Hasso Erich von
Manteuffel, Hasso Erich von
Hasso von Manteuffel was born, on 14-01-1897, in Potsdam, to a respected Prussian aristocratic family. In 1908, he became a cadet in a military school. He joined the Imperial German Army on 22-02-1916 as an officer in a Hussar Regiment. His World War I service on the Western Front. He was wounded on 12 October fighting in France. He entered the Freikorps in January 1919. After the establishment of the Weimar Republic, he joined the newly created Reichswehr. (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know). On 15-10-1935 he was appointed commander of the 2nd Motorcycle Rifle Battalion of Heinz Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Division (see Guderian) . On 01-02- 1939 he became a senior professor at Panzer Troop School II in Berlin-Krampnitz. He remained there until 1941, thus missing out on the campaigns in Poland and France. On 01-05-1941, von Manteuffel was appointed commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Rifle Regiment of the 7th Panzer Division . With this unit, he served under SS Generaloberst, Hermann Hoth’s (see Hoth) Panzer Group 3 of the Army Group Centre in Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. On 25-08-1941, he took over the 6th Rifle Regiment of the 7th Panzer Division after its commander was killed in action. In May 1942, after having engaged in heavy fighting around Moscow in the winter of 1941–1942, the 7th Panzer Division was transferred to France for refitting. On 15-07-1942, while the division was still in France, von Manteuffel was made the commander of the 7th Panzer Grenadier Brigade of the 7th Panzer Division. In early 1943, von Manteuffel was sent to Africa, where on 5 February he became the commander of the Division, von Broich/von Manteuffel, (see Broich) serving in Generaloberst der Panzertruppe, Hans-Jürgen von Arnim's (see Hans von Arnim) 5th Panzer Army of Erwin Rommel's Army Group Africa (see Rommel) . Here von Manteuffel took part in defensive operations during the Battle of Tunisia, conducting a series of successful counteroffensives that tied down Allied forces. In the midst of heavy fighting, he collapsed from exhaustion on March 31, and was evacuated back to Germany. On 01-05-1943, von Manteuffel was promoted to the rank of Major General for his exploits in Africa. After recuperating, von Manteuffel was made the commander of the 7th Panzer Division on 22-08-1943 and was once again on the Eastern Front, which had by then collapsed following the Battle of Kursk and the resulting Soviet counteroffensive. Despite being wounded in the back in a Soviet air attack on 26-08-1943 he stayed on, battling in Ukraine. After ferocious fighting at Kharkov, Belgorod, and along the Dnieper River, he succeeded in bringing the Red Army offensive to a halt. He was awarde with the Oak Leaves on 23-11-1943. In late November, he managed to recapture Zhitomir.On 01-09-1944, von Manteuffel was promoted to General of Panzer Troops and given command of the Fifth Panzer Army, fighting on the Western Front. After engaging in heavy combat in Lorraine against George Patton’s (see Patton) Third Army
the unit was withdrawn to reserve and began refitting for the upcoming Ardennes Offensive, and this penetration included the Battle of Bastogne. On 10-03-1945 von Manteuffel was made the commander of the Third Panzer Army on the Eastern Front. But von Manteuffel was faced with an overwhelming attack launched by General Konstantin Rokossovsky's (see Rokossovsky) 2nd Belorussian Front during the Battle of Berlin. At one point in the battle, Soviet troops entered his headquarters, and killed four of his staff, wounding an equal number. Before they could kill the others, Manteuffel himself shot one, and brought down the other with his trench knife.On 03-05-1945 von Manteuffel surrendered his troops to the Western Allies and thus escaped capture by the Soviets.
Manteuffel was held in an Allied POW camp until September 1947. After his release he lived in Diessen am Ammersee and died on vacation at the age of 81, on 24-09-1978. Von Manteuffel is buried with his wife Armgard, who died at the very old age of 98, on 07-03-2001, on the village cemetery of Diessen. Close by the grave of Generalarzt der Wehrmacht, Heino Maurach (see Maurach).