||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2012)|
|Born||8 January 1889
Wolframitz, Bohemia (district of Znaim)
|Died||3 April 1956
|Allegiance|| Austria-Hungary (to 1918)
First Austrian Republic (to 1938)
|Years of service||1909–1945|
|Commands held||6th Panzer Division
3rd Panzer Army
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Erhard Raus (8 January 1889 – 3 April 1956) was an Austrian Colonel General (Generaloberst) during World War II. He commanded the 6th Panzer Division during the early years of the war on the Eastern Front before taking Army and Army Group commands. Raus was one of three former Austrians who rose to the rank of Colonel General within the German Wehrmacht. The other two were Alexander Löhr and Lothar Rendulic.
Early life 
Born in Wolframitz (Moravia), then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he entered the Austro-Hungarian Army Cadet School at Koenigsfeld on 1 October 1905 and was commissioned as an officer on 18 August 1909. He fought throughout World War I with the Bicycle Light-Infantry, becoming highly decorated, rising to the rank of Captain and eventually commanding Bicycle Light-Infantry Battalion 1.
He married Marries Anna Morsani on August 17, 1918.
On January 18, 1919 he was selected for retention in the Austrian Army following the end of the war, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel in 1936. He spent these years in a number of staff and training posts before being absorbed into the Wehrmacht during the Anschluss in 1938, following which he continued with several other staff roles.
World War II 
Raus was appointed chief of staff to XVII Corps a few months before the war started but did not see any combat with these units, due to his staff role, when they attacked Poland and then headed west in 1940.
Following the practice of sending staff officers into the line he took over the command of Infantry Regiment 243 in June 1940, then Motorised Infantry Regiment 4 in July. In May 1941 he took command of the 6th Motorised Infantry Brigade of the 6th Panzer Division. However he had never led any of these formations into any sort of battle prior to 22 June 1941. His last combat experience was with the Bicycle Light Infantry Battalion 1 in the Austro-Hungarian Army where for 5 months in 1918 he was the acting commander.
Into Barbarossa 
On 22 June 1941, Kampfgruppe Raus (the 6th Panzer Division was operating with two Kampfgruppen – Kampfgruppe Raus and Kampfgruppe von Seckendorff) under his leadership, launched into the Baltic States and by August 20 had crossed through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, fought alone for several days after capturing a bridgehead over the Luga River, took part in some the early Eastern Fronts most infamous battles and actions, broke through the Stalin Line and had arrived upon the outskirts of Leningrad.
On 7 September 1941, Raus was appointed the acting commander of the 6th Panzer Division.
On 15 September, the 6th Panzer Division, minus its artillery was ordered off the line outside of Leningrad. The division was to be transferred to Army Group Centre to take part in Operation Typhoon – the attempt to capture Moscow. In Raus' opinion, the Soviet strength in his division's sector had been crushed, opening an opportunity to break into the city. He told of how his men in one week during the furious fighting outside the city had rolled up 12 Soviet defensive positions and captured 248 bunkers.
Moscow and the winter fighting 
Raus and his men were transferred to the LVI Panzer Corp and formed part of the spearhead striking for Moscow. During this drive, his men working in combination with other panzer divisions helped encircle 400,000 men at Vyazma.
At the beginning of December they stood only 14 km from the outskirts of Moscow. During the Soviet winter counterattack, Raus claimed to have saved his entire division by giving orders to blast holes into the frozen soil – each large enough to shelter three to five soldiers. Within hours his men were dug in and able to repel further Soviet attacks and withstand the terrible weather with fewer losses.
During the beginning of January 1942, the Soviet counterattacks were threatening to cut off the Fourth and Ninth armies, here Raus gained a new command of high importance. General Walter Model (commanding the Ninth Army) issued orders that all rear area personnel would be placed under the command of Raus and he was given the job of organizing these men to protect the lines of communications and stop any encircling operation by the Soviets. By February, Raus states he had collected around 35,000 men under his command and by mid February he was counterattacking the Soviet positions, helping stabilise the line and halt any chance of large chunks of Army Group Centre from being encircled.
