Hans-Valentin Hube

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Hans Hube
VHube.jpg
Generaloberst Hans-Valentin Hube
Born (1890-10-29)29 October 1890
Naumburg an der Saale
Died 21 April 1944(1944-04-21) (aged 53)
near Obersalzberg
Buried at Invalidenfriedhof Berlin
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1909–44
Rank Generaloberst
Unit 7. Division
Commands held 16th Infantry Division, XIV Panzer Corps, 1st Panzer Army
Battles/wars
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds

Hans-Valentin Hube (29 October 1890 – 21 April 1944) was a German general in World War II. He was one of 27 people to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Nazi Germany's highest military decoration.

World War II[edit]

Born in 1890, Hans-Valentin volunteered for military service in the Imperial German Army in 1909 and served during World War I. He saw action in the battle of the Race to the Sea and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Knight's Cross of the House Order of Hohenzollern. In 1918, Hube briefly served with the paramilitary Freikorps and then joined the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic and then in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany reaching the rank of Oberst in 1936.[1]

23 August 1942: Hans Hube as commander of 16th Panzer Division

Hube took part in the invasion of Poland and the Battle of France as a regimental commander.[2] He was appointed commander of 16th Infantry Division in June 1940. As commander of the 16th Panzer Division, he took part in Operation Barbarossa as part of Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt's Army Group South. For this action during the campaign, Hube got the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. On 16 January 1942, he was awarded the Oak leaves to the Knight's Cross for his actions in the Battle of Kiev. Hube then led the division during Fall Blau, the attack to capture Stalingrad. In September 1942, Hube was given command of XIV Panzer Corps, the parent formation of the 16th Panzer Division.

Hube commanded the XIVth Corps during the Soviet counter-offensive, Operation Uranus. He was promoted to Generalleutnant and received the Swords to the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves from Adolf Hitler personally on 21 December 1942. During his time at the Führer-Headquarters in Rastenburg, Hube argued strongly, but to no avail, for Hitler to allow 6th Army to attempt a breakout. Instead, Hitler promised a new relief attack beginning in the middle of Feb. Hube conveyed that plan to Paulus upon his return to the cauldron. However, Hube was then ordered to fly out again on 10 Jan. to "reorganize the supply of the 6th Army."[3]

After the destruction of the 6th Army, Hube was sent to the Mediterranean front. He created Gruppe Hube in Sicily, an army-sized formation whose task was to defend the island. With the advent of Operation Husky on 10 July, Hube commanded the overall German defence. On 17 July 1943 Hube was given command of all army and Flak troops on the island. Hube commanded the German forces' fighting retreat, and organised the evacuation to the Italian peninsula. Hube had prepared a strong defensive line, the 'Etna Line' around Messina, that would enable Germans to make a progressive retreat while evacuating large parts of his army to the mainland. Patton began his assault on the line at Troina, but it was a linchpin of the defense and stubbornly held. Despite three 'end run' amphibious landings the Germans managed to keep the bulk of their forces beyond reach of capture, and maintain their evacuation plans. Rescuing such a large number of troops from the threat of capture on Sicily represented a major success for the Axis. Hube was later involved in the battles defending Salerno from the Allied invasion.

Günther von Kluge, Heinrich Himmler, Karl Dönitz and Wilhelm Keitel (front row from left to right) at Hube's state funeral

Hube was moved back to Germany to take command of the Führer-Reserve OKH. On 23 October 1943, Hube was delegated as commander of the 200,000 man 1st Panzer Army, then serving with Army Group South under Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. In February 1944, Hube was officially confirmed as commander of the 1st Panzer Army. Shortly after, III. Panzerkorps, one of Hube's units, was required to assist German forces breaking out of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket. Soon after this, Hube's force was encirled in a pocket near Kamenets-Podolsky. Hube lead the breakout which lasted from 27 March 1944 until 15 April 1944.

On 20 April 1944, Hube returned to Germany where Adolf Hitler personally awarded him the Diamonds to the Knight's Cross and promoted him to Generaloberst for his actions in Sicily, Salerno and in the Kamenets-Podolsky pocket. Hans-Valentin Hube was killed when the aircraft that was transporting him to Berlin crashed after takeoff in Salzburg on 21 April 1944. Only his black metal hand was recovered from the wreckage.

Hube was given a state funeral in Berlin on 26 April 1944. His coffin was laid out in the New Reich Chancellery and the eulogy was delivered by Generaloberst Heinz Guderian. The guard of honour consisted of the generals Walther Nehring, Hermann Breith, Heinrich Eberbach and Hans Gollnick. Hube was buried not far from Ernst Udet and Werner Mölders at the Invalidenfriedhof in Berlin.[4]

Awards[edit]

Hans-Valentin Hube's grave on the Invalidenfriedhof Berlin

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Wegmann 2009, p. 360–363.
  2. ^ Wegmann 2009, p. 361.
  3. ^ Adam, Wilhelm; Ruhle, Otto (2015). With Paulus at Stalingrad. Translated by Tony Le Tissier. Pen and Sword Books Ltd. p. 161,166,170. ISBN 9781473833869. 
  4. ^ Stockert 2010, p. 59.
  5. ^ a b c d Thomas 1997, p. 309.
  6. ^ Wegmann 2009, p. 362.
  7. ^ a b c d Scherzer 2007, p. 407.
  8. ^ Wegmann 2009, p. 363.

Bibliography[edit]

  • McCarthy, Peter; Syron, Mike (2002). Panzerkrieg: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions. New York: Carol and Graf Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7867-1009-6. 
  • 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. 
  • Stockert, Peter (2010). Die Brillantenträger der deutschen Wehrmacht 1941–1945—Zeitgeschichte in Farbe [The Diamonds Leaves Bearers of the German Armed Forces 1941–1945—History in Color] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-59-1. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
  • Wegmann, Günter (2009). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil VIIIa: Panzertruppe Band 2: F–H [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part VIIIa: Panzer Force Volume 2: F–H] (in German). Bissendorf, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2389-4. 

Works[edit]

  • Hube, Hans-Valentin (1925). Der Infanterist [The Infantryman] (in German). Charlottenburg, Germany: Offene Worte. OCLC 643823983. 
  • Hube, Hans-Valentin (1928). Schützendienst [Rifleman Service] (in German). Charlottenburg, Germany: Offene Worte. OCLC 833701714. 
  • Hube, Hans-Valentin (1935–1936). Der Infanterist Band 1—Für Kasernenstube und Unterrichtsraum [The Infantryman Volume 1—For Barracks and Classrooms] (in German). Berlin, Germany: Offene Worte. OCLC 248627859. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Heinrich Krampf
Commander of 16. Infanterie-Division
1 June 1940 – 1 November 1940
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Friedrich-Wilhelm von Chappuis
Preceded by
Generaloberst Eberhard von Mackensen
Commander of 1. Panzerarmee
29 October 1943 – 21 April 1944
Succeeded by
Generaloberst Erhard Raus