Friedrich-August Schack

Friedrich August Schack (27 March 1892 – 24 July 1968) was a German general during World War II. He is best known for his pyrrhic defense of Caen after the allied invasion, September 1944, and for his brief leadership of the LXXXI Army Corps defending Aachen and the Siegfried Line.

Friedrich August Schack
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1981-102-22A, Friedrich August v. Schack.jpg
Born(1892-03-27)27 March 1892
Schmiedeberg (now Kowary)
Died24 July 1968(1968-07-24) (aged 76)
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchArmy (Wehrmacht)
RankGeneral of the Infantry
Commands held216th Infantry Division
272nd Infantry Division
LXXXI Army Corps
XXXII Army Corps
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves


Schack enlisted in the army, 6 August 1914 and fought in World War I. After the war he was retained in the Reichsheer where he served in junior officer roles. In 1934, Schack was appointed tactics teacher in the war college in Dresden. In 1937, he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Schack took part in the invasion of Poland and Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. On 1 October 1942 he became commander of the war College in Potsdam. On 7 May 1943 he became commander of the 216th Infantry-Division. On 1 July 1943 Schack was promoted to major general and commander of the 216th Infantry division. Schack led his division in bloody combat in Orel, July 1943, during the Battle of Kursk, and suffered heavy losses.

Some of the surviving soldiers were sent to Belgium, where they became the 272nd Infantry-Division. On 15 December 1943 Schack was appointed commander of the division. As such he was promoted, 1 January 1944, to lieutenant general. For leading his division during the defense of Caen after D Day, Schack was awarded, 21 September 1944, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. However, Schack had sustained heavy losses during the battle and was suffering severe combat fatigue.

On 4 September 1944 Schack became leader of the LXXXI Army corps, five badly mauled divisions, charged with defending Aachen and the Siegfried Line. Schack's superiors became dissatisfied with his performance and replaced him with General Friedrich Köchling. Beginning 15 November 1944 Schack led the LXXXV army corps in southern France and the Ardennes for one month.

On 26 March 1945 Schack was assigned to lead the XXXII Army Corps, on the Oder near Stettin. On 20 April 1945 Schack was promoted to General of Infantry and commanding general of the XXXII Army corps. At war's end the Allies imprisoned him. They released him 24 March 1948.

Awards and decorationsEdit



  1. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 244.
  2. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 653.


  • Lehrer, Steven (2002). Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States). McFarland. p. 224. ISBN 0-7864-1045-0.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • 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.
Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Werner Freiherr von und zu Gilsa
Commander of 216. Infanterie-Division
7 May 1943 – 3 October 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Egon von Neindorff
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Hans Petri
Commander of 272. Infanterie-Division
15 December 1943 – August 1944
Succeeded by
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Otto Sponheimer
Commander of LXVII. Armeekorps
25 October 1944 – 28 October 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Carl Püchler
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppen Adolf Kuntzen
Commander of LXXXI. Armeekorps
4 September 1944 – 20 September 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Friedrich Köchling
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Baptist Knieß
Commander of LXXXV. Armeekorps
15 November 1944 – 16 December 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Baptist Knieß
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Gustav Höhne
Commander of LXIII. Armeekorps
24 November 1944 – 13 December 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Erich Abraham
Preceded by
Commander of XXXII. Armeekorps
26 March 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by