The World at War


General der Panzertruppen Hans Hube

German General
Born: Naumburg 1890
Died: 1944

     Hans Hube was born 1890 in Naumburg, he joined the Imperial German Army in 1906 and was commissioned into the 26th Infantry Regiment the following year. During the Great War he was in the thick of the fighting at Verdun in 1916. He was severely wounded and his right arm was amputated. Hube overcame the physical and pyschological disability associated with being wounded and returned to duty. With the collapse of Germany in 1918 Hube applied for the much reduced, but elite, German Army, the newly organised Riechswehr. Hube was the only one armed officer to remain in service. In 1934 he was given the command of an experimental motorized battalion, the prototype of the panzer formations. By 1940 he was promoted to colonel and led the 16th Infantry Division through conversion to full panzer status. Hube demonstrated his skill and talent as a master tactician during operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Stalin's Russia. He was nicknamed Der Mensch, ("Real Man") by his troops because of his reputation for being a tough, fair, courageous and of a completely outspoken character. In October 1942 he became a full general of panzer troops, was trapped with the Sixth Armee at Stalingrad and refused Hitler's direct orders to evacuate insisting that he'd rather stay with his fellow soldiers. But Hitler wanted Hube out and ordered a special SS detachment to fly in and bring him back personnally. Sent to Sicily he commanded the 14th Panzer Korps in a delaying action and was one of the last German soldiers off that devastated island. Back on the Eastern Front in 1944 General Hube maneuvered 1st Panzer Armee in the Ukraine so as not to be pinned down by superior Russian armies opposing him. Also fighting battles against the Russian line of communicatons, as ordered by von Manstein, he was constantly supplied by Luftwaffe air elements and eventually in conjunction with an attack by the 4th Panzer Armee under Colonel-General Raus broke out through the Russian frontline with his forces almost intact. Hube was personnally decorated by Hitler for this fighting withdrawal, punching out of a large scale Soviet envelopment in early 1944. While on route to take charge of Army Group South of the Ukraine area and on his leaders birthday, 21st April, Hube was killed in a plane crash. Hans Hube was a fighting general and one always knew where he stood.

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