Knight’s Cross/DKiG Holders in the NVA

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USAF1986
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Knight’s Cross/DKiG Holders in the NVA

Post by USAF1986 » 10 Aug 2004 03:53

Hello! Here’s a link to some excellent rosters previously researched by Ken McCanliss relative to the generals/admirals of the NVA and Bundeswehr. For those interested, I’ve extracted the Knight’s Cross and German Cross in Gold recipients who became generals/admirals in the NVA and supplemented the entries with information from Fellgiebel and Scheibert.

viewtopic.php?t=4974&highlight=wulz

Best regards,
Shawn

Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross holders who became Generals/Admirals in the NVA:
1. NVA Generalmajor (a.D.)/Wehrmacht Oberst Wilhelm Adam. Knight’s Cross: 17 December 1942, Oberst, Adjutant of the 6th Army.
2. NVA Generalmajor/Wehrmacht Generalmajor Dr. rer. pol. Otto Korfes. Knight’s Cross: 22 January 1943, Generalmajor, Commander of the 295th Infantry Division.
3. NVA Generalleutnant/Wehrmacht Generalleutnant Vincenz Müller. Knight’s Cross: 7 April 1944, Generalleutnant, Deputy Leader of the XXVII Army Corps.

German Cross in Gold holders who became Generals/Admirals in the NVA:
1. NVA Generalmajor/Wehrmacht Generalleutnant Rudolf Bamler. German Cross in Gold: 12 March 1942, Oberst i.G., Chief of the General Staff of the XXXXVII Army Corps (mot.).
2. NVA Generalmajor/Wehrmacht Major Bernhard Bechler. German Cross in Gold: 28 January 1943, Major, Commander of the I./Grenadier Regiment 29 (mot.) of the 3rd Infantry Division (mot.).
3. NVA Generalmajor/Wehrmacht Generalmajor Dr. rer. pol. Otto Korfes. German Cross in Gold: 11 January 1942, Oberst, Commander of Infantry Regiment 518 of the 295th Infantry Division.
4. NVA Generalmajor/Wehrmacht Generalleutnant Arno von Lenski. German Cross in Gold: 21 January 1943, Generalmajor, Commander of the 24th Panzer Division.
5. NVA Generalleutnant/Wehrmacht Generalleutnant Vincenz Müller. German Cross in Gold: 26 January 1942, Oberst i.G., Chief of the General Staff of the 17th Army.
6. NVA Generalmajor/Wehrmacht Generalmajor Hans Wulz. German Cross in Gold: 25 January 1943, Generalmajor, Artillery Commander (Arko) 144.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 11 Aug 2004 17:34

Excellent stuff!
I'll add than info to the site and I hope you and Ken do not mind.

/Marcus

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Walter Litzmann-Lehweiss

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 13 Aug 2004 08:44

Gentlemen,

NVA Oberst Walter Litzmann-Lehweiss was a Luftwaffe Oberstleutnant who commanded KG3 bomber squadron. Awarded the Knight's Cross in October of 1943. I don't know if he was aware of being awarded this high decoration or not since he was already been taken prisoner by the Soviets some months ago. He was half-Jewish by the way. :|

Edward

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Post by USAF1986 » 14 Aug 2004 01:08

Edward,

Good addition! I have the following information on him from Fellgiebel. Froh and Wenzke give an alternate spelling for his first name.

NVA Oberst Walter (also seen as Walther) Lehweß-Litzmann
Knight’s Cross: 29 October 1943, Oberstleutnant, Kommodore KG 3.

Froh and Wenzke list him holding this post in the NVA:

Stellvertreter des Chefs der Verwaltung Luftsteitkräfte: 1 March 1956-30 April 1957

Best regards,
Shawn

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Post by USAF1986 » 14 Aug 2004 01:38

NVA Oberst Willy Riedel commanded the 6. Mot.-Schützen-Division from 30 October 1956-31 December 1957. Per das Ritterkreuz website ( http://www.das-ritterkreuz.de/ ), it appears he is one in the same as the highly decorated Wehrmacht major. Froh and Wenzke give an alternate spelling for his first name: Willi.

• Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross: 8 October 1942, Hauptmann, Commander of the III. Battalion of Infantry Regiment 524.
• Oakleaves (No. 186): 25 January 1943, Hauptmann, Commander of the III. Battalion of Grenadier Regiment 524.
• German Cross in Gold: 30 May 1942, Hauptmann, Commander of the III. Battalion of Infantry Regiment 524.

NVA Oberst Karl Nacke commanded the 8. Mot.-Schützen-Division from 30 June 1956-31 January 1959. I wonder if he is the one in the same as this officer:

Karl Nacke – German Cross in Gold: 27 October 1942, Hauptmann, Commander of the I. Battalion of Infantry Regiment 50.

Best regards,
Shawn

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Oak Leaves Winner in the NVA

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 14 Aug 2004 23:54

Dear Sir,

That's the first time that I ever heard of a Oak Leaves winner joining the NVA after the War. To be honest, I sort of doubt it that NVA Oberst Willy Riedel and Wehrmacht Major Willy Riedel are one of the same. Although I did found out about Riedel in the Ritterkreuztraeger.com about him being an Oberst in the NVA,little is still known about him. He must have being captured after the Stalingrad battle. :|

Edward

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Post by Bernhard H. Holst » 17 Aug 2004 03:44

Hello:
The 4 volume reference books on the recipients of the Oakleaves to the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross by Peter Stockert lists Maj. Willy Riedel as the 186.recipient of this award with date of 25.Jan.1943. He gives the following biographical data :
Shortly after this award date he was severely wounded by close proximity motar hit and became a PoW of Soviet forces near Stalingrad. A female Russian doctor nursed him back to health and he was then in the officers camp Jelabuga followed by the Antifascist School Krasnogorsk. Released in Nov.1947 he returned to Germany . Employed by the Landespolizei at different locations he was transferred to Rostock in 1951 . In 1949 this police force became the Kasernierte Volkspolizei of which he became a division commander from 1952 to 1956 in Prenzlau with rank of Oberst. He became deputy director of the Militaerakademie in Potzdam . He died on 10.Feb.1982 and was buried in Potsdam.
Bernhard H.Holst

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Post by USAF1986 » 17 Aug 2004 03:54

Bernhard,

Thanks as always for the very informative answer - much appreciated!

Best regards,
Shawn

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Never recieve it personally!

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 18 Aug 2004 00:00

Gentlemen,

One thing for sure, Willy Riedel probably never heard about his award and definately never received it. Feldmarschall Friedrich Paulus probably heard about his Oak Leaves award (178 receipent) but didn't recieve it personally. I wonder if their awards were given to their families only to have them taken away from them once that Hitler heard that they have gone over to the enemy? :|

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"Ex-Ritterkreuztraeger"

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 18 Aug 2004 01:43

Gentlemen,

Plenty of Wehrmacht soldier who later joined NVA were ashamed of wearing their Knight's Cross and German Cross in Gold decorations I believe. They denounced and refused to wear them anymore. They don't like being in a Nazi Regime anymore once the Soviets and the German Communists convinced them. Just a thought.

Edward

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Additions

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 25 Aug 2004 04:20

Gentlemen,

Oberleutnant Paul Landgraf,commander of Pz. Jag. Abt. 40 and Knight's Cross holder became an Oberst in the NVA. I believe Landgraf was captured during the final phase of the battle of Stalingrad in 1943 and never knew about his Knight's Cross award.

Job von Witzleben,German Cross in Gold holder, and related to Feldmarschal Erwin von Witzleben was an Oberst in the NVA and a SED member.

With Regards,

Edward :|

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Post by USAF1986 » 21 Dec 2004 01:47

Hello! Here are a few more decorated German officers who later served in the NVA:

Oberst i.G. Günther Aßmann (1900-1987)
Last Position in the Wehrmacht: Oberquartiermeister bei der Deutschen Heeresmission Rumänien (1942-1944)
Soviet POW: 1944-1949
BDO/NKFD: 1944/45
DDR military service: Oberst der KVP und NVA (until 1958)
Party: 1949 NDPD
German Cross in Silver: 22 July 1944, Oberst i.G., Oberquartiermeister bei der Deutschen Heeresmission Rumänien.

