Walter Gerlach

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Walter Gerlach
Anhaltisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 93, Helm für Offiziere.jpeg
Birth name Walter Alexander Heinrich Gerlach
Birth date 23 April 1892(1892-04-23)
Place of birth Königslutter, Herzogtum Braunschweig, German Empire
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch War and service flag of Prussia (1895–1918).png Prussian Army
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
Freikorps Flag.jpg Freikorps
War Ensign of the Reichswehr, 1919 - 1935.png Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1913–1914
1919–1920 and 1934
Rank Oberst (Colonel)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Iron Cross
House Order of Hohenzollern
Relations ∞ 1923 Mona Watson

Walter Alexander Heinrich Gerlach (1892–?) was a German officer of the Prussian Army, the Imperial German Army, the Freikorps, the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht, finally Oberst in World War II. There is no known affiliation to Robert Eduard Gerlach, another Colonel of the Heer during the war. He must also not be confused with SS-Oberführer Walter Gerlach (1896–1964), the last office manager (Personalbüro) of the Higher SS and Police Leader Günther Pancke in Denmark.

Career (chronology)

Father Dr. med. Heinrich Leopold Fritz Gerlach (1858-1950)
  • 1.10.1913 One-year volunteer (Einjährig-Freiwilliger) of the 2. Kurhessisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 82 in Göttingen under Oberst Gustav von Förster
    • On 1 August 1914, the regiment received the mobilization order and crossed the Belgian border near Malmedy on the morning of 4 August 1914, with the aim of Stavelot (Stablo) and La Gleize. Until 13 August 1914, it took part in the battles and capture of the fortified city of Liège and was then used in the capture of Namur from 20 to 24 August 1914.
  • 6.8.1914 Wounded near Stablo, a city in eastern Belgium, in the province of Liège (Provinz Lüttich)
    • On 30 August 1914, the regiment with the XI. Army corps moved to East Prussia, arriving in Osterode on 3 September. On 11 September 1914, the regiment was the first German unit near Erdauen to capture a Russian regimental flag. The regiment fought on 4 October 1914 in a battle near Opatow, from 13 to 20 October at the Vistula and under General von Mackensen at Wlozlawc, Kutno and Lodz.
  • 14.10.1914 Wounded
  • 10.11.1914 Named officer candidate
  • 26.6.1915 Wounded (headshot)
  • 15.7.1915 Transferred to the 1st Replacement Battalion of the Infantry Regiment No. 83
  • 3.8.1915 Injured (by falling with a horse)
  • 16.12.1915 Transferred to the II. Replacement Battalion of the Infantry Regiment No. 83
  • 27.2.1916 Transferred to the Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 252
  • 1.1.1917 Entrusted with the position of company commander
  • 14.8.1917 Wounded
  • 7.10.1917 Transferred to the II. Replacement Battalion of the Infanterie-Regiment „Großherzog von Sachsen“ (5. Thüringisches) Nr. 94
  • 27.10.1917 Transferred to the Replacement Battalion of the Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 32
  • 5.6.1918 Adjutant of the III. Battalion of the Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 32
  • 18.7.1918 Wounded
  • 26.7.1918 Was taken over as an active 2nd lieutenant in the Anhaltisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 93 and entrusted with the position of company leader
    • After the end of the war, the regiment was initially demobilized in Dessau on 22 December 1918, and the II Battalion on 9 January 1919 in Zerbst, and finally dissolved. Parts went over to the Volunteer Detachment Pavel, which was used in the East Border Guard (Grenzschutz Ost). The Anhalt Volunteer Battalion was formed from other parts in March 1919 and the former Minenwerfer company joined the Thümmel Volunteer Detachment (Deutsche Freischar „Thümmel“) of the Freikorps (Deutsche Schutzdivision).
    • The last two formations were merged into the Reichswehr Rifle Regiment 49 of the Provisional Reichswehr in June 1919.
  • 7.6.1919 Transferred to the Reichswehr Rifle Regiment 49/Reichswehr-Brigade 25
  • 21.9.1919 Transferred to the processing office of the Infantry Regiment No. 93 and used as an adjutant to the garrison elder
  • 31.3.1920 Retired
  • 1 April 1920 to 31 October 1934 Working in the private sector, e.g. as general manager
    • Since 1 October 1925 Management assistant and sales officer of the automobil manufacturing company "Hansa-Lloyd Werke A.G.", known since 1931 as "Hansa-Lloyd und Goliath-Werke Borgward & Tecklenborg oHG"
  • 1.11.1934 transferred to the L officer corps (L-Offizierkorps) at the Reichswehr central advertising office in Berlin (bei der Reichswehr-Zentrale-Werbestelle Berlin in das L-Offizierkorps übernommen)
  • 5.3.1935 transferred to the Supplementary Officers (E-Offiziere)
  • 1.11.1935 At the Military Replacements Inspectorate in Berlin (Reichswehr-Zentrale-Werbestelle Berlin was renamed WEI Berlin)
  • 15.5.1941 Transferred to the staff of the German Military Attaché in Rome (in den Stab des Deutsche Militär-Attachés in Rom versetzt)
  • 1.10.1941 Transferred to active troop officers
  • 16.10.1941 Group leader Kraft on the staff of the military replacement inspection Berlin (Gruppenleiter Kraft im Stabe der Wehrersatz-Inspektion Berlin)
  • 1.6.1943 Leader/Commander of the Motor Vehicle Repair Regiment 121 (Führer des Kraftfahrzeug-Instandsetzungs-Regiments 121)
  • 30.8.1943 Tasked with commanding the Motor Vehicle Repair Regiment 119 (mit der Führung des Kraftfahrzeug-Instandsetzungs-Regiments 119 beauftragt)
  • 1.11.1943 Leader/Commander of the 117th Motor Vehicle Repair Regiment
  • 1.3.1944 Transferred to the active officers of the motor vehicle park troop (Kraftfahrparktruppe; Kfp.)
    • The entry for his 1.1.45 promotion to Oberst (Kfp.) lists him as in the Staff of WEI Berlin, but no transfer to there is listed. His last (1944) Beurteilung was as commander of Kraftfahr-Instandsetzungs-Regiment 117 and came from the Heeresgruppen-Kraftfahr-Offizier of Heeresgruppe Mitte. It's possible all of the Kraftfahr-Instandsetzungs-Regiment commands were temporary and he remained formally assigned to WEI Berlin.


