Hans Schmidt (General der Infanterie)

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Hans Schmidt
General der Infanterie z. V. Hans Schmidt.jpg
Birth date 28 April 1877(1877-04-28)
Place of birth Ulm
Death date 5 June 1948 (aged 71)
Place of death Stuttgart
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch Flagge und Wappen, Deutsches Reich, Königreich Württemberg, valid from 1817 to 1918.png Army of Württemberg
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
War Ensign of the Reichswehr, 1919 - 1935.png Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1895–1945
Rank General der Infanterie
Commands held 260th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht); IX. Armeekorps; Stellvertretendes Generalkommando V. Armeekorps; 24. Armee
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Hans Joachim Hermann Schmidt (b. 28 April 1877 in Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire; d. 5 June 1948 in Stuttgart, Württemberg, Allied-occupied Germany) was a German officer of the Army of Württemberg, the Imperial German Army, the Freikorps, the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht, at last General der Infanterie and Recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II.

Life

Hans Schmidt was born in 1877 in Ulm an der Donau as the son of a Brigadier General (Medical Corps). He entered military service on 11 July 1895 and was promoted to Sekondeleutnant in the Infanterie-Regiment „Alt-Württemberg“ (3. Württembergisches) Nr. 121 in 1896. During World War I, he was posted as Major and Battalion Commander with the 121st Infantry Regiment “Alt-Württemberg” in Ludwigsburg. After the war, he served with the Grenzschutz (border protection) of Upper Silesia and was later taken over into the Reichswehr, which he left on 31 January 1935 as Lieutenat General.

During the mobilization 1939, he was re-activated and became the first commander of the 260th Infantry Division in WWII. Under his command, the division reached the Desna River on 1 September 1941 being the first major German unit there. Even though the flank were threatened by Russian forces, he decided to send the Infantry Regment 470 across the river near Wibli and Poski and build a bridgehead on the southern bank near Kisselewka. On 2 September 1941, Wibli was taken and the river crossing was sucessfull. The connection with the southern army group was established. In September 1941, he received the Knight’s Cross for this action. On 24 September 1941 he released the following statement:

The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht hat awarded me with the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross. This award is an appreciation of the achievements of the division that fought it’s way south in heavy combat, forced a first bridgehead over the Desna River and played a decisive role of the success in the fights against the Russian Army Group South. I am proud to lead this unit and I thank all soldiers”.

He was in command of the German Twenty-Fourth Army as well as fortress commander of Bregenzon the Western Front when it surrendered in May 1945.

Family

Hans was the son of the Royal Württemberg senior medical officer, second class and later general physician, Dr. medical Hermann von Schmidt (personal, non-hereditable nobility; b. 23 December 1839 in Brackenheim; d. 16 March 1915) and his wife Adelheid, née Krell (b. 31 October 1849 in Plieningen/Württ.; d. 13 June 1930). His brother was Lieutenant General z. V. Wolfgang Schmidt-Logan (1884–1945), who was also Major General of the State Police and SA Oberfuhrer.

On 3 March 1922, Major Schmidt married his fiancée Selma Nagel, widowed Wintterlin.

Promotions

  • 11.7.1895 Fahnenjunker
  • 15.2.1896 Fähnrich
  • 18.10.1896 Sekondeleutnant
    • 1.1.1899 Leutnant (re-named)
  • 13.9.1906 Oberleutnant without Patent
    • 14.4.1907 Patent as Oberleutnant received
  • 1.10.1912 Hauptmann
  • 18.4.1917 Major
  • 20.3.1922 Oberstleutnant with effect from 1.4.1922 and rank seniority of 1.8.1921
  • 1.12.1926 Oberst
  • 1.10.1929 Generalmajor
  • 31.1.1931 Charakter als Generalleutnant
  • 26.8.1939 Charakter als Generalleutnant z. V. (to disposal)
  • 31.8.1940 Generalleutnant z. V. with effect from 1.9.1940
  • 1.2.1942 General der Infanterie
  • 31.10.1943 General der Infanterie a. D.
    • 30.11.1943 Mobilization provision lifted (Mobbestimmung aufgehoben)
    • 31.1.1944 To disposal position lifted (z. V.-Stellung aufgehoben)
  • 21.7.1944 as General der Infanterie re-activated

Awards and decorations

Further reading

  • Franz Thomas: Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945, Band 1: A–K (in German), Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück 1998, ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6
  • Walther-Peer Fellgiebel: Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German), Podzun-Pallas, Wölfersheim 2000, ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6
    • English: The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches, expanded edition, 2000
  • Klaus D. Patzwall / Veit Scherzer: Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber, Band II (in German), Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt 2001, ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8
  • Veit Scherzer: 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), Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag, Jena 2007, ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2

References

  1. Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres, Mittler & Sohn Verlag, Berlin 1930, S.108
  2. 2.0 2.1 Thomas 1998, p. 268.
  3. Scherzer 2007, p. 669.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 381.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 74.
  6. According to Scherzer as Generalleutnant.