Walther Nehring

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Walter Nehring
Walter Nehring.jpg
Walther Nehring
Born (1892-08-15)15 August 1892
Stretzin, Province of Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire now Strzeczona, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland
Died 20 April 1983(1983-04-20) (aged 90)
Düsseldorf, North-Rhine Westphalia, West Germany
Buried at Nordfriedhof (Northern cemetery), Düsseldorf
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Reichsheer
Heer (Wehrmacht)
Years of service 1911–45
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held 18. Panzer Division
Afrika Korps
XXIV Panzer Corps
Fourth Panzer Army
1st Panzer Army

World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Walther Kurt Josef Nehring (15 August 1892 – 20 April 1983), was a German general of World War II, known for his involvement with the Afrika Korps. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Early life[edit]

Nehring was born on 15 August 1892 in Stretzin district of 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]

His father's first wife Minna died early. Nehring's oldest brother Edwin Nehring resulted from this marriage. Emil Nehring married Martha Weiß in 1884, the daughter of Marie Alexandrine von Zitzewitz, who belonged to the old Pomeranian nobility (Uradel). Walther Nehring and his seven-year older sister Else were born from this marriage.[2]

World War I[edit]

Nehring joined the military service on 16 September 1911 in the Infanterie-Regiment 152. He became a commissioned Leutnant on 18 December 1913.[3]

World War II[edit]

Nehring was the Chief of Staff of the XIX Corps during the German invasion of Poland and the Panzer Group Guderian during the Battle of France.

Walther Nehring (right), Fritz Bayerlein (left) and Erwin Rommel at a meeting before the attack on Tobruk, April 1942

He later 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 German contingent in Tunisia.

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 in 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, General 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. ^ Paul 2002, p. 11.
  3. ^ Williamson & Bujeiro 2005, p. 16.
  4. ^ a b c d Berger 1999, p. 241.
  5. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 113.
  6. ^ a b Paul 2002, p. 85.
  7. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 563.
  8. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 322.
  9. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 250.
  10. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 77.
  11. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 41.
  12. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 47.
  13. ^ Von Seemen 1976, p. 19.


  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 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. 
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4. 
  • Williamson, Gordon; Bujeiro, Ramiro (2005). Knight's Cross and Oak Leaves Recipients 1941–45. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-642-3. 

External links[edit]

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
Oberst Fritz Bayerlein
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