Military Wiki
Albrecht Lanz
Born (1898-02-25)25 February 1898
Died 27 January 1942(1942-01-27) (aged 43)
Place of birth Entringen, German Empire
Place of death Lazerett Smolensk, Soviet Union
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank Major/Oberstleutnant
Commands held Infantry Regiment 396

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (4 September 1940)
Relations Hubert Lanz (brother)

Major Albrecht Lanz (25 February 1898 – 27 January 1942) was the first Kommandant of Guernsey and Jersey in the Channel Islands in World War II.

Early life

Lanz was born on 25 February 1898, in Entringen in the Kingdom of Württemberg of the German Empire.[1]


"Now came a moment that I shall never in my life forget. Easily the proudest of this war [...] the old gentleman bowed deeply before the representatives of the Germam Army. The first time in the history of England that a Governor had the direct representative of his Britannic Majesty has ever bowed to the German Army."

Book by Barry Turner[2]

On 1 June 1940,[3] Lanz arrived at Guernsey Airport with the Luftwaffe, as part of an attempt to discover the level of military preparedness of the islands (though they had been demilitarised, the information was kept secret until 28 June). Upon his arrival with his interpreter Major Maass. Lanz states that the moment command was transfered to him was "the proudest in this war". When Lanz went to Sark to see Dame Sybil Hathaway, she noted that "Lanz was a tall, alert, quick-spoken officer, with dark hair and dark eyes. In civilian life he had been a Doctor of both Law and Philosophy, and I believe he came from a family of agricultural machinery manufacturers in Stuttgart [...] a fair minded man who would never trick anyone by low cunning". Sherwill stated that he was "every inch a soldier and not very easy to get to know but absolutely straight and kindly".[2] Lanz was given a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 4 September 1940.[4] It was noted in Die Wehrmacht in 1940, and an American military translation revealed the following. Whilst the German forces were attacking Belgium, specifically during the crossing of the River Lys, around Theilt (potentially Thielt). The battalion was attempting to attack Gothem, a village, on the 24 May 1940, but beaten back. The battalion again tried on the 26 May through grain fields with limited visibility due to the grain, and under enemy fire, the attack was failing. Lanz organised the group and they attacked successfully, taking severeal enemies prisoner.[5]

However, he left the post at the rank of Oberstleutnant and later transferred to the Eastern Front. There, it was stated of Lanz and his regiment, the 396th Infantry Regiment, "I envy the men under this wonderful leader and person. He's a man who has intelligence written all over his tanned face, which is full of humour. He has a kind word or a joke for everyone".[6] He died on the Eastern Front[2] on the 27 January 1942 at Lazerett in Smolensk, Soviet Union[4] in hospital of wounds he sustained.[7]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 494.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Turner, Barry (2011). Outpost of Occupation: The Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands 1940-45. Aurum Press. ISBN 9781845137243. 
  3. "Occupation of Guernsey". Guernsey Occupation Museum. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Lanz, Albrecht". WW2 Awards. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  5. King, Anthony (2013). The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Oxford University Press. pp. 189. 
  6. Roth, Hans (2010). Eastern Inferno. Casemate Publishers. pp. 92. ISBN 9781612000244. 
  7. Elite of the Third Reich: The Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, 1939-45. Helion & Company Limited. 2003. 
  8. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 285.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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. 
  • 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. 

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