Joachim-Friedrich Lang

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Joachim-Friedrich Lang
Ritterkreuzverleihungszeremonie für Oberst Joachim-Friedrich Lang durch Paul Danhauser (rechts).jpg
Colonel Joachim-Friedrich Lang (left) only minutes after having received his Knight's Cross during the award ceremony (Ritterkreuzverleihungszeremonie) led by General Paul Danhauser (right), commander of the 256. Infanterie-Division.
Nickname Fritz
Birth date 14 September 1899
Place of birth Montigny-lès-Metz, Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire
Death date 16 April 1945 (1945-04-17) (aged 45)
Place of death Lochstädter Wald near Pillau,[1] Samland District, East Prussia, German Reich
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
Freikorps Flag.jpg Freikorps
War Ensign of the Reichswehr, 1919 - 1935.png Provisional Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1918–1920
Rank Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General )
Commands held Commander of the 95. Infanterie-Division (Devil Division)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards German Cross in Gold
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations ∞ 1930 Maria Hamm

Joachim-Friedrich Lang (14 September 1899 – 16 April 1945) was a German officer, finally Lieutenant General of the Wehrmacht and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. He must not be confused with Major Friedrich Lang from the Luftwaffe.


From left to right: General Paul Danhauser, the freshly awarded and promoted Unteroffizier (NCO) Paul Weiß (1913–1945; Knight's Cross on 16 September 1943 as Obergefreiter), Colonel Joachim-Friedrich Lang and Major Othmar Pollmann.


Samland (East Prussia) in February 1945
From left to right: Major General Lang, Captain Büsing und division adjutant Major Ottmar Anton Pollmann on 5 March 1945 in Weidehnen; Heinrich Wilhelm Büsing as battalion leader would fall on the same day as his division commander Lang. Büsing received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and Pollmann the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for the liberation of Thierenberg which had been occupied by the Red Army.
  • 25.3.1918 Joined the Replacement Battalion of the Füsilier-Regiment "General-Feldmarschall Graf Blumenthal" (Magdeburgisches) Nr. 36
  • 15.4.1918 After a short basic training to the Western Front
  • Between September and November 1918, he completed a training course in Döberitz and Ohrdruf for officers candidates (Fähnrich-Kurs).

Freikorps and Reichswehr

  • 26.3.1919 Freikorps service (Freiwilliges Landesjägerkorps)
  • 10.4.1920 Company officer in the Reichswehr-Jägerregiment 32
  • 31.12.1920 Dismissed from military service

Occupation between wars

  • 1 January to 30 June 1921 Intern in the Ölsnitz coal mine in Saxony
  • 1921–1923 Employee of the coal union "Gottes Segen" in Lugau (Erzgebirge)
  • 1924–1928 Employee of the Saxon State Bank in Leipzig and Zwickau
  • 1928–1937 Employee of the beer brewery Stuttgarter Hofbräu AG in Stuttgart and Bad Friedrichshall


  • 1.2.1937 Reserve officer in the Infanterie-Regiment 34
  • 1.11.1937 m.W.v. 01.08.1937 wieder angestellt als Adjutant des Ausbildungsleiters Pforzheim
  • 26.8.1939 Battalion leader in the Infanterie-Regiment 435
  • 15.2.1940 to 15.3.1940 Training course for battalion commanders at the 146. Infanterie-Division
  • 16.3.1940 Return to the Infanterie-Regiment 435 as battalion leader
    • Battalion commander after his promotion to major
  • 19.7.1942 Delegated with the leadership of the Infanterie-Regiment 390
  • 21.9.1942 with effect from 15.8.1942 Führerreserve OKH (Leader Reserve with the Army Group Nord)
  • 28.9.1942 with effect from 26.8.1942 Delegated with the leadership of the Infanterie-Regiment 481
  • 31.10.1942 with effect from 1.10.1942 Commander of the Grenadier-Regiments 481
  • 15.7.1944 Delegated with the leadership of the Corps Detachment (Korps-Abteilung H)
  • 10.9.1944 Delegated with the leadership of the 95. Infanterie-Division
  • 1.10.1944 Commander of the 95. Infanterie-Division

