Walter Scheller

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Walter Scheller
Born 27 January 1892
Hannover, Province of Hanover, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died 21 July 1944(1944-07-21) (aged 52)
Brest, Belarussian SSR, Soviet Union now Brest, Brest Region, Belarus
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1914–44
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held 11. Panzer-Division
9. Panzer-Division
334. Infanterie-Division
337. Infanterie-Division
Battles/wars

World War I


World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Walter Scheller (27 January 1892 – 21 July 1944) was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II, who commanded several divisions. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Walter Scheller was killed at Brest-Litovisk on 21 July 1944, during the Lublin–Brest Offensive.

World War II[edit]

Oberst Walter Scheller served in the capacity of Chief of Staff of Wehrkreis X in Hamburg at the start of World War II,[1] a position he took up on 26 August 1939, and would keep until 26 May 1940. He then took command of 8th Rifle Brigade under 8th Panzer Division,[1] which he led into action during the Battle of France. Scheller took the same command into the Invasion of Yugoslavia in Spring 1941, and led the unit into Operation Barbarossa,[2] still under 8th Panzer Division, as part of Army Group North. On 1 October 1941 Walter Scheller was promoted to Generalmajor.

On 20 October 1941 Scheller took command of 11. Panzer-Division until 16 May 1942,[1] when he was called into the reserve (Führerreserve). He led this unit into the Battle of Moscow, and spent the winter in defensive positions on the Yukhnov - Gshatsk (today called Gagarin) axis west and southwest of Moscow. From 22 March to 18 April 1942 the 11. Panzer-Division fought in the Rzhev–Vyazma Strategic Offensive Operation, part of the Battles of Rzhev, and was involved in key operations between Vyazma and Yartsevo until Scheller was recalled.

On 28 July 1942, Scheller took command of the 9. Panzer-Division,[3] and on 4 August 1942, the division was ordered from the Voronezh-Zemlyansk area northwest past Oryol to participate in an attack on Sukhinichi, and was involved in heavy fighting around Zhizdra, where the unit was pushed back across the Zhizdra River. From 9 September the division was pulled into reserve under 9th Army in the Gshatsk area, and found itself in the Sychyovka area by 29 September 1942, facing Soviet forces during the First Rzhev–Sychyovka Offensive Operation.

In November and December 1942 Scheller and his unit were located on the Vazuza River between Rzhev and Vyazma. On 1 January 1943 Scheller was promoted to Generalleutnant, and on 4 February 1943 he was awarded the German Cross in Gold. At the end of February and in March, the 9. Panzer-Division was involved in heavy defensive fighting back in the Zhizdra area, and was then moved south of Oryol in preparation for the Battle of Kursk.[4] On 8 April 1943 Scheller was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. In the midst of this battle, on 22 July 1943, Scheller was severely wounded[1] and recalled to the reserve.

On 20 October 1943, Scheller took command of 334th Infantry Division,[1] which he led until 27 November 1943. He joined his new command in Genoa, Italy, under Army Group B. On 27 November 1943 he took command of 337th Infantry Division[1] under 4th Army in the Orsha-Gorky area in Belarus. He commanded this division until 1 February 1944.

On 7 March 1944, Generalleutnant Walter Scheller was given command of the city of Brest-Litovsk. On 22 July 1944, he fell in the fighting for the city during the Lublin–Brest Offensive.[1]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
24 July 1944 Zwischen Brest-Litowsk und Grodno sowie nördlich Kauen scheiterten Durchbruchsversuche des Feindes am zähen Widerstand unserer tapferen Divisionen. In einigen Abschnitten warfen sie die eingedrungenen Bolschewisten im Gegenangriff zurück.
In diesen Kämpfen fanden der Kommandeur einer Kampfgruppe, Generalleutnant Scheller, und der Chef des Stabes einer Armee, Generalmajor v. Treskow, in vorderster Linie den Heldentod.
[6]
Between Brest-Litovsk and Grodno and north of Kaunas, enemy break-through attempts failed because of the stubborn resistance of our brave divisions. In some sectors they threw back the invading Bolsheviks in the counterattack.
In these battles, the commander of a combat unit, Lieutenant General Scheller, and the Chief of Staff of an Army, Major-General v. Tresckow, found a heroes death at the front lines.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mitcham, Samuel W. (2006). The Panzer Legions: A Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of World War II and Their Commanders. Stackpole Books. p. 98. ISBN 9780811733533. 
  2. ^ Battistelli, Pier Paolo (2013). Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43. Osprey Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 9781472800022. 
  3. ^ Glantz, David M.; House, Jonathan (2009). To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. p. 26. ISBN 9780700616305. 
  4. ^ Forczyk, Robert (2014). Kursk 1943: The Northern Front. Osprey Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 9781782008194. 
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 305.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 174.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Battistelli, Pier Paolo (2013). Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43. Osprey Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 9781472800022. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Forczyk, Robert (2014). Kursk 1943: The Northern Front. Osprey Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 9781782008194. 
  • Glantz, David M.; House, Jonathan (2009). To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet-German Combat Operations, April-August 1942. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700616305. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2006). The Panzer Legions: A Guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of World War II and Their Commanders. Stackpole Books. p. 98. ISBN 9780811733533. 
  • 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. 
  • 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
General der Panzertruppen Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck
Commander of 11. Panzer Division
20 October 1941 – 16 May 1942
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppen Hermann Balck
Preceded by
Generalmajor Heinrich-Hermann von Hülsen
Commander of 9. Panzer Division
4 August 1942 – 21 July 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Erwin Jollasse
Preceded by
General der Artillerie Heinz Ziegler
Commander of 334. Infanterie-Division
20 October 1943 – 27 November 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Hellmuth Böhlke
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Otto Schünemann
Commander of 337. Infanterie-Division
27 December 1943 – 24 July 1944
Succeeded by
None