Günter Angern (far right)
5 March 1893|
Kolberg, German Empire
2 February 1943 (aged 49)|
Stalingrad, Soviet Union
|Years of service||1911–43|
11th Panzer Division|
16th Panzer Division
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
German Cross in Gold
Günther Angern (5 March 1893 – 2 February 1943) was a German general in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the 16th Panzer Division during the Battle of Stalingrad. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany.
Born in Kolberg, Angern joined the army of Imperial Germany as an Fahnen-junker (officer cadet). He was commissioned in the infantry and fought in World War I. In the interwar period, he joined the Wehrmacht and by 1938 was commander of the 3rd Schützen (Rifle) Brigade. The following year he led the 11th Schützen Brigade. In August 1940, in the rank of oberst, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross while commanding the brigade.
On 15 August 1941, during the later stages of Operation Barbarossa, Angern was given command of the 11th Panzer Division. His time leading the division was brief, for he was wounded nine days later. He had a long period off active duty because of his wounds and during this time was promoted to generalmajor and received the German Cross in Gold.[Note 1]
Returning to duty on 15 September 1942, Angern took command of 16th Panzer Division, operating to the north of the city of Stalingrad, supporting the divisions fighting in the city. By mid-November, the division had been reduced to 4,000 personnel and had been ordered to withdraw to the Donets. The Red Army began a counteroffensive which encircled Stalingrad, trapping several elements of the division, including Angern and his staff, in the city along with the Sixth Army. Angern remained in Stalingrad throughout the siege and was promoted to generalleutnant on 21 January 1943.[Note 2]
The advance of the Red Army pressed the Germans into the eastern portion of the Stalingrad perimeter and in mid-January, along with some other staff officers of the division, Angern considered escaping the encirclement by passing through the frontlines wearing captured Red Army uniforms accompanied by Russian Hiwis. Nothing came of the plan and Angern committed suicide on 2 February 1943, following the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad.
- Beevor, Antony (1999). Stalingrad. London, United Kingdom: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-024985-9.
- Mitcham, Jr, Samuel W. (2007). Panzer Legions: A Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of WWII and Their Commanders. Mechanicsburg, PA, United States: Stackpole Books. 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
General der Panzertruppe Ludwig Crüwell
| Commander of 11th Panzer Division
15 August 1941 – 24 August 1941
General der Panzertruppe Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck
Generaloberst Hans-Valentin Hube
| Commander of 16th Panzer Division
15 September 1942 – 2 February 1943
Generalmajor Burkhart Müller-Hillebrand