Years of service
Free Democratic Party
14 January 1897Potsdam, BrandenburgGerman Empire (
World War IWorld War IIOperation BarbarossaBattle of TunisiaBattle of Targu FrumosBattle of ArracourtBattle of the BulgeBattle of ClervauxBattle of St. VithSiege of Bastogne
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds
Alternative to Armageddon: The Peace Potential of Lightning War
Battles and wars
World War I, Operation Barbarossa
Walter Model, Sepp Dietrich, Gerd von Rundstedt, Heinrich Freiherr von Luttw, Gotthard Heinrici
Hasso von Manteuffel (14 January 1897 – 24 September 1978) was a German general during World War II who commanded the 5th Panzer Army. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds of Nazi Germany.
After the war, he was elected to the Bundestag (West German legislature) and was the spokesman for defense of the Liberal Party. A proponent of rearmament, he was responsible for coining the new name for the post-World War II German armed forces, the Bundeswehr.
World War II
Hasso von Manteuffel began his military career during the First World War. In 1919, he joined the Freikorps and then the newly created Reichswehr. In February 1937 he joined the Panzer Troop Command of the OKH, and in February 1939 became a senior professor at Panzer Troop School II in Berlin. During Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, Manteuffel commanded a battalion in the 7th Panzer Division, in the Army Group Centre.
In early 1943, Manteuffel was sent to Africa, where on 5 February he became the commander of the Division von Broich/von Manteuffel, serving in 5th Panzer Army. Here Manteuffel took part in the Battle of Tunisia. Manteuffel assumed command of the 7th Panzer Division on 22 August 1943 and was posted to the Eastern Front, which had by then collapsed following the Battle of Kursk and the resulting Soviet counteroffensive. The division retreated during the resulting Battle of the Dnieper.
Manteuffel was appointed commander of the Grossdeutschland Division on 1 February 1944. The division engaged the Red Army west of Kirovograd, then retreated across Ukraine. In late July Großdeutschland was ordered to East Prussia, following the collapse of Army Group Centre in Soviet Operation Bagration. The division failed to break through to the Army Group North in the Courland Pocket.
On 1 September 1944, Manteuffel was promoted to General of Panzer Troops and given command of the 5th Panzer Army on the Western Front, which took part in the Ardennes Offensive. Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army achieved one of the deepest penetrations of Allied lines during the offensive, almost reaching the Meuse River, and engaging the U.S. forces at the Battle of Bastogne. On 10 March 1945 Manteuffel was made the commander of the 3rd Panzer Army on the Eastern Front, attached to Army Group Vistula. His army was assigned to defend the banks of the Oder River north of the Seelow Heights. On 25 April the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front broke through Third Panzer Army's line, forcing a German retreat. On 3 May 1945 Manteuffel surrendered his troops to the British Army at Hagenow, Germany.
At first Manteuffel was interned at the British-administered Island Farm Special Camp 11 for high-ranking Wehrmacht officers. In 1946 he was handed over to the Americans and took part in the U.S. Army Historical Division project, for which he produced a monograph on the mobile warfare aspect of the Ardennes Offensive.
After his release in December 1946, he entered politics and was a representative of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) in the German Bundestag from 1953 to 1957. In 1957 he joined the German Party. In the early 1950s Manteuffel advised on the redevelopment of the Bundeswehr.
Manteuffel was charged in 1959 for having a deserter shot in 1944. He was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. In 1968 he lectured at the United States Military Academy at West Point, speaking about combat in deep snow conditions and worked as a technical adviser on war films. Manteuffel died in 1978.