Oppeln-Bronikowski, Hermann Leopold August von

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Oppeln-Bronikowski, Hermann von, born 02-01-1899 in Berlin, Gauleiter Josef Goebbels joined on 01-04-1912 as a cadet in the military school in Bensberg near Cologne and 2 years later came his commanding to the main Cadet School in Berlin-Lichterfelde, near Berlin.     On 23-03-1917 he enlisted as an ensign in the Ulanen-Regiment Prinz August von Württemberg” No. 10 , which was stationed in Züllichau in East Brandenburg. A short time later he was transferred from the Replacement Troops to the active Regiment, which served as a garrison in the area of Warsaw. On 19-12-1917, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Because he voluntarily reported to the front with the infantry, he joined the infantry regiment “Prince Carl” number 118  on the Western front.There, in the spring of 1918, he was used as train and Trooper leader in Champagne and the Argonne. He led all company itself acquired in the summer of 1918 the Iron Cross II class and he won as one of the youngest lieutenants in the army in October 1918 the Iron Cross 1st Class, personally presented by Lieutenant-General Paul von Kleist.

   Kleist died in Russian prison, age 73, on 13-11-1954. In the autumn of 1919, the Reichswehr Regiment 10, due to the Treaty of Versailles, the Uhlans Regiment moved to. He was taken into the Reichswehr in 1920 and remained faithful to the Cavalry, despite some micromanaging. Due to his riding skills, he was sent in 1923 for 2 years at the infantry School of Ohrdruf as Director of rider training and supervisory officer. As a member of the German equestrian team, he took part in various national and international post-war and could prove his riding possibilities . A special award was nominated in the squad of the Dressage Rider of the German Olympic team from 1936. The German Squad, including Hermann Leopold August von Oppeln-Bronikowski, which won the gold medal was in the scoring.

   Before the invasion of Czechoslovakia 10 were erected from the Cavalry Regiment several education departments. Oppeln-Bronikowski is therefore the Commander of the reconnaissance detachment of 24th Infantry Division File:24th Infanterie-Division Logo.jpg, the so-called polar bear Division by Lieutenant-General der Infanterie, Friedrich Olbricht The 24th Infantry Division was a infantry division active in World War II. It served across the Eastern Front in engagements such as the Sieges of Sevastopol and the Leningrad finally being destroyed in the Courland Pocket in 1945. With this Department he was in the Poland campaign, usually at the top of the Division. So, he could get for example the Warthebrücke at Warta unharmed in the hands and back up so the fast advance. In recognition he received on 25-09-1939 the retry clasp to the Iron Cross II class in Czubin and on 10-11-1939 the clasp to the Iron Cross I class in Tönnisstein. From 01-04-1940, he was transferred to the OKH to the staff of the “General of fast troops”. There it evaluated from the Poland campaign the results of the  Panzer Divisions to make new practical proposals in terms of structure, armament and equipment under the then Oberst der Panzertruppe, Ritter Wilhelm von Thoma.  Oppeln-Bronikowski was responsible as a speaker for the entire education of the army. He was responsible for the conversion of the existing Cavalry Divisions in Panzer Divisions. In particular the 1st Cavalry Division  in the 24th Panzer Division. On 01-08-1940, he is promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and is sent to its voluntary reporting to the Panzertruppe on 01-10-1941 to the 5th Panzer Brigade in the 4th Panzer Division. Its first tank attack took place within the battle group General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur der 5th Panzerbrigade, Heinrich Eberbach  of the 35th Panzer Regiment  on 25-10-1941. It came from Orel with the aim of Tula near Moscow.  In mid-January 1942 he took command of the 35th Panzer-Regiment of Major General Heinrich Eberbach and was promoted to Colonel on 01-02-1942. The fight to Bryansk, he acquired a reputation as a bold tank driver and received the wound badge in silver. On 16-10-1942, he took command of the 204th Panzer Regiment in the 22nd Panzer Division. His area of operations was the Don-Donets region, Kalach and the large Donbogen. He was with his regiment of a stability factor that kept the front. On 10-11-1942, but only 39 were ready for use, of the available 104 tanks because mice had devoured all cable  connections. A bet on 25-11-1942 he was wounded and received the wound badge in black . The 48th Panzer Corps, to which belonged the “armored group of Opole” against a multiple superiority fought from 06-12-1942 to 05-01-1943. Oppelns battle group destroyed this 451 enemy tanks, 209 guns and 752 heavy weapons. For this he received the Knight’s Cross on his 44th birthday, 01-01-1943. At the end of hostilities, however a functioning tank available was the regiment. On 17-02-1943, he was transferred to the 6th  Panzer Division and assumed command of the 11th Panzer-Regiment, with which he took part in the summer of 1943 in “operation Citadel”. Here he acquired the German Cross in gold  on 07-08-1943. After being there suffered serious wounded, he took command of the 100th Panzer-Regiment in the 21st Panzer Division, in 1943, after his recovery in the autumn. In the spring of 1944, the regiment was moved to France and renamed 22nd Panzer Regiment. During the battle for Caen he managed to keep 32 days his position, without losing even one meter of ground, but lost the 50% of the tank fleet of his regiment. For this he was awarded in 1944 Oak Leaves on July 28th the 536. On 26-09-1944, he took part in a Division leader course on 07-11-1944, by General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur der 20th Panzer Division, Mortimer von Kessel  to take over the leadership of the 20th Panzer Division File:20th Panzer Division logo 3 (1943-1945).svg. On 30-01-1945 he was promoted to Generalmajor. The XIV Panzer Corps assumed he was push the back on the West Bank of the Oder the enemy on the eastern shore, what he did as well as the defense of the city of Neisse. For a short time, he fought free a narrow corridor to the fortress Breslau, over the mountain Zobten. Then he freed the enclosed 1200 soldiers of the Fort of Bautzen. He could reflect enemy attacks until after Spremberg. For these services he was awarded the swords to the oak leaves on 17-04-1945 as 142nd soldier of the Wehrmacht.   On 08-05-1945, Oppeln-Bronikowski learned on the command post of Fallschirm-Panzerkorps Hermann Goering  of the surrender in the coming night. He with his Division then resolves and makes it possible to get the members of the Division in small groups to the Americans. He himself was on 18-05-1945 American taken prisoner. They brought him on 03-06-1945 camp Staudemühle near Paderborn and then in the British prisoner camp No. 2224 in Brugge, Belgium. There, he was dismissed from the Wehrmacht, till they found out that he was the defender of Caen and interned him in the camp 2221 near Brussels. On 26-04-1946, he returned to the camp Staudemühlell and was accused after 2 years as a war criminal and interrogated. Classified in the category “completely innocent” was released in 1947. In the post-war period he prepared such as the Canadian equestrian team for the Olympic Games Tokyo and took an active part in the reconstruction of the German armed forces

Death and burial ground of Oppeln-Bronikowski, Hermann Leopold August von.

.  Hermann Leopold August von Oppeln-Bronikowski died in Gaißach, in the district of Bad Tölz, Bavaria of a heart attack, age 67, on 18-09-1966 and is buried with his wife Barbara, born Peters, on the village cemetery “An der of Kirche”, in Gaissach.

 

Cemetery and grave location of Oppeln-Bronikowski, Hermann Leopold August von.

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