Reinhardt, Hans Georg

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Reinhardt, Hans Georg, born 13-01-1887 in Bautzen, Saxony, a two years before Adolf Hitler

and fought during World War I in an infantry regiment. In February 1934 Reinhardt was promoted to Oberst and soon after to Generalmajor in the German army. He commanded the 4th Panzer Division  during the Polish campaign

of September 1939. 4th Panzer Division was initially repulsed in the two-day battle of Mokra and Ostrowy on 1-2 September, but broke through Polish defenses near Częstochowa. 4th Panzer then advanced to the outskirts of Warsaw by September 8, the first German force to reach the city. 4th Panzer’s initial unsupported attack on the city failed, and the division was redeployed to assist in the Battle of the Bzura to the west. After the Polish campaign, Reinhardt was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross  and promoted to Generalleutnant from 01-10-1939. In the 1940 Battle of France, Reinhardt commanded the XLI Panzer Corps, later commander General Field Marshal, Walter Model

  which was one of the three Panzerkorps that broke through the Ardennes and drove west to the sea in May. For this success, he was promoted to General der Panzertruppe on 01-06-1940. In late 1940, Reinhardt and XLI Panzer Corps were designated to participate in Operation Sealion, the proposed invasion of Great Britain. . Reinhardt’s force was to be in the first landing wave. However, the operation never occurred. In 1941, Reinhardt and XLI Panzer Corps were deployed on the Eastern Front for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union in June. His force led the advance of Army Group North to the outskirts of Leningrad in October. On October 5 he was given command of Third Panzer Army, he was succeeded by Hasso von Manteuffel  in Army Group Centre. Third Panzer Army then joined in the German attack on Moscow.  After great initial success, the attack bogged down in mud, and was halted in December by severe cold and Soviet reserves just outside the city. Third Panzer Army was driven back by Soviet counter-attacks during the winter of 1941/42, but Reinhardt was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross for his expert defensive operations. From early 1942 until June 1944, Third Panzer Army held its ground around Vitebsk and Smolensk, defeating most Soviet attacks and withdrawing only a short distance in 1943. On 26-05-1944, Reinhardt was awarded Swords to his Knight’s Cross for this relative success. But in June 1944, Third Panzer and the rest of Army Group Centre were shattered by a huge Soviet attack and driven back into Poland and East Prussia

  On 16-08-1944, Reinhardt was given command of Army Group Centre. In December, renewed Soviet attacks drove Army Group Centre out of Poland and back into northern Prussia. Reinhardt’s shattered forces could not stem these overwhelming attacks, and this caused disputes with Hitler (see Alois Hitler)

  had.

Death and burial ground of Reinhardt, Hans Georg.

Reinhardt left wirh General Ernst Busch and under with General Ritter von Schobert and von Brauchitsch retired from active duty in January 1945. In June 1945, Reinhardt was arrested by the United States Army as a war criminal. In 1947, he and thirteen other top German commanders were tried before a U.S. military court in Nuremberg. Reinhardt was found guilty of murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war and of murder, deportation, and hostage-taking of civilians in occupied countries. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, but was released in 1952. After the was Reinhardt lived in Tegernsee were he at the age of 76 died, on 22-11-1963 and is buried with his wife Eva, born Prüfer, who died age 76, on 22-11-1963, on the local cemetery of Tegernsee.

 

 

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