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Erhard Raus (8 January 1889 – 3 April 1956) was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded the 6th Panzer Division during the early years of the war on the Eastern Front before taking army and army group commands. Raus was one of three former Austrians who rose to the rank of Generaloberst (Colonel General) within the German Wehrmacht. The other two were Alexander Löhr and Lothar Rendulic.
|Born||8 January 1889|
(now Olbramovice, Czech Republic)
|Died||3 April 1956 (aged 67)|
|Allegiance|| Austria-Hungary |
First Austrian Republic
|Years of service||1909–45|
|Commands held||6th Panzer Division|
3rd Panzer Army
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
At the age of 18, Raus enrolled in the Austro-Hungarian officer school in Brno, later being stationed in Cormòns. During the First World War he experienced combat on the Eastern Front, in southern Poland, where he commanded a company of Bicycle infantry.
At the outbreak of Second World War, he was recalled to active duty.
On 7 September 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, Raus was appointed the acting commander of the 6th Panzer Division. On 15 September, the 6th Panzer Division, minus its artillery, was transferred to Army Group Centre to take part in Operation Typhoon, the advance onto Moscow. On 11 October he was awarded the Knights Cross. Raus's unit was transferred to the LVI Panzer Corps.
In early April, the 6th Panzer Division was transferred to France to refit and rest; Raus was appointed the commander of the division on 29 April. In mid-November 1942, the division left France for the Soviet Union. Following the failure of Operation Citadel (the Kursk offensive), he organized the withdrawal of Axis units across the Dnieper river. On 10 December 1943 he was appointed acting commander of the Fourth Panzer Army. Several days later he moved the divisions across the river as well as thousands of plundered cattle and horses. Raus commanded the 1st Panzer Army, then the 3rd Panzer Army (August 1944-March 1945) which included the III SS Panzer Corps, XI SS Army Corps and Corps Group Tettau (early March 1945).
After the war, Raus wrote and co-wrote a number of books and publications focusing on strategic analysis of the tank tactics used by his forces on the Eastern Front.
Raus died on 3 April 1956. He was buried in Vienna with full military honors on 6 April.
- Iron Cross (1939) 2nd Class (29 June 1941) & 1st Class (6 July 1941)
- German Cross in Gold on 14 February 1943 as Generalmajor and commander of the 6. Panzer-Division
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945 (with Steven H. Newton), ISBN 978-0-306-81247-7
- Peculiarities of Russian warfare (German report series, 1949), OCLC 38291522
- Tactics in unusual situations (Small unit tactics, 1951), OCLC 37669938
- Improvisations and field expedients: Their use as instruments of command (1951), OCLC 38373401
- Effects of climate on combat in European Russia (German Report Series, CMH Pub 104-6, 1952)
- The Pomeranian battle and the command in the east (1952) OCLC 14445144
- Strategic deceptions (Deceptions & Cover Plans Project # 29, 1948), OCLC 37161255
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 84
- Scherzer 2007, p. 615.
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 93
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 352
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 138
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 249
- Raus, Erhard. Panzer Operations p. 254
- Heuer 1988, p. 157
- Thomas 1998, p. 184.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 367.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 615.
- Heuer, Gerd F.: Die Generalobersten des Heeres. Inhaber höchster deutscher Kommandostellen 1933–1945. Rattstatt: Moewig 1988. ISBN 3-8118-1408-7
- Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
- Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
- Panzer Operations: The Eastern Front Memoir of General Raus, 1941–1945 (with Steven H. Newton)