Erich Freiherr von Seckendorff

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Erich Freiherr von Seckendorff
Erich Erwin Heinrich August Veit Freiherr von Seckendorff.jpg
Colonel (Oberst) Freiherr von Seckendorff
Birth name Erich Erwin Heinrich August Veit Freiherr von Seckendorff
Birth date 21 June 1897
Place of birth Görz, Princely County of Görz and Gradisca, Austrian Littoral, Austria-Hungary
Death date 23 September 1944 (aged 47)
Place of death Near Lagarde, Lorraine, France
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
War Ensign of the Reichswehr, 1919 - 1935.png Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1914–1918
Rank Generalmajor
Commands held Schützen-Regiment 114
113. Panzer-Brigade
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards Iron Cross
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations ∞ 1943 Clara Anna-Mathild Keller vom Steinbock

Erich Erwin Heinrich August Veit Freiherr von Seckendorff (21 June 1897 – 23 September 1944) was a German officer of the Imperial German Army, the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht, finally Generalmajor (Major General), brigade commander and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in World War II.

Military career

Erich Erwin Heinrich August Veit Freiherr von Seckendorff, Grab.jpeg

The 17-year-old Erich Freiherr von Seckendorff volunteered in WWI and joined the cavalry with the Dragoner-Regiment „Freiherr von Manteuffel“ (Rheinisches) Nr. 5 in Hofgeismar. In July 1915, after almost one year of training and turning 18, he became squadron officer, later. at the war front, platoon leader and orderly officer. It is possible, but not verified, that he joined a Freikorps unit. On 1 October 1919, he was transferred to the 1st Cavalry Regiment (Reiter-Regiment 1, 1921 1. Preußisches Reiter-Regiment) in formation in Tilsit, East Prussia. At c. end of 1921,[1] he was transferred to the 2. (Preußisches) Eskadron/16. Reiter-Regiment in Hofgeismar, where his old regiment was once stationed.

In October 1929, he was commanded to the Hanover Cavalry School. On 1 November 1930, he was named commander of the 3. (Preußisches) Eskadron/16. Reiter-Regiment in Erfurt and served in the staff of the regiment as of 15 October 1934. When the staff of the regiment was reorganized as Kradschützen-Bataillon 1 (1st Motorcycle Rifle Battalion) in Langensalza he served there. On 12 October 1937, he was named commander of the IV. Abteilung des Kavallerie-Schützen-Regiments 4 (IV. Battalion of the 4th Cavalry Rifle Regiment) in Iserlohn.

On 1 April 1939, the IV. Battalion was renamed Kradschützen-Bataillon 6 with which Lieutenant Colonel Freiherr von Seckendorff took part in the Poland Campaign and the Battle of France. On 25 July 1940, he was named commander of the new Schützen-Regiment 114 during the formation period. It was subordinated to the 6. Panzer-Division (XXXXI. Armeekorps/4. Panzergruppe/Heeresgruppe Nord) and took part in the Operation Barbarossa. Freiherr von Seckendorff was severely wounded on 10 September 1941, Helmut Zollenkopf was delegated with the leadership and was officially named commander on 1 February 1942. It can be assumed that Freiherr von Seckendorff never returned to the regiment.

After his recovery and home leave, Freiherr von Seckendorff was named commander of the Panzertruppen XI in Magdeburg on 1 November 1943 and commander of the Panzertruppen X/XI in Hamburg on 10 January 1944. Finally, on 2 September 1944, he was named commander of the 113. Panzer-Brigade (Wildflecken military training area). After just a few days, the brigade was transported to the Kolmar-Belfort area; on 21 September 1944, the brigade was assigned to the LVIII. Panzer Corps.


Colonel Freiherr von Seckendorff was at the heart of the heavy fighting with his brigade as part of the LVIII. Panzerkorps under General der Panzertruppe Walter Krüger (5. Panzerarmee/Heeresgruppe G) against the 3rd US Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr. south of Arracourt in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department. Erich Freiherr von Seckendorff was on 23 September 1944. His body was recovered and transported to the Reich. He was buried at the Friedhof Obernzenn, Landkreis Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim, Bavaria and posthumously promoted to Generalmajor.


Erich was the son of lord of the manor (Obernzenn and Unterdeufstetten) k. u. k. (Gemeinsame Armee) 1st Lieutenant of the Reserves a. D. Egon Moritz Anton Maria Romanus Freiherr von Seckendorff-Gutend[2] (b. 9 August 1856 in Vienna, Austrian Empire; d. 11 November 1924 at Schloß Obernzenn, Bavaria) and his wife Sarah Elisabeth Wilhelmine Freifrau von Seckendorff, née Freiin von Cnobloch (b. 15 March 1862 in Vienna; d. 14 October 1953 at Schloß Obernzenn).[3] He had two siblings:

  • Meinhard Christoph Hermann Friedrich Egon (b. 24 January 1896 in Görz), Fähnrich (Officer Cadet) with the Imperial German Army, on 23 October 1914 near Meenen (Menen), West Flanders
  • Armgard Sarah Korinna (b. 23 Jun 1900 in Görz; d. 20 April 1995 at Schloß Obernzenn)


On 29 April 1943 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Colonel Freiherr von Seckendorff married his fiancée Clara Anna-Mathild von Keller, also known as Keller vom Steinbock (1914–1985). They had one son:

  • Meinhard Erich Peter (b. 6 July 1944 in Würzburg)[4]

Clara Anna-Mathild Keller vom Steinbock

Anna-Mathild (b. 2 December 1914 in Berlin; d. 12 February 1985 in Obernzenn near Bad Windsheim, Middle Franconia) was the daughter and oldest child of Rittmeister a. D. Willy Bruno Hasso Eckhart Kurt Keller vom Steinbock (b. 25 May 1875 in Friesack), flight manager (Flugleiter) at Deutsche Lufthansa, and his wife (∞ 1913) Hertha, née Schäfer (Konstanzer Straße 53 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf).[5] She had two siblings:

  • Hasso Peter Carl Albert Balthasar (b. 26 November 1915 in Berlin)
    • 2nd Lieutenant Hasso Peter Keller vom Steinbock was a member of the Kradschützen-Bataillon 6 and was on 20 September 1939 near Kutno.[6] His remains were transported back to Berlin and he was buried at the War Cemetery (Kriegsgräberstätte Wilmersdorfer Waldfriedhof Stahnsdorf); Final grave location: Row 3, Grave 195. As battalion commander, Freiherr von Seckendorff visited the family of his young officer in Berlin, this is when he met his future wife Anna-Mathild.
  • Helga Olga Dagmar Fea (b. 5 November 1918 in Berlin)


  • 2.8.1914 Fahnenjunker (Officer Candidate)
  • 15.2.1915 Fähnrich (Officer Cadet)
  • 5.7.1915 Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant) without Patent
    • 1.7.1922 Received rank seniority (RDA) as Leutnant from 1.9.1915
  • July 1925 Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant) with RDA from 1.4.1925
  • 1.4.1931 Rittmeister
  • 1.1.1936 Major
  • 1.3.1939 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1.2.1942 Oberst (Colonel)
  • 1.10.1944 Generalmajor (posthumously) with rank seniority (RDA) backdated to 1 September 1944

Awards and decorations (excerpt)