Mauss, Dr. Karl.

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Mauss, Dr. Karl, born on 17-05-1898 in Plön, Schleswig Holstein. In 1914, at only sixteen years of age he volunteered to serve during the first war. Thanks to his obstinacy and the support of his father, he was accepted and joined 192nd Jägerregiment, serving during the war at Arras, Flanders, Somme and Isonzo   In 1915, barely seventeen as the youngest man in the division, he was awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd class  for distinguishing himself as the best scout in the region during the Battle of the Somme. The year after, he was promoted to 2nd Leutnant, becoming one of the youngest commissioned officers of the entire army and a short time later after the transfer of his division to the East into the Carpathians, received the Iron Cross 1st class. At the start of the World War II, Dr. Mauss served with the 20th Motorized Infantry Division  under General der Infanterie Mauritz von Wiltorin

, with which he participated in the 1939 Invasion of Poland. In May 1940 his 10th Panzer Division traveled west to take part in the Battle of France together with Generaloberst, Heinz Guderian’s XIX Army Corps, Heinz Wilhelm Guderian  Already in these first engagements Mauss successfully utilized his war experiences from 1914-18, his energy and enthusiasm transferring to his men .

Mauss with General Heinrich Eberbach. In the second phase of the French campaign, Mauss participated in the battles against the French 7th Army under General Henri Giraud . Henri Giraud died in Dijon, France, on 11-03-1949, age 70.

Mauss, now Obersleutnant, promoted on 0l-04-1941, also fought in the Soviet campaign, Operation Barbarossa , from its outset. In November 1941, when his battalion successfully defended their positions on the bridgehead by Ugra despite heavy Soviet attacks and calamitous weather conditions, Mauss was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.

In the year 1942 Mauss was promoted to Oberst and after leading his troops with small losses from the Battle of Kursk, he was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross in November, 1943.  In January 1944 he took command of the famous 7th Panzer Division, nickname  “Gespensterdivision“ “Ghost Division”,  he succeeded General der Panzertruppe, Hellmuth Mäder  In April the same year, he was promoted to Generalmajor. Furthermore, on 23-10-1944 he received the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves and Swords before  he was seriously injured by artillery shell fragments in February, 1945 in Gotenhafen and had a leg amputated. He lost his command to Generalmajor der Panzertruppe, Max Lemke

  He was promoted to Generalleutnant in April, and received as the last commander of the 7th Panzer Division the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves, Swords, and Diamonds on 15-04-1945. The youngest Generalleutnant in WWII, with 36, was Commander of the LXXXII Panzer Corps, Theodor Tolsdorff  Following the surrender to British troops, Mauss learned that his wife Minna, the mother of three of their children, had died. A request to go to Lübeck for the funeral was denied. In 1949 he remarried and a year later his son Dietrich was born. After the war Mauss worked as a dentist in his own practice . His request for re-enlistment was rejected by the Bundeswehr for health reasons. Dr. med. dent.

He was highly decorated, eventually with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Brilliants. In this version, 250 small diamonds were placed on the oak leaves. The hilts of the swords were also decorated with diamonds. Of the more than ten million soldiers that Germany had under arms during the war, only 27 received this award. Ten of them were pilots, two tank drivers, two submarine captains and fourteen generals, marshals or other army commanders.

Death and burial ground of Mauss, Dr. Karl.

    Karl Mauss died of a heart attack following a lengthy illness on 09-02-1959, age 60, in Hamburg and is buried on the cemetery St. Lorenz, in Lübeck.


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