In early April, now with only his 6th Panzer Division under his command, they were transferred to France to refit and rest and he was appointed the commander of the division on 29 April.
In mid November 1942, the division left France for the Soviet Union via train. Raus claimed to have saved much of his division from needless casualties by ignoring protests by train officials and organizing the transport of his men in what he called "Combat Trains", that being each trainload of his men would be able to deploy into small combined arms groups and thus be able to effectively repel partisan attacks for minimal material damage or loss of life. 
By the end of November, the division was detrained and its mission became clear: To take part in Operation Winter Storm.
As the division along with the other elements of XLVIII Panzer Corps attacked, Raus later claimed that his division's ability to inflict such heavy losses upon the Soviet forces facing them was in part due to his leadership skills and inspiration. In December 1942, Raus fought a masterpiece of attack and defense that burned out the 2nd Guards Army (Soviet Union's Red Army).
When the offensive was called off and the Panzer divisions called back, Raus made the claim that his troops were within striking distance of Stalingrad and that his force could have saved the encircled Sixth Army claiming there was no resistance between them. He failed to mention that the relief force was unable to carry on fighting towards the city because of increasing numbers of Soviet formations moving between the two and that Paulus was also unwilling to breakout.
Kharkov and Kursk 
With the collapse of the front following Stalingrad, Raus found himself being placed in command of a newly formed XI Corps known until midsummer as Provisional Corps Raus, as well as a promotion to General of Panzer Troops. He was now under the command of Army Detachment Kempf and was commanding himself the 168th, 298th and 320th Infantry Divisions.
His men took part in the counterattack during the Third Battle of Kharkov, he then led his men fighting across the Donets River during the Battle of Kursk (now commanding the 106th, 168th and 320th Infantry Divisions), their mission being to screen the Fourth Panzer Army while they broke through the Soviet defenses and drove on for Kursk to complete the encirclement.
In late July, following the failure of Operation Citadel, Raus' badly mauled Corp fought a rearguard action towards the Donets while the rest of the Army crossed before they finally crossed over.
There would be no relief for Raus or his men as the Red Army kept up its attacks. At this time the whole front was being pushed back by the Red Army, but he nevertheless managed to stabilise a major crossing point across the Donets. In doing so, he halted the Russians that threatened to outrun the retreating German army, which was scrambling to establish themselves on the Panther-Wotan Line; which was only partially completed at the time.
When they were finally ordered to fall back, his men had taken heavy losses. They fell back on Kharkov where they took part in the final battle for the city.
For his leadership during the defensive fighting from Belgorad to Kharkov he was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross.
He was soon again on the retreat, leading his men from Kharkov back to the Dnieper River, having to fend off constant Soviet attacks and attempts to envelop the Corp until they reached the bridgehead at the river on 20 September.
The Dnieper and beyond 
Following these events Raus spent the rest of the year fighting in the Ukraine. On 10 December 1943 he was appointed acting commander of the Fourth Panzer Army.
Several days later after setting up effective administration and improvising whatever craft he could lay his hands on, he had succeeded in his mission, pulling all divisions back across the river as well as thousands of cattle and horses.
The first test of his command was to blunt the Soviet Christmas offensive launched on the 24th. Having deployed his units to be able to absorb the initial Soviet attack, he ordered the construction of an anti tank ditch behind his lines as well as the evacuation of all unneeded material along with other efforts, but they were not to able to halt the Soviets.
However, through skillful use of his forces, Raus halted the Soviet offensive and scored a major defensive success although losing many men and being pushed back around 100 kilometres. He had kept the Soviets from breaking through  although Raus openly admitted that General Balck’s Panzer Corp played a key role in halting the Soviet attack.
More fighting was to follow through April 1944 which resulted in the loss of further men unnecessarily due to Hitler's orders to turn cities and towns into fortresses and fight to the last man.
