Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Hermann Hoth

Hermann Hoth (12 April 1885 - 26 January 1971) was a general of the Third Reich during World War II, notable for victories in France and on the Eastern Front, and later, after serving six years in prison for war crimes, as a writer on military history.

He was born in Neuruppin, the son of an army medical officer. He joined the German Army in 1904 and served in World War I. He remained in the army during the Weimar period, and in 1935 was appointed to command the 18th Division of the reorganized army.

Promoted to lieutenant general, he commanded the XV Motorized Corps from 10 November 1938, leading it in the invasion of Poland the following year.

He was successful in the Ardennes Offensive of spring 1940, and was promoted to general on 19 July 1940.

In Operation Barbarossa in 1941, Hoth commanded Panzer Group 3, capturing Minsk and Vitebsk, then in a shakeup in October, replaced von Stuelpnagel as commander of 17th Army in the Ukraine. His army was driven back by a Russian offensive in January 1942.

In June 1942 he took over from Erich Hoepner as commander of 4th Panzer Army, which fought along the Br'ansk Front and in support of the siege of Stalingrad, and in July 1943 in the Battle of Kursk.

In the autumn of 1943 the Soviet army mounted a series of successful offensives that pushed the Germans back, and despite a distinguished record, Hoth, now Colonel-General, was blamed by Hitler for part of the losses, was reassigned to the reserves in November, and did not see further active service.

After the war, he was put on trial at Nuremburg, found guilty of war crimes, and on 27 October 1948 sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released in 1954 and spent his retirement writing. He died at Goslar, where he is buried.