||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
7 December 1897|
Danzig-Langfuhr, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire (now Wrzeszcz borough, Gdansk, Poland)
|Died||29 November 1982
Asperg, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany (now Federal Republic of Germany)
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Rank||General der Panzertruppe|
|Awards||Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds|
|Relations||William Balck (father)|
Hermann Balck (7 December 1897 – 29 November 1982) was a career German army officer who served in both World War I and World War II, rising to the rank of General der Panzertruppe. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. His father was Generalleutnant and Knight of the Order Pour le Mérite William Balck.
Balck was born in Danzig - Langfuhr, he entered the Imperial German army in 1913 as an officer candidate. He served as a company grade officer in World War I, ending in command of a machine-gun company. His unit was closely involved in the German Schlieffen Plan, and led the Sedan crossing. Balck was nominated for the Pour le Mérite in October 1918.
At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Balck was in the OKH (High Command of the German Army) and in late October of that year was transferred to the command of Schützenregiment 1 (motorized rifle regiment 1) in 1. Panzerdivision where he served during the Battle of France.
During the winter and spring of 1940 and 1941, he commanded Panzerregiment 3 during the Battle of Greece, and later 2. Panzerbrigade. He returned to staff duties in the Inspectorate of Armoured Forces in the OKH in July 1941. In May 1942, Balck went to the Eastern Front and commanded the 11. Panzer Division in Ukraine and southern Russia. He was removed into officer reserve, but immediately given command of Panzergrenadierdivision Grossdeutschland in the east. After a brief spell in Italy he came to command the 48th Panzer Corps in the eastern front in December 1943, and finally 4th Panzer Army from August 1944. During this time his Division or Panzerkorps engaged in the defense against the Soviet breakthrough at Stalingrad, and the attempt to relieve Stalingrad in late 1942, the defense against the Soviet breakthrough across the Dnieper, and the counterattack at Zhitomir in 1943, as well as the defense against the Soviet winter/spring offensive in western Ukraine in 1944. In July 1944 Balck commanded the 48. Panzerkorps during the initial phase of the Soviet Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive. Balck was closely involved in the failed defense, and the unsuccessful attempt to relieve the encircled 13. Armeekorps at Brody which was destroyed.
In late December Balck was relieved of his command and transferred back to the Eastern Front and demoted to command Army Group Balck in Hungary. His predecessor Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz became his successor.
After the war he became a depot worker. In 1948 he was arrested, tried and convicted for murder for the execution by firing squad, without proper trial, of the artillery commander Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Schottke, who was found drunk on duty, on 28 November 1944 near Saarbrücken. This incident occurred while Balck was serving as commander of Army Group G on the western front. He served half of his sentence.
Career assessment 
Balck was a prime example of a class of German officers who rose rapidly through the ranks during the war, together with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Gerneralobersts Erhard Raus and Josef Harpe. Balck started the war as an Oberstleutnant (lieutenant-colonel) in 1939 and ended it as a General der Panzertruppe (lieutenant-general of armored troops). Balck is often described as a very gifted commander of armored troops, and his handling of 11. Panzerdivision and 48. Panzerkorps during 1942-43 would support this view.
Some of the battles Balck participated in are described in Panzer Battles, the memoir of Generalmajor Friedrich von Mellenthin, his chief of staff at 48 Panzerkorps and Army Group G, and a fervent admirer. Balck's own autobiography is entitled Ordnung im Chaos: Erinnerungen, 1893-1948.
