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Ferdinand Friedrich Schaal
Born (1889-02-07)7 February 1889
Died 9 October 1962(1962-10-09) (aged 73)
Place of birth Brunswick, Lower Saxony
Place of death Baden-Baden
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany (to 1944)
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1908–1944
Rank General der Panzertruppen
Commands held 10th Panzer Division
LVI Panzer Corps
Wehrmacht commander, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Ferdinand Friedrich Schaal (7 February 1889 — 9 October 1962) was a German career military officer and panzer commander in World War II. He commanded the 10th Panzer Division in the 1939 Invasion of Poland and directed the successful Siege of Calais in 1940. Later, he became involved in the unsuccessful July 20 plot against Adolf Hitler and the implementation of Operation Walküre that was to follow. For this, he was imprisoned until the end of the war.

Early life and World War I

Ferdinand was born on 7 February 1889 in Brunswick, Lower Saxony. In 1908, at the age of 19, Schaal joined the military as an officer in a regiment of dragoons. After World War I, he became a captain of cavalry in the Reichswehr.

World War 2

In April 1939, as part of the lead-up to the invasion of Poland, Schaal was tapped to lead the new 10th Panzer Division. He continued to command that unit through the invasions of Poland, France, and the USSR. On 16 March 1942, as the 10th Panzer Division returned to France from its bloody tour of the Eastern Front, Schaal was given the command of LVI Panzer Corps, which was also stationed in the Soviet Union. He served in that capacity until 1 August 1943, when he became Wehrmacht commander in the military district of Bohemia and Moravia.

Operation Walküre

His role in Operation Walküre was to involve subduing the Nazi party and establishing military control over Bohemia and Moravia. On the evening of 20 July 1944, Schaal waited for clarification on how to proceed from General Friedrich Fromm, a co-conspirator in Berlin. None came, however, as the assassination attempt had failed and Fromm had decided to betray the other plotters. Schaal was arrested the next day on the orders of Heinrich Himmler and imprisoned. Unlike many of his compatriots in the German resistance, Schaal avoided execution and survived the war.

Awards and decorations


  1. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 372.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 10. Panzer-Division
1 September 1939 - 2 August 1941
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppen Wolfgang Fischer
Preceded by
Commander of LVI Panzer Corps
16 March 1942 - 1 August 1943
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Friedrich Hoßbach

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