Foertsch, Friedrich

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germanyWehrmachtGeneralleutnant
Foertsch, Friedrich, born 19-05-1900 in Drahmow, District Krone, joined the Military Service in the Imperial German Army  in 1918. Serving in the infantry in the final battles of World War I, Foertsch earned the Iron Cross second class   before the end of hostilities. He joined the Freikorps  after the war and later was accepted into the Reichswehr  in 1920. During World War II, he held several senior Staff positions, as a Major of the 1st General Staff Officer in the General Staff of the 60th Infanterie-Division. The German 60th Infantry Division   was formed in late 1939, from Gruppe General der Panzertruppe, Friedrich Eberhardt  a collection of SA  units that had been engaged in the capture of Danzig during the Invasion of Poland. During the latter part of 1942 it was involved in the bitter battles for Stalingrad , and then in early 1943 was encircled at Stalingrad, and destroyed. The 91.000 German POWs taken at Stalingrad, 27.000 died within weeks and only 5-6,000 returned to Germany by 1955. The remainder of the POWs died in Soviet captivity. On 02-02-1943, the organized resistance of Axis troops in Stalingrad ceased. Out of the 91.000 prisoners taken by the Soviets, 3.000 were Romanian. These were the survivors of the 20th Infantry Division  under command of Generalmajor Georg Jauer 1st Cavalry Division and “Colonel Voicu” Detachment. According to archival figures, the Red Army suffered a total of 1.129.619 total casualties; 478.741 men killed or missing and 650.878 wounded. These numbers are for the whole Don region; in the city itself 750.000 were killed, captured, or wounded. Anywhere from 25.000 to 40.000 Soviet civilians died in Stalingrad and its suburbs during a single week of aerial bombing by Luftflotte 4  under command of General Otto Deßloch as the German 4th Panzer Army  under command of Generaloberst Erhard Raus  and the 6th Armies  under command of Friedrich von Paulus  approached the city; the total number of civilians killed in the regions outside the city is unknown. In all, the battle resulted in an estimated total of 1.7-2 million Axis and Soviet casualties. He was also Chief of the General Staff of the 18th Armee, under Generaloberst der Artillerie, Oberbefehlhaber Heeresgruppe Nord, Georg Küchler.
   Foertsch was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross   on 05-09-1944 for his leadership in the defensive battles at the Leningrad Front. He was taken prisoner of war in the Courland Pocket by the Soviet Army.  At a post-war trial he initially received a death sentence, which was later commuted to 25 years of hard labor. The intervention of Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer caused his release, in 1955 and Foertsch joined the newly formed Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1961 he was appointed Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, a position he held until his retirement in 1963.

Death and burial ground of Foertsch, Friedrich.

 Friedrich Foertsch died at the age of 76, on 14-12-1976 in Goslar. He is buried with his wife Hildegard, who died age 84 on 05-02-1994, on the cemetery Hildesheimerstrasse in Goslar and not far from the graves of other WWII Generals as, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur von DniepropetrovskAErnst Adolph), Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 404th Infanterie DivisionAdolf Hüttmann A soldier of the 404th shot the mayor of Stollberg for hoisting a white flag on the town hall as well as for contacting an American troop commando to surrender the city without a fight. Shooting of a woman who had threatened wounded soldiers of the Stollberg hospital who had taken down a white flag, to have them hanged by the Americans. Also buried here in Goslar, General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur der 20th Panzer Division Mortimer von Kessel Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 10th Panzer Grenadier Division Karl Kossmann the famous Generaloberst, Oberbefehler B 2nd Panzer ArmeeHeinz Wilhelm Guderian and his sons Heinz Günther and Kurt and SS Obergruppenführer, NS Politieker, Walter Darré  are also buried on this cemetery.
 

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