Walther Nehring

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Walter Nehring
Walter Nehring.jpg
Walter Nehring
Born(1892-08-15)15 August 1892
Stretzin, West Prussia, German Empire (now Strzeczona, Poland)
Died20 April 1983(1983-04-20) (aged 90)
Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Germany
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchImperial German Army
Years of service1911–45
RankGeneral (Wehrmacht) 1.svg General der Panzertruppe
Commands heldAfrika Korps
LXXXX Army Corps
XXIV Panzer Corps
Fourth Panzer Army
1st Panzer Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Walther Nehring (15 August 1892 – 20 April 1983) was a German general in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the Afrika Korps.

Early life[edit]

Nehring was born on 15 August 1892 in Stretzin, West Prussia. Nehring was the descendant of a Dutch family who had fled the Netherlands to escape religious persecution in the seventeenth century. His father, Emil Nehring, was an estate owner and officer of the Military Reserve. While Nehring was still a child the family moved to Danzig.[1]


Nehring joined the military service on 16 September 1911 in the Infanterie-Regiment 152. He became a commissioned Leutnant on 18 December 1913.[2]

On 26 October 1940 he received command of the 18th Panzer Division at Chemnitz, which he commanded during the operations Barbarossa and Typhoon.[3] The division led by Nehring stands accused of war crimes by numerous accounts.[4]

Nehring took command of the Afrika Korps in May 1942 and took part in the last major Axis offensive (Operation Brandung) of the Western Desert campaign and the subsequent Battle of Alam Halfa (31 August - 7 September 1942), during which he was wounded in an air raid. Between November and December 1942, he commanded the LXXXX Army Corps, the German contingent in Tunisia.

Nehring (right), Fritz Bayerlein (left) and Erwin Rommel, April 1942

After North Africa, Nehring was posted to the Eastern Front where he commanded first the XXIV Panzer Corps, and then from July to August 1944 the Fourth Panzer Army. Nehring then returned to the XXIV in August 1944 and led the Corps until March 1945 when he was made commander of the 1st Panzer Army. During 1944 he was also the commanding officer of the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps.

Following the end of the war, Nehring wrote a comprehensive history of the German panzer forces from 1916 to 1945, Die Geschichte der deutschen Panzerwaffe 1916 bis 1945. He also wrote the foreword to Len Deighton's Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk.




  1. ^ Mitcham 2007, p. 81.
  2. ^ Williamson & Bujeiro 2005, p. 16.
  3. ^ Mitcham, p. 144
  4. ^ Omer Bartov, Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich, Oxford Paperbacks, 1992
  5. ^ Thomas 1998, p. 113.
  6. ^ Paul 2002, p. 85.
  7. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 563.


  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). Rommel's Desert Commanders — The Men Who Served the Desert Fox, North Africa, 1941–42. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3510-0.
  • Paul, Wolfgang (2002). Panzer-General Walther K. Nehring — Eine Biographie [Tank General Walther K. Nehring — A Biography] (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-02208-9.
  • 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; Bujeiro, Ramiro (2005). Knight's Cross and Oak Leaves Recipients 1941-45. Osprey. ISBN 1-84176-642-9.
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 18. Panzer-Division
26 October 1940 – 26 January 1942
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Karl Freiherr von Thüngen
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Ludwig Crüwell
Commander of Afrika Korps
9 March 1942 – 18 March 1942
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Ludwig Crüwell
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Ludwig Crüwell
Commander of Afrika Korps
29 May 1942 – 30 August 1942
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Generaloberst Josef Harpe
Commander of 4. Panzer-Armee
28 June 1944 – 5 August 1944
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Hermann Balck
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Hermann Balck
Commander of XLVIII Panzer Corps
4 August 1944 – 19 August 1944
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Fritz-Hubert Gräser
Preceded by
Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici
Commander of 1. Panzer-Armee
19 March 1945 – 3 April 1945
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Hasse