Engelbrecht, Erwin, born on 12-11-1891 in Wildpark, Potsdam, was a German military officer. He joined the Army on 05-02-1910, age 18, as a Fahnenjunker in the 41st Field Artillery Regiment. He participated in World War I and ended the war in the Staff of the 14th Reserve Division. Engelbrecht was allowed in the new Reichswehr. On 01-10-1924, he was transferred to the command department of the 1st Cavalry Division, on 01-03-1928 chief of the 3rd Squadron and on 01-10-1930 to the command department of the 1st Division. By 01-05-1935, he was promoted to Oberst and had been in the Reichswehr Ministry from 01-01-1935 . On 01-05-1937, he was appointed commander of Army Service Center 11, which was moved there after the “Anschluss” of Austria and was renamed Army Service Center 30. Here Engelbrecht received his promotion to Generalmajor on 01-01-1939 . With the outbreak of World War II he as Generalmajor was commander of the 30th Rifle Formation., here with Finish Marshal Carl Gustav Mannerheim
In January 1939 Engelbrecht was promoted to General, in September 1942 to General of Artillery. During 1939 – 1942 he was the commander of the 163rd Infantry Division “Engelbrecht Division”, later on 15-06-1942, he was assigned to the Special Forces. He was succeeded by General der Infanterie, Kommandeur LXXIII Heeresgruppe, Anton Dostler
Dostler would be executed for war crimes later, ordered by General, Chief of Staff, 82nd Airbornenicknamed “All Americans”, Matthew Bunker Ridgway.
In 1940, on board of German cruiser Blücher, Engelbrecht led the Staff of Forces designed to occupy Oslo. The German task group with shortest distance to travel was led by the heavy cruiser Blucher up the Oslo fjord to the Norwegian capital Oslo. The Oscarborg fortress lay on an island in the middle of the Fjord and proved to be a deadly obstacle. The Commander of the Fortress was uncertain whether the ships he faced were English or German. Germany was relying on surprise and subterfuge to gain an early advantage and had not declared war. Norway was still neutral so it was not clear whether the shore battery could open fire within the standing rules of engagement. The 64 year old Oberstleutnant Birger Eriksen, the commander of the Oscarborg Fortress,
decided that he could open fire, because the ships had passed another fortress further down the Fjord which had fired warning shots, and at 0421 hr declared: “Either I will be decorated, or I will be court-martialed. Fire!” When the ship sunk Engelbrecht managed to escape. He managed to swim ashore, along with hundreds of other survivors, Engelbrecht was detained by Norwegian guardsmen at a farm near Drøbak for several hours before being abandoned by their captors.
Birger Eriksen would die age 82, on 16-07-1958 as a war hero. In 1941 the infantry division was allowed to cross Sweden to join Finnish forces, in Karelia, the only such a large scale transit at a time.
Engelbrecht was awarded with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. He was commander of Special Purpose Higher Command XXXIII to 25-12-1943 and landed in the Führer Reserve (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know), to 21-09-1944. Commanding General of Higher Command Saarpfalz, to his U.S captivity on 08-05-1945.
Death and burial ground of Engelbrecht, Erwin.
Releived in 1947 he lived in Munich where he at the age 72 died, on 08-04-1964. General Erwin Engelbrecht is buried on the cemetery of Pasing, in Munich.