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Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach



Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach


Born : 8 August 1911 – Freiberg (Sachsen)

Died : 17 February 1943 in a Russian field hospital near Stalingrad.


Mother : Elisabeth von Trebra-Lindenau

Father : Hans-Karl von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach


Wife : Eva-Elisabeth Volkmann

Children : 1


Ia (operations officer) of the 3. Infanterie Division (mot.)

Fieldpostnumber in the Stalingrad encirlement : Kdo. 3. Inf. Div. (mot.) 03177


Stalingrad “pocket”.


When the encirclement of  German 6. Army at Stalingrad was a fact Generalleutnant Helmuth Schlömer, by then division commander of the 3. Infanterie Division (mot.) and the Ia (operations officer) of the division Oberst i.G. Hans-Jürgen Dingler were not in the Stalingrad “pocket.” Both were on  furlough.


Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach was Ib of the division.

(2nd General Staff Officer in the supply group of a Division HQ. The Ib was responsible for the supply of an entire Division and all matters of supply, movement of supplies, rations, ammo, etc, and the movement of wounded and prisoners. The Ib also was in charge of the movement of supply trains, deployment of construction facilities, traffic regulation, and air-raid protection in the areas of the back-line services of a Division. (


On 22 November 1942 at noon Leutnant Dr. Herbert Middeldorf, 1st Assistant Adjutant (O2) of  Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach informed his chief that a message had arrived in which was stated that he (Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach) became the new Ia of the division. Generalleutnant Helmuth Schlömer flew into the Stalingrad “pocket” Oberst i.G. Hans-Jürgen Dingler (Ia of the division but outside the “pocket”) was not flown in. However…


Army records of these days are clear. Oberst i.G. Hans-Jürgen Dingler (picture) was ordered to fly to headquarters of Heeresgruppe Don (by the end of November) were he was attached

to the Ia Abteilung to organise the Stalingrad airlift.


But in his memoires Hans-Jürgen Dingler is telling us another story. Before the Stalingrad encirclement I was on furlough. Oberst i.G. Hans-Jürgen Dingler states that he was flown into to the “Stalingrad pocket” by the end of November and that he was attached to the Ia Abteilung of the XIV. Armeekorps. (By then under command of Generaloberst Hans Hube)

“My air evacuation from the Stalingrad “pocket” was on the night of 19 to 20 January 1943 from Gumrak airport. My evacuation was ordered by the O.K.H.. In fact Generaloberst Hans Hube ordered my air evacuation. (Hube flew out for the second time on 19 January 1943) This in order to assist him in the supply of “Fortress Stalingrad”.

"My mode of travel to Gumrak airfield was by the last side-car motor cycle of the division. A lot of debris and corpses on the airfield made the start of the HE-111

most difficult. It was moonshine. The airfield could be seen by the Russians…we got M.G.-fire and losses in the aircraft... we landed on the airfield of Nowo Tsherkask (Don)…"


Hans Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach was replaced as Ib by Hauptmann Heinz Neubert* who was ordered to fly into the “pocket”. He left Berlin, flew over Starobielsk to Morosovskaja. From here he flew into the Stalingrad “pocket” in a Junker 52 loaded with 2 tons of munitions. He landed at Pitomnik airport. Due to fuel problems it took one week to arrive at his new assignement.


In the evening of 22 November Hans Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach took part in a meeting with other Ia Officers, Boriss, Stübichen, Klemm, Sprenger and Clausius, Ia of LI. Armeekorps and Korpscommander of LI. Armeekorps Seydlitz von Kurzbach. They discussed the possibility of an immediate brake out of the encirclement. The meeting took place between 23.00 and 23.30 hrs. A break out of the encirclement was forbidden by the O.K.H.


Early in the morning of  23 November 1942, the day after the Russians encircled the German 6.Army, Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach with the 3. Infanterie Division (mot.) was ordered to leave its position north of Stalingrad and to move to the most western part of the Stalingrad encirclement. The division marched over Novo Alekseevskij into the Dimitievka, Karpovka and Marinovka triangle were they arrived on 24 November 1942. It was this sector of the encirclement, which was called “the nose of Marinovka”, they had to defend. The division was attached to the XIV. Panzerkorps.


By 27 January 1943, the day that Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach was captured by the Russians, the remnants of the division and the staff were already pushed back to thearea of the GPU building were they surrendered to the Russians on 28 January 1943.


With two frozen legs Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach was not able to walk anymore.


After he was captured by the Russians he was sent to the  Russian field hospital of  Krasnoarmeisk in the Stalingrad/Betetovka area. There Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach died in Krasnoarmeisk on 17 February 1943. He was buried in a mass grave near the camp and was finally reinterred in the cemetery at Rossoschka near Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad. 


Some sources are telling  that Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf

Lauterbach was captured on 28 January and died on 18 February 1943.


Above a map of the camps were German POW’s were taken after they were captured by the Russians. The camp of Krasnoarmeisk had a great field hospital. It was there were Major i.G. Hans-Helmut von Kirchbach auf Lauterbach died.


*Hauptmann Heinz Neubert is reported missing in Stalingrad since 24 January 1943 however he was captured by the Russians and was released from Russian captivity  in 1954.


Sources :

Stalingrad by Manfred Kehrig. by Geert Rottiers.

Three scenes of Barbarossa - The Cast - by Ronald M.A. Hirst.


Pictures : by Rainer Lehman. by Geert Rottiers.

Privat Stalingrad archive – Geert Rottiers

Please respect the copyright.


Research :

Geert Rottiers


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