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Hans-Jürgen von Arnim
General von Arnim
Born (1889-04-04)4 April 1889
Died 1 September 1962(1962-09-01) (aged 73)
Place of birth Ernsdorf, Silesia, Prussia
Place of death Bad Wildungen, Hesse
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1907 – 1943
Rank Generaloberst
Commands held
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Hans-Jürgen Bernhard Theodor von Arnim (4 April 1889 – 1 September 1962) was a German colonel-general (Generaloberst) who served during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim (right) welcomes General Gustav von Vaerst; PK "Africa"

Early life

Arnim was born in Ernsdorf in the Prussian Province of Silesia, the son of General Hans von Arnim (1861–1931) and Martha Honrichs (1865–1953).

Military career

Arnim joined the German Army in 1907. During the First World War he saw action on both the Eastern and Western fronts. After the war, he remained in the Reichswehr and rose to command the elite 68th Infantry Regiment in Berlin. With the rise of Nazi Germany, Arnim was made a major-general in 1938.

World War II

Arnim commanded the 52. Infanterie-Division in both the Battles for Poland and France. In October 1940, Arnim was given command of the 17. Panzer-Division. With the outbreak of the war against the Soviet Union, he was promoted to lieutenant general under Heinz Guderian, and was seriously wounded a few days after the start of the campaign.

Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen von Arnim (left) and General der Panzertruppe Hans Cramer (centre) in British captivity at Trent Park camp in 1943

On 1 October 1941, he was promoted to General der Panzertruppe and placed in command of XXXIX. Panzerkorps until November 1942, when he was appointed commander of the 5th Panzer Army under Erwin Rommel in North Africa. When Adolf Hitler refused to allow Rommel to return to Tunisia, Arnim was promoted to full general (Generaloberst) on 4 December 1942, and made Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Africa and de facto commander of the Afrika Korps from 9 March 1943 until his capture by the British Indian Army's 4th Infantry Division two months later on 12 May 1943.[1] After he was captured, Arnim allegedly expected to be met by his opposite numbers and asked to see Dwight D. Eisenhower. The American general replied to his aides to get as much information out of him as they could, but a personal meeting was out of the question. Eisenhower would not meet with any German officers until the final surrender.[2] Instead Arnim was brought to the British 1st Army commander-in-chief, General Kenneth Anderson.

Arnim served the rest of the war as a British prisoner of war interned along with 24 other German general officers at Camp Clinton, Mississippi,[3] and was released on 1 July 1947. He returned to Germany, where the estates he had held before the war had been taken and divided by the Soviet occupation authorities as part of a process of land reform.[4] He died in Bad Wildungen, Hesse.


General von Arnim's Staff Car at the Eastbourne Redoubt.

See also


  1. I Was There! - How Von Arnim Surrendered at Last, The War Illustrated, June 11, 1943.
  2. ALLIES, by John S. D. Eisenhower
  3. German Prisoner of War Camp, Clinton, MS
  4. Giles MacDonogh, After the Reich, John Murray, 2007, p. 410
  5. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 17.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 117.
  7. Scherzer 2007, p. 194.
  • Alman, Karl (1998) (in German). Ritterkreuzträger des Afrikakorps [Knight's Cross Bearers of the Afrika Korps]. Rastatt, Germany: VPM Verlagsunion Pabel Moewig. ISBN 978-3-8118-1457-8. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

External links