Hauptmann Paul Markgraf (1910-1993)
Last Position in the Wehrmacht: Panzerjägerabteilung 40
Soviet POW: 1943-1945
BDO/NKFD: 1943-1945 Frontbevollmächtigter
DDR military service: Oberst der KVP und NVA (until 1958)
Party: 1945 KPD/SED
Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross: 3 January 1943, Oberleutnant, Leader of Panzerjägerabteilung 40.

Best regards,
Shawn

SOURCE: Lapp, Peter Joachim. Ulbrichts Helfer. Wehrmachtsoffiziere im Dienste der DDR. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn, Germany, 2000.

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Post by USAF1986 » 21 Dec 2004 03:16

Although Knight’s Cross holder Luitpold Steidle (1898-1984) was not in the NVA, he did serve in a civil capacity in the German Democratic Republic.

Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross: 22 Jan 1943, Oberstleutnant, Commander of Grenadier-Regiment 767.
German Cross in Gold: 9 Oct 1942, Oberstleutnant, Commander of Infanterie-Regiment 767.

Jan 1943: Captured at Stalingrad; later member of the BDO/NKFD
Circa 1946: Vizepräsident der Deutschen Verwaltung für Land- und Forstwirtschaft
1948: Stellvertretender Vorsitzender der “Deutschen Wirtschaftskommission”
1949-1958: Minister für Arbeit und Gesundheitswesen (from 1950 title changed to Minister für Gesundheitswesen)
1949-1971: Representative of the Volkskammer
1960-1969: Oberbürgermeister of Weimar

Best regards,
Shawn

SOURCE: Lapp, Peter Joachim. Ulbrichts Helfer. Wehrmachtsoffiziere im Dienste der DDR. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn, Germany, 2000.

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Paul Markgraf

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 21 Dec 2004 21:05

Gentlemen,

I wonder why Oberst Paul Markgraf of the NVA left military service early in 1958 at the age of only 48? Perhaps he had disagreement with the political leadership?

Edward

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Post by USAF1986 » 22 Dec 2004 01:37

Edward,

The separation of Markgraf from active service in 1958 was part of a calculated phase out of former Wehrmacht members from the NVA on the part of the SED Politburo. Once most of the hard work of building the NVA had been completed (during which time the DDR’s leadership was only too happy to have the services of experienced former Wehrmacht members), the SED Politburo ordered the transfer of over 450 “Ehemaligen” into the reserves. The transfers ran in three stages during the period of 1957 to 1960.

A sampling of senior officers, all “Ehemaligen,” released from active service during this period included: Generalleutnant Vincenz Müller, Generalmajor Arno von Lenski, Generalmajor Hans Wulz, Oberst Job-Wilhelm von Witzleben, Oberst Reinhold Tappert (former Waffen-SS officer), Oberst Paul Markgraf, Oberst Günther Ludwig, Oberst Günther Aßmann, Oberst Walter Lehweß-Litzmann, Oberst Eberhard Charisius (former Luftwaffe Oberleutnant), Oberst Werner Pilz, etc.

Here are a few snapshots showing the total number of former Wehrmacht members in the armed forces of the DDR:

1951: 3,516 total including 431 officers
1953: 4,824 total including 519 officers
1956: 4,837 total including 500 officers
1957: 5,371 total including 464 officers
1958: 4,703 total including 400 officers
1959: 4,095 total including 258 officers
1960: 3,883 total including 129 officers
1962: 4,475 total including 84 officers
1965: 3,502 total including 67 officers
1967: 3,322 total including 66 officers
1969: 3,187 total including 61 officers
1971: 3,085 total including 59 officers

Best regards,
Shawn

SOURCE: Lapp, Peter Joachim. Ulbrichts Helfer. Wehrmachtsoffiziere im Dienste der DDR. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn, Germany, 2000.

Best regards,
Shawn

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