Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch
|Born||6 July 1885|
|Died||17 July 1945 (aged 60)|
|Place of birth||Steele, Kreis Essen|
|Place of death||Camp Aldershot near London, England|
German Empire (to 1918)|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1904-1945|
|Commands held||16. Armee|
World War I|
World War II
Pour le Mérite|
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves
Ernst Bernhard Wilhelm Busch (6 July 1885 – 17 July 1945) was a German field marshal during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or outstanding military leadership.
Background[edit | edit source]
Early life and career[edit | edit source]
He was born in Essen-Steele, Germany, and was educated at the Groß Lichterfelde Cadet Academy. Busch entered the Prussian Army in 1904 and served on the Western Front during World War I. He was awarded the Pour le Mérite in 1918. After the war, Busch remained in the army and was appointed Inspector of Transport Troops in 1925. He was promoted in 1930 to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the Infantry Regiment No. 9.
World War II[edit | edit source]
Busch served under Wilhelm List during the Invasion of Poland of 1939, and the following year he led the German Sixteenth Army during the Western Offensive. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by Hitler for his efforts.
Busch took part in Operation Barbarossa and on 8 September 1941 his 16th Army took Demyansk before taking part in the siege of Leningrad. Despite a counter-attack by the Red Army, Busch's troops held the line from Staraya Russa to Ostashkov. After a brave defence of his position he was promoted to field marshal. He commanded Army Group Centre in 1943 and 1944 but after the disastrous defeat of June 1944, he was sacked by Hitler early in July 1944 and replaced by Field Marshal Walter Model.
Busch was recalled in March 1945 when he became head of Army Group Northwest. Along with Kurt Student and his 1st Parachute Army, Busch had the task of trying to halt the advance of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and the Allies into Germany. Busch surrendered to Montgomery on 3 May 1945, and died in a prisoner of war camp in Aldershot, England, on 17 July 1945. He is buried at Cannock Chase German war cemetery, Staffordshire.
Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1914)
- Wound Badge (1914)
- in Black
- in Silver
- Knight's Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords (14 June 1917)
- Pour le Mérite (4 October 1918)
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (1 January 1935)
- Sudetenland Medal with Prague Castle clasp
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Eastern Front Medal (30 July 1942)
- Demyansk Shield
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned 4 times in the Wehrmachtbericht (6 August 1941, 16 September 1941, 21 October 1941 and 28 January 1943)
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award, 4th to 1st class
- Order of the Cross of Liberty, First Class with Star and Swords
References[edit | edit source]
- Thomas 1997, p. 94.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 255.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 151.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 71.
- 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.
- Kemp, Anthony (1990 reprint). German Commanders of World War II (#124 Men-At-Arms series). Osprey Pub., London. ISBN 0-85045-433-6.
- 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 (1997) (in German). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
[edit | edit source]
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