Harald Max Gustav August Freiherr von Elverfeldt (6 February 1900 – 6 March 1945) was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the 9 Panzer Division. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Harald Freiherr von Elverfeldt was born in 1900 in Hildesheim, the son of Major Ferdinand Johann Georg von Elverfeldt, who was attached to the Imperial Embassy in St. Petersburg. On March 25, 1918, in the final year of the First World War, Elverfeldt secured his patent as a Fähnrich in the 1st Foot Guards Regiment, was rushed through an officer's training course, and sent into combat. He was wounded in May 1918 and was awarded the Iron Cross II. After the war he remained in the 100,000-man Reichswehr and was promoted to Leutnant on 24 November 1919. He married Elizabeth von Berg in 1923, and they had two daughters, the first in 1924 and the second in 1929. Elverfeldt was promoted to Oberleutnant in 1926, Hauptmann in 1933, and Major in 1937. He served in the 3rd Light Division during the Polish Campaign and was awarded the Iron Cross I and the clasp to the Iron Cross II. He was promoted to Oberstleutnant on 1 November 1939.
Elverfeldt then participated in the Battle of France and Operation Barbarossa. In March 1942 he was promoted to Oberst and was awarded the German Cross in Gold. Throughout the rest 1942 and early 1943 he participated in several anti-partisan operations, Operation Eisvogel (Operation Kingfisher) and Operation Zigeunerbaron (Operation Gypsy Baron). In September 1943 he was promoted to the rank of Generalmajor and served in the Crimea. In September 1944, after the 9th Panzer Division had fought in Normandy, Harald von Elverfeldt was given command of the division and commanded it until December 28, 1944, and then again from February 1945 until he was killed in action in March 1945. Elverfeldt was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 9 December 1944, and was posthumously awarded Oak Leaves on 23 March 1945, along with a promotion to Generalleutnant.
Medals and Decorations
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class (17 April 1919)
- Wound Badge (1914)
- in Black
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (21 December 1934)
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (29 September 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 1st Class (8 October 1939)
- Wound Badge (1939)
- in Silver
- Eastern Front Medal (5 August 1942)
- German Cross in Gold on 16 March 1942 as Oberstleutnant im Generalstab (in the General Staff) of General-Kommando LVI. Armeekorps (motorized)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Knight's Cross on 9 December 1944 as Generalmajor and leader of the 9th Panzer-Division
- 801st Oak Leaves on 23 March 1945 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 9th Panzer-Division
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht (26 November 1944)
- ^ Thomas 1997, p. 153.
- ^ Wegmann 2004, p. 375.
- Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 102.
- ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 293.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 172.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 100.
Dates of Rank
|25 March 1918:||Fähnrich|
|24 November 1919:||Leutnant|
|27 February 1921:||Received patent dated 15 November 1919|
|1 July 1922:||Rank age dated 1 April 1919|
|1 January 1926:||Oberleutnant with a rank age dated 1 January 1926|
|1 September 1933:||Hauptmann with a rank age dated 1 September 1933|
|16 March 1937:||Major with a rank age dated 1 March 1937|
|20 March 1939:||Rank age dated 1 August 1936|
|31 October 1939:||Oberstleutnant effective as of 1 November 1939 with a rank age date 1 November 1939|
|15 February 1942:||Oberst effective as of 1 March 1942 with a rank age date 1 March 1942|
|8 September 1943:||Generalmajor effective as of 1 September 1943 with a rank age date 1 September 1943|
|1 March 1945:||Generalleutnant posthumously|