Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz

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Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz
Born (1896-12-06)6 December 1896
Krumpach, Province of Silesia, Kingdom of Prussia Germany now Borów, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
Died 9 October 1969(1969-10-09) (aged 72)
Neuberg, Hesse, West Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held 2nd Panzer Division
XLVII Panzer Corps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Heinrich Diepold Georg Freiherr von Lüttwitz[Note 1] (6 December 1896 – 9 October 1969) was a German general of the Panzer troops, serving during World War II. His cousins Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz and Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz were also decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, the latter also received the Diamonds.[1]

Battle of the Bulge, "Nuts!"

In 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, Lüttwitz, commander of the XLVII Panzer Corps, had surrounded the US 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne commanded by US Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe. Before launching an assault by the 26th Volksgrenadier Division against the town, Lüttwitz sent an ultimatum to the American forces. His demand for the US troops to surrender was the following:

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.

He received the following reply from McAuliffe:

To the German Commander.


The American Commander

McAuliffe's reply, "Nuts!" was explained to the German negotiators as the equivalent of "go to hell!"



  1. Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.
  2. Heinrich von Lüttwitz's nomination by the troop was received by the Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Personnel Office) on 28 April 1945. Major Joachim Domaschk decided on 30 April: "Heeresgruppe B, postpone!" General Von Lüttwiz together with the remaining forces of the Heeresgruppe B was either taken prisoner of war or missing in action in the Ruhr Pocket on 15 April. The nomination was thus not further processed in accordance with AHA 44 Ziff. 572. The nomination list for the higher grades of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross also contains a note from 28 April 1945: "postponed". A bestowal thus didn't occur. The sequential number "157" and presentation date were assigned by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR).[12]




  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  • 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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 (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • R. V. Cassill (1955), The General Said "Nuts": Exciting Moments of Our History—As Recalled by Our Favorite American Slogans, New York: Birk.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Vollrath Lübbe
Commander of 2. Panzer-Division
1 February 1944 – 4 May 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven
Commander of 2. Panzer-Division
27 May 1944 – 31 August 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Eberhard von Nostitz
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppen Hans Freiherr von Funck
Commander of XLVII. Panzerkorps
4 September 1944 – April 1945
Succeeded by