NAME: Generalleutnant Friedrich (Fritz) Freiherr von Broich

PW NO:          18828

RANK:            Generalleutnant

CAPTURED:   Gombalia, Tunisia

DATE:             12 May 1943


DATE OF BIRTH:     1 January 1896

PLACE OF BIRTH:   Straßburg/Elsaß

DATE OF DEATH:    24 September 1974

PLACE OF DEATH:  Leoni bei Starnberg

NATIONALITY:       German

RELIGION:                Evangelist

OCCUPATION:        Regular Soldier

HEIGHT:                    5'11"

WEIGHT:                   160lbs
HAIR COLOUR:        Brown (Turning grey)

EYE COLOUR:          Blue

NEXT OF KIN:          Olegard-Margarete Broich, Birkenau bei Weinheim Odenwald Hessen (American Zone)



  • Fahnenjunker: 24 July 1914
  • Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier: 15 September 1914
  • Fähnrich: 25 September 1914 (A2a)
  • Leutnant: 24 December 1914 (Patent 23 June 1913)
  • Oberleutnant: 18 October 1918 (H12h) (RDA later reestablished at 18 October 1918 (31))
  • Rittmeister: 1 February 1928 (44)
  • Major: 1 January 1935 (3)
  • Oberstleutnant: 1 October 1937 (15)
  • Oberst: 1 September 1940 (13) (RDA later changed to 1 August 1939 (26b))
  • Generalmajor: 15 February 1943 (RDA 1 January 1943 (23a))
  • Generalleutnant: 1 May 1943 (without RDA; later established at 1 July 1943 (5b))

Commands & Assignments:

