Schmalz, Wilhelm, born 01-03-1901 in Gut Reussen, near Seitz, entered the Army on 01-04-1919, age 18, in the III Naval Brigade and then with the Volunteer Division of Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
Lettow Vorbeck died old age of 92, on 09-03-1964, in Hamburg. He was the commander of the German East Africa campaign, in the first war. Schmalz made a career in the new Reichswehr and with the outbreak of World War II he as a Major, was the Battalion Commander of the 11th Rifle Regiment to 31-10-1940. Commander of the 59th Rifle Battalion until 31-10-1940. Commander of the 11th Panzer Grenadier Regiment to 31-11-1942, as an Oberstleutnant. As an Oberst Commander of the Group „New Formation of Division, Hermann Goering (did you know), in Mont de Marsan, France to 30-04-1943.
Schmalz was transferred to the Luftwaffe as Commander of Special Purpose Grenadier Brigade of Panzer Division Hermann Goering until 15-04-1944. Commander of Parachute Panzer Division Hermann Goering until 03-10-1944,as a Generalmajor now. According to a British Government report, the Hermann Goering Division was involved in several reprisal operations during its time in Italy. One of these occurred in the surrounding area of the village of Civitella in Val di Chiana. On 29-06-1944, 244 citizens of Civitella were massacred by Hermann Goering Division , in retaliation for the killing of two German soldiers by the hands of partisans. On 10-10-2006, SS Max Josef Milde was convicted by the Italian military court of La Spezia for his role in the Civitella massacre. The Italian Court of Cassation in October 2008 ruled that Germany was to pay one million dollars to 203 victims of the massacre. However, the International Court of Justice later ruled that Italy was required to void the judgment out of respect for Germany’s state immunity.
Around 800 soldiers from the division took part in fighting during the Warsaw Uprising in the Wola district, where mass executions of civilians occurred in connection with Hitler’s orders to destroy the city. During the battle of Sicily around 12.000 Germans killed or captured,add wounded and the figure is around 20.000. This would work out to be around 4.000 killed, missing, 8.000 wounded, 8.000 captured. With around the equivalent of 4 German divisions involved this would mean losses of 5.000 men per division on average. Italian losses are given as 140.000 (mainly prisoners). Allied losses around 24.000 men. Promoted to Generalleutnant
on 30-01-1945, the youngest Generalleutnant in WWII, with 36, was Theodor Tolsdorff, the youngest General, with 42, Walter Wenck.
Schmalz was commander of the Parachute Panzer Corps Hermann Goering, to 08-05-1945. At the outbreak of war the HG Regiment fought in Poland. Reorganized into the HG Division, they were sent to Italy for about one year. On 06-01-1944, the division was renamed “Fallschirm Panzer Division Hermann Goring” that consisted of panzer, armoured artillery and infantry battalions. They were sent back to Poland and fought in the battle of Warsaw in August 1944. They served in Russia with the XXXIX Panzer Corps and at Fortress Graudenz in February 1945. During the fighting in Russia, the Henrich Goring, the nephew of the Reichsmarshall, was killed in action. The statistics indicate that 60.000 soldiers served with the HG Division during its life-span. After the surrender in 1945, only 15.000 survivors remained. An estimated 90% of the soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front were casualties.
In early May, units of the corps attempted to break out towards the American forces on the Elbe, but were unsuccessful. The corps surrendered to the Red Army on 08-05-1945. Schmalz landed in US captivity and accused of alleged war crimes by an allied war court in Italy, but lucky for him acquitted of these crimes and released in 1950.
Death and burial ground of Schmalz, Wilhelm.
Living in Weilmünster, Laimbach, Schmalz died old age 82, on 14-03-1983 and is buried with his wife Luise Henriette, born princes Preussen, who died age 65, on 12-10-1973, on the Stadtfriedhof of Weilmünster.