In February 1945, Hitler transferred Raus to command the XI SS Panzer Corps in the Pomeranian area. When the Soviet Union crossed the German border, Hitler dismissed Raus from command of the Panzer Army.
Later life 
After his release from American captivity, Raus lived in Bad Gastein. He subsequently wrote and co-wrote a number of books and publications focusing on strategic analysis of the tank tactics used by his forces on the Eastern front. Raus spent the last year of his life in Vienna General Hospital, where he died of lung disease on 3 April 1956. He was buried there with full military honors on 6 April.
- Bronze Military Defence Medal of the Military Defence Cross with War Decoration and Swords (6 February 1915)
- Military Defence Cross, 3rd Class, with War Decorations and Swords (5 October 1915)
- Charles Troop Cross (15 March 1917)
- Silver Military Defence Medal of the Military Defence Cross with War Decoration and Swords (2 July 1917)
- Hungarian War Service Medal (9 March 1931)
- Austrian War Service Medal with Swords (15 May 1933)
- Silver Honors Badge (21 April 1934)
- Military Service Badge, 2nd Class (8 October 1934)
- Honors Decorations, 4th through 1st Classes (1 December 1939, dated to 1 January 1939)
- War Service Cross, 2nd Class (20 November 1940)
- Iron Cross, 2nd Class (29 June 1941)
- Iron Cross, 1st Class (6 July 1941)
- Armoured Combat Badge (1 September 1941)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (11 October 1941)
- Eastern Campaign Medal (1 August 1942)
- German Cross in Gold (14 February 1943)
- Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross (22 August 1943)
- Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945 (with Steven H. Newton), ISBN 978-0-306-81247-7
- Peculiarities of Russian warfare (German report series, 1949), OCLC 38291522
- Tactics in unusual situations (Small unit tactics, 1951), OCLC 37669938
- Improvisations and field expedients: Their use as instruments of command (1951), OCLC 38373401
- Effects of climate on combat in European Russia (German Report Series, CMH Pub 104-6, 1952)
- The Pomeranian battle and the command in the east (1952) OCLC 14445144
- Strategic deceptions (Deceptions & Cover Plans Project # 29, 1948), OCLC 37161255
Generalleutnant Franz Landgraf
|Commander of 6. Panzer Division
29 April 1942–7 February 1943
Generalleutnant Walther von Hünersdorff
|Commander of XI Corps (known as Provisional Corps Raus until 10 May 1943)
10 February 1943–5 November 1943
General of Panzer Troops Heinrich Eberbach
|Commander of XLVII Panzer Corps
5 November 1943–30 November 1943
General of Panzer Troops Hermann Balck
Generaloberst Hermann Hoth
|Commander of 4. Panzer-Armee
10 November 1943–21 April 1944]
General of Panzer Troops Walter Nehring
Colonel General Hans Hube
|Commander of 1. Panzerarmee
21 April 1944–July, 1944
General of Panzer Troops Erhard Raus
|Commander of Armeegruppe Raus
July, 1944–August, 1944
Colonel-General Gotthard Heinrici
Generaloberst Georg-Hans Reinhardt
|Commander of 3. Panzer-Armee
16 August 1944–10 March 1945
General Hasso-Eccard von Manteuffel
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 84
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 352
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 93
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 98
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 138
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 187
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 249
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 254
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 263
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 267
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 268
- Heuer 1988, p. 157
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 353
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Heuer, Gerd F.: Die Generalobersten des Heeres. Inhaber höchster deutscher Kommandostellen 1933–1945. Rattstatt: Moewig 1988. ISBN 3-8118-1408-7
- Tsouras, Peter G. Panzers on the Eastern Front: General Erhard Raus and His Panzer Divisions in Russia, 1941–1945.
- Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit. Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, 2001. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
- Schaulen, Fritjof (2005). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe III Radusch – Zwernemann (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-22-X.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945 (with Steven H. Newton)