Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz

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Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1984-019-03, Smilo von Lüttwitz.jpg
Born (1895-12-23)23 December 1895
Straßburg, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire now Strasbourg, Alsace, France
Died 19 May 1975(1975-05-19) (aged 79)
Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany
Buried at Cemetery Rüngsdorf. Section 3
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1945)
 West Germany
Service/branch Heer (Wehrmacht)
Years of service 1914–45
Rank General der Panzertruppe (Wehrmacht)
Generalleutnant (Bundeswehr)

World War I

World War II
Awards Great Cross of Merit with star of the Federal Republic of Germany
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Relations Walther von Lüttwitz (father)

Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (23 December 1895 – 19 May 1975) was a German general during World War II and son of Walther von Lüttwitz. After World War II he joined the Bundeswehr on 1 June 1957 and retired on 31 December 1960.


Smilo Freiherr von Lütwitz was born on 23 December 1895 in Strasbourg into a family with a long history of military service. He joined the military service during the mobilisation on 3 August 1914 as an officer cadet in the 25th Division in Darmstadt. Lüttwitz was posted to the Eastern Front and saw combat at Tannenberg, Courland and Düna. He was severely wounded twice in 1915 and received the Iron Cross1st class. He was commissioned as a Leutnant on 16 June 1915, effective as of 10 August 1914.[1]

In 1916 Lüttwitz was transferred to a staff position with the X. Armeekorps in the Heeresgruppe Kronprintz for two years. The corps was under the command of his father Generalleutnant Walther von Lüttwitz. His father, a recipient of the Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves, was one of the most highly decorated generals of the German Empire. He returned to front line duty in 1918 as an adjutant with the Darmstädter Dragoner in the temporary occupation of the Ukraine and southern Russia. By the end of World War I he had received both classes of the Iron Cross and the Wound Badge in Silver.[1]

He remained in the Weimar Republic's Army, serving in various cavalry units in Breslau and Pasewalk. After the beginning of the Nazi leadership he joined the Panzer (armor) branch.

In 1939 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and served as adjutant in the XV Army Corps. He was later commander of the 12th Rifle Regiment and the 4th Rifle Brigade. He served on the Eastern Front. Later, he was made commander of the 26th Panzer Division in Italy. In 1944, he was promoted to Lieutenant General (General der Panzertruppe), following his assumption of command of the LXXXV Army Corps. Later in the same year, he took command of 9th Army. During this time, he learned of the government issued orders for summary justice. He opposed it and faced a trial but was allowed to retain command of the his unit. During the Second World War he was wounded five times.

He was released from internment in 1947. He then went to the Evangelical Academy in Friedewald. During the period from 1954-1957 he was the head business manager for the relief organization Order of St. John in Rolandseck. Later he returned to the Evangelical Academy as Head of Administration.

He joined the German Army as a Lieutenant General on 1 June 1957. He was appointed commanding general of the III Corps in Koblenz. He retired in 1960. In 1963, he became chairman of the board for a defense industry. In 1955, Lüttwitz was made a knight in the Order of St. John. In 1963, he took over as president of that organization. It was during this time that the Order of St. John founded their emergency watch. At the end of his military service, Lüttwitz received the American Legion of Merit in recognition of his service.




  1. ^ a b Williamson 2005, p 31.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 45.
  3. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 289.
  4. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 519.


  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Williamson, Gordon (2006). Knight's Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients 1941–45. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-643-0. 
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 26. Panzer-Division (Wehrmacht)
14 September 1942 – 22 January 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Hans Hecker
Preceded by
Generalmajor Hans Hecker
Commander of 26. Panzer-Division (Wehrmacht)
20 February 1944 – 11 April 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Dr. rer. pol. Dr. jur. Hans Boelsen
Preceded by
General Nikolaus von Vormann
Commander of 9. Armee (Wehrmacht)
1 September 1944 – 19 January 1945
Succeeded by
General Theodor Busse
Preceded by
Commander of III. Corps (Bundeswehr)
1 June 1957 – 31 December 1960
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Heinrich Gaedcke