Defence of East Prussia

The intact XXVIII Corps (Gollnick) with its two fully combat-capable divisions, the 95th (Lang) and the 58th (Siewert) and with a security division finally arrived from Memel. The 95th Division, mobile forces ahead, marched at the front and immediately attacked Bledau, southeast of Cranz, into the fighting that was going on there against the Russians. The heavy cruiser “Prinz Eugen” with her guns took over the division. These powerful volleys promoted the offensive momentum of their own troops and paralyzed the enemy's will to resist through their powerful explosive effect. New incoming German units reinforced the front. The XXVIII Corps proposed to the 3rd Panzer Army, to which it was subordinate, the following plan: breakthrough of the corps after meeting at Cranz in the direction of Königsberg, producing one continuous front from Königsberg to Cranz, destruction of the enemy forces standing west of this line and gaining a new one base of operations. [...] After rejecting the attack in the direction of Königsberg, the XXVIII Corps knew that all that was left now was to fight for connection with the 3rd Panzer Army whose remnants fought east and northeast of Fischhausen. The attack in the direction of Neukuhren-Pobethen began ion 3 February 1945. Droves of refugees came along because they realized that they could only survive and escape the Russians under the protection of the German troops.
Then the Corps turned to the southwest to attack occupied Thierenberg, because south of it the northern wing of the 3rd Panzer Army was supposed to stand. In very difficult battles the 58th and 95th Divisions had fought their way forward so far. The attack on Thierenberg was particularly hard because this place proved to be a strong enemy base. On 6 February 1945, the brave grenadiers of the 95th Division stormed Thierenberg, liberated the town and made contact with the 3rd Panzer Army positioned south. The security forces (Sicherungskräfte) cleaned the Warnicker Forest southwest of Rauschen, and other units pushed the enemy around Germau in battles lasting several days and more together and finalyy destroyed the Russians. The western part of the Samland was now freed from the enemy. The front now ran from north to south: from the Baltic Sea eastwards Neukuhren via Pobethen–Thierenberg–Norgau–west of Powayen and further south to the lagoon. The population immediately began to flee to Pillau because they had experienced terrible things at the hands of the Russian soldiers. [...] The plight of those fleeing people in the icy days of January and February felt cramped the hearts of those witnessing together. The first major attack by Russian bomber units took place on 5 February 1945 against the city of Pillau, which was overflowing with Vertriebene. Hundreds were killed under the rubble of collapsing houses and hundreds through the hardships of flight and the bitter cold. Ship after ship entered the harbor (Operation Hannibal) and took everyone on board who somehow found space. It was always too little with this excess of people with their terrible suffering.[2]


Fritz was the son of Lieutenant Colonel Karl Lang (d. 2 July 1921) and his wife Margarethe, née Wallmüller. On 6 December 1930, he married his fiancée Maria Hamm.


  • 25 March 1918 Fähnrich (Officer Cadet)
  • 25.8.1919 Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
  • 1.2.1937 Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of the Reserves) with Rank Seniority (RDA) from 1.9.1924
  • 1.8.1937 Hauptmann (E) with Rank Seniority (RDA) from 1.2.1935
    • 1.10.1938 received new Rank Seniority (RDA) as Ergänzungsoffizier from 1.8.1934
  • 1.11.1940 Major (E)
    • 1.12.1940 transferred from the supplemental officers to the active troop officers
  • 1.12.1940 Major (active) with Rank Seniority (RDA) from 1.11.1940
  • 1.10.1942 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) with Rank Seniority (RDA) from 1.4.1942
  • 10.6.1943 Oberst (Colonel) with Rank Seniority (RDA) from 1.4.1943
  • 1.10.1944 Generalmajor (Major General)
  • 20.4.1945 Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General)
    • the promotion became effective after his death, but was decided on while he was still alive.

Awards and decorations (excerpt)

See also