|Born||5 August 1903|
|Died||26 December 1947(aged 44)|
|Place of birth||Gorden by Falkenberg, Province of Saxony|
|Place of death||Camp Buchenwald near Weimar, Thuringia|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)|
|Years of service||1924–1945|
Fallschirm-Panzergrenadier-Division 2 "Hermann Göring"
|Awards||Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords|
Erich Walther (5 August 1903 – 26 December 1947) was a German general of the Fallschirmjäger who served during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Military career[edit | edit source]
Erich Walther joined the Berlin Police on 1 April 1924 as a police cadet. In 1933 he transferred to the Wecke State Police group (Polizeiabteilung z.b.V. Wecke) as a Leutnant and on 1 October 1935 became commander of the 3rd Company, General Göring Regiment. In May of that year he completed the parachute course and was subsequently promoted to Hauptmann.
In the Battle of the Netherlands Walther and his I Battalion, 1st Parachute Regiment parachuted into the Netherlands near Dordrecht. From 27 May 1940 Walther participated in the Norwegian Campaign in support of the 3rd Mountain Infantry Division. General Eduard Dietl personally thanked Walther for his decisive contribution to victory in Norway. On 19 June 1940 he was promoted to Major.
Walther fought on the Eastern front in Russia in the defensive battle near Leningrad and was awarded the German Cross in Gold for his actions there. On 20 April 1942 Walther was promoted to Oberst and in September appointed commanding officer of the 4th Parachute Regiment.
Walther saw action in the west as commander of the Divisional Battle Group Walther. At Nijmegen and Arnhem during the Allied Operation Market Garden he successfully defended against the airborne landings. Walther subsequently assumed command of the Hermann Göring 2nd Parachute Panzer-Grenadier Division in East Prussia. Promoted to Generalmajor on 30 January 1945 he was taken prisoner of war by the Red Army on 8 May 1945. He died at Soviet Special Camp 2 on 26 December 1947.
Awards[edit | edit source]
- Wound Badge in Black
- "Crete" Cuffband
- Narvik Shield
- Iron Cross (1939)
- German Cross in Gold on 31 March 1942 as Major in the I./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Knight's Cross on 24 May 1940 as Major and commander of the I./Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 1
- 411th Oak Leaves on 2 March 1944 as Oberst and commander of Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4
- 131st Swords on 1 February 1945 as Oberst and leader of Fallschirm-Panzergrenadier-Division 2 "Hermann Göring"
References[edit | edit source]
- Thomas and Wegmann 1986, p. 348.
- Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 495.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 436.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 767.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 79.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 47.
- Berger, Florian (1999) (in German). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War]. Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001) (in German). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2]. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1986) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil II: Fallschirmjäger [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part II: Paratroopers]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1461-8.
- Thomas, Franz (1998) (in German). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
[edit | edit source]
- "Erich Walther" (in German). Lexikon der Wehrmacht. http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Personenregister/W/WaltherE.htm. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
|Commander of Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 4
17 September 1942 – 15 March 1944
Major Franz Graßmel
Oberst Helmuth Hufenbach
|Commander of Fallschirm-Panzergrenadier-Division 2 "Hermann Göring"
March 1945 – 8 May 1945
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