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22 August 1885|
Bautzen, German Empire
|Died||20 February 1960
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany (to 1945)
|Years of service||1905–45|
|Rank||General der Infanterie|
|Battles/wars||Poland 1939, France 1940, France 1944|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Ferdinand Neuling (22 August 1885 – 20 February 1960) was a general of the Heer during World War II. In September 1939, German troops under his command occupied the Polish part of Upper Silesia and cities of Katowice, Mikołów Chorzów, committing numerous war crimes on Polish civilians and resistance fighters.
In 1905 he joined the Kaiser's army as ensign in 139th Infantry Regiment. A year later he was promoted to lieutenant. He served in World War I and received the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class. After 1918, he continued service in the Reichswehr. In 1929, he was promoted to major, in 1933 to colonel. In the same year, he took command of 23rd Infantry Regiment.
On 1 January 1939 he became General Major and three months later took command of Landwehr in Oppeln. On the eve of World War II he was ordered to create the 239 Infantry Division, basing on Landwehr soldiers. The Division's battle value was considered very low and the unit was scheduled to be used as reserve.
On 2 September 1939, his division crossed German-Polish border in Gierałtowice. The troops marched towards Ornontowice, then Mikołów. Neuling had to struggle with Polish civilians who desperately tried to defend their homeland against Nazi aggressors. On 3 September, following the retreat of Polish Army from Upper Silesia, Neuling entered Mikołów. A day later, he seized Katowice, where was warmly greeted by German citizens and fiercely attacked by Poles. Three days later, his soldiers burned down the synagoge in Katowice.
After capturing Upper Silesia Neuling's division headed east. In October 1939 they guarded the German-Soviet border on Bug River, which was created after the fall of Poland.
In 1940 Neuling's men took part in the offensive against France, stormed the Maginot Line, and captured Colmar and Strasbourg. After that, he was put into army's reserve. Since 1942 he commanded LXII ArmeeKorps in France. On 18 August 1944, his corps was crushed by advancing units of the US Army. Neuling was taken prisoner and transferred to the POW camp in Clinton, Mississippi.
He returned to Germany in 1947 and died in Hildesheim in 1960. He never faced any charges concerning crimes committed during the war.
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Knight's Cross of the Military Order of St. Henry
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- German Cross in Gold (19 December 1941)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 28 February 1942 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 239. Infanterie-Division
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 323.
- 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.
- 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.