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Breith, Hermann

Date of birth:
May 7th, 1892 (Pirmasens/Palatinate, Germany)
Date of death:
September 3rd, 1964 (Pech/North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

Promotions:
August 1st, 1941: Generalmajor;
November 1st, 1942: Generalleutnant;
February 13th, 1943: General der Panzertruppen.

Career:
1910: Armee;
1931 - 1934: Berater, Reichswehrministerium;
November 10th, 1938 - February 14th, 1940: Kommandeur Panzer-Regiment 36;
February 15th, 1940 - November 14th, 1940: Kommandeur 5. Panzer-Brigade;
October 22nd, 1941 - October 1st, 1942: Kommandeur 3. Panzer-Division;
October 2nd, 1942 - January 1st, 1943: Führerreserve OKH;
January 3rd, 1943 - February 28th, 1943: Führer III. Panzerkorps;
March 1st, 1943 - May 8th, 1945: Kommandierender General III. Panzerkorps;
May 8th, 1945 - May 1947: Aperican POW.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 23rd, 1939
Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on September 10th 1914.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1939
Had already received the Iron Cross 1st Class on July 30th 1916.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 5. Panzer-Brigade, 5. Panzer-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
June 3rd, 1940
The following press article describes why Breith was awarded the Knight’s Cross…

“Oberst Hermann Breith and his Panzer-Brigade bloodily brushed the first formation of French armour they encountered, destroying a large number of hostile tanks in the process. Later on he overcame the heaviest enemy defensive fire with exemplary attacking spirit and personally led his Brigade to victory despite being wounded himself.”

The engagement with French armour took place near Merdorp on the 13.05.1940, and Breith’s Brigade was credited with destroying over 30 French tanks during this battle.
Submitted on May 29th 1940.
Preliminary document and decoration on June 3rd 1940 to Heeresgruppe B.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 1st, 1940
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 31st, 1941
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalmajor (Brigadier)
Unit:
Kommandeur, 3. Panzer-Division, Heer
Awarded on:
January 31st, 1942
On the 30.01.1942 Generalmajor Breith succeeded in eliminating a Soviet penetration in the area north of Kursk, specifically near Butyrki—Judinka—Stakanowo. Heavy losses were inflicted on the Soviets, and they were subsequently forced to pull back across the Tim river. Breith would later be awarded the Oakleaves for this action.
69th Award
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
February 20th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General der Panzertruppen (Lieutenant-General of Armoured Forces)
Unit:
Kommandierende General, III. Panzer-Korps, Heer
Awarded on:
February 21st, 1944
On the 30.01.1942 Generalmajor Breith succeeded in eliminating a Soviet penetration in the area north of Kursk, specifically near Butyrki—Judinka—Stakanowo. Heavy losses were inflicted on the Soviets, and they were subsequently forced to pull back across the Tim river. Breith would later be awarded the Oakleaves for this action.

SW

Awarded for his participation in the relief of the Cherkassy pocket, as described in the following press article…

“General der Panzertruppe Breith led an Armee-Korps comprised of several Heer Divisionen and one of the Waffen-SS that succeeded in forcing its way through to a point just to the west of the encircled Kampfgruppe Stemmermann. In the process one enemy position after another was broken through, and the bulk of the Soviet forces were drawn to the Korps. During this fighting General Breith repeatedly distinguished himself through his bravery and the skillful leadership of his Armee-Korps, and he repeatedly intervened at the hotspots of the combat from the foremost line.”
48th Award.
Subitted on February 21st 1944.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 9th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 30th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Silver version.
Panzerkampfabzeichen (ohne Zahl)

Sources

Photo