. It was one of the reasons why Philip Green, the original webmaster, set up this site.

The majority of the official records compiled from many sources are held in either the National Archives at Kew in London or the Imperial War Museum also in London.

I have visited both in the past year in my quest for information and there is no doubt the answers to your queries may be in Kew. However my visit to Kew revealed that they hold some twelve thousand files comprising probably a hundred thousand individual documents on the history of BAOR in the period 1945-47 alone.

For this reason I am unwilling to volunteer to undertake a detailed search on your behalf though if I come across anything interesting in the course of my searches I will let you know(I am currently concentrating on the British 8 Corps area in Schleswig Holstein, the Canadians in Emsland and the Royal Navy. I also have to complete my work on the Norwegians and tidy up various other earlier submissions to this site).

A busy man, though officially retired, but it is hugely enjoyable and very satisfying
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Peter Kroos
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   10/3/2011, 10:28

Thank You, JPW, for your offer/proposal to look in the national archive. If you need any help in Germany, please let me know. Maybe it is interesting for you what i find in an German archive in Detmold.

Adresse
Landesarchiv NRW Abteilung Ostwestfalen-Lippe
Willi-Hofmann-Str. 2
D- 32756 Detmold
Telefon: 05231-766-0
Telefax: 05231-766-114
E-Mail: owl@lav.nrw.de

http://www.archive.nrw.de/LandesarchivNRW/abteilungOstwestfalenLippe/index.html

Within this archive there is the
"Bestand D 13 A (Amt für Verteidigungslasten)"

with many informations about relations between the BAOR and German offices/functions.

http://www.archive.nrw.de/LAV_NRW/jsp/suchController.jsp?alle=amt+f%FCr+verteidigungslasten&genau=&irgend=&ohne=&treffer=50&fenster=0&anzeige=0&seite=0&zeitvon=&zeitbis=&sort=0&auswahl=Suche+starten

Best regards

Peter
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   24/3/2011, 10:21

Have now looked at the relevant Royal Marines War Diaries in Kew

We can eliminate them as possible occupants of the Schloss.

47/48 Commandos were indeed in Minden in Summer 1945 but were accommodated in a former German Barracks which they renamed Walcheren Barracks after the Commando led Landings in the Scheldt Estuary in Autumn 1944.

This poses an interesting question, where was Walcheren Barracks,(the barracks was probably renamed by the Army unit which replaced the Marines)?

HQ 4 Commando Brigade were never in the Minden area.
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anniellis
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   10/7/2011, 01:09

Peter Kroos wrote:
Hallo,
my name is Dr. Peter Kroos. I am an german architect. I am looking for any informations about a castle, called benkhausen, nearby LÜBBECKE. In this castle the british army was from 1945 to 1962. We cant find any old plans or photos from the castle in german archives.
Can anyone help us, please?
With kind regards
Dr. Peter Kroos
(Sorry for my very bad english)

Dear Peter, My father served on the Staff of General Sir Brian Robertson and I remember visiting Schloss Benkhausen and Lübbecke with him while we were living in Berlin. I believe the Schloss was the General's country 'retreat'. The former owner of the Schloss was living in the gatehouse in 1947, my memory is of a nice old gentleman who showed us around. I have photos of the Schloss at that time. If you would like to contact me on my e-mail anniellis@arcor.de I will be pleased to send copies. I mean to visit the Schloss again sometime as Rostock, where I live at present, is not too far away. What is it used for now?
Kind regards,
Anni.
I wish I could write German half as well as you write English
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   10/7/2011, 07:29

Welcome aboard Anni..Your input to the site is very much appreciated.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Benkhausen   19/7/2011, 11:55

annie

many thanks for your input, you have saved steve and i many hours of research looking for archive materiel. clearly schloss benkhausen was cinc baor's principle residence in the early days of baor when the hq was in bad oeynhausen
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