  • 2 July 1914: Entered the Army as a Fahnenjunker in the 2. Pommersches Ulanen-Regiment Nr.9.
  • 15 February 1915: Sick/in hospital.
  • 3 March 1915: Transferred to the Replacement Squadron of Ulan Regiment 9.
  • 20 April 1915-20 May 1915: Detached to the Machinegun Course at Döberitz.
  • 25 May 1915-13 September 1915: Detached to Kürassier-Regiment von Seydlitz (4. Magdeburgisches) Nr.7.
  • 9 November 1915: Sick/in hospital.
  • 3 January 1916: Transferred to the Replacement Squadron of Ulan Regiment 9.
  • 10 January 1916: Returned to the regiment in the field.
  • 10 May 1917-22 June 1917: Detached to the Machinegun Weapons Master Course at Spandau.
  • 3 July 1918: Squadron Chief in Ulan Regiment 9.
  • 13 October 1918: Wounded/in hospital.
  • 28 December 1918: Transferred back to Ulan Regiment 9.
  • 31 May 1919: Transferred to Reichswehr Cavalry Regiment 2 of Reichswehr-Brigade 2.
  • 7 October 1919-15 November 1919: Detached for instruction to the Firing School at Wünsdorf.
  • 11 November 1919: Transferred to Reichswehr Cavalry Regiment 102 of Reichswehr-Brigade 2.
  • 29 March 1920: Transferred to Reichswehr Cavalry Regiment 6 of Reichswehr-Brigade 6.
  • 1 October 1924: Transferred to the regimental staff of the 6th (Prussian) Reiter-[Mounted] Regiment, Pasewalk.
  • 10 January 1925: Regimental Adjutant of the 6th (Prussian) Reiter-Regiment, Pasewalk.
  • 1 October 1928: Chief of the 2nd Squadron of the 8th (Prussian) Reiter-Regiment, Oels.
  • 1 June 1931: Garrison Senior in Brieg.
  • 1 December 1933: Adjutant of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fankfurt am Oder.
  • 15 October 1935: Transferred to the 3rd Inspectorate of the Reich War Ministry.
  • 12 November 1938: Commander of the II. Battalion of Cavalry Regiment 6.
  • 26 August 1939: Commander of Reconnaissance Battalion 34 of the 34th Infantry Division. [While the cream of the German military invaded Poland in September 1939, the 34th Infantry Division, commanded by Generalmajor Hans Behlendorff, remained at the disposal of Generaloberst Erwin von Witzleben’s 1st Army in the Saarland facing the French Maginot Line in Lorraine.]
  • 5 December 1939: Commander of Reiter-Regiment 21 of the 1st Cavalry Brigade, reformed as the 1st Cavalry Division on 14 February 1940. [Commanded by Generalmajor (later Generalleutnant) Kurt Feldt, the 1st Cavalry Division advanced into the lightly defended Dutch plains east of the IJssel River on 10 May 1940. Within 48 hours, the 1st Cavalry Division overran the northern Dutch provinces and halted its advance on the IJsselmeer near Kornwerderzand, the northwestern terminus of the Afsluitdijk dyke.[1] After redeploying to the Somme River, the division took part in the second phase of the invasion of France in June 1940 as a component of the XXXVIII Army Corps of Generaloberst Günther von Kluge’s 4th Army.[2] The 1st Cavalry Division advanced deep into France and crossed the Loire River at Saumur by the time the Franco-German armistice was signed on 22 June 1940.]
  • 30 September 1940: Commander of Reiter-Regiment 22 of the 1st Cavalry Division. [On 22 June 1941, Generalmajor Kurt Feldt’s 1st Cavalry Division took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union as a component of Generaloberst Heinz Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Group under Army Group Center.]
  • 30 September 1941: Commander of the 1st Reiter-Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division.
  • 1 December 1941: Commander of the 24th Schützen [Rifle]-Brigade (later redesignated the 24th Panzer Grenadier Brigade) of the 24th Panzer Division. [On 28 November 1941, the 1st Cavalry Division, having returned to Germany from the Eastern Front, was redesignated and reformed as the 24th Panzer Division at Stablack in East Prussia. Among the organizational changes, Oberst Freiherr von Broich’s 1st Reiter-Brigade had been reformed as the 24th Schützen-Brigade. The new panzer division remained under Generalleutnant Kurt Feldt until 15 April 1942 when the highly decorated Generalmajor Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild took command. After completing training, the 24th Panzer Division deployed to the Eastern Front in June 1942 where it saw extensive combat while serving under Army Group South (the division was destroyed at Stalingrad in January 1943).]
  • 31 October 1942: Army High Command Leader Reserve.
  • 10 November 1942-5 February 1943: Delegated with the leadership of Division “von Broich” in Tunisia. [Initially formed to hold the Bizerte bridgehead in Tunisia, Division “von Broich” consisted of various units including the Luftwaffe Regiment “Barenthin,” Fallschirmjäger [Parachute] Pioneer Battalion 11, and the Italian 10th Bersaglieri Regiment. After being tapped to command the 10th Panzer Division following the death of its commander, Generalleutnant Wolfgang Fischer, Oberst Freiherr von Broich handed over command of Division “von Broich” to Generalmajor Hasso von Manteuffel.[3] ]
  • 5 February 1943-12 May 1943: Commander of the 10th Panzer Division in Tunisia.[4] [From 14-15 February 1943, Generalmajor Freiherr von Broich’s division, along with the 21st Panzer Division, savaged the U.S. 1st Armored Division at the Battle of Sidi bou Zid inflicting over 1,600 casualties and destroying almost 100 tanks and 29 artillery pieces. Jumping off from Sbeïtla, the 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions renewed the German offensive and, from 19-22 February 1943, engaged in the Battle of Kasserine Pass. After breaking through Task Force Stark of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, the 10th Panzer Division moved in two columns toward Thala and Tébessa (Algeria).[5] However, strong Allied reserves finally halted Generalmajor Freiherr von Broich’s advance and turned the tide against the German offensive. Although the German strategic plan had been thwarted, American losses at the Battle of Kasserine Pass were staggering: 6,000 troops killed, wounded and captured and 183 tanks, 104 half-tracks and over 200 artillery and anti-aircraft pieces destroyed. On 23 March 1943, the 10th Panzer Division took a merciless pounding from U.S. artillery in an unsuccessful frontal assault on positions held by the U.S. 1st Infantry Division during the Battle of El Guettar.[6] The remnants of the 10th Panzer Division continued to fight the Allied advance until surrendering north of Bizerte on 12 May 1943.]  
  • 12 May 1943: Captured by the British at Gombalia in Tunisia.
  • 12 May 1943-7 October 1947: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
    • 1 June 1943 transferred to Trent Park Camp 11 sorting camp
    • 23 July 1946 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from Camp 300
    • 1 October 1947 transferred to Camp 186
    • 2 October 1947 repatriated
Undated account circa 1946 - Broich gives an insight into captivity and post war

Awards & Decorations:

  • Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross: 29 August 1942, Oberst, Commander of the 24th Panzer Grenadier Brigade.
  • German Cross in Gold: 2 November 1941, Oberst, Commander of Reiter-Regiment 22.
  • Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class (1914) with 1939 Bar
  • Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1914) with 1939 Bar
  • Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
  • Armed Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year Service Cross)
  • Armed Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service Medal)
  • Austrian Military Merit Cross, 3rd Class with War Decoration
  • Wound Badge in Black – World War I award
  • Italian Army Silver Bravery Medal (Medaglia d’Argento al valore militare)


  • Atkinson, Rick. An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943. Henry Holt and Company, Inc., New York, New York, 2002.
  • Bender, Roger James & Law, Richard D. Uniforms, Organization and History of the Afrika Korps. R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose, California, USA, 1973 (1st Edition).
  • Bradley, Dermot; Hildebrand, Karl-Friedrich; Rövekamp, Markus. Die Generale des Heeres, 1921-1945, Band 2 (v. Blanckensee-v. Czettritz und Neuhauß). Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, Germany, 1993.
  • Hoffmann, Peter. Stauffenberg: A Family History, 1905-1944. McGill-Queen's University Press, Canada, 2003 (Second Edition) (originally published in Germany in 1992 as Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg und seine Brüder).   
  • Mehner, Kurt. Die deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe. Militair-Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, Germany, 1993.
  • Taylor, Telford. The March of Conquest: The German Victories in Western Europe, 1940. Simon and Schuster, Inc., New York, New York, 1958.

[1] Of note, then Oberst Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin commanded the 1st Cavalry Division’s 2nd Reiter-Brigade from February-May 1940. Following combat in the Netherlands, his command was reorganized as an independent motorized brigade for employment with the panzer divisions during the second phase of the invasion of France. Brigade “Senger” then took part in the breakthrough of the Weygand Line in France and, while subordinated to Generalmajor Erwin Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division, participated in the capture of Le Havre and Cherbourg. From early 1946 until his release in May 1948, General der Panzertruppe Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin was held as a prisoner of war at Island Farm Special Camp 11.

[2] Then General der Infanterie Erich von Lewenski genannt von Manstein commanded the XXXVIII Army Corps during the invasion of France in 1940. Attaining the rank of Generalfeldmarschall, he was held for a time as a prisoner of war at Island Farm Special Camp 11 after the war.

[3] Upon Generalmajor Hasso von Mateuffel’s assumption of command, the unit was renamed Division “von Manteuffel.” Achieving the rank of General der Panzertruppe, von Manteuffel was held for a time as a prisoner of war at Island Farm Special Camp 11 after the war.

[4] The previous commander of the 10th Panzer Division, Generalleutnant Wolfgang Fischer, was killed on 1 February 1943 when his staff car ran over a mine. Traveling with Fischer, Oberstleutnant Wilhelm Bürklin, the divisional operations officer (Ia), was also wounded. On 14 February 1943, Oberstleutnant Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, recently arrived from Germany, assumed duties as the new operations officer of the 10th Panzer Division. Stauffenberg’s service in North Africa came to an abrupt end when he was badly wounded in an air attack on 7 April 1943. The severity of the wounds required the amputation of his right hand, two fingers from his left hand and the removal of his left eye. The key member of the “July Plot” to assassinate Hitler, Stauffenberg planted a bomb at Hitler’s military headquarters near Rastenburg on 20 July 1944. As history records, Hitler survived the assassination attempt and wreaked a terrible vengeance on the conspirators. Stauffenberg was executed by firing squad in Berlin on the night of the assassination attempt upon the orders of his superior, Generaloberst Friedrich Fromm. Aware of the plot but uncertain of whether or not he should become directly involved, Fromm had hoped to cover his tracks by executing Stauffenberg before he could be implicated. However, Fromm was arrested shortly afterwards and tried and executed on 12 March 1945.          

[5] Colonel Alexander N. Stark, Jr., the commander of the 26th Infantry Regiment (U.S. 1st Infantry Division), led Task Force Stark during the Battle of Kasserine Pass. In the aftermath of the battle, Colonel Stark was among many U.S. officers relieved of command, the most senior of which was Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall, the commander of the U.S. II Corps. Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr. succeeded Fredendall as the corps commander.

[6] Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., the commander of the U.S. II Corps, observed the pounding of the 10th Panzer Division at the Battle of El Guettar and commented: “My God, it seems a crime to murder good infantry like that.” This battle was vividly portrayed in the 1970 motion picture Patton starring George C. Scott.