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Pannwitz, von, Helmuth

    Date of birth:
    October 14th, 1898 (Botzanowitz/Silesia, Germany)
    Date of death:
    January 16th, 1947 (Moscow, Soviet Union)
    Buried on:
    Mass Graves Victims Communism New Cemetery Donskoye
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, German Reich)

    Biography

    Helmuth von Pannwitz was born in Botzanowitz, Silesia, now part of Olesno. He joined the military at 16 years at the outbreak of the First World War within the Cavalry. Also during the Second World War he distinguished himself as a Cavalry officer. He was involved in setting up the Cossack volunteer forces, the XV.Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps within the German Wehrmacht. After this he commanded the force in battle.
    He was so popular that the Cossacks elected him as their Feldataman (the highest rank in the Cossack hierarchy, one that was traditionally reserved to the Tsar alone).
    Pannwitz surrendered to British forces on 11th May 1945. As a result of special agreement within the Allied froces, the Cossacks were handed over to the Soviet authorities, which is often referred to as "The Betrayal of Cossacks at Lienz". Most of the Cossack military were to die, be killed, executed or comitted suicide in Soviet imprisonment. As Pannwitz was a German national, he was told by the British that he was not subject to repatriation to the Soiets. Nonetheless, Pannwitz insisted to share the fate of his men and his fellow commanders, giving himself up voluntarily to Soviet prosecution. He was executed om January 16th, 1947 at the Lefortovo prison on the charge of terrorist activities against the Soviet Union.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    September 23rd, 1939
    Details:
    Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 16th September 1919.
    1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    October 5th, 1939
    Details:
    Had already received the Iron Cross 1st Class on 27th January 1917.
    1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-colonel)
    Unit:
    Kommandeur Aufklärungs-Abteilung 45 / 45.Infanterie-Division / Höheres Kommando z.b.V. XXXV / 2.Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte
    Awarded on:
    September 4th, 1941
    Details:
    467th Award.
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Oberst (Colonel)
    Unit:
    Führer Reiterverbandes von Pannwitz / 4.Panzer-Armee / Heeresgruppe Don
    Awarded on:
    December 23rd, 1942
    Details:
    167th Award.
    Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
    Period:
    First World War (1914-1918)
    Awarded on:
    December 20th, 1934
    Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    July 18th, 1941
    (Allgemeines) Sturmabzeichen (ohne zahlen), I.Stufe
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    May 7th, 1943
    Ordinul Mihai Viteazul Clasa 3
    Period:
    First World War (1914-1918)
    Awarded on:
    January 27th, 1917
    Eisernes Kreuz 1.Klasse (1914)
    Awarded on:
    September 16th, 1919
    Eisernes Kreuz 2.Klasse (1914)

    Sources

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