Zangen, von, Gustav-Adolf

Date of birth:
November 7th, 1892 (Darmstadt/Hesse, Germany)
Date of death:
May 1st, 1964 (Hanau am Main/Hesse, Germany)
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Gustav Adolf von Zangen was born on November 7th 1892 in Darmstadt.
In the First World War he was an Adjudant and Staff officer and after the war he left the Army and joined the Police Force. From 1919 onwards he possessed several functions as a Major in the Police and wend in 1935 back to the Army. On March 1st 1938 von Zangen was promoted to Oberst and on November 10th 1938 he became the commander of the 88th Infantry-Regiment. With this Regiment he served first at the Western Front and from June 1941 onwards at the Eastern Front in Army Group Centre. (Heeresgruppe Mitte) On Christmas Day 1941 he gained the command of the 17th Infantry-Division and was on January 15th 1942 awarded with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernes Kreuz) for multiple successes during the Eastern Front campaign. On February 1st 1942 von Zangen was promoted to Generalmajor and accordantly on January 1st 1943 to Generalleutnant. From April 1st 1943 he led the LXXXIV A.K. (Armee Korps) in France as acting commander and became on June 1st 1943 with the rang of General der Infanterie the commander of this Army Corps. A few months later he switched to the LXXXVII A.K. in Bretagne (France) and after this unit was replaced to the Lower Alps Zone in North Italy it became Armeegruppe von Zangen. On August 25th 1944 he was assigned to commanding officer of the 15th Army (15. Armee) and he stayed this until his captivity. On November 5th 1944 von Zangen was awarded with the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross, for his outstanding leadership in how he had led the 15th Army back over the Scheldt and for the heavy defence fighting for the Scheldt pocket. The remainder of the 15th Army was destroyed by the American forces in the Ruhr in April 1945 and General der Infanterie von Zangen became a prisoner of war. After his release in 1948 he returned to Germany where he died on May 1st 1964 in Hanau am Main.

Promotions:
February 28th, 1911: Fahnenjunker;
August 18th, 1912: Leutnant;
January 27th, 1916: Oberleutnant;
June 15th, 1919: Hauptmann (Polizei);
July 1st, 1928: Major (Polizei);
April 1st, 1934: Oberstleutnant (Polizei);
October 15th, 1935: Oberstleutnant (RDA 1 september 1935 -13-);
March 1st, 1938: Oberst (RDA -16-);
February 1st, 1942: Generalmajor (RDA -19-);
January 1st, 1943: Generalleutnant (RDA -36-);
June 1st, 1943: General der Infanterie (RDA -3-).

Career:
February 24th, 1911: In service;
August 8th, 1914: 9. / Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 160;
January 27th, 1915: Bataillons-Adjutant;
July 1st, 1915: Regiments-Adjutant;
February 2nd, 1917: Kompanieführer;
February 15th, 1917: Brigadeadjutant;
April 18th, 1917: Ordonnanzoffizier Stab 15. Infanterie-Division;
February 20th, 1918: Kompanieführer;
May 24th, 1918: Generalstab 15. Infanterie-Division;
January 6th, 1919: Hilfsoffizier Generalkommando VIII;
June 6th, 1919: Referent Stab Sicherheitspolizei Berlin;
January 31st, 1920: Resignation Army;
August 1st, 1922: Leiter des Innendienst / Adjutant Abteilungskommando Ilmersdorf;
June 20th, 1924: Leiter der Abteilung Z 1;
May 25th, 1929: Gruppenkommando Mitte;
October 15th, 1935: Kommandeur II. / Infanterie-Regiment 51;
November 10th, 1938: Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 88;
December 25th, 1941: Kommandeur 17. Infanterie-Division;
April 1st, 1943: Kommandierender General LXXXIV. Armeekorps;
August 1st, 1943: Kommandierende General LXXXVII. Armeekorps;
July 8th, 1944: Befehlshaber Armeegruppe von Zangen/Armeegruppe Voralpenzone;
August 25th, 1944 - April 1945: mit der Führung beauftragt 15. Armee / Heeresgruppe B.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1934
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 88 / 15.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
November 9th, 1939
Details:
Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 13th September 1914.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 88 / 15.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
May 12th, 1940
Details:
Had already received the Iron Cross 1st Class on 19th March 1915.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Oberst (Colonel)
Unit:
Führer 17.Infanterie-Division
Awarded on:
January 15th, 1942
Action:
Oberst von Zangen was awarded the Knights' Cross for the role he played in the opening rounds of Operation Barbarossa, near Mogilev. On 26.07.1941 he and his regiment played a decisive role in preventing the attempted breakout of the Mogilev garrison (amounting to the greater part of two Soviet rifle divisions) and thereby ensuring its subsequent destruction. He was further recognized for directing the reserve battalion of his regiment in mopping up the forested areas southwest of the city and clearing out the weaker Soviet elements there.
Details:
809th Award.
Unit mentioned is the unit of the time of the awarding.
The Knights Cross was awarded for actions as Kommandeur Infanterie-Regiment 88 / 15.Infanterie-Division / LVII.Armee-Korps / 4.Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General der Infanterie (Lieutenant-general of Infantry)
Unit:
mit der Führung beauftragt 15.Armee / Heeresgruppe B
Awarded on:
November 5th, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Action:
Awarded for his command of the 15. Armee during its more than two month battle for the Scheldt estuary. In the process he not only denied the allies the use of the port of Antwerp for a sustained period but was also able to prevent the destruction of his forces, ensuring the stability of the northernmost sector of the German frontline.
Details:
647th Award.

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