Hilpert, Carl, born 12-09-1888 in Nuremberg, joined the Reichswehr as a Fahnenjunker with the 14th Bavarian Infantry Regiment “Hartmann” in Nuremberg from 15-07-1907, age 18. He followed the war school in Munich for one year and promoted to Leutnant on 26-05-1909. During the first war he was with the Battalion of the Königlich Bayerischen Brigade-Ersatzbataillon Nr. 9, as an adjutant, until 1917. After a course for heavy weapons he was promoted to Hauptmann and Chief of a Machine Gun Company with the 5th Replacement Infantry Regiment. Assigned as Machine Gun Officer in the Staff of the Regiment from March 1918. He ended the war as Battalion Commander of the 17th Bavarian Infantry Regiment ” Orf”. Hilpert was allowed in the new Reichswehr and from 1921 Company Chief and Regiment Adjutant with the 21st Infantry Regiment in Nuremberg. From 1922 until 1925 he was working for the Reichswehr Ministery and appointed to the Staff of the Wehrkreis Command Nr 5 in Stuttgart. Promoted to Major on 01-06-1929 and transferred to the Staff of Infantry leaders VII in Munich. Now promoted to Oberstleutnant from 01-10-1933 and appointed as Commander of the 35th Infantry Regiment in Tübingen and became an Oberst from 01-09-1935. In 1937 transferred to Kassel as Chief of Staff with the IX Army Corps under command of Artillery General Friedrich Dollmann,
now promoted to Generalmajor from 01-04-1939. With the outbreak of World War II he from 09-09-1939 was the Chief of Staff of the Army Department A under General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord, who was ordered to security the west border with Belgium and the Netherlands. After Operation “Gelb” the conquest of these countries, the Army Department was used for the training of the Border Security Command South with Krakau, where Hilpert was also working. From 05-02-1940 he was assigned as Chief of Staff with the 1st Army Group under Generaloberst Erwin von Witzleben.
On 07-08-1944, von Witzleben was in the first group of accused conspirators to be brought before the Volksgerichtshof . Ravaged by the conditions of his Gestapo arrest, he surprisingly approached the bench giving the Nazi salute, for which he was rebuked by the presiding judge Roland Freisler . Von Witzleben was put to death that same day on 08-08-1944, age 62, at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. By Hitler’s positive orders, he was strangled with piano wire which had been wound around a meat hook, and the execution was filmed. The footage has since been lost. With the 1st Army Group Hilpert was involved in the Western invasion and after the successful battles on 01-10-1940 promoted to Generalleutnant. When von Witzleben, from 26-10-1940 was promoted to Field Marshal with the command of Army Group D in France, became Hilpert the new Chief of Staff of the Army Group for one and a half year. As von Witzleben was relieved by Gerd von Rundstedt
in April 1942 Hilpert landed in the Führer Reserve. From 26-06-1942 he was appointed as replacement of the sick leave General of the Infantry Kurt von Chevallerie with the command of the LIX Army Corps, which was put in action with the Army Group “Mitten” under Field Marshal Gunther “Hans” von Kluge on the Eastern front. After the recovery of von Chevallerie, he took the command of the XXII Army Corps in the region of Rschew. During the battles in this region Hilpert was promoted to General on 01-09-1942 and was from 20-01-1943 assigned as Commanding General of the LIV Army Corps. Involved in the retreating battles around Ladoga he on 22-08-1943 was awarded with the Knight Cross of the Iron Cross . From 01-08-1943 he already was again in the Führer Reserve. Temporary commander of the XXVI Army Corps from 31-10-1943 for Leningrad, then from 01-01-1944 commander of the L Army Corps with the 16th Army Corps in the region of Newel, he succeeded General der Infantry, Martin Grase who died age 72 on 03-08-1963 in Freiburg. With the winter offensive of the Russian forces Hilpert’s troops were involved in heavy battles and Hilpert himself went on sick leave. Temporary until 01-04-1944 succeeded by Generalleutnant Walter Hartmann
, who died old age 85 on 11-03-1977 in Hameln. He successful succeeded in retreating in heavy battles from the region of Polozk and therefore awarded with Iron Cross with Oakleaves on 08-08-1944.During the last stages of World War II, Hilpert commanded the German troops which had been surrounded by the Soviet Army in the Courland Pocket. On 07-05-1945, Head of State (Staatsoberhaupt) and German President, Karl Dönitz ordered now Generaloberst Carl Hilpert, to surrender Army Group Courland. Hilpert was the army group’s last Commander-in-Chief. Hilpert surrendered himself, his personal staff, and three divisions of the XXXVIII Corps to Marshal of the Soviet Union Leonid Govorov , who died age 58 on 19-03-1955 in Moscow. Hilpert sent the following message to his troops: To all ranks! Marshall Govorov has agreed to a cease-fire beginning at 14:00 hours on 8 May. Troops to be informed immediately. White flags to be displayed. Commander expects loyal implementation of order, on which the fate of all Courland troops depends.
Death and burial ground of Hilpert, Carl.
He died two years later as prisoner in Moscow on 01-02-1947, age 58 and is buried in the German war graves section on the civil cemetery of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow, Abt 1-Grave 43. His close neighbor there is Generaloberst Walter Heitz
who also died in prison. Wolfgang Linke from Frankfurt am Main visited the cemetery, near Moscow and kindly sent me the grave photo’s.