Helmuth Weidling

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Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1983-028-05, Helmuth Weidling.jpg
Helmuth Weidling in 1943
Born 2 November 1891
Halberstadt, Saxony, Prussia
Died 17 November 1955(1955-11-17) (aged 64)
Vladimir, Soviet Union
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Wehrmacht
Years of service 1911–1945
Rank General der Artillerie
Commands held XL Panzer Corps
XLI Panzer Corps
LVI Panzer Corps
Berlin Defense Area
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
German Cross
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class

Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling (2 November 1891 – 17 November 1955) was a general in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) before and during World War II. Weidling was the last commander of the Berlin Defence Area during the Battle of Berlin, and led the defence of the city against Soviet forces, finally surrendering just before the end of World War II in Europe.

During his military career, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Early life[edit]

Weidling was born on November 2, 1891 in Halberstadt, Province of Saxony. He entered the military in 1911 initially serving in a field artillery regiment in Breslau. His next assignment was to a balloon battalion in the Tegel district of Berlin and whilst in Berlin he was promoted to second lieutenant on 10 August 1912. As a lieutenant in the First World War, he served as an army airship commander, commanding the airships LZ 97 ( LZ hull number 67) and LZ 113 (LZ 83). He ended the war as an officer commanding an artillery battery.

He remained in the reduced army of the Weimar Republic after the war, and was promoted on 1 June 1922 to captain in the 4th Artillery Regiment. He was promoted to major on 1 June 1932 and to lieutenant-colonel on 1 September 1935.

Poland, France, and Russia[edit]

In November 1938, Weidling became a colonel (Oberst) of the 56th Artillery Regiment. He fought with this regiment in the Polish Campaign of 1939. In April 1940, Weidling was appointed Artillery Commander of the XL Panzer Corps. He commanded this corps during the Battle of France and during the early stages of Operation Barbarossa.

On 1 January 1942, still on the Eastern Front, Weidling was appointed to command the 86th Infantry Division. One month later, he was promoted to the rank of major-general (Generalmajor). On 1 January 1943, Weidling was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general (Generalleutnant).

XLI Panzer corps[edit]

On 15 October 1943, Weidling became the Commanding General of the XLI Panzer Corps. He was given command of the XLI Panzer Corps after the unit took part in the Battle of Kursk from 4 to 20 July 1943. Two months later Weidling was promoted to artillery general (General der Artillerie).

Weidling commanded the XLI Panzer Corps until 10 April 1945. There was a short break in his command from 19 June 1944 to 1 July 1944. During this break, Lieutenant-General (Generalleutnant) Edmund Hoffmeister took over for the first stages of Operation Bagration. Hoffmeister was in command when most of General Hans Jordan's German 9th Army, along with the XLI Panzer Corps, was encircled by the enemy during the Soviet Bobruysk Offensive. Weidling regained command before this disastrous operation came to an end, but the XLI Panzer Corps was virtually destroyed.

The XLI Panzer Corps was rebuilt as part of the German 4th Army. The 4th Army, under the command of General Friedrich Hoßbach, was given the task of holding the borders of East Prussia. On 10 April 1945, three days before the Soviets launched the East Prussian Offensive, Weidling was relieved of his command and transferred to the Officer Reserve (Führerreserve).

The Officer Reserve was part of the Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres or OKH). Two days after his transfer, he was appointed as commander of the LVI Panzer Corps.[citation needed] The LVI Panzer Corps was part of Gotthard Heinrici's Army Group Vistula (Heeresgruppe Weichsel). As commander of this corps, Weidling began his involvement with the Battle of Berlin.

