Harald von Hirschfeld

Harald von Hirschfeld

Von Hirschfeld as a Captain
Born 11 July 1912
Died 18 January 1945(1945-01-18) (aged 32)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1935–45
Rank Generalleutnant (posthumously)
Commands held 78. Volksgrenadier-Division

World War II

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

Harald Siegwart Hans Lutze von Hirschfeld (10 July 1912 – 18 January 1945) was a German Generalleutnant who commanded the 78.Volksgrenadier-Division during World War II. He was 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.

Von Hirschfeld, the son of a Mecklenburg merchant, was largely educated and trained abroad, in South America, Spain, London, and Paris. On 23 October 1935, he voluntarily joined the mountain infantry regiment 98 in Kempten. In September 1943, as a colonel in the 1st Mountain Division, he played a major role in the defeat and subsequent massacre of the Italian Acqui Division in Cephalonia.[1]

On 15 January 1945, he was promoted to Generalmajor (major general). On this day he was officially put in command of the 78th Sturm Division, which he had unofficially led since 26 September 1944. He was the Wehrmacht's youngest general officer. He dealt intensively with the training and guidance of his men and was often found in the front positions. He was severely injured in an aerial attack at the Dukla Pass and died en route to the field hospital on 18 January 1945 from shrapnel injuries. He was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general on 10 February 1945.[2]


Von Hirschfeld was married to Sylvinia von Dönhoff, who later married the former fighter pilot Adolf Galland.[3]

Awards and decorations



  1. "Härter als üblich". Der Spiegel (in German). 1969. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Thomas & Wegmann 1993, p. 318.
  3. "Adolf Galland". Der Spiegel (in German). 1954. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  4. 1 2 Thomas 1997, p. 283.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 228.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 64.


  • 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 Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1993). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil VI: Die Gebirgstruppe Band 1: A–K [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part VI: The Mountain Troops Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2430-3. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalmajor Alois Weber
Commander of 78. Volksgrenadier-Division
1 December 1944 – 18 January 1945
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Wilhelm Nagel

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