Wünnenberg, Alfred Bernard Julius Ernst, born on 20-07-1891 at Saarburg, Alsace-Lorraine. In February 1913 he joined the Army and served with the 56th Infantry Regiment and was soon promoted to Unteroffizier. He took part in World War I and served on the Western Front and was severely wounded in September 1914. In January 1915 he was promoted to Leutnant and given command of the 8th Company, 255th Infantry Regiment. He was selected for pilot training in June 1916 which was completed in August 1917, afterwards he was posted to the 47th Field Flying Division as a reconnaissance pilot. After the end of the War, he served on the eastern border in Upper Silesia as part of the free corps, after his promotion to captain, he left the army in September 1920, to be a lieutenant of the Prussian police unit. On 02-10-1939 he became the commander of the 3rd Polizei Schützen Regiment, under Hans Traupe , SS Sturmbannführer and Major der Schupo, commander I./3rd SS Pol Grenadier Regiment, with the rank of SS Standartenführer and given the SS service number 405. 898. Here with General Karl Specht on the left.
With this regiment, he took on the Battle of France and the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 Operation Barbarossa when on 15-11-1941 he was awarded the Knight’s Cross. The 91.000 German POWs taken at Stalingrad, 27.000 died within weeks and only 5-6.000 returned to Germany by 1955. 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 , 1st Cavalry Division and “Colonel Voicu” Detachment. According to archival figures, the Red Army around Sttalingrad, 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 and 6th under Friedrich von Paulus “Der Lord” , Armies 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. In December 1941 he took over the command of the 4th SS Polizei Division from SS Obergruppenführer, Walter Krüger. Krüger committed suicide, age 55, on 22-05-1945 in Litauen. In recognition of the heavy fighting the unit was involved in on 23-04-1942 he was promoted to SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Polizei and awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross . On 10-06-1943, he was moved to command the IV SS Panzer Corps , where he remained until 31 August. Afterwards he became Chief of the Ordnungspolizei. This post he held up to the end of the war. Total casualties amongst the Waffen-SS will probably never be known, but one estimate indicates that they suffered 180.000 dead, 400.000 wounded, and 40.000 missing. World War II casualties indicates that the Waffen-SS suffered 314.000 killed and missing, or 34.9 per cent. By comparison, the United States Army suffered 318.274 killed and missing in all theatres of the war.
Death and burial ground of Wünnenberg, Alfred Bernard Julius Ernst.
Alfred Wünnenberg died on 30-12-1963, age 72 in Krefeld and is buried on the Hauptfriedhof of Krefeld, close by the graves of two other WWII Generals, Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Kommandeur 21th Panzer Division , D-Day, Edgar Feuchtinger and Generalleutant der Infanterie, Kommandeur van Thorn, Eduard Klutmann.