Hünersdorff, Walther von, born 28-11-1898 Cairo, Egypt, like Rudolf Hess
entered the German army in 1915 and fought on the Western front. He was promoted to Leutnant in October 1916. After the German capitulation, he remained in the new Reichswehr
. Von Hünersdorff was promoted to first Leutnant in 1925, Hauptmann in 1933, Major in 1936 and Oberstleutnant in 1938. At the start of World War II von Hünersdorff served on the Staff of the 253rd
Infantry Division but on 25-10-1939 he was transferred to the staff of the II Army Corps,
under Generaloberst Adolf Strauss
On 12-09-1940 he was made Chief of Staff of the XV Army Corps, commanded by Generaloberst Hermann Hoth
With XV Army Corps part of Panzergruppe 3, von Hünersdorff
served during Operation Barbarossa
. 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, 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
as the German 4th
Panzer and 6th
Armies 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. Von Hünersdorff was promoted to colonel on 01-07-1941. On 01-07-1942 von Hünersdorff was given command of Panzer-Regiment 11. With this unit he served with distinction in the German attempts to relief the encircled Sixth Army under Generalfeldmarschall der Panzertruppe, Friedrich von Paulus
in Stalingrad. In February 1943 von Hünersdorff took over command of the 6th
succeeding Generaloberst Erhard Raus
and in May 1943 he was promoted to Generalmajor.
Death and burial ground of Hünersdorff, Walther von.
During the battle of Kursk
von Hünersdorff was wounded
near Belgorod by a Red Army sniper on 13-07-1943. A fragment of his steel helmet penetrated into his brain. The surgeon Oberstabsarzt of the Reserves Tönnis of the Luftwaffe attempted to save his life before he succumbed to his injuries on 17-07-1943, age 44. He was buried at the Military Cemetery at Charkow. The eulogy was held by SS Obergruppenführer, Kommandeur der 7th Heeresgruppe
, Hermann Hoth
and last honors by Generalfeldmarschall der Infanterie, Oberbefehlhaber Heeresgruppe Sud
, Erich von Manstein
Von Hünersdorff was posthumously promoted to Generalleutnant.
Cemetery location of Hünersdorff, Walther von.