Monday, December 13, 2010


Born: Jan. 14, 1899, Wurzberg, Bavaria, Germany
Died: Jan. 30, 1970, Wurzberg, Bavaria, Germany)

At the age of 18 Bayerlein was drafted as a private and sworn in June 1917 into the 9th King's Bavarian Infantry Regiment, known as the Wuerzburg "Neuner" Regiment . In early 1918 Bayerlein was sent to the 4th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse) for holding off an enemy attack by intensive machine gun fire during action on August 30th, 1918 as his 7th Company was in danger of being overrun by the British attackers. Bayerlein was wounded the next day by a grenade splinter and sent to recover at his hometown of Wuerzburg.

In mid-September he was promoted to Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier, and was sent for 3 months training at the Fahnenjunker Course in Freising. After the Armistance was signed on November 18th, 1918 he returned to the "Neuner" Regiment in Wuerzburg. During the trasitional phase of the post-war 100,000-man Reichswehr drawdown, Bayerlein was briefly a member of "Freiwillig" (volunteer) Battalion Dittmar, 5th Company. During May 1919 Bayerlein was transferred to the Reichswehr Infantry Regiment 45. During October 1919 - 1921 Bayerlein attended many military training schools (Waffenschulen, Infanterieschule, Lehrgang II). Bayerlein was accepted and promoted to "Oberfähnrich" as part of the 4,000 officer corps of the Reichswehr and signed a 25-year term of service as of January 1921.

Generalmajor Fritz Bayerlein (right); Sonderführer Moosmüller, Propaganda Companie, Photographer (left); and Sonderführer Dr. Franz, translator, in spring of 1943. (Eberhard Dohm, Propaganda Kompanie)
General Bayerlein fought in many campaigns during World War II. From the opening days of the war he experienced the early successes of the German Army under command of General Guderian, the master of the Blitzkrieg in Poland, France and Russia. Requested by General Rommel and arranged by Guderian, Bayerlein was transferred to North Africa where he served as Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Afrika Korps. Bayerlein served in Africa as Rommel’s Chief of Staff in the summer of 1942. After the fall of Tunisia, he was assigned to his first field command - the Russian front as the Commanding General of the Berlin-Brandenburg 3rd Panzer Division. With the Division facing annihilation Bayerlein defied Hitler’s orders and broke out of a Russian pocket at Kirovograd.

Rommel and Bayerlein (right)

With Guderian’s support, Bayerlein assumed command of one of the most mechanized armored divisions in the German Army—the Panzer Lehr Division. This Division trained in Hungary in March 1944 in preparation for the Allied invasion. Panzer Lehr Division sustained major losses on D-Day and suffered the brunt of the aerial carpet-bombing of St. Lo. Refitted after their defeat in France, Panzer Lehr Division lead in the attack in the Ardennes and siege on Bastogne.

When the Americans fought their way across the Rhine at Remagen, the LIII Armee Korps under Bayerlein’s command, attempted to repulse the attack and drive the Americans out of Germany. After six years fighting a futile war, battle fatigued, disillusioned and under threat of execution - against all orders from Field Marshal Walter Model - Generalleutnant Bayerlein surrendered his entire Corps to Major General Robert W. Hasbrouck and his “Lucky Seventh” Armored Division in the Ruhr pocket.

After the war, Bayerlein was widely involved in the early historical studies of the Second World War.


  • National Archives and Records Administration II
  • Library of Congress
  • Permission Granted from Private Collectors to P.A. Spayd
Narrative information source: "BAYERLEIN, from Afrikakorps to Panzer Lehr, The Life of Rommel's Chief of Staff, Generalleutnant Fritz Bayerlein," Author: P.A. Spayd, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310, USA

Thank you very much Patricia

Dragon Cyber Hobby 1/6 Rommel's Chief Fritz Bayerlein 70402

Updated in 2016/02/18

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