Specht, Karl Wilhelm, born 22-05-1894 in Herdecke, Westfalia, the son of the medical councilor Dr. med. Friedrich-Karl Specht. The later General of the Infantry was married to Gertrud, born Krüger, Karl joined the Army Service as a cadet on 26-01-1914, age 19, in the 6th Lothringisches Königs-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 145 . With this Regiment he was in the fields of the first war. At the end of the war he was since 18-08-1917 an Oberleutnat in the Grenadier Regiment “König Friedrich Willem II and after the war he remained in the new Reichswehr. On 01-06-1939, he became an Oberst and from 01-11-1939 the commander of the 55th Infantry Regiment. He was involved with this Regiment on the Western Front and at the begin of the 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, after the intervention of the new German chancellor Konrad Adenauer. 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 under Generalmajor Georg Jauer, 1st Cavalry Division under General der Kavallerie Kurt Feldt and the Romania “Colonel Mihail 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 Army under Generalmoberst Erich Hoepner and 6th Armies under SS-Oberstgruppenführer “Sepp” Josef Dietrich 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. Erich Hoepner was implicated in the failed 20 July plot against Adolf Hitler and executed in the Plötzensee prison
on 08-08-1944, age 57. Specht received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 08-09-1941 for bravery behavior in the battles in the area of Gomel and Tschernigow. For his leading in the battle for Moscow he was awarded with the Oak Leaves. With the promotion to Generalmajor he took the command of the Infantry School in Döberitz on 01-08-1942 and was there promoted to Generalleutnant on 10-09-1942. On 01-12-1943 assigned as Education Inspector of the Army. He became a member of the Ehrenhof, Court of Honour, and involved in screening and refer to the Volks Court of Roland Freisler, the different Generals involved in the July 7th bomb attack on Adolf Hitler. In this Court were also the Generalfieldmarshal, Gerd von Rundstedt, Generaloberst der Panzertruppe, Heinz Guderian
, and General der Infanterie, Walter Schroth. Specht became a General of the Infantry on 01-12-1944 with the command of the Replacement General Command of the XX Army Corps, under General der Infanterie, Edgar Rohricht. He also was Ober Commander of Wehrkreis XX. On 16-03-1945 he was appointed to Commanding General of the Corps Hela.and landed in Russian captivity until 03-12-1953.
Death and burial ground of Specht, Karl Wilhelm.
Karl Wilhelm Specht died age 53, on 03-12-1953, in prison, allegedly from pulmonary edema. Quite a few German officers were tortured to death by the Soviets, starved or died from lack of necessary medical treatment. Specht is buried in grave 17, on the General Cemetery of Cherntsy, row 3, together with 27 other Generals and two German officers, among them four Japanese Generals, who died in captivity. A few of his neighbours are Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur of Warschau, Rainer Stahel, Generalmajor der Wehrmacht, Grenadier Regiment 70, Louis Tronnier, General der Artillerie, Kommandeur IV Heeresgruppe, Max Pfeffer, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur der XVIII Gebirgstruppe , Friedrich Hochbaum, Generalleutnant and Commander of the 431st Landesschützen Division Heinrich ‘Heinz” Thoma, Generalmajor, Commander 290th Infantery Division , Hans-Joachim Baurmeister, Generalmajor and commander of the 570th Infantry Regiment. Erwin Hans Barends, General der Infanterie, Commander of the 32nd Infantry Division and L Army Corps, Hans Boeckh-Behrens, Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Commander of the 44th Infanterie Division , Heinrich Deboi, and Generalmajor der Wehrmacht, Pione er Commander, Wilhelm Runge, Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Commander of a Field Training Division, Friedrich Bayer.