LVI Panzer corps[edit]

On 16 April 1945, Weidling prepared to take part in the Battle of the Seelow Heights, which was part of the broader Battle of the Oder-Neisse. Weidling's LVI Panzer Corps was in the center, flanked by the CI Army Corps to his left and the XI SS Panzer Corps to his right. All three corps were part of General Theodor Busse's 9th Army, which was defending the heights above the Oder River. While all three corps were in generally good defensive positions, they were conspicuously short of tanks. Weidling's commander, Heinrici, recognized the shortage earlier in the day, as Hitler had ordered the transfer of three panzer divisions from Army Group Vistula to the command of recently promoted Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) Ferdinand Schörner.[1]

Colonel (Oberst) Theodor von Dufving was Weidling's Chief-of-Staff, and Colonel (Oberst) Hans-Oscar Wöhlermann was his Artillery Officer during the time that Weidling commanded the LVI Panzer Corps.

By 19 April, Schörner's Army Group Centre was collapsing, and the position of Army Group Vistula was becoming untenable. Heinrici was forced to pull back what was left of his forces, including Weidling's LVI Panzer Corps. The defensive line on the Seelow Heights was the last major defensive line outside of Berlin. With the loss of this position, the road to Berlin lay wide open to the Soviet advance. To escape envelopment and total annihilation, Weidling pulled his corps back with the rest of Army Group Vistula.

Commander of the Berlin Defence Area[edit]

On 22 April, Hitler ordered that Weidling be executed by firing squad for having retreated in the face of advancing Soviet forces, which was in defiance of standing orders to the contrary. As such, Weidling's actions required a death sentence. This situation turned out to be a misunderstanding, and it was cleared up before Weidling's execution could take place.

On 23 April, Hitler appointed Weidling as the commander of the Berlin Defence Area.[2] Weidling replaced Lieutenant General (Generalleutnant) Helmuth Reymann, Colonel (Oberst) Ernst Kaether, and Hitler himself. Reymann had held the position only since 6 March. Starting 22 April, Kaether had held the position for less than one day. For a short period of time, Hitler took personal control of Berlin's defenses, with Major General Erich Bärenfänger as his deputy. Weidling was ordered by Hitler to defend the city of Berlin. Specifically, he was ordered not to surrender, but to fight to the last man. Upon learning of his appointment, Weidling is reported to have said "I'd rather be shot than have this honour".[citation needed]

The defenders[edit]

The forces available to Weidling for the city's defence included roughly 45,000 soldiers in several severely depleted German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) and (Waffen-SS) divisions.[3] These depleted divisions were supplemented by the Berlin police force, boys in the Hitler Youth, and about 40,000 elderly men of the Home Guard (Volkssturm). The commander of the central government district was SS General (SS-Brigadeführer) Wilhelm Mohnke. Mohnke had been appointed to his position by Hitler and had over 2,000 men under his direct command. The core group of his fighting men were the 800 of the Leibstandarte (LSSAH) SS Guard Battalion (assigned to guard the Führer).[4] The Soviets later estimated the number of defenders in Berlin at 180,000, but this was based on the number of German prisoners they captured. The prisoners included many unarmed men in uniform, such as railway officials and members of the Reich Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst).[3]

Weidling organized the defences into eight sectors designated "A" through to "H". Each sector was commanded by a colonel or a general, but most of the colonels and generals had no combat experience. To the west of the city was the 20th Panzergrenadier Division. To the north of the city was the 9th Fallschirmjäger Division. To the north-east of the city was Panzer Division Müncheberg. To the south-east of the city and to the east of Tempelhof Airport was the SS-Nordland Panzergrenadier Division composed mainly of foreign volunteers. Weidling's reserve, the 18th Panzergrenadier Division, was in Berlin's central district.

On 25 April, Weidling ordered Major-General of the Reserve (Generalmajor der Reserve) Werner Mummert, commander of Müncheberg to take command of the German LVI Army Corps. Weidling ordered that the command of Müncheberg be handed over to Colonel (Oberst) Hans-Oscar Wöhlermann. Wöhlermann was the artillery commander for the city.

