Walther von Hünersdorff

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Walther von Hünersdorff
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0047, Walther von Hünersdorff.jpg
Born (1898-11-28)28 November 1898
Cairo, Egypt
Died 17 July 1943(1943-07-17) (aged 44)
field hospital at Kharkov
Buried at German War Cemetery, Kharkov
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1915–43
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held 6. Panzer-Division
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Walther von Hünersdorff (28 November 1898 – 17 July 1943) was a German Generalleutnant serving during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career

During the First World War von Hünersdorff entered the German army in 1915 and fought on the Western Front. He was promoted to lieutenant in October 1916. After the German capitulation, he remained in the Reichswehr. Von Hünersdorff was promoted to first lieutenant in 1925, captain in 1933, major in 1936 and lieutenant-colonel in 1938. At the start of the Second World War von Hünersdorff served on the staff of the 253rd Infantry Division but on October 25, 1939 he was transferred to the staff of the II Army Corps. On September 12, 1940 he was made chief of staff of the XV Army Corps. With XV Army Corps part of Panzergruppe 3, von Hünersdorff served during Operation Barbarossa. Hünersdorff was promoted to colonel on 1 July 1941. A year later he took command of Panzer-Regiment 11, the panzer regiment of the 6th Panzer Division. He served with 6th Panzer during 4th Panzer Army's attempts to relieve the encircled Sixth Army at Stalingrad. In February 1943 von Hünersdorff was promoted to overall command of the 6th Panzer Division. In May 1943 he was promoted to major general.

Following the Battle of Kursk Hünersdorff and a number of his staff were attacked by a group of Heinkel He 111s which had mistakenly targeted them while attempting to support the division, wounding Hünersdorff. He chose to remain with his unit rather than going to the field hospital. That same day he was struck in the head by a sniper's round. Hünersdorff was immediately flown on a Fieseler Fi 156 to a hospital at Kharkov. There he was operated on by a leading brain surgeon, Dr Wilhelm Tönnis, formerly a professor at the University of Würzburg. He succumbed to his injuries on 17 July 1943 and was buried at the Military Cemetery at Kharkov.[1] The funeral was attended by his wife, Oda, who was serving in Kharkov as a nurse. A large number of the upper officer corps attended, including 4th Panzer Army commander Hermann Hoth and Army Group South commander Erich von Manstein. Hünersdorff was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general.

Awards

General Hünersdorff directing 6th Panzer Division at the outset of the Battle of Kursk
The wife of Walther Hünersdorff (with flowers) at the funeral of her husband

References

Citations

  1. Wegmann 2009, p. 382.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Thomas 1997, p. 311.
  3. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 203.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 409.

Bibliography

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). 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>
  • 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 (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>
  • Wegmann, Günter (2009). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil VIIIa: Panzertruppe Band 2: F–H (in German). Bissendorf, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2389-4. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Erhard Raus
Commander of 6. Panzer Division
7 February 1943 – 17 July 1943
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Wilhelm Crisolli