Hermann