On 26 April, Weidling ordered Müncheberg and Nordland to attack towards Tempelhof Airport and Neukölln. At first, with its last ten tanks, "Müncheberg" made good progress against a surprised Soviet foe. However, the surprise was replaced with fierce defensive fire and several local counter-attacks. These soon halted the German panzer division's advance.

Bendlerblock headquarters[edit]

Sometime around 26 April, Weidling chose as his base of operations the old army headquarters on the Bendlerstrasse, the "Bendlerblock." This location had well-equipped air-raid shelters and was close to the Reich Chancellery. In the depths of the Bendlerblock, Weidling's staff did not know whether it was day or night.[5]

Flooding of the Berlin underground[edit]

Around noon on 26 April, Weidling relieved Wöhlermann of command, and Mummert was reinstated as commander of the Müncheberg Panzer Division. The following is from the diary of an officer with Müncheberg and describes the evening of 26 April.

"Scarlet night. Heavy artillery fire. Uncanny silence. We get shot at from many houses. Foreign workers, no doubt. From the Air Ministry comes news that Major General Erich Bärenfänger has been relieved of his post of commander of the Berlin garrison. One hour later we hear that General Weidling is our new commander. General Mummert takes charge of the Panzer Corps . . ."[6]

Late in the evening of 26 April, Weidling presented Hitler with a detailed proposal for a breakout from Berlin. When Weidling finished, Hitler shook his head and said: "Your proposal is perfectly all right. But what is the point of it all? I have no intentions of wandering around in the woods. I am staying here and I will fall at the head of my troops. You, for your part, will carry on with your defence."[5]

On 27 April, very early in the morning, Hitler ordered the flooding of the Berlin underground to slow the advancing Soviets. Hitler's order resulted in the drowning of thousands of German soldiers under Weidling's command and civilians who had taken refuge in the tunnels. The diary of the officer with the Müncheberg Panzer Division went on to describe the flooding.

"New command post: Anhalter subway station. Platforms and control rooms look like an armed camp. Women and children huddle in niches and corners. Others sit about in deck chairs. They all listen for the sounds of battle. Suddenly, water starts to pour into the station. Screams, sobs, curses. People fighting around the ladders that run through the air shafts up to the streets. Masses of gurgling water rush over the stairs. Children and wounded are abandoned and trampled to death. The water covers them, rises three feet or more and then slowly goes down. The panic lasts for hours. Many are drowned. Reason: On somebody's orders, engineers have blasted the locks of the canal between Schöneberger and Möckern Bridges to flood the tunnels against the advancing Russians. Meanwhile, heavy fighting has been going on above ground level. Change of position to Potsdamer Platz subway station in the late afternoon. Command post on the first floor, as tunnels still under water. Direct hits on the roof. Heavy losses among wounded and civilians. Smoke pours in through the shell holes. Outside, stacks of Panzerfausts go up in the air. Another direct hit, one flight below street level. A horrible sight: Men, soldiers, women, and children are literally glued to the wall."[6]

Weidling wrote the following in his diary:

"At 0500, after a violent bombardment and with very strong air support, the Russians attacked on both sides of the Hohenzollerndamm. Defence Zone Headquarters was under heavy fire. The account for the sins of past years had arrived.

The Potsdamer Platz and Leipzigerstrasse were under heavy artillery bombardment. Brick and stone dust hung in the air like a thick fog. The car in which I was driving to Major General Erich Bärenfänger could make only slow progress. Shells were bursting on all sides. We were showered with splinters of stone. Near the Castle we halted the car and walked the last part of the way to the Alexanderplatz.

Everywhere the streets were full of craters and broken brickwork, and streets and squares lay desolate. To reach cover from a Russian heavy mortar bombardment, we had to cross the Alexanderplatz to the Underground in short rushes. In the spacious, two-level Underground station the populace had taken refuge. Masses of scared people were standing and lying packed together. It was a shattering sight . . . .

