Schlieben, Karl Wilhelm von, born 30-10-1894 in Eisenbach, Rheinland Pfalz, the son of the in 1914 killed commander of the 83th Reserve-Infanterie-Regiments major Wilhelm von Schlieben, joined the Prussian Army in the same year August 1914, age 19, as a Fahnenjunker, a soldier accepted for officer training. He was assigned to the training and replacement Battalion of the 3rd Foot Guards. In September 1914 after completing his basic military training he joined the 3rd Foot Guards in the field, being wounded just 13 days later. In the spring of 1916 he took command of an infantry company in the regiment and later that same year was appointed as the regimental adjutant and ordnance officer, wounded in November 1916, he later returned to his regimental post in January 1917. He served as a Regimental Commander with the 1st Panzer Division under command of Generalleutnant Friedrich Kirchner during the French Campaign of 1940 and then following the French capitulation he transferred to 14th Panzer Division under command of Generalleutnant Heinrich von Prittwitz und Gaffron , as the 108th Infantry Regiment commander based in France, Augustus 1940. Kirchner died age 75, on 06-04-1960. Heinrich von Prittwitz und Gaffron was killed in action in the early stages of the Siege of Tobruk on 10-04-1941, aged 51. Von Schlieben then served as a Brigade Commander with the 4th Panzer Division under command of General der Panzertruppe Heinrich Eberbach, on the Eastern Front, from June 1942, however this Division was completely destroyed by February 1943 during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Von Schlieben then was delegated as the Commander of the 208th Infantry Division remaining on the Eastern Front, he succeeded General der Infanterie, Hans von Scheele. In April 1943 he took command of the 18th Panzer Division . Deployed on the Eastern Front until the Division was disbanded following very heavy losses at the Battle of Kursk. In October 1943 von Schlieben was placed on the Führer Reserve until in December 1943 he was assigned the command of 709th Static Infantry Division succeeding Generalmajor Eckkard von Geyso , based in Normandy, France. The 709th was a Static Infantry Division used for occupation duties in France and as a guard against allied raids and invasion. The Division was on the Normandy coast when the invasion took place, and thus fought in the early days of the Battle of Normandy, quickly becoming trapped in the Cotentin as U.S. forces sealed off the Peninsula the remnants of the Division fell back on Cherbourg. On the 23-06-1944 Generalleutnant von Schlieben was made the Commandant for the Battle of Cherbourg
, coastal port the German high Command had designated as a ‘fortress’. He succeeded Generalmajor Robert Sattler
who became his subordinate and Sattler who surrendered to the General Manton Spraque Eddy died age 87 in 1978 in Seesen. Generalmajor Eckkard von Geyso survived the war and died old age 91 on 16-07-1980 in Berlin. Von Schlieben had to make the best of his miscellaneous personnel, his battered units, and his dwindling supply of ammunition, however just 3 days later von Schlieben and over 800 other troops surrendered to Major General Joseph Lawton “Lightning Joe” Collins the Commander of the U.S. 7th Field Artillery Regiment . For his conduct in Cherbourg Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben by Hitler was covered with accusations and criticism.
Death and burial ground of Schlieben, Karl Wilhelm von.
After his capture, he was held at Trent Park before he was transferred to Island Farm on 09-08-1945. In dealing with Hitler he wished: “I would hand him over to the Russians, in some Siberian mine, Case settled. “And about Dachau and other concentration camps he gave in May 1945 to: “Everybody knew, happen that terrible things there – not what, but that terrible things happen because, knew each of us, even then 1935 ” Von Schlieben was release from captivity on 07-10-1947. Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben died on 18-06-1964 in Gießen, age 69 and is buried with his wife Eleonora, born Kracker von Schwaerzenfeldt, who died old age 88, on 17-02-2000, on the cemetery Friedhofsallee, in Giessen.
Cemetery location of Schlieben, Karl Wilhelm von.