Hirschfeld, von, Harald

Date of birth:
July 10th, 1912 (Weimar/Saxe-Weimar, Germany)
Date of death:
January 18th, 1945 (near Tarnów, Poland)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Generalmajor Von Hirschfeld, then commander of 78 Sturm-Division, was severely injured by an aerial bomb near the bridge on the River Dunja during the defense of the Dukla Pass (mountain region Pieniny, southern Poland). He died a soldier's death in the arms of his adjutant on their way to the nearest aid station. Harald von Hirschfeld was promoted posthumously to the rank of Generalleutnant on 10 February, 1945.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant der Reserve (Second-lieutenant)
Unit:
Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
November 8th, 1938
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Second-lieutenant)
Unit:
Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Leutnant (Second-lieutenant)
Unit:
Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98 / 1.Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
November 1st, 1939
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7. / Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98 / 1.Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
June 28th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
July 23rd, 1941
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
July 25th, 1941
Silver version.
Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
September 23rd, 1941
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Silber
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1941
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Gold
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98/1. Gebirgs-Division
Awarded on:
November 1st, 1941
Version with Swords.
Ordinul Corona Romaneii Knight
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberleutnant (Second-Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 7. / Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98 / 1.Gebirgs-Division / 1.Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe Süd
Awarded on:
November 15th, 1941
The following excerpt describes Hirschfeld’s Knight’s Cross action as follows…

“During September 1941 the Soviets, having encircled the village of Alexandrowka, launched repeated attacks against the village with overwhelming forces. However its defenders successfully fended these off largely thanks to the exemplary bravery and prudence of their commander, Oberleutnant von Hirschfeld. He was always present at the hotspots of the battle, inspiring his men to join him in counterattacks to destroy any enemy forces that had penetrated into the village. His leadership meant that the village could be held until its relief by follow-up forces.

The capture of the village of Alexandrowka, located in the rear of the enemy front, as well as its later successful defense despite being encircled enabled Kampfgruppe Picker to achieve an early breakthrough and a subsequent swift advance past the Soviet positions.”
660th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 1st, 1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Hauptmann (Captain)
Unit:
Führer II./Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 98 / 1.Gebirgs-Division / XXXXIX.Gebirgs-Korps / 17.Armee / Heeresgruppe A
Awarded on:
December 23rd, 1942
The following excerpt describes Hirschfeld’s Oakleaves action as follows…

“During the battle of Barwenkowo, taking place in May 1942, Harald von Hirschfeld launched a forward thrust with his Bataillon that penetrated to a depth of 10 km. It managed to reach the enemy artillery positions, and the Bataillon was able to capture several batteries in hard close-combat.

On the evening of the 17.08.1942, during the fighting in the Caucasus, he stormed the important 2816 metre high Kluchor Pass (which was of crucial importance for the continued friendly operations). After this he was decisively involved in the friendly thrust northeast of Tuapse. Here, under his outstanding leadership, his Gebirgsjäger broke through 12 enemy defensive positions (while storming over 350 bunkers in the process) during two weeks of hard fighting. The exemplary military performance of this frontline officer, who had been wounded no less than 8 times, was considered worthy of the award of the Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross.”
164th Award.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub

Sources

  • Photo 1: Wilco Vermeer
  • Photo: Wilco Vermeer
  • - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939-1945.
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer, Elite of the Third Reich - The Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-45: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, England, 2003
    - Vetter, F., Die 78. Infanterie- und Sturm-Division 1938-1945 - Aufstellung - Bewaffnung - Einsätze - Soldaten, Nebel Verlag GmbH, Eggolsheim, Deutschland, 2004
    - Axis Biographical Research
    - Axis History Biographical Research via Axis History Forum

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