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Maximilian Fretter-Pico
Born (1892-02-06)February 6, 1892
Died 4 April 1984 (1984-04-05) (aged 92)
Place of birth Karlsruhe
Place of death Kreuth, Upper Bavaria
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1910–1945
Rank General der Artillerie
Commands held XXX. Armeekorps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Relations Otto Fretter-Pico (brother)

Maximilian Fretter-Pico (6 February 1892 – 4 April 1984) was a German general during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Early life

Maximilian Fretter-Pico was born in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Military career

Fretter-Pico entered service on 20 September 1910 with the Imperial German Army's artillery units. He was a junior officer at the start of World War I. By the end of the war, he had been promoted to the rank of captain. During the inter-war years, he remained in the German military, reaching the rank of major by the time the Nazi Party came to power. In 1938, as a colonel, he was sent to Turkey as a military attaché. Although he was recalled to Germany for the outbreak of World War II in Europe, he missed the campaigns in Poland and France. In Mar 1941, he was promoted to the rank of major general.

At the start of Operation Barbarossa, Fretter-Pico was given command of the 97th Jäger Division in Army Group South. On 27 December 1941, he was given command of XXX Corps, which participated in the Battle of Sevastopol in southern Ukraine. He was known as a by-the-book general who lacked imagination, and thus his commanding officer Erich von Manstein did not rely upon him during the battle at Sevastopol. To prove himself, he launched an offensive at the southern end of the Russian defenses at Sevastopol. Although he made some minor advances, his attack caused too many casualties, and it was frowned upon by Manstein as Fretter-Pico engaged his forces in a piecemeal fashion instead of attempting to overwhelm the Russian defenses.

Fretter-Pico was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general on 15 January 1942, and a full general by June 1942. He remained the commanding officer of XXX Corps until mid-1944, and then commanded the 6th Army for the remainder of the year. On 30 March 1945, he was given command of IX Corps, an under-strength reserve unit. He was captured by American forces on 22 April 1945 and remained a prisoner until 1947.

Later life

Family grave at the Cemetery IV of the Jerusalem and New Church at Bergmannstraße No. 45-47 in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Fretter-Pico died at Bad Wiessee in Bavaria, Germany.


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
30 October 1944 Im Raum von Debrecen haben deutsche und ungarische Truppen unter dem Oberbefehl des Generals der Infanterie Wöhler und des Generals der Artillerie Fretter-Pico in dreiwöchigen Kämpfen starke feindliche Kräfte vernichtend geschlagen und damit die vom Gegner angestrebte Umfassung der im Südostteil Ungarns stehenden deutschen und ungarischen Verbände vereitelt. In the area of Debrecen, German and Hungarian troops under the command of General of Infantry Wöhler and the General of Artillery Fretter-Pico in three weeks of fighting defeated strong enemy forces and hindered the enemy intended intended encirclement of the in South Eastern part of Hungary standing German and Hungarian units.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 318.
  • 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. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Sigismund von Förster
Commander of 97. Infanterie-Division
15 April 1941 – 27 December 1941
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Ernst Rupp
Preceded by
Generaloberst Hans von Salmuth
Commander of XXX. Armeekorps
27 December 1941 – 4 July 1944
Succeeded by
General der Kavallerie Philipp Kleffel
Preceded by
General Maximilian de Angelis
Commander of 6. Armee
17 July 1944 – 22 December 1944
Succeeded by
General Hermann Balck

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