Eberhard Zahn

Dr. rer. oec.
Eberhard Detloff Zahn
Born 2 January 1910
Died 7 February 2010(2010-02-07) (aged 100)
St. Wolfgang am See, Austria
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1939–45
Rank Oberstleutnant
Commands held Panzer-Regiment 9

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Dr. rer. oec. Eberhard Detloff Zahn[Note 1] (2 January 1910 – 7 February 2010) was a highly decorated Oberstleutnant in the Wehrmacht 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.

Zahn served under Erwin Rommel in North Africa and was on one of the few planes leaving North Africa that was not shot down. He then fought on the Eastern Front. Eberhard Zahn was captured by Soviet troops in May 1945 and escaped a few weeks later. He traveled to the west until he encountered US forces and surrendered to them.

Zahn was a member of Corps Austria - a student duelling fraternity located in Frankfurt am Main - from the time of his admission in 1930 until his death in 2010.

Zahn was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ruhr-Stickstoff Aktiengesellschaft in Bochum from 1957 until his retirement.

Awards and decorations


  1. In German a Doctor of Economics is abbreviated as Dr. rer. oec. (Doctor rerum oeconomicarum).



  1. 1 2 Thomas 1998, p. 467.
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 368.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 59.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [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] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • 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 [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] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
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