PW NO: 560275
CAPTURED: Mitterfels bei Krenzkirchen,
DATE: 25 April 1945
DATE OF BIRTH: 8
PLACE OF BIRTH: Braunfels/Kreis
DATE OF DEATH: 16 October
PLACE OF DEATH: Vladimir POW
Camp near Moscow, USSR
OCCUPATION: Regular Soldier
NEXT OF KIN: Wife: Gisela Wachtel (married on 18 October 1910 in Hannover)
– two sons (Johannes Jürgen Christoph Ewald and Hugo Edmund Christoph
Edwald von Kleist was born in to an aristocratic family. He
was a strong monarchist who was close to the Von Hindenburg family serving
as a commander of a cavalry division from 1932 to 1935. Temporarily
retired, he was recalled in August 1939 at the age of 58 as commanding general
of XXII Army Corps (Motorized). In April 1941, he was sent to the
Balkans where his troops captured Belgrade.
In 1942, Hitler sent von Kleist to the Caucasus with orders
to take the oil wells there by the autumn of that year. At first,
von Kleist made progress in this campaign. Official Nazi policy was
to treat the non-Germanic peoples of the east as inferior races, but von
Kleist realised the advantages of gaining the co-operation of these people
and used officers who knew them well. As a result he gained the support
of many people who fought with the Germans against the Communists.
In January 1943, Hitler made von Kleist a Field Marshal in
recognition of his services at a time when the Russian campaign was deteriorating.
Near the end of the war, von Kleist was taken prisoner by the Americans
and turned over to the British. In 1946, after being held at Island
Farm, he was extradited to Yugoslavia and then to the Soviet Union, where
he died in October 1954 in the Vladimir POW Camp near Moscow.
13 March 1900
- Fähnrich: 18 October 1900 (C2c)
- Leutnant: 18 August 1901 – Patent 19 August 1900
- Oberleutnant: 27 January 1910 (GOg)
- Rittmeister/Hauptmann: 22 March 1914 (V23)
- Major: 1 February 1922 – RDA 1 July 1921 (20a)
- Oberstleutnant: 1 December 1926 (5)
- Oberst: 1 October 1929 (26)
- Charakter als Generalmajor: 1 January 1932
- Generalmajor: 1 October 1932 (3)
- Generalleutnant: 1 October 1933 (10)
- General der Kavallerie: 1 August 1936 (1)
- Generaloberst: 19 July 1940 (3)
- Generalfeldmarschall: 1 February 1943 (1)
Commands & Assignments:
March 1900: Entered the Army as a Fahnenjunker in Feld-Artillerie-Regiment
General-Feldzugmeister (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr. 3.
January 1904: Adjutant and Court Officer of the Mounted Battalion of
Field Artillery Regiment 3.
October 1909-30 September 1910: Detached to the Military Riding Institute
October 1910-22 July 1913: Detached to the War Academy in Berlin for
General Staff training.
December 1911: Transferred to Husaren-Regiment Landgraf Friedrich III
von Hessen-Homburg (2. Kurhessisches) Nr.14 at Kassel.
March 1914: Rittmeister (Cavalry Captain) on Staff and Leader of the
3rd Squadron of 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr.1.
August 1914: Leader of the Replacement Squadron of 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment
Königin Viktoria von Preußen Nr.2.
August 1914: Leader of the Replacement Squadron of 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment
October 1915: Detached for service as a General Staff Officer to the
85th Landwehr Division.
December 1915: Detached for service as a General Staff Officer to the
86th Infantry Division.
January 1916: Adjutant of the 171st Infantry Brigade.
January 1916: Transferred to Cavalry Regiment 85.
February 1916: Detached for service as a General Staff Officer to the
85th Landwehr Division.
March 1916: Detached for service as a General Staff Officer to the staff
of the XVII Reserve Corps.