During the day we lost both Tempelhof and Gatow airports, and that put a stop to the landing of airborne supplies. Although an emergency landing strip had been prepared in the Zoo, only small machines could land there. By 28 April, we could no longer use this landing strip because of deep shell-holes. In my afternoon situation report, I spoke of the sufferings of the population and the wounded, and about everything I had seen with my own eyes during the course of the day . . . . "

Encirclement[edit]

By the end of the day on 27 April, Weidling and the forces under his command in Berlin found themselves completely cut off from the rest of Germany. As "Müncheberg" was engaged in desperate fighting in Wilmersdorf, the encirclement of Berlin was completed and the remnants of the city's defenders were trapped. The Soviet Information Bureau announced that Soviet troops of the 1st Belorussian Front had broken through strong German defenses around Berlin and, approaching from the east and from the south, had linked up in Berlin and northwest of Potsdam. These link-ups cut Berlin off from the outside world. The Soviet Information Bureau went on to announce that troops of the 1st Belorussian Front took Gartenstadt, Siemenstadt, and the Goerlitzer Railway Station in eastern Berlin.[7]

When Weidling discovered that a major part of the last line of the German defenses in Berlin were "manned" by Hitler Youth, he ordered German Youth Leader (Reichsjugendführer) Artur Axmann to disband the Hitler Youth combat formations in the city. But, in the confusion, his order was never carried out. In the end, many German youths did die defending Berlin.[8]

Relentless advance[edit]

On 29 April, the Soviet Information Bureau announced that troops of the 1st Belorussian Front continued to clear the streets of Berlin, occupied the northwest sector of Charlottenburg as far as Bismark Street, the west half of Moabit, and the east part of Schoeneberg. Russian troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front occupied Friedenau and Grunewald in northwest Berlin.[9]

During the evening of 29 April, Weidling's headquarters in the Bendlerblock was now within metres of the front line. Weidling discussed with his divisional commanders the possibility of breaking out to the southwest to link up with Walther Wenck's Army. Walther Wenck spearhead had reached the village of Ferch on the banks of the Schwielowsee near Potsdam. The breakout was planned to start the next night at 22:00.[10]

On 30 April, the Soviet Information Bureau announced that Soviet troops of the 1st Belorussian Front had captured Moabit, Anhalter Railway Station, Joachimsthal to the north of Berlin, and Neukölln, Marienwerder, and Liebenwalde. Troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front occupied the southern part of Wilmersdorf, Hohenzollerndamm, and Halensee Railway Station.[9]

The Führerbunker[edit]

During the early hours of April 30, as the Soviet forces continued to fight their way into the center of Berlin, German dictator Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun in the Führerbunker.

Late in the morning of April 30, with the Soviets less than 500 metres from the bunker, Hitler had a meeting with Weidling, who informed him that the Berlin garrison would probably run out of ammunition that night. Weidling asked Hitler for permission to break out, a request he had made unsuccessfully before. Hitler did not answer at first, and Weidling went back to his headquarters in the Bendlerblock, where at about 13:00, he received Hitler's permission to try a breakout that night.[11]

Hitler and Braun committed suicide, Braun by taking cyanide[12] and Hitler by shooting himself.[13][14] Some witnesses later reported hearing a loud gunshot at around 15:30. Per instructions, their bodies were burned.

Afterwards, when Weidling reached the Führerbunker, he was met by Goebbels, Bormann, and Krebs. They took him to Hitler's room, where the couple had committed suicide. They told him that their bodies had been burned and buried in a shell crater in the Reich Chancellery garden above.[15] Weidling was forced to swear that he would not repeat this news to anybody. The only person in the outside world who was to be informed was Joseph Stalin. An attempt would be made that night to arrange an armistice, and General Krebs would inform the Soviet commander so that he could inform the Kremlin.[16]

A rather dazed Weidling rang Colonel Hans Refior, his civil Chief-of-Staff, in the Bendlerblock headquarters soon afterward. Weidling said that he could not tell him what had happened, but he needed various members of his staff to join him immediately, including Colonel Theodor von Dufving, his military Chief-of-Staff.[16]

In accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Joseph Goebbels, the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, became the new "Head of Government" and Chancellor of Germany (Reichskanzler). On 1 May at 03:15, Reichskanzler Goebbels and Bormann, the head of the Party Chancellery (Parteikanzlei) and private secretary to Hitler, sent a radio message to Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz informing him of Hitler's death. Per Hitler's last wishes, Dönitz was appointed as the new "President of Germany" (Reichspräsident).

