|Kurt von Briesen|
Kurt von Briesen, Paris, June 1940
|Born||3 May 1886|
|Died||20 November 1941(aged 55)|
|Place of birth||Anklam, Germany|
|Place of death||Kharkov, Ukraine|
|Buried at||German War Cemetery Kharkiv|
German Empire (to 1918)|
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1904 - 1941|
|Rank||General der Infanterie|
30th Infantry Division |
LII Army Corps
World War I|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Kurt von Briesen (born 3 May 1886, Anklam † 20. November 1941, Isjum on the Donetz (Ukraine)) was a General of Infantry awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross by Hitler for gallantry in the Polish campaign.
Early Years and World War I[edit | edit source]
Kurt von Briesen enlisted 16 September 1904 as a cadet in Kaiser Franz Guard Infantry Regiment no. 2. On 27 January 1906 he was promoted to second lieutenant. On 1 October 1910 he became adjutant in the Fusilier Battalion of the Kaiser Franz Guard infantry Regiment no. 2. On 19 July 1913 he was promoted to first lieutenant. On 1 October 1913 he was delegated to the war academy. On the 1st August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, he became regimental adjutant of reserve infantry regiment 15. On 23 August 1914 he was wounded and sent to a military hospital. On 28 October 1914 he became adjutant of the 26th Reserve infantry brigade. In 1916 he was appointed to the general staff of IVth Army corps. In September 1916 he was shifted to the general staff of the army. In 1918 he became 1st General staff officer of the 239th Infantry division.
Inter War Years[edit | edit source]
In January 1919 the now Captain von Briesen became commander of volunteer battalion 52. Three months later he became an officer of the general staff, IInd Army corps. In October 1919 he became an officer on the staff of the IInd military district command. On 9 March 1920 he was, effective 31 March 1920, discharged from the army. Von Briesen found employment, 1 May 1922, with the Land-Service (Land-Dienst) of Military District II. There he was entrusted with the organization of border control in Pomerania. On 1 April 1934 von Briesen was transferred to the army as commander of New Stettin. On 1 May 1934 he was promoted to major. On 15 October 1935 he became the commander of Infantry Regiment 69. On 1 August 1937 he was promoted to major general. On 4 February 1938 he became, during the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair, commander of the 30th Infantry Division.
World War II[edit | edit source]
On 27 August 1939 von Briesen was promoted to major general (generalleutnant) and led the 30th Infantry Division in the invasion of Poland. During the Battle of the Bzura von Briesen's right forearm was wounded in combat, but he insisted on returning to lead his division as soon as his wound was cared for. Von Briesen's division held the flanks of the main column of Colonel General Johannes Blaskowitz's 8th Army against a mass break out attempt by Polish forces, and in the process von Briesen personally led the last reserve battalion into combat. Adolf Hitler, touring the front lines with Wilhelm Keitel shortly after von Briesen’s injury, was deeply impressed. Believing von Briesen had saved Blaskowitz's army by his gallantry and drive, Hitler directed that von Briesen be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. On 27 October 1939 von Briesen received the award. In 1940 von Briesen commanded the 30th Infantry division in France during the German invasion. When Paris fell, the 30th Infantry Division marched in a victory parade along the avenue Foch, von Briesen on horseback saluting his men as they passed by. On 1 Aug 1940, von Briesen was promoted to the rank of general (equivalent of US lieutenant general). On 25 November 1940 he was appointed commanding general of the LII Army Corps.
Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class
- Wound Badge (1914)
- in Black
- Knight's Cross of the House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords
- Knight of the Order of St. John
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th to 2nd Class
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (20 September 1939)
- 1st Class (4 October 1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 27 October 1939 as Generalleutnant and commander of 30. Infanterie-Division
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht (22 November 1941)
Wehrmachtbericht reference[edit | edit source]
|Date||Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording||Direct English translation|
|Saturday, 22 November 1941||Am 20. November fiel in den Kämpfen an der Ostfront der kommandierende General eines Armeekorps, General der Infanterie von Briesen. ||On 20 November fell in the fighting on the Eastern Front, the commanding general of an army corps, General von Briesen.|
References[edit | edit source]
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 123.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 730.
- 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.
- Lehrer, Steven (2002). Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States). McFarland. pp. 224. ISBN 0-7864-1045-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=pAZoAAAAMAAJ&q=hitler+sites&dq=hitler+sites&ei=6vitSe2QJpXSlQTv24iYBQ&pgis=1.
- Lehrer, Steven (2006). The Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker Complex: An Illustrated History of the Seat of the Nazi Regime. McFarland. pp. 214. ISBN 0-7864-2393-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=i9GIAQAACAAJ&dq=lehrer+chancellery&ei=g_CpSeeyIIzSlQSm7qWVBA.
- 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.
- (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.
[edit | edit source]
- Lexikon der Wehrmacht. Personenregister. Briesen, Kurt von.  This non-political website is maintained by Volksbund Deutscher Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V., a non-governmental charity that cares for German World War II military graves and the remains of Hitler's soldiers, both in Germany and in other parts of the world. See Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States) for further detail.
Generalleutnant Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel
|Commander of 30. Infanterie-Division
4 February 1938 – 1 July 1939
Generalleutnant Franz Böhme
Generalleutnant Franz Böhme
|Commander of 30. Infanterie-Division
19 July 1939 – 25 November 1940
Generalmajor Walter Buechs
|Commander of LII. Armeekorps
25 November 1940 – 20 November 1941
Generalleutnant Albert Zehler
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