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Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz
Born (1896-12-06)6 December 1896
Died 9 October 1969(1969-10-09) (aged 72)
Place of birth Krumpach, Province of Silesia, Germany
Place of death Neuberg
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Heinrich Diepold Georg Freiherr von Lüttwitz[Notes 1] (6 December 1896 – 9 October 1969) was a German general of the Panzer troops, serving during World War II. His cousins Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz and Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz were also decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, the latter also received the Diamonds.[1]

Battle of the Bulge, "Nuts!"

In 1944, in the Battle of the Bulge, Lüttwitz's troops had surrounded the US forces commanded by US General Anthony McAuliffe. Lüttwitz's demand for the US troops to surrender was the following:

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.

He received the following reply from McAuliffe:

To the German Commander.


The American Commander

McAuliffe's reply, "Nuts!" was explained to the German negotiators as the equivalent of "go to hell!"



  1. Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title, before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a separate estate, titles preceded the full name when given (Prinz Otto von Bismarck). After 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), could be used, but were regarded as part of the surname, and thus came after a first name (Otto Prinz von Bismarck). The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.
  2. Heinrich von Lüttwitz's nomination by the troop was received by the Heerespersonalamt (HPA — Army Personnel Office) on 28 April 1945. Major Joachim Domaschk decided on 30 April: "Heeresgruppe B, postpone!" General Von Lüttwiz together with the remaining forces of the Heeresgruppe B was either taken prisoner of war or missing in action in the Ruhr Pocket on 15 April. The nomination was thus not further processed in accordance with AHA 44 Ziff. 572. The nomination list for the higher grades of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross also contains a note from 28 April 1945: "postponed". A bestowal thus didn't occur. The sequential number "157" and presentation date were assigned by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR).[5]


  1. Berger 2006, p.196
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Thomas 1998, p. 44.
  3. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 289.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 519.
  5. Scherzer 2007, p. 157.
  • Berger, Florian (2000). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in German). Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • 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. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 3-7648-2300-3.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Vollrath Lübbe
Commander of 2. Panzer-Division
1 February 1944 – 4 May 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven
Commander of 2. Panzer-Division
27 May 1944 – 31 August 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Eberhard von Nostitz

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