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Wenck file photo [1059]

Walther Wenck

Given NameWalther
Born18 Sep 1900
Died1 May 1982


ww2dbaseWalther Wenck was born in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany to army officer Maximilian Wenck. He joined the military as a cadet in the Prussian Army in 1911, fought in WW1, and during the post-WW1 years joined a para-military Freicorps. When the European War of WW2 began, he was the Chief of Operations of the 1st Panzer Division and served in France. In 1942, he served briefly as an instructor at the War Academy. Transferred to the Russian Front, he served as the chief of staff to the 3rd Romanian Army and the Army Detachmen Hollidt in 1942, the 6th Army in 1943, and the 1st Panzer Army and Army Group South in 1944.

ww2dbaseDuring the Battle of Berlin Wenck was the commanding officer of the German 12th Army located to the west of Berlin. While his army attempted to hold off the American advance eastwards (though rather unsuccessfully), he also worked hard to provide food and shelter for the half million refugees who fled into the territory his troops held. When the Russians nearly surrounded Berlin, Wenck became Hitler's last hope in breaking the Russian near-envelopment. On 26 Apr 1945, he launched an initially successful counterstrike against the Russian forces, but was eventually stopped by the Russian forces near Potsdam. That was the last chance that Adolf Hitler had a chance to escape, for on the next day, 27 Apr, the Russian closed the corridor held open by Wenck and completed the envelopment of the city. He continued to order attacks eastward toward the city. By 30 Apr, his troops were bogged down south of Schwielow Lake, but he persistently fought and drew attention of the Russian forces, creating small gaps in the Russian offensive so that Berlin citizens could escape; "It's not about Berlin any more, it's not about the Reich any more", Wenck said to his lieutenants as he fought to save as many Germans as possible. It was estimated that, through the brief openings caused by Wenck's attacks, as many as 250,000 refugees might had been able to flee to American-occupied zones.

ww2dbaseWenck was a prisoner of war between 1945 and 1947. He died in 1982 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Bad Rothenfelde, Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Nov 2007

Walther Wenck Timeline

18 Sep 1900 Walther Wenck was born.
10 Apr 1945 General Walther Wenck was named the commanding officer of the German 12th Army.
1 May 1982 Walther Wenck passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Dennis Geurten says:
1 Dec 2006 05:04:54 AM

Walter Wenck was born in the year 1900, in the ARMY in 1911??????????????????
2. djacob says:
9 Mar 2007 10:16:39 PM

I just read the wikipedia article on Wenck and its entirely different. Also using Wikipedia as a source is laughable. Get your facts straight history is already distorted enough.
3. FWolf says:
1 Nov 2007 05:48:16 PM

Wenck did not hold open a corridor that might have allowed hitler to escape! His forces were not able to reach Berlin! This information is rubbish.
4. Anonymous says:
6 Feb 2015 07:48:35 AM

While General Wenck did open a corridor it wasn't for Hitler, it was for German civilians and the soldiers of the 9th army. Do try to find some more reliable sources when writing about historical figures.
5. Mike says:
11 Jan 2017 06:09:36 AM

Seems like Wenck was one of the few with brains in the German general's ranks, with the exception of those that tried to assassinate Hitler.
6. Christine Wenck says:
26 Jun 2017 12:43:13 PM

I a relative of the general. I would like to get more information about him
7. Jim Dooley, Cpt., NYPD says:
15 Jan 2020 12:34:07 PM

I have become a huge fan of General Wenck. In fact, my son is becoming a USA Officer, in part inspired by General Wenck. I'd love to read about his family, and his post war careers.

Ms. Christine Wenck, can you assist me with that?

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Event(s) Participated:
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