Kurt von Tippelskirch

Kurt Oskar Heinrich Ludwig Wilhelm von[1] Tippelskirch (9 October 1891 – 10 May 1957) was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II who commanded several armies and Army Group Vistula. He surrendered to the United States Army on 2 May 1945. Tippelskirch wrote several books, such as the History of the Second World War, 1951. He died in 1957.

Kurt von Tippelskirch
Kurt von Tippelskirch.jpg
Born(1891-10-09)9 October 1891
Charlottenburg, Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died10 May 1957(1957-05-10) (aged 65)
Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
RankGeneral of the Infantry
Commands heldArmy Group Vistula
21st Army
14th Army
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
RelationsCurt Gallenkamp (brother-in-law)

World War IIEdit

On 5 January 1941 he took command of the 30th Infantry Division, which participated in Operation Barbarossa.

As part of Army Group North, the division prevented the breakthrough of a Soviet corps on the river Pola and then went on to counterattack. The battle lasted a week and Tippelskirch distinguished himself as commander of the division, he was awarded on 23 November, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. In the winter of 1942, the 30th Infantry Division was encircled in the Demyansk Pocket, and Tippelskirch was ordered to be flown out.

In August 1942, he was assigned as the liaison officer of the Italian 8th Army near the Don river. This position was extremely difficult for Tippelskirch because he had no German staff at his disposal and the Italians were reluctant to seek advice from German officers. The Italian 8th Army was sent into the Battle of Stalingrad at the end of the year. Tippelskirch was recalled from the front on February 1943.

On 18 February 1943 Tippelskirch became the commanding general of the XII Army Corps. He retained this position until 4 June 1944, when he had to assume command of the 4th Army from General Gotthard Heinrici. Soon after, Operation Bagration against Army Group Center began on 22 June. The 4th Army was defending the Mogilev area and repeatedly requested permission to retreat. The approval came too late, but Tippelskirch along with most of the army managed to withdraw to behind the Dnieper, although 4th Army was still threatened by three Soviet fronts. The 4th Army was encircled east of Minsk on 1 July 1944, and most units of the army were forced to surrender on 8 July 1944. Tippelskirch himself was at the time outside the pocket and escaped capture.

On 18 July 1944 he suffered severe injuries in a plane crash. On 30 July he received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves for his achievements in the fighting at Mogilev. On 31 October he entered back into service and replaced the ailing Otto von Knobelsdorff as the commander of the 1st Army in Lorraine. On 13 December of the same year, he took over as the commander of the 14th Army during the Italian campaign. He led the 14th Army until the end of February 1945. At the end of April 1945, Tippelskirch took command of the 21st Army in Mecklenburg and Brandenburg. On 29 April however, General Gotthard Heinrici now the commander of Army Group Vistula was dismissed, and Tippelskirch was ordered by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel to temporarily take over command of the army group. He reluctantly did so, taking the opportunity to negotiate with the Western Allies. He surrendered on 2 May 1945 in the Ludwigslust area to American forces.

Awards and decorationsEdit



  1. ^ In German personal names, von is a preposition which approximately means of or from and usually denotes some sort of nobility. While von (always lower case) is part of the family name or territorial designation, not a first or middle name, if the noble is referred to by surname alone in English, use Schiller or Clausewitz or Goethe, not von Schiller, etc.
  2. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 382.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 746.


  • Mitcham Jr, Samuel W. (2009). The Men of Barbarossa. Commanders of the German invasion of Russia 1941. Havertown: Caseate Publ. ISBN 978-1-935149-15-6.
  • 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
Generalmajor Walter Buechs
Commander of 30. Infanterie-Division
5 January 1941 – 5 June 1942
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Thomas-Emil von Wickede
Preceded by
General der Infantrie Walther Graeßner
Commander of XII. Armee Corps
18 February 1943 – 4 June 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Vincenz Müller
Preceded by
Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici
Commander of 4. Armee
4 June 1944 – 18 July 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infantrie Friedrich Hoßbach
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Traugott Herr
Commander of 14. Armee
12 December 1944 – 22 February 1945
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Joachim Lemelsen
Preceded by
Commander of 21. Armee
27 April 1945 – 2 May 1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici
Commander of Army Group Vistula
29 April 1945 – 1 May 1945
Succeeded by