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Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz
Born (1895-12-23)23 December 1895
Died 19 May 1975(1975-05-19) (aged 79)
Place of birth Strasbourg
Place of death Koblenz
Buried at Cemetery Rüngsdorf. Section 3
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1914–1945, 1957–1960
Rank General der Panzertruppe (Wehrmacht)
Generalleutnant (Bundeswehr)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Great Cross of Merit with star of the Federal Republic of Germany
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Relations Walther von Lüttwitz (father)

Smilo Walther Hinko Oskar Constantin Wilhelm Freiherr von Lüttwitz[a] (23 December 1895 – 19 May 1975) was a German general of the Panzer troops, serving during World War II and son of Walther von Lüttwitz. His cousins Heinrich von Lüttwitz and Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz were also decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, the latter also received the decoration "with Diamonds".[1] After World War II he joined the Bundeswehr on 1 June 1957 and retired on 31 December 1960.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Smilo Freiherr von Lütwitz was born on 23 December 1895 in Strasbourg into a family with a long history of military service. He joined the military service during the mobilisation on 3 August 1914 as an officer cadet in the Leib-Dragonerregiment (2. Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr. 24 of the 25th Division in Darmstadt. Fähnrich von Lüttwitz was posted to the Eastern Front and saw combat at Tannenberg, Courland and Düna. He was severely wounded twice in 1915 and received the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz) 1st class. He was commissioned as a Leutnant on 16 June 1915, effective as of 10 August 1914.[1][2]

In 1916, after his brother was killed in action as chief of a Jägerkompanie, von Lüttwitz was transferred to a staff position with the X. Armeekorps in the Heeresgruppe Kronprintz for two years. The corps was under the command of his father Generalleutnant Walther von Lüttwitz. His father, a recipient of the Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves, was one of the most highly decorated generals of the German Empire. He returned to front line duty in 1918 as an adjutant with the Darmstädter Dragoner in the temporary occupation of the Ukraine and southern Russia. By the end of World War I he had received both classes of the Iron Cross and the Wound Badge in Silver.[1][2]

Awards[edit | edit source]

References in the Wehrmachtbericht[edit | edit source]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
9 December 1943 In den schweren Kämpfen der vergangenen Nacht hat die 26. Panzerdivision unter Generalleutnant Frhr. Von Lüttwitz durch ihre beispielhafte Haltung und Standfestigkeit alle Durchbruchsversuche der Briten im Ostabschnitt der süditalienischen Front vereitelt.[6] The exemplary conduct and solidity of the 26th Panzer Division under the command of Lt General Freiherr von Lüttwitz thwarted all attempts by the British forces to break out in the eastern sector of the south Italian front in last night's heavy fighting.

Dates of rank[edit | edit source]

4 August 1914: Fahnenjunker
16 June 1915: Leutnant (Second Lieutenant), effective as of 10 August 1914
Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant)
1 May 1930: Rittmeister (Captain)
Major (Major)
1 January 1939: Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
1 November 1941: Oberst (Colonel)
1 September 1942: Generalmajor (Major General)
1 October 1943: Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General)
1 September 1944: General der Infantrie (General of the Infantry), effective as of 1 April 1944
1958: Generalleutnant of the Bundeswehr

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • a Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title, before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a separate estate, titles preceded the full name when given (Prinz Otto von Bismarck). After 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), could be used, but were regarded as part of the surname, and thus came after a first name (Otto Prinz von Bismarck). The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Berger 2000, p. 196.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Williamson 2005, p 31.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Thomas 1998, p. 45.
  4. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 289.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Scherzer 2007, p. 519.
  6. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 2, p. 624.
  • 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. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2004) (in German). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe II Ihlefeld - Primozic [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color II Ihlefeld - Primozic]. Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-21-8. 
  • 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 (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. 
  • Williamson, Gordon (2006). Knight's Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients 1941-45. Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84176-643-7.
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 2, 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1943]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 26. Panzer-Division (Wehrmacht)
14 September 1942 – 22 January 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Hans Hecker
Preceded by
Generalmajor Hans Hecker
Commander of 26. Panzer-Division (Wehrmacht)
20 February 1944 – 11 April 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Dr. rer. pol. Dr. jur. Hans Boelsen
Preceded by
General Nikolaus von Vormann
Commander of 9. Armee (Wehrmacht)
1 September 1944 – 19 January 1945
Succeeded by
General Theodor Busse
Preceded by
Commander of III. Corps (Bundeswehr)
1 June 1957 – 31 December 1960
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Heinrich Gaedcke

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