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Knight of the House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords (3 December 1917)
- Military Merit Order, 4th class with Swords (Bavaria; 15 November 1914)
- Military Merit Cross 3rd Class (Austria-Hungary; 28 February 1916)
- Order of Bravery, 3rd class, 1st stage with Swords (Bulgaria; 2 December 1941)
- Wound Badge (1914) in Gold (10 May 1918)
- Panzer Badge in Silver (14 October 1940)
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
- Knight's Cross on 3 June 1940 as Oberstleutnant and commander of Schützen-Regiment 1
- 155th Oak Leaves on 20 December 1942 as Generalmajor and commander of the 11. Panzer-Division
- 25th Swords on 4 March 1943 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 11. Panzer-Division
- 19th Diamonds on 31 August 1944 as General der Panzertruppe and acting commander of the 4. Panzerarmee
- Mentioned four times in the Wehrmachtbericht
Wehrmachtbericht reference 
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Sunday, 20 December 1942||In den Kämpfen im großen Don-Bogen zeichnete sich die 11. Panzerdivision unter Führung des Generalmajors Balck besonders aus.||In the battles at the great Don-bend especially distinguished itself the 11th Panzer Division under the leadership of Major General Balck.|
|9 September 1944 (addendum)||Im Weichselbrückenkopf, westlich Baranow, haben die unter dem Oberbefehl des Generals der Panzertruppen Balck, und dem Befehl der Generale der Panzertruppen Breith und Gräser sowie des Generals der Infanterie Recknagel stehenden Truppen im vergangenen Monat den Durchbruch massierter sowjetischer Kräfte vereitelt und den feindlichen Brückenkopf durch erfolgreiche Gegenangriffe eingeengt.||In the Vistula bridgehead west of Baranov, troops under the command in chief of General of Panzer Troops Balck, and commanded by the Generals of Panzer Troops Breith and Gräser as well as the General of the Infantry Recknagel prevented the break out last month of massed Soviet forces and narrowed the enemy bridgehead by counterattacks successfully.|
Dates of rank 
|20 September 1916:||Leutnant (Second Lieutenant)|
|1 May 1924:||Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant)|
|1 February 1929:||Rittmeister (Captain of Cavalry)|
|1 June 1935:||Major (Major)|
|23 January 1938:||Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)|
|1 Oberst 1940:||Oberst (Colonel)|
|15 July 1942:||Generalmajor (US Equivalent - Brigadier General)|
|21 January 1943:||Generalleutnant (Major General)|
|12 November 1943:||General der Panzertruppe (Lieutenant General of Armoured Troops)|
- Balck, Hermann (1981). Ordnung im Chaos / Erinnerungen 1893 - 1948. Biblio, Osnabrück. ISBN 3-7648-1176-5.
- Thomas 1997, p. 20.
- Thomas and Wegmann 1987, p. 204.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 121.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 62.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 40.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 37.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 402.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 237.
- Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
- Fraschka, Günther (1994). Knights of the Reich. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military/Aviation History. ISBN 0-88740-580-0.
- Schaulen, Fritjof (2003). Eichenlaubträger 1940 - 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe I Abraham - Huppertz (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-20-3.
- 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.
- Thomas, Franz and Wegmann, Günter (1987). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 1: A–Be (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-1153-6.
- Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2299-6.
- Williamson, Gordon (2006). Knight's Cross with Diamonds Recipients 1941-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-644-5.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 (in German). München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 1985. ISBN 3-423-05944-3.
Helden der Wehrmacht
- Hermann Balck in the German National Library catalogue
- Biography at the Bundesarchiv
- Additional information on General der Panzertruppe Hermann Balck appears at Mike Miller / Axis Biographical Research
Generalleutnant Walter Scheller
|Commander of 11. Panzer Division
16 May 1942 – 4 March 1943
General der Infanterie Dietrich von Choltitz
General der Panzertruppen Heinrich Eberbach
|Commander of XLVIII Panzer Corps
15 November 1943 – 19 August 1944
General der Panzertruppen Walther Nehring
General der Panzertruppen Walther Nehring
|Commander of 4. Panzer-Armee
5 August 1944 – 21 September 1944
General der Panzertruppen Fritz-Hubert Gräser
General Johannes Blaskowitz
|Commander of Heeresgruppe G
21 September 1944 – 23 December 1944
General Johannes Blaskowitz
General Maximilian Fretter-Pico
|Commander of 6. Armee
23 December 1944 – 8 May 1945