Wend von Wietersheim

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Wend von Wietersheim
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1972-031-42, Wend von Wietersheim.jpg
Born (1900-04-18)18 April 1900
Neuland, Löwenberg district, Silesia
Died 19 September 1975(1975-09-19) (aged 75)
Bad Honnef-Aegidienberg
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch German Empire Deutsches Heer
Reichswehr
Nazi Germany Heer
Years of service 1914–45
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held Panzer-Grenadier Regiment 113
11. Panzer-Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Wend von Wietersheim (18 April 1900 – 19 September 1975) was a German general of Infantry, serving during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career[edit]

Coat of Arms of the Von Wietersheim family.

Wietersheim was born on 18 April 1900 in Neuland, district of Löwenberg, in Silesia, a province in the Kingdom of Prussia. Today it is Niwnice within Lwówek Śląski County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland. He was the son of the Chamberlain and Ultimogeniture Walter von Wietersheim (1863–1919) and Armgard von Colmar (1863–1949).[1] His older brother, Mark von Wietersheim, was a member of the Nazi Party and served in the Preußischer Landtag and as district administrator (Landrat) of the county Löwenberg.

He served in World War I as a Fähnrich (ensign) in the German Army. For these services he received the Iron Cross 2nd Class and was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant) in 1919. As a result of the Treaty of Versailles which was signed on 28 June 1919, the German Army was downsized to a standing army of 100,000 men. The German Army was renamed the Reichswehr (Reich Defence) in the era of the Weimar Republic. Von Wieterheims was one of these soldiers retained in military service. From 1924 he served with Reiter-Regiment 12 (12th cavalry regiment). He was transferred to the military riding school in Hanover and successfully participated in numerous equestrian tournaments from 1924 to 1929. In 1934 he was appointed squadron chief in Reiter-Regiment 4 (4th cavalry regiment).[2] He also served in the staff of Wehrkreis III (3rd military district) before transferring to the Panzer (tank) force in 1938 holding the position of an Adjutant (aide) with the 3rd Panzer-Division. With this unit he participated in the German invasion of Poland which marked the beginning of World War II in Europe. Major Wietersheim took command of the Kradschützen-Bataillon 1 (1st motorcycle infantry battalion) of the 1st Panzer-Division. The 1st Panzer-Division at the time was under the command of Friedrich Kirchner. He led this battalion in the Battle of France.

War against the Soviet Union[edit]

Wietersheim was promoted to Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel) on 1 April 1941 and was appointed commander of Schützen-Regiment 113 (113th rifle regiment) of the 1st Panzer-Division on 20 July 1941. This regiment was later renamed Panzergrenadier-Regiment 113 on 5 July 1942. The invasion of the Soviet Union began on 22 June 1941 and was codenamed Operation Barbarossa. The 1st Panzer-Division was subordinated to Panzergruppe 4 (4th Panzer Group) under the command of Generaloberst (Colonel General) Erich Hoepner operating on the northern sector of the Eastern Font. Its strategic goal was Leningrad, with operational objectives being the territories of the Baltic republics. The division initially made fast advance and captured Opolje, near Kingisepp, in August 1941.

Wietersheim surrendered to General Herbert L. Earnest of the US 90th Infantry Division in May 1945 near Vseruby, Czechoslovakia.

Awards[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht references[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
24 December 1943 In den Kämpfen südöstlich Kirowograd haben sich die 11. Schlesische Panzerdivision unter Führung des Generalmajors v. Wietersheim und die 13. Altmärkische Panzerdivision unter Führung des Generalmajors Hauser hervorragend bewährt.[6] The 11th Silesian Panzer-Division under the command of Major-General v. Wietersheim and the 13th Altmark Panzer-Division under the command of Major-General Hauser have particularly proven themselves in combat southeast of Kirovograd.
4 September 1944 (addendum) Im Rhônetal hat sich die zum Schutz unserer Absetzbewegung eingesetzte 11. Panzerdivision unter Führung des Generalleutnants von Wietersheim in Angriff und Abwehr hervorragend bewährt.[7] The 11th Panzer-Division under the command of Lieutenant-General Wend von Wietersheim, employed for the protection of our retreat in the Rhône Valley, has proved itself to be excellent in attack and defense.
24 December 1944 (addendum) In der Schlacht um Lothringen und in den Vorfeldkämpfen des Westwalls an der Saar haben sich die 11. Panzer-Division unter Führung des Generalleutnants Wend von Wietersheim und die 25. Panzergrenadier-Division unter Führung des Obersten Burmeister hervorragend geschlagen.[8] In the Battle of Lorraine and in the advance battles of the Western Wall at the Saar, the 11th Panzer-Division under the command of Lieutenant-General Wend von Wietersheim and the 25th Panzer-Grenadier-Division under the leadership of Colonel Burmeister have fought magnificently.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ "Wend von Wietersheim". Munzinger (in German). Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Mitcham 2006, p. 107.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas 1998, p. 444.
  4. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 513.
  5. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 786.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 632.
  7. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 232.
  8. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 574.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [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. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2006). The Panzer Legions: A Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of World War II and Their Commanders. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-8117-3353-3. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • 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 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Johann Mickl
Commander of 11.Panzer Division
10 August 1943 – 10 April 1945
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Horst Freiherr Treusch von Buttlar-Brandenfels
Preceded by
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling
Commander of XXXXI Panzerkorps
10 April 1945 – 19 April 1945
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Rudolf Holste