PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Manteuffel, von, Hasso
Date of birth: January 14th, 1897 (Potsdam/Brandenburg, Germany)
Date of death:  September 24th, 1978 (Reith im Alpbachtal/Tyrol, Austria)
Nationality:  German
BIOGRAPHY: 
Hasso von Manteuffel was born 14 January 1897 in Potsdam near Berlin,
Germany to an aristocratic Prussian family. Already at a young age, he opted
for an army career. After having graduated from cadet school, he joined a
regiment of Hussars in 1908. During WW 1 he distinguished himself on the
Western Front and was awarded the Iron Cross First and Second Class.
After the war he remained in the Reichswehr, which was restricted to 100,000
men by the Versailles Treaty. After Hitler took power he was named commander of a motorized infantry battalion. He subsequently became a lecturer at various military schools, familiarizing recruits with armored weaponry. He was also involved in motorizing the new Wehrmacht. Until the launch of Operation Barbarossa, Manteuffel was not actively engaged in military
operations.

Just before Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Manteuffel was given command of a mechanized infantry battalion of 7.Panzer-Division. After the start of Operation Barbarossa, 7. Panzer-Division advanced far into Russia and was involved in the battles for Smolensk and Vjazma. In recognition of his
performance at the front, Manteuffel was promoted to Colonel. At the onset
of winter, the drive on Moscow was resumed and Manteuffel's regiment
captured a key bridge on the Moscow-Volga Canal. Following this action,
Manteuffel was awarded the Knight's Cross. Manteuffel managed to advance
another 50 kilometers. During the winter offensive, they were forced to
retreat but 7. Panzer-Division succeeded in preventing a breakthrough. From
July 1942 onwards, Manteuffel commanded a motorized infantry brigade of 7.
Panzer-Division.

In the winter of 1942, Manteuffel was transferred, quite unexpectedly to
Tunisia in North Africa and was very successful as commander of a motorized
infantry division. Manteuffel was not present when the German Afrika Korps
surrendered. He had fallen ill and had returned to Germany for recuperation
so he could continue taking an active part in the war.

Afterwards he returned to the Eastern Front. He was held in high regard by
his men. At Zjitomir in the Ukraine, he inflicted severe losses on the
Soviets by astute maneuvering.

On 1 September 1944, he was transferred to the Western Front, following his
promotion to General der Panzer and was given command of 5.Panzer-Armee.
During the Ardennes Offensive, he was to form the left flank next to 6.SS- Panzer-Armee. Manteuffel and his men barely reached their goal but were
ultimately driven back. After the failure of the offensive, Manteuffel was
again transferred to the Eastern Front. There he came under the command of
Generaloberst Heinrici who commanded Heeresgruppe (Army Group) Weichsel. The army group was tasked to halt the Soviet drive on Berlin. Heinrici thought the idea futile and refused to follow orders from the Army High Command. Subsequently, Manteuffel was asked to take command of the army group but he refused. To prevent himself and his men from falling into Soviet hands, he ordered a massive retreat towards the Elbe River where he surrendered 300,000 men to the British.

In 1948, he was released from prison. After his release, he was actively
engaged in German politics. He was a member of the Bundestag (German
parliament) from 1953 to 1957 representing the FDP (Freie Demokratische
Partei, Liberal Party). In 1959, he was suddenly charged with a war crime.
He had brought a deserter to a military tribunal and had him shot. Although
this did not contravene any laws of war, he was sentenced to 2 years
imprisonment nonetheless. With the help of Bundespräsident (President)
Heuss, he was released four months later.

Hasso von Manteuffel died 24 September 1978 during a trip through Austria at
the age of 81.
     
DEUTSCHES REITERABZEICHEN IN GOLD
Rank: Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit: Regiments-Adjutant 3. (Preußisches) Reiter-Regiment
Awarded on: January 2nd, 1931
 
     
DRL SPORTABZEICHEN IN GOLD
Awarded on: 1939
 
     
KRIEGSVERDIENSTKREUZ 2.KLASSE
Awarded on: December 20th, 1940
 
     
1939 SPANGE ZUM EISERNEN KREUZES 2ER KLASSE 1914
Rank: Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit: Kommandeur I./Schützen-Regiment 7 / 7. Panzer-Division / 3. Panzergruppe / Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on: July 22nd, 1941
 
     
1939 SPANGE ZUM EISERNEN KREUZES 1ER KLASSE 1914
Rank: Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
Unit: Kommandeur I./Schützen-Regiment 7 / 7. Panzer-Division / 3. Panzergruppe / Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on: August 1st, 1941
 
     
PANZERKAMPFABZEICHEN (OHNE ZAHLEN)
Awarded on: September 2nd, 1941
Details: Bronze version.
 
