Geyr von Schweppenburg, Leo Dietrich Franz Freiherr von, born 02-03-1886 in Potsdam,
into the Prussian military aristocracy and descended from a family that produced two Prussian Field marshals. He joined the Army on 29-06-1904, age 18, as a Fahnenjunker in the 26th
Dragoon Regiment, age 18. He fought on several fronts and rose to the rank of Hauptmann and ended the war in hospital with an illness. Already known as a very competent officer, he was even praised by Erich Ludendroff
for possessing a razor sharp mind. Geyr remained in the Reichswehr
, was from 1933-37, a military attaché to the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands
), residing in London.
He was commander of the 3rd
with the outbreak of World War II, and the invasion of Poland in 1939
until 15-02-1940, where it was the most numerically powerful Panzer Division in the campaign, with 391 tanks and he succeeded General der Panzertruppe, Commander of the 267th Infantry Division
, Ernst Fessmann
Geyr’s panzer corps was part of Generaloberst, Heinz Guderian’s
Second Panzer Army
, which spearheaded the advance of Army Group Centre in the drive toward Moscow. Von Geyr was succeeded by Horst Stumpff
he died age 71 on 25-11-1958, in Hamburg and von Geyr became the Commander of the XXIV Army Corps and landed in the Führer Reserve (see Hitler
) (did you know
), from 01-04-1942 until 09-07-1942. Commanding General of the XXXX Panzer Corps, he succeeded General der Infanterie, Friedrich Wilhelm Chappuis
until 01-10-1942. Von Geyr remained in service on the Eastern Front until October 1943, when he was transferred to northern France as the Commanding General of Panzer Group West. This group of armoured divisions near Paris constituted the Germans’ main force of tanks in northern France. In the event of an Allied landing on the northern French coast, Panzer Group West was expected to counterattack northward and halt the invasion force. The commander of army forces in northern France, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
wanted to station von Geyr’s tank divisions as close to the coast as possible, in order to defeat the Allies before they could move inland from the landing beaches. Von Geyr and Rommel’s own commander, Field Marshal, Gerd von Rundstedt
, disagreed with this strategy: they wanted to station Panzer Group West well inland, where it could outmaneuver and encircle the Allied army as it advanced eastward toward Paris. He was particularly noted for his expertise in armour warfare and his command of Panzer Group West during the Invasion of Normandy. On 10-06-1944, von Geyr was wounded
when Royal Air Force
aircraft attacked his newly established headquarters of the Panzer Group West, at La Caine in Normandy.
Eighteen members of the HQ staff were known to have died in the raid, including the Chief of Staff Generalmajor der Infanterie, Chef der ST Panzergruppe West
, Sigismund-Helmut von Dawans
the most senior officer to be killed in the raid. Von Geyr’s reinforced tank units managed to prevent the British advance for another month, but he was nevertheless relieved of his command on July 2, after seconding Rundstedt’s request that Adolf Hitler authorize a strategic withdrawal from Caen. Von Geyr was succeeded by General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur der 5th Panzer Brigade
, Heinrich Eberbach
and then served as an Inspector General of armoured troops until the closing phase of the war.
Death and burial ground of Geyr von Schweppenburg, Leo Dietrich Franz Freiherr von.
As Inspector of Panzer Troops with the Replacement Army, he on 08-05-1945 landed in American captivity until his release in July 1947. After his release, he wrote his memoirs and several military writings and was 1950 – in addition to other former generals of the Wehrmacht, who had been aloof from National Socialism, such. B. Hans Speidel
and Adolf Heusinger
, the later first Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, – Member of the “Study Committee for German Security Issues”, which should prepare the deployment of the Bundeswehr. During the early 1950s von Geyr was instrumental in advising how to restructure the newly built German Army, Bundeswehr
of West Germany. Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg married Anais Krausse. He had one daughter with her, Blanche Freiin Geyr von Schweppenburg. Geyr von Schweppenburg died in Irschenhausen near Munich, at the old age of 87 on 27-01-1974. He is buried with his wife Anais, from who he had one daughter, Blanche, who died 21-05-2003, age 85, on the very small cemetery of Irschenhausen behind the little church. Blanche was married to Curt-Christoph von Pfuel
(*02-09-1907, in Berlin; † 05-08-2000, in Bonn), Prussian assessor, member of the Council of Europe, last Fideikommiss, Lord of Jahnsfelde