Famous WWII German Panzer Generals

It may be hard to understand now, but in their heyday, much like U-Boat captains, Panzer General were worshipped as heroes. After all, they were commanding the cutting edge in warfare technology, at the forefront of battlefield tactics with their panzer divisions.

If you’re a war historian or WW2 German tank buff you will probably know some of their stories, if not all of them? If you don’t know all of them and would like to, I have made this page as a simple line up of some of the famous Panzer Generals you may wish to read up on for further study.

Gustav Fehn
Panzer General Gustav Fehn commanded the 5th Panzer Division and then the XXXth Panzer Corps as well as the XXIVth Panzer Corps. He was shot after being captured by Yugoslavian partisans in 1945.
Panzer General Ludwig Cruwell fought alongside Rommel, and was captured in North Africa while commanding the 11th Panzer Division in 1942.
Field Marshall Baron von Kleist
Field Marshall Baron von Kleist commanded the XXII Panzer Corps in Poland in 1939 and a Panzer Group in France in 1940. It is thought that he would have commanded tanks invading England, had that ever come to pass.
Rommel with Italian commander-in-chief General Gariboldi soon after his arrival in North Africa.
Panzer General Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was the creator of the Panzertruppe, as well as one of the early exponents of Blitzkreig. I was very famous in Germany and a hero in his heyday, and worshipped by his soldiers.
Panzer General Guderian
Panzer General Guderian, a pioneer of Blitzkrieg tactics and famous post-war writer of memoirs, is seen here briefing Lieut General Model after they encircled Kiev, Ukraine.
Panzer General Walther Nehring
Panzer General Walther Nehring commanded the 18th Panzer Division, then later the XXIV Panzer Corps and the 1st Panzer Army.
Panzer General Walter Model was commander of the 3rd Panzer Division and commander of the XXXX1st Panzer Corp, then after that he commanded the 9th Army, Army Group North, Northern Ukraine and Army Group B. He was decorated with the Iron Cross with diamonds, the highest award for bravery.
Panzer General Wilhelm von Thoma
Panzer General Wilhelm von Thoma was the commander of the 20th Panzer Division and is seen here shaking hands with General Montgomery after he was captured by the British in North Africa in 1942.
Panzer General Hans Hube, pictured here in his armored command vehicle, commanded the 16th Panzer Division and later the 1st Panzer Army. He was killed in April 1944.
Panzer General Hermann Hoth
Panzer General Hermann Hoth was a tank battle expert and is photographed here with Rommel. He started out commanding infantry, then went on to command a panzer group in France and Russia. Together with Guderian he encircled half a million Russians at Smolensk. He was later dismissed after disagreements with Hitler in 1943.
Panzer General Hans Cramer
Panzer General Hans Cramer was commander of the 8th Panzer Regiment at the start of WWII, and later became OKH (Oberkommando des Heeres) of the mobile task force.
Panzer General Erich Hoepner, standing in back, was one of the best panzer generals, some think he was even better than Gudarian and Hoth. He commanded the 4th Panzer Army in the early part of the Russian Campaign under Field Marshal von Leeb, seen here sitting at the desk. He was opposed to Nazism and did not get along with von Leeb. His outspoken approach to the subject led him to being dismissed by Hitler, and was later executed for his part in the plot to kill Hitler.