Hasso-Eccard Freiherr Von Manteuffel (January 14, 1897 - September 24, 1978)
Baron Hasso Von Manteuffel was born on January 14th of 1897 in Postdam, Germany.He was the descendant of a Prussian aristocratic family noted in politics and military affairs. Von Manteuffel was a military strategist whose skillful and imaginative deployment of tanks repeatedly thwarted Allied offensives during World War II. He was the 24th man to be awarded Diamonds for his Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Von Manteuffel joined the army in 1908 and until 1934, served and commanded various units of the German Army. On April 1st of 1934, he was promoted to the rank of captain and was assigned to perform various tasks. On February 1st of 1939, Von Manteuffelwas put in charge of staff at the Panzer Troops School II in Berlin-Krampnitz. In September of 1939, Von Manteuffel had a rank of a major but quickly earned rapid promotions to a high rank of a commander of an army late in the war. On October 1st of 1941, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, while serving on the Eastern Front. During North African campaign he commanded a division and launched very successful counterattack in Tunis area cutting Allied communications lines behind the frontline.On May 1st of 1943, Von Manteuffel was promoted to the rank of Major-General.
In November of 1943, Hasso Von Manteuffel commanded 7th Panzer Division in Ukraine, where he put victorious Soviet offensive to a halt. On December 27th of 1943, he received the command of the elite Panzer Division "Grossdeutschland" and on February 1st of 1944,received the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant-General. Interesting fact is that Hasso Von Manteuffel wore both cuff titles of "DAK" and "Grossdeutschland" on his uniform.In May of 1944, Von Manteuffel skilfully used his mobile troops and stopped Marshal Koniev's drive into Romania. On September 1st of 1944, Hasso Von Manteuffel became the Commander-in-Chief of 5th Panzer Army and received the rank of General of the Panzer Troops. In December of 1944, Hasso Von Manteuffel was the commander of 5th Panzer Army, which was ordered to drive across Meuse to Brussels and Antwerp, protecting the flank of 6th Panzer Army. During the Battle of Bulge, 5th Panzer Army won tremendous victories and almost succeeded in breaking the Allied lines of defence. On February 18th of 1945, Hasso Von Manteuffel was awarded Knights Cross with Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds.After the failure of the Ardennes Offensive,on March 2nd of 1945, Hasso Von Manteuffelbecame the Commander-in-Chief of 3rd Panzer Army, part of Army Group Vistula, which tried to slow down the Soviet advance on Berlin. On May 3rd of 1945, he surrenderedalong with 3rd Panzer Army to the Western Allies. From 1953 to 1957, Hasso Von Manteuffel was a member of Bundestag and represented Free Democratic Party. In 1959, Hasso Von Manteuffel was charged for ordering a 19-year-old shot for desertion in 1944 and was sentenced for 18 months in prison but was released after 4 months. Hasso Von Manteuffel died on September 24th of 1978 in Tyrol, Austria.