Commander-In-Chief Hasso Von Manteuffel...Continued
February 1944-1 September 1944: Commander of the Panzer Grenadier Division
“Großdeutschland” on the Eastern Front. [Upon
succeeding Generalleutnant Walter Hoernlein as commander of the Panzer
Grenadier Division “Großdeutschland,” Generalleutnant von Manteuffel led his
new command in a series of fierce, defensive battles west of Kirovograd. After
withdrawing across the Ukraine, the division moved into Romania in late-March
1944 where it fought several successful defensive battles against the Russians
at Iaşi, Tîrgu Frumos, and Podul Iloaiei through early-June. Following
a period of rest and refitting in Romania that summer, the Panzer Grenadier
Division “Großdeutschland” began transferring to East Prussia in late-July
1944 to face the Russian advance into Germany. Quickly counterattacking at
Wilkowischken (Vilkaviŝkis) in Lithuania, “Großdeutschland” captured
the town but suffered a considerable loss of tanks in the process. For the
remainder of his tenure of command, Generalleutnant von Manteuffel’s division
fought in Lithuania in a vain attempt to break through to the German 16th
and 18th Armies cutoff in the Courland region of Latvia. Upon being summoned
by Hitler for his next assignment, von Manteuffel handed the division over
to Oberst (later Generalmajor) Karl Lorenz, the former commander of the Panzer
Grenadier Regiment “Großdeutschland.”]
September 1944-30 January 1945: Delegated with the leadership of the 5th Panzer
Army on the Western Front (see Account).
von Manteuffel meeting Hitler in 1944 on the occasion of receiving a decoration.
Von Manteuffel was a very tiny man as can be clearly seen in this photo!
Note the "Großdeutschland" cuff title on his right sleeve-von
Manteuffel commanded this elite Army panzer division on the Eastern
Front from 1 February 1944-1 September 1944
Oberst Willi Langkeit (second from the left wearing
the special black panzer uniform), commander of the Panzer Regiment “Großdeutschland,”
and Generalleutnant von Manteuffel (hands in pockets), the divisional
commander, confer during the defensive fighting in the vicinity of Iasi,
Romania in May-June 1944.
January 1945-9 March 1945: Commander-in-Chief of the 5th Panzer Army on
the Western Front.
March 1945-3 May 1945: Commander-in-Chief of the 3rd Panzer Army on the
Eastern Front. [Following Hitler’s abrupt dismissal of Generaloberst Erhard
Raus on 10 March 1945, von Manteuffel succeeded him to command of the 3rd
Panzer Army of Army Group Weichsel [Vistula] on the Eastern Front. Holding
the Oder River from the Baltic Sea coast to Eberswalde, von Manteuffel’s
new command proved short of tanks and in ragged condition after several
weeks of hammering by multiple Russian armies. On 25 April 1945, the Soviet
2nd Belorussian Front, commanded by Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin
K. Rokossovski, renewed its offensive and seized a large bridgehead on the
Oder River south of Stettin forcing the center of the 3rd Panzer Army back
to Prenzlau. After the dismissal of Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici from
command of Army Group Weichsel on 29 April 1945, Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm
Keitel, the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, initially offered the
army group and a promotion to Hasso von Manteuffel—he declined the offer
in protest of the harsh treatment meted out to Generaloberst Heinrici.]
April 1945-2 May 1945: Withdrawal of the 3rd Panzer Army across Mecklenburg
to the demarcation line between the Soviet and Anglo-American forces.
May 1945: General der Panzertruppe von Manteuffel surrendered his 3rd Panzer
Army to the British at Hagenow.
May 1945-December 1946: Prisoner of war in British and, later, U.S. captivity.
[After being held at various prisoner of war camps in Great Britain, including
Island Farm Special Camp 11, he was handed over to the Americans and imprisoned
at Nürnberg-Langwasser and Marburg in Germany. While held at the later camp,
he took part in the U.S. Army Historical Division project to record as much
useful military information as possible from their former enemies by writing
a monograph on the mobile warfare aspect of the Ardennes Offensive.]
