Military Wiki
Hermann Niehoff
Born (1897-04-03)3 April 1897
Died 5 November 1980(1980-11-05) (aged 83)
Place of birth Papenburg/Ems
Place of death Riegsee
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Infanterie
Awards Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Hermann Niehoff was a German officer during World War II. He was born on 3 April 1897 and died in 1980. Niehoff was born in Papenburg/Ems. He was a German infantry general and was the garrison commander of Fortress Breslau (Festung Breslau) during the Battle of Breslau.


  • Commanding Officer of the 211th Replacement Regiment - 1939 to 1940
  • Commanding Officer of the 464th Regiment - 1940 to 1943
  • Infantry General (General der Infanterie) of the 371st Infantry Division - 1943 to 1945
  • Garrison Commander of Fortress Breslau - 2 March to 6 May 1945


As General of the 371 Infantry Division (371.Infanterie Division), Niehoff participated in the break out from the Kamieniec-Podolski Pocket during March and April 1944. At this time, his division was part of Colonel General (Generaloberst) Hans-Valentin Hube's 1st Panzer Army. From 13 February to 6 May 1945, Breslau was besieged by the Soviet 6th Army. The 6th Army was part of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front commanded by Marshal Ivan Konev. On 2 March, Niehoff became the garrison commander. To oppose the Soviets, Niehoff had a mix of German Army, Home Guard, and Hitler Youth troops. During the siege, Niehoff's over-matched forces held Breslau for more than two months while much of the city was destroyed and many of his troops were killed.

On 6 May, four days after Berlin fell and only two days before the unconditional surrender of Germany, Niehoff signed a conditional surrender of Fortress Breslau to the Soviets. None of the conditions were kept by the Soviets. Niehoff remained a prisoner of war from 1945 to 1955.



  1. No evidence of the award can be found in the German National Archives. The Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) only assumes that the Swords were awarded. According to Niehoff's testimony he was nominated by Gauleiter Karl Hanke. The date and sequential number "147" were assigned by the AKCR. Niehoff was member of the AKCR.[2] The sequential numbers greater than 143 for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords are unofficial and were assigned by the AKCR and are therefore denoted in parentheses.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 569.
  2. Scherzer 2007, p. 161.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 49–51.
  • Berger, Florian (2000). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in Germany). Wien, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945 (in Germany). 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 Germany). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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 (in German). 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.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Richard Stempel
Commander of 371. Infanterie-Division
1 April 1943 – 10 June 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Hans-Joachim Baurmeister
Preceded by
Generalmajor Hans-Joachim Baurmeister
Commander of 371. Infanterie-Division
10 July 1944 – 2 March 1945
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Rolf Scherenberg

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