On 1 May, Reichskanzler Joseph Goebbels sent General Hans Krebs and Weidling's Chief-of-Staff, von Dufving, under a white flag to talk with Soviet General Vasily Chuikov, who was the commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army in central Berlin. Krebs arrived shortly before 04:00, taking Chuikov by surprise. Krebs, a former military attaché in Moscow, spoke Russian fluently and informed Chuikov that Hitler and Eva Braun, his wife, had killed themselves in the Führerbunker. Chuikov, who was not aware that there was a bunker complex under the Reich Chancellery or that Hitler was married, calmly said that he already knew. Chuikov was not, however, prepared to negotiate with Krebs. The Soviets were unwilling to accept anything other than unconditional surrender. Krebs was not authorized by Goebbels to agree to an unconditional surrender.[17]

The meeting between Krebs and Chuikov ended with no agreement. According to Hitler's personal secretary Traudl Junge, Krebs returned to the bunker complex looking "worn out, exhausted". The surrender of Berlin was thus delayed until Goebbels committed suicide.[17]

In the late afternoon of 1 May, the Goebbels children were poisoned by their parents. At about 20:30, Goebbels ordered an SS guard to accompany him and his wife out to the garden of the Reich Chancellery. He ordered the SS guard to shoot them both and to burn their bodies.[17] It was then left up to Weidling to negotiate with the Soviets.

Surrender to Chuikov[edit]

Memorial plaque commemorating the capitulation in Berlin, Schulenburgring 2, Berlin-Tempelhof, Germany

On 2 May, General Weidling had his Chief-of-Staff, von Dufving, arrange a meeting with General Chuikov. Weidling and Chuikov had the following conversation:

Chuikov: "You are the commander of the Berlin garrison?"

Weidling: "Yes, I am the commander of the LVI Panzer Corps."
Chuikov: "Where is Krebs?"

Weidling: "I saw him yesterday in the Reich Chancellery. I thought he would commit suicide. At first, he criticized me because unofficial capitulation started yesterday. The order regarding capitulation has been issued today."[17]

Soviet General Vasily Sokolovsky entered with an immediate question. The conversation continued:

Sokolovsky: "Where have Hitler and Goebbels gone?"[17]

Weidling: "So far as I know, Goebbels and his family were to commit suicide. The Führer took poison on April 30. His wife also poisoned herself."
Chuikov: "Did you hear that or see that?"
Weidling: "I was in the Reich Chancellery on the evening of April 30. Krebs, Bormann, and Goebbels told me about it."
Chuikov: "So the war is over?"
Weidling: "I think that every unnecessary death is a crime . . . madness."[17]
Sokolovsky: "Issue an order regarding complete surrender, so that there will be no resistance in individual sectors. Better late than never."
Weidling: "We have neither ammunition nor heavy weapons, therefore, resistance cannot last long. All the Germans have become confused, and they will not believe me that the Führer is dead."

Chuikov: "Write an order regarding complete capitulation. Then your conscience will be clear."[18]

Per Chuikov's and Sokolovsky's direction, Weidling put his surrender order in writing. The document written by Weidling read as follows:

On 30 April 1945, the Führer committed suicide, and thus abandoned those who had sworn loyalty to him. According to the Führer's order, you German soldiers would have had to go on fighting for Berlin despite the fact that our ammunition has run out and despite the general situation which makes our further resistance meaningless. I order the immediate cessation of resistance. WEIDLING, General of Artillery, former District Commandant in the defence of Berlin"[18]

Chuikov and Sokolovsky reviewed what Weidling had written and the conversation continued.

