Hasso von Manteuffel

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Hasso-Eccard Freiherr von Manteuffel
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1976-143-21, Hasso von Manteuffel.jpg
Freiherr von Manteuffel in May 1944
Born (1897-01-14)14 January 1897
Potsdam, Brandenburg
German Empire
Died 24 September 1978(1978-09-24) (aged 81)
Reith, Tyrol
Austria
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Years of service 1908–45
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held Panzer-Grenadier-Division Großdeutschland
Battles/wars

World War I


World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
Other work Politician

Hasso-Eccard Freiherr von Manteuffel (14 January 1897 – 24 September 1978) was a German general during World War II. He was one of only 27 holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, awarded by Nazi Germany for successful military leadership.

After the war, he was elected to the Bundestag (West German legislature) and was the spokesman for defense of the Liberal Party. A proponent of rearmament, he was responsible for coining the new name for the post-World War II German armed forces, the Bundeswehr.

World War II[edit]

Hasso von Manteuffel began his military career during the First World War. In 1919, he joined the Freikorps and then the newly created Reichswehr. In February 1937 he joined the Panzer Troop Command of the OKH, and in February 1939 became a senior professor at Panzer Troop School II in Berlin. During Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, Manteuffel commanded a battalion in the 7th Panzer Division, in the Army Group Centre.

In early 1943, Manteuffel was sent to Africa, where on 5 February he became the commander of the Division von Broich/von Manteuffel, serving in 5th Panzer Army. Here Manteuffel took part in the Battle of Tunisia. Manteuffel assumed command of the 7th Panzer Division on 22 August 1943 and was posted to the Eastern Front, which had by then collapsed following the Battle of Kursk and the resulting Soviet counteroffensive. The division retreated during the resulting Battle of the Dnieper.

Manteuffel was appointed commander of the Grossdeutschland Division on 1 February 1944. The division engaged the Red Army west of Kirovograd, then retreated across Ukraine. In late July Großdeutschland was ordered to East Prussia, following the collapse of Army Group Centre in Soviet Operation Bagration. The division failed to break through to the Army Group North in the Courland Pocket.

On 1 September 1944, Manteuffel was promoted to General of Panzer Troops and given command of the 5th Panzer Army on the Western Front, which took part in the Ardennes Offensive. Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army achieved one of the deepest penetrations of Allied lines during the offensive, almost reaching the Meuse River, and engaging the U.S. forces at the Battle of Bastogne. On 10 March 1945 Manteuffel was made the commander of the 3rd Panzer Army on the Eastern Front, attached to Army Group Vistula. His army was assigned to defend the banks of the Oder River north of the Seelow Heights. On 25 April the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front broke through Third Panzer Army's line, forcing a German retreat. On 3 May 1945 Manteuffel surrendered his troops to the British Army at Hagenow, Germany.

Post-war[edit]

At first Manteuffel interned at the British-administered Island Farm Special Camp 11 for high-ranking Wehrmacht officers. In 1946 he was handed over to the Americans and took part in the U.S. Army Historical Division project, for which he produced a monograph on the mobile warfare aspect of the Ardennes Offensive.

After his release in December 1946, he entered politics and was a representative of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) in the German Bundestag from 1953 to 1957. In 1957 he joined the German Party. In the early 1950s Manteuffel advised on the redevelopment of the Bundeswehr.

Manteuffel was charged in 1959 for having a deserter shot in 1944. He was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. In 1968 he lectured at the United States Military Academy at West Point, speaking about combat in deep snow conditions and worked as a technical adviser on war films. Manteuffel died in 1978.

Awards[edit]

Manteuffel in August 1944

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres, p. 182.
  2. ^ a b c d Thomas 1998, p. 57.
  3. ^ a b c d Berger 1999, p. 205.
  4. ^ a b c d Scherzer 2007, p. 526.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Reichswehrministerium, ed. (1924). Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres (in German). Berlin, Germany: Mittler & Sohn Verlag. OCLC 10573418. 
  • Searle, Alaric (2003). Wehrmacht Generals, West German Society, and the Debate on Rearmament, 1949–1959. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-275-97968-3. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalmajor Friedrich Freiherr von Broich
Commander of Division von Manteuffel
7 February 1943 – 31 March 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Karl Bülowius
Preceded by
Oberst Wolfgang Gläsemer
Commander of 7th Panzer Division
20 August 1943 – January 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Adelbert Schulz
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Walter Hörnlein
Commander of Panzergrenadier-Division Großdeutschland
27 January 1944 – 1 September 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Karl Lorenz
Preceded by
SS-Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich
Commander of 5th Panzer Army
9 September 1944 – 8 March 1945
Succeeded by
Generaloberst Josef Harpe
Preceded by
Generaloberst Erhard Raus
Commander of 3rd Panzer Army
10 March 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
(none)