     
RITTERKREUZ DES EISERNEN KREUZES
Rank: Oberst (Colonel)
Unit: Kommandeur Schützen-Regiment 6 / 7. Panzer-Division / LIV. Armeekorps / Panzergruppe 3 / Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on: December 31st, 1941
 
     
ÄRMELBAND AFRIKA
Awarded on: 1943
 
     
WEHRMACHTBERICHT
Rank: Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit: Kommandeur 7. Panzer-Division / Panzer-Armee 4 / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on: October 8th, 1943
 
     
WEHRMACHTBERICHT
Rank: Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit: Kommandeur 7. Panzer-Division / Panzer-Armee 4 / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on: November 16th, 1943
 
     
RITTERKREUZ MIT EICHENLAUB
Rank: Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit: Kommandeur 7. Panzer-Division / 4. Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on: November 23rd, 1943
Details: 332th Award.
 
     
RITTERKREUZ MIT EICHENLAUB UND SCHWERTERN
Rank: Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit: Kommandeur 7. Panzer-Division / Panzer-Armee 4 / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on: February 22nd, 1944
Details: 50th Award.
 
     
WEHRMACHTBERICHT
Rank: Generalleutnant (Major-general)
Unit: Kommandeur Panzer-Division "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on: March 14th, 1944
 
     
WEHRMACHTBERICHT
Rank: Generalleutnant (Major-general)
Unit: Kommandeur Panzer-Division "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on: May 8th, 1944
 
     
ORDINUL MIHAI VITEAZUL 3RD CLASS
Rank: Generalleutnant (Major-general)
Unit: Kommandeur Panzer-Division "Großdeutschland"
Awarded on: May 30th, 1944
 
     
RITTERKREUZ, EICHENLAUB, SCHWERTERN UND BRILLANTEN
Rank: General der Panzertruppen (Lieutenant-general)
Unit: Oberbefehlshaber 5. Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe B
Awarded on: February 18th, 1945
Details: 24th Award.
 
     
EHRENKREUZ FÜR FRONTKÄMPFER
 
     
MEDAILLE "WINTERSCHLACHT IM OSTEN 1941/42" (OSTMEDAILLE)
 
     
DIENSTAUSZEICHNUNG DER WEHRMACHT 1.KLASSE, 25 JAHRE
 
     
DIENSTAUSZEICHNUNG DER WEHRMACHT 2. KLASSE, 18 JAHRE
 
     
DIENSTAUSZEICHNUNG DER WEHRMACHT 3.KLASSE, 12 JAHRE
 
     
DIENSTAUSZEICHNUNG DER WEHRMACHT 4.KLASSE, 4 JAHRE
 
     
GOLDENES HITLERJUGEND EHRENABZEICHEN
 
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Picture source:   - Wilco Vermeer, The Netherlands
Information source(s):   - Kursietis, Andris J., The Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945, Aspekt, The Netherlands, 1999
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer, Elite of the Third Reich - The Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-45: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, England, 2003
- Federl, C., Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Panzerdivisionen 1939-1945, VDM Heinz Nickel, Zweibrücken, Germany, 2000
- Berger, F., Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern – Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Selbstverlag Florian Berger, Wien, Österreich, 2002/03
- Williamson, G., Knight’s Cross with Diamonds Recipients, Osprey Publishing Ltd., Great Britain, 2006
- Barnett, C., Hitler’s Generals, Grove Press, New York, U.S.A., 1989
- Helden der Wehrmacht, Sammelband (Miscellany), FZ-Verlag GmbH, München, Deutschland, 2000
- Manteuffel, von H., Die 7. Panzer-Division – Bewaffnung, Einsätze, Männer, Nebel Verlag GmbH, Eggolsheim, Deutschland, 2001
- Voorlopige verleningsoorkonde Eichenlaub via Hermann Historica 53.Auktion catalogue
- Soldbuch in Hermann Historica 55.Auktion catalogue
- Axis Biographical Research
- Island Farm - Prisoner of War Camp
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