Codeword "Leuthen"

 

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Wehrkreis XIII

When Wehrkreis (defense district) XIII (General der Infanterie Weisenberger) would receive the codeword "Leuthen" (named after a famous battle in the 7 years war), all the training units in the Wehrkreis had to form 413. Infanterie Division (Generalleutnant Freiherr von Schaky). The Division had a strength of about 10,000 soldiers but had only minor combat value. It was planned to occupy a 3rd line of defense at the Main River, if the enemy should reach the Spessart area and 7. Armee received responsibility. In the Spessart area the training units should continue their training.

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Also stationed in Wehrkreis XIII was the so called "Panzerkampfgruppe von Massenbach" (named after Oberst von Massenbach) who was directly subordinated to the Inspecting General of the Armored Force in the O.K.W. (German Army High Command).

When the codeword "Leuthen" was given by the O.K.W. on 24 March 1945, the troops had to reach by road and railroad the Aschaffenburg and Miltenberg area. Due to heavy air raids on 26 March 1945 against the railroad centers of Würzburg and Gemünden, the bulk of the division could not reach the Main River-line in time.

At 27/28 March 1945 Panzerausbildungsverband (Armored Training Unit) FRANKEN was transferred to Thuringa as reinforcement for Heeresgruppe (Army Group) B. The units came mostly from Southern Germany. We believe, that some units were redirected at Bad Kissingen to Hammelburg, for example Scharfschützenlehrgang (Sniper Training Course) WK XIII.

During the "Leuthen"-movement 27 March 1945, General Weisenberger received a message from the city commander of Würzburg, Generalleutnant Bornemann, that an US combat force were heading east from Aschaffenburg and was engaged by "Leuthen"-units in Gemünden. General Weisenberger ordered Oberst von Massenbach to send a Tank Destroyer Battalion from Schweinfurt to Hammelburg and he redirected a Infantry Battalion, which was between Schweinfurt and Gemünden, heading for Aschaffenburg, into the Hammelburg Area as reinforcement. He also sent General Hipp from his staff to Hammelburg, to take control of the situation there (he reached Hammelburg 28 March 1945).

2002 © Copyright Peter Domes -  Date of last change: 2013-09-22