Chuikov: "There is no need to say 'former'. You are still commandant."

Weidling: "Jawohl! How shall it be headed, as an appeal or an order?"

Chuikov: "An order."[18]

The meeting between Weidling and Chuikov ended at 8:23 am on 2 May 1945. Later that same day, loudspeakers announced Weidling's surrender order and copies of it were distributed to the remaining defenders. With the exception of scattered areas of resistance and desperate efforts to break out, the Battle of Berlin was over.

Aftermath[edit]

The Soviet forces took Weidling into custody as a prisoner of war and flew him to the Soviet Union. On 27 February 1952, a Soviet military tribunal in Moscow sentenced him to 25 years of imprisonment for not surrendering Berlin sooner.[citation needed] Weidling died on 17 November 1955, apparently in the custody of the KGB in Vladimir. KGB records listed the cause of death as "arterial and cardiac sclerosis along with circulatory collapse."

Portrayal in the media[edit]

Helmuth Weidling has been portrayed by the following actors in film and television productions.

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording English translation
9 February 1944 Bei den schweren Abwehrkämpfen zwischen Pripjet und Beresina haben sich die unter Führung des Generals der Artillerie Weidling kämpfende 36, und 134. Infanteriedivision unter den Eichenlaubträgern Oberst Conrady und Generalleutnant Schlemmer hervorragend bewährt.[21] In the heavy defensive battles between Pripyat and Berezina, the divisions fighting under the command of General of Artillery Weidling's 36th, and 134th Infantry Division, under the Oak Leaves bearers Colonel Conrady and Lieutenant General Schlemmer, have proved to be excellent.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 225
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 286
  3. ^ a b Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 287
  4. ^ Fischer, Thomas. Soldiers of the Leibstandarte, J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc. 2008, pp 42-43
  5. ^ a b Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 320
  6. ^ a b Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047, p. 232
  7. ^ Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047, p. 233
  8. ^ Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047
  9. ^ a b Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047, p. 238
  10. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 352
  11. ^ Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 358
  12. ^ Beevor (2002) p. 359, "... her lips puckered from the poison."
  13. ^ Fischer (2008) p. 47, "...Günsche stated he entered the study to inspect the bodies, and observed Hitler ...sat...sunken over, with blood dripping out of his right temple. He had shot himself with his own pistol, a PPK 7.65."
  14. ^ Kershaw (2008) p. 955, "...Blood dripped from a bullet hole in his right temple..."
  15. ^ Kershaw (2008) p. 956.
  16. ^ a b Beevor, Antony. Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 364
  17. ^ a b c d e f Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047, p. 239
  18. ^ a b c Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card # 67-27047, p. 240
  19. ^ "Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)". IMDb.com. Retrieved May 8, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Untergang, Der (2004)". IMDb.com. Retrieved May 8, 2008. 
  21. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 30.

References[edit]

  • Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-03041-4. 
  • 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. 
  • Dollinger, Hans. The Decline and Fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 67-27047.
  • 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). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Fischer, Thomas (2008). Soldiers of the Leibstandarte. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0921991915. 
  • Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-06757-6. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 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
Generaloberst Josef Harpe
Commander of XXXXI Panzerkorps
15 October 1943 – 19 June 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Edmund Hoffmeister
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Edmund Hoffmeister
Commander of XXXXI Panzerkorps
1 July 1944 – 10 April 1945
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Wend von Wietersheim
Preceded by
General der Kavallerie Rudolf Koch-Erpach
Commander of LVI Panzer Corps
10 April – 2 May 1945
Germany defeated
Preceded by
Erich Bärenfänger
Commander of the Berlin Defense Area
22 April – 2 May 1945
Berlin captured by Soviet forces