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, German Empire
Died 19 May 1975(1975-05-19) (aged 79)
Koblenz, West Germany
Buried Cemetery Rüngsdorf. Section 3
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
 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 Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords; Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
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.


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 Cross 1st class. He was commissioned as an officer in 1915.[1]

In 1916 Lüttwitz was transferred to a staff position with the X Corps in the Heeresgruppe Kronprintz for two years. The corps was under the command of his father General Walther von Lüttwitz. His father, a recipient of the Pour le Mérite, 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. 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 commanding an infantry regiment and the 4th Rifle Brigade. He served on the Eastern Front. Later, he commanded the 26th Panzer Division in Italy, the LXXXV Army Corps and the 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 his unit.

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. 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. ^ 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 Militaer-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. 
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