Otto Hitzfeld

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Otto Hitzfeld
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1995-082-19, Otto Hitzfeld.jpg
Nickname(s) Der Löwe von Sewastopol
Born (1898-05-07)7 May 1898
Died 6 December 1990(1990-12-06) (aged 92)
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1914–45
Rank General der Infanterie
Commands held 102. Infanterie-Division
LXVII. Armeekorps
11. Armee
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Relations Ottmar Hitzfeld (nephew)

Otto Maximilian Hitzfeld (7 May 1898 – 6 December 1990) was a German officer during both World War I and World War II. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) on 9 May 1945. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade, Oak Leaves and Swords, was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.


Hitzfeld was promoted to Major on 1 April 1936 and returned to the Kriegsschule in Dresden, where he taught tactics and military history. He became the aide of the commander of the Kriegsschule on 10 November 1938. He was promoted to Oberstleutnant on 1 August 1939 and became the commander of the 3rd Battalion of 158th Infantry Regiment (III./Infanterie-Regiment 158). With this battalion he participated in the Battle of France. He received command of 593rd Infantry Regiment (Infanterie-Regiment 593) on 15 November 1940 and received both clasps of the Iron Cross by the end of August 1941.

Hitzfeld transferred again in July 1941, this time taking command of the 213th Infantry Regiment (Infanterie-Regiment 213), which he commanded for a year on the Eastern Front. He distinguished himself in the battles near Perekop and the battles on the Crimea for which he received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 October 1941. He was promoted to Oberst on 1 January 1942 and shortly afterwards received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves on 17 January 1942. Wounded for the fifth time on 15 August 1942 near Krasnodar, he received the Wound Badge in Gold by the end of the war. After a period of convalescence, he was given the command of the 102. Infanterie-Division.

Hitzfeld, whose nephew Ottmar Hitzfeld was a highly successful football manager in Europe, was promoted to Generalmajor on 1 April 1943 and officially put in command of the 102. Infanterie-Division. He was promoted to Generalleutnant early November 1943 and had to turn over command of the Division. He then took command of the infantry school in Döberitz and again turned over command on 1 November 1944. Hitzfeld was given command of the LXVII. Armeekorps, which he led in the Battle of the Bulge. He was promoted to General der Infanterie on 1 March 1945 and made commanding general of the LXVII. Armeekorps. He shortly became commander of the 11. Armee in April 1945. He declared Göttingen, which was crowded with refugees, as a free city. He was taken prisoner of war by American forces on 19 April 1945 from which he was released on 12 May 1947. He received news that he had been awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords after his release from captivity.

Summary of career



22 April 1915: Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter
19 May 1915: Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier
30 September 1915: Fähnrich
18 February 1916: Leutnant
31 July 1925: Oberleutnant
April 1932: Rittmeister
1 April 1936: Major
1 August 1939: Oberstleutnant
17 December 1941: Oberst
1 April 1943: Generalmajor
8 November 1943: Generalleutnant
1 March 1945: General der Infanterie


  1. Otto Hitzfeld's nomination was rejected by Major Joachim Domaschk on 30 April 1945 and commented: "This is not a nomination!" (Only leadership and organisational achievements, no personal bravery) he additionally noted: "missing in cauldron AOK 11". The nomination was thus assessed as insufficient as well as postponed according to AHA 44 Ziff. 572. The entry date noted on the nomination list for the higher grades of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross is 28 April 1945. The list indicates a note "deferred". The approval cannot be proven. The order commission of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) handled the case in 1981 and decided: Swords yes, 9 May 1945. The AKCR claims that the award was presented in accordance with the Dönitz-decree. This is illegal according to the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) and lacks legal justification. The sequential number "158" and presentation date was assigned by the AKCR. Hitzfeld was member of the AKCR.[9]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Thomas 1997, p. 286.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 393.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 228.
  4. Von Seemen 1976, p. 168.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 57.
  6. Von Seemen 1976, p. 27.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 49.
  8. Von Seemen 1976, p. 21.
  9. Scherzer 2007, p. 141.


  • 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>
  • Hitzfeld, Otto Maximilian (1983). Bradley, Dermot, ed. Ein Infanterist in zwei Weltkriegen: Erinnerungen 1898–1980 (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio. ISBN 978-3-7648-1269-0. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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>
  • 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>
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • "Lexikon der Wehrmacht". Otto Hitzfeld (in German). Retrieved 8 March 2008. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "". General der Infanterie Otto Hitzfeld. Retrieved 26 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalmajor Johannes Friessner
Commander of 102. Infantrie-Division
19 January 1943 – 5 November 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Werner von Bercken
Preceded by
General der Artillerie Walther Lucht
Commander of 11. Armee
2 April 1945 – 8 April 1945
Succeeded by
General der Artillerie Walther Lucht