Member of the Bundestag (German Parliament) as a representative of the Free
A German court in Düsseldorf charged Hasso von Manteuffel with manslaughter
for ordering the sentencing and shooting of one of his men in January 1944
for cowardice in that, while on guard duty near Shepetovka in the
Ukraine, the soldier failed to prevent
or report the capture of two fellow soldiers by the Russians. In August
1959, the court sentenced him to 18 months in prison, but through the
intercession of West German Bundespräsident Theodor
Heuss, he was released after serving two months and pardoned.
Published Die 7. Panzer-Division im
Zweiten Weltkrieg: Einsatz und Kampf der “Gespenster-Division” 1939-1945
(The 7th Panzer Division in the Second
World War: Employment and Combat of the “Ghost Division” 1939-1945),
a unit history sponsored by the Traditions Association of the 7th Panzer
In collaboration with Colonel Wesley W. Yale and General Isaac D. White,
co-authored Alternative to Armageddon: The Peace Potential
of Lightning War.
7. Panzer-Division 1939-1945: die “Gespenster-Division” (The
7th Panzer Division 1939-1945: The “Ghost Division”), a photographic
history of the division.
Rick. An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa,
1942-1943. Henry Holt and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 2002.
Corelli (editor). Hitler’s Generals. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, United
Roger James & Law, Richard D. Uniforms, Organization and History
of the Afrika Korps. R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose, California,
Roger James & Odegard, Warren W. Uniforms, Organization and History
of the Panzertruppe. R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose, California,
1980 (1st Edition).
Donald Grey. Panzer Baron: The Military Exploits of
General Hasso von Manteuffel. The Christopher Publishing House, North
Quincy, Massachusetts, 1975.
Wolf. Die Generale des Heeres. Podzun-Pallas Verlag, Friedberg, Germany,
B. H. (editor). The Rommel Papers. Paul Findlay, translator.
Da Capo Press, U.S.A., reprint of original 1953 edition.
Charles B. A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story
of the Battle of the Bulge. William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York,
New York, 1985.
Horst. Panzer Grenadier Division Großdeutschland.
Gisele Hockenberry, translator; Bruce Culver, editor. Squadron/Signal Publications,
Inc., Carrollton, Texas, 1987.
Gustav von. “Operations of the 5th Panzer Army in
Tunisia, 5 March 1943-12 May 1943” (D-001). Written by General der Panzertruppe
von Vaerst for the U.S. Army Historical Division after World War II, this
account chronicles the movements and actions of the 5th Panzer Army during
the time period indicated. Without access to important reference documents,
he wrote the account from memory while being held at Prisoner of War Enclosure
(PWE) 8, Garmisch, Germany. The quotation by General der Panzertruppe von
Vaerst is cited from this document.
Earl F. Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the
East. Army Historical Series. Washington D.C.: Center of Military History,
United States Army, 1987.
Earl F. Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat
in the East. Army Historical Series. Washington D.C.: Office of the
Chief of Military History, United States Army, 1968.
- Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres, 1 May 1930 (compiled and edited
by the Reich Defense Ministry/Army Personnel Office).
regarding the 1959 trial of General der Panzertruppe a.D. von Manteuffel derived
from the following websites:
 Keitel named Generaloberst Kurt Student as
Heinrici’s replacement. However, Student
did not arrive from Holland to assume physical command of Army Group Weichsel
until 1 May 1945. In the meantime, General der Infanterie Kurt von Tippelskirch, the leader of the 21st Army, had been persuaded by Keitel and Generaloberst Alfred
Jodl to assume acting command of the army group on 29 April 1945 pending
Student’s arrival. Generals Heinrici, Student and von Tippelskirch were
all held for varying amounts of time as prisoners of war at Island Farm
Special Camp 11.