Walter was one of five children of Geheimer Medizinalrat Dr. med. Heinrich Leopold Fritz Gerlach (1858-1950) and his wife Margarete, née Hasse (b. 1873). His paternal grandfather was Professor Dr. Phil. Hermann Gerlach (9 May 1826 – 15 June 1903). His maternal grandfather was Geheimer Medizinalrat Jean Paul Hasse (1830–1898; ∞ Sophie Catherine von Glehn), who became the director of the lunatic asylum (later known as sanatorium and nursing home) in Königslutter. His father Fritz took over the asylum in 1896 (until 1924), where he had been a doctor since 1888. His uncle was Sanitätsrat Dr. med. August Otto Gerlach (1866–1914).


Leutnant a. D. Gerlach married his fiancée Mona Watson (b. 12 October 1894) on 9 November 1923.


  • 1.10.1913 Einjährig-Freiwilliger
  • 23.5.1915 Vizefeldwebel der Reserve
  • 18.6.1915 Leutnant der Reserve (2nd Lieutenant of the Reserves)
  • 26.7.1918 Leutnant mit Patent vom 19.12.1915
  • 1.11.1934 Charakter als Oberleutnant a. D. (L-Offizier) with rank seniority (RDA) from 1.5.1934 (retired 1st Lieutenant and State Protection Officer)
  • 1.2.1935 Hauptmann a. D. (retired Captain and L-Offizier)
    • 1.3.1935 received rank seniority (RDA) from 1.5.1934
  • 5.3.1935 Hauptmann (Ergänzungsoffizier) with rank seniority (RDA) from 1.5.1934
    • 1.11.1936 received serial number or Ordnungsnummer (35) to his RDA from 1.5.1934
    • 1.10.1938 received new RDA from 1.11.1933
  • 1.2.1939 Major (E); Supplementary Officer
  • 1.10.1941 Major (active officer) with rank seniority (RDA) from 1.2.1939
  • 1.2.1942 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1.3.1944 Oberstleutnant of the Kraftfahrpark-Truppen with rank seniority (RDA) from 1.2.1942
  • 1.1.1945 Oberst (Colonel) of the Kraftfahrpark-Truppen

Awards and decorations

Awards and decorations