|Friedrich August Schack|
Friedrich August Schack
27 March 1892|
Schmiedeberg (now Kowary)
|Died||24 July 1968
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Rank||General der Infanterie|
|Commands held||216. Infanterie-Division
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Friedrich August Schack (born 27 March 1892, Schmiedeberg im Riesengebirge/Silesia (now Kowary), died 24 July 1968, Goslar) was a General of Infantry best known for his pyrrhic defense of Caen after the allied invasion, September 1944, and for his brief leadership of the LXXXI Army Corps defending Aachen and the Siegfried Line.
World War I
Schack enlisted in the army, 6 August 1914, as a volunteer in Hussar regiment No. 1. In September 1915 he joined infantry regiment No. 195 as second lieutenant. His rank became official 23 March 1914. Schack fought throughout World War I as a platoon leader, battalion and regimental adjutant. On 3 April 1918 Schack transferred to the 1st West Prussian infantry regiment "Count Kleist von Nollendorf" No. 6. During the war he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class and other medals. After the war he was transferred to the Reichsheer.
In the so-called transition army, spring 1920, Schack served in Reichsheer infantry regiment 9. While helping to train 100,000 men he moved to the 8th Prussian Infantry Regiment, where in autumn 1921 he served as battalion adjutant. On 1 April 1923 Schack was promoted to first lieutenant. In spring 1924 and 1925 he belonged to the 12the MG (Maschinengewehr / machine gun) company of the 8th Prussian Infantry Regiment in Görlitz. In spring 1926 and 1927 he moved to the 8th MG company of the 8the Prussian Infantry Regiment in Glogau. In the autumn Schack was appointed commander of 14th Company of the 8th Prussian Infantry Regiment in Lübben. As such, he was promoted to captain, 1 April 1928. In 1928/29 Schack was appointed, for the next 5 years, commander of the 8th MG company of the 8th Prussian Infantry Regiment in Glogau. Finally Schack was shifted (1934) as a major and tactics teacher to the war college in Dresden. There he became, 1 October 1937, lieutenant colonel.
World War II
On 1 October 1938 Schack was appointed commander of MG battalion 15, and fought in the Polish campaign at the outbreak of the Second World War, September 1939. On 18 January 1940 Schack was named commander of infantry regiment 392, which he led during the western campaign in spring 1940. On 1 October he was promoted to colonel. In June 1941 Schack fought in Russia. For the capture of Salla, 24 July 1941, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. On 1 October 1942 he became commander of the war College in Potsdam. On 7 May 1943 he became leader of the 216th Infantry-Division. On 1 July 1943 Schack was promoted to major general and commander of the 216th Infantry division. Schack led his division in bloody combat in Orel, July 1943, during the Battle of Kursk, and suffered heavy losses. Some of the surviving soldiers were sent to Belgium, where they became the 272nd Infantry-Division. On 15 December 1943 Schack was appointed commander of the division. As such he was promoted, 1 January 1944, to lieutenant general. For leading his division during the defense of Caen after D Day, Schack was awarded, 21 September 1944, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. However, Schack had sustained heavy losses during the battle and was suffering severe combat fatigue. On 4 September 1944 Schack became leader of the LXXXI Army corps, five badly mauled divisions, charged with defending Aachen and the Siegfried Line. Schack’s superiors became dissatisfied with his performance and replaced him with General Friedrich Köchling. Beginning 15 November 1944 Schack led the LXXXV army corps in southern France and the Ardennes for one month. On 26 March 1945 Schack was assigned to lead the XXXII Army corps, on the Oder near Stettin. On 20 April 1945 Schack was promoted to General of Infantry and commanding general of the XXXII Army corps. At war’s end the Allies imprisoned him. They released him 24 March 1948.
Awards and decorations
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Wound Badge (1914)
- in Black
- Silesian Eagle (1919)
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Sudetenland Medal
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Eastern Front Medal
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned twice in the Wehrmachtbericht (4 August 1944 and 27 August 1944)
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|4 August 1944 (addendum)||Die 272. Infanterie-Division hat unter Führung des Generalleutnants Schack durch zähes Aushalten bei schwersten feindlichen Angriffen und immer wieder zu schneidigen Gegenangriffen antretend entscheidenden Anteil an dem Mißlingen der feindlichen Durchbruchs südlich Caen.||The 272nd Infantry Division, under the command of Lieutenant-General Schack, by tough enduring in enemy attacks and again lining up for dashing counterattacks, played a decisive role in the failure of the enemy breakthrough south of Caen.|
|27 August 1944 (addendum)||Die 272. Infanterie-Division unter Führung des Generalleutnants Schack hat sich in den Kämpfen ostwärts Caen zum wiederholten Male durch hervorragendes Standhaftigkeit ausgezeichnet.||The 272nd Infantry Division under the command of Lieutenant-General Schack has repeatedly distinguished itself in the battles east of Caen by demonstrating outstanding fortitude.|
- Thomas 1998, p. 244.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 372.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 653.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 89.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, pp. 189–190.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 221.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Lehrer, Steven (2002). Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States). McFarland. p. 224. ISBN 0-7864-1045-0.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
- Lexikon der Wehrmacht. Personenregister. Schack, Friedrich-August  This website is maintained by Volksbund Deutscher Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V., a non-governmental charity that cares for German World War II military graves and the remains of Hitler's soldiers, both in Germany and in other parts of the world. See Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States) for further detail.
General der Infanterie Werner Freiherr von und zu Gilsa
|Commander of 216. Infanterie-Division
7 May 1943 – 3 October 1943
Generalleutnant Egon von Neindorff