April 1916: Detached for service as a General Staff Officer to the 85th
June 1916: Detached for service as the 1st Adjutant of the 85th Landwehr
June 1916: Detached for service as a General Staff Officer to the 85th
July 1916: Delegated with the post of Operations Officer (Ia) on the
staff of the 86th Infantry Division.
August 1916: Returned to Cavalry Regiment 85.
October 1916: Ordnance Officer on the General Staff of the XVII Reserve
March 1917: While retaining his previous position, transferred as a
Hauptmann into the General Staff of the Army.
June 1917: Detached to the Artillery Measuring School in Wien.
August 1917: Operations Officer (Ia) of the Guards Cavalry Division
on the Eastern and Western Fronts.
January 1918-11 January 1918: At the same time, detached to the General
Staff course in Wahn.
January 1918-14 February 1918: At the same time, detached to Army Group
“German Crown Prince.”
April 1918: Operations Officer (Ia) in the General Staff of the 225th
September 1918: Operations Officer (Ia) in the General Staff of the
VII Army Corps.
May 1919: Operations Officer (Ia) on the staff of Reichswehr Brigade
June 1920: General Staff Officer on the staff of Infantry Leader 10.
October 1920: 1st General Staff Officer on the staff of Infantry Leader
April 1922: Squadron Chief in Reiter [Riding]-Regiment 13.
July 1923-15 August 1923: At the same time, detached to the Staff Officer
Course at the Hannover Cavalry School.
October 1923: Detached to the Hannover Cavalry School.
January 1924: General Staff Officer and Tactics Instructor at the Hannover
March 1928: Detached to the staff of the 2nd Cavalry Division.
April11928: Chief of Staff of the 2nd Cavalry Division, Breslau.
July 1929: Chief of Staff of the 3rd Division, Breslau.
February 1931: Commander of Infantry Regiment 9.
January 1932: Commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division, Breslau.
October 1933: Breslau Military District Commander.
October 1934: Commander of the Breslau Army Service Center.
May 1935: Commander of Wehrkreis [Military District] VIII, Breslau.
June 1935: Commanding General of the VIII Army Corps and Commander of
Wehrkreis VIII, Breslau.
February 1938: With effect from 28 February 1938, retired from the Army
with the honor of carrying the uniform of Cavalry Regiment 8.
July 1938: Placed at the disposal of the Army for employment.
August 1939: Commanding General of the XXII Army Corps (Motorized).
[His corps took part in the invasion of Poland in September 1939.]
March 1940: At the same time, named Commander of Panzer Group “Kleist.”
[He led his group in the French campaign, May-June 1940.]
November 1940: Commander-in-Chief of Panzer Group 1. [He led his group
in the invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941.and the invasion of the
Soviet Union from 22 June 1941.]
October 1941-21 November 1942: Commander-in-Chief of the 1st Panzer
Army on the Eastern Front.
1942-May 1942: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group “von Kleist” composed
of his own 1st Panzer Army, the 17th Army and Group “von Mackensen”
(III. Army Corps Motorized) on the Eastern Front.
November 1942: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group A on the Eastern Front.
von Kleist conducting an inspection tour in the Crimea, 1943. Note
his Interimstab and Romanian Order of Michael the Brave, 2nd Class
(worn at the throat) and 3rd Class (pinned to left breast).
Please Click Photo To Enlarge
- the everyday "Walking Out Baton" of Generalfeldmarschall
Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist
Baton manufactured by the concern of H.J. Wilm, Berlin, and
appears to be silver, silver-gilt and black enamel.
finial (top most portion) is in the form of a stylised acorn
gold finished emblems adorn the top mount, these being: a large
Wehrmacht Eagle, a Swastika emblem, a small style Army Eagle
emblems and an Iron Cross emblem in silver and black enamel.
The lowest portion of the mount is a circular collar, which
bears the raised lettering inscription:
The above baton is part of a private collection.
The photos are courtesy of Frederick J. Stephens