Kurt von Briesen
|Born||3 May 1886|
|Died||20 Nov 1941|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseKurt von Briesen was born to Lieutenant General Alfred von Briesen. He joined the German Army and was assigned to an infantry regiment in Berlin. In 1913, he studied in the war academy, and in the following year he fought in France. After WW1, he was given charge of border control of the Pomerania region, and after that he enjoyed a steady track of promotions.
ww2dbaseOn 1 Aug 1939, Briesen was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, and a month from that date he led the 30th Infantry Division across the eastern border during the invasion of Poland. On 27 Oct 1939, he was injured during combat, and Adolf Hitler happened to be taking a tour of the front lines with Wilhelm Keitel shortly after the injury had occurred. Briesen's weakened division had held the flanks of the main column (of Colonel General Johannes Blaskowitz's 8th Army) against a mass break out attempt by Polish forces, and in the process Briesen personally led the last reserve battalion into combat. During the battle, a large piece of shrapnel sliced away his left forearm, but he insisted on returning to lead his division as soon as the wound was cared for. "That is a real Prussian general of the Royal school. You can't have enough soldiers like him." Hitler exclaimed after meeting Briesen on the front lines. "Before today is over I want him to be the first divisional commander to get the Knight's Cross. He has saved Blaskowitz's army by his gallantry and drive."
ww2dbaseIn the following year, Briesen led his division in France during the invasion of that country. Again impressing the top echelons of command with their gallantry, the men of the 30th Infantry Division were given the honor to be among the German troops to march through the Arc de Triomphe. On 1 Aug 1940, he was promoted to the rank of a full general.
ww2dbaseBriesen was killed in action in Russia during Operation Barbarossa.
ww2dbaseSource: In the Service of the Reich.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2006
Kurt von Briesen Timeline
|3 May 1886||Kurt von Briesen was born.|
|20 Nov 1941||Kurt von Briesen passed away.|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944