Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Walter Hoernlein with Map

Oberst Walter Hoernlein (Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment "Großdeutschland") discussing strategy with his officer in the Russian front, summer of 1941. He is wearing the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes #399 in his neck, which he received on 30 July 1941 as commander of Infanterie-Regiment 80. Later he would also got the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (14 February 1943) and Eichenlaub #213 (15 March 1943), both as an officer in the Großdeutschland (GD). He continued to lead GD until 27th January 1944, building a solid reputation as a reliable and efficient leader who nevertheless always found time for his troops, earning the nickname “Papa” Hoernlein. Perhaps the most famous anecdote regarding Hoernlein refers to his allegedly sending a telex to the “Fuhrerhauptquartier” demanding to know if GD were the only Germans left on the eastern front, after they had been in continual action jumping from one crisis to another during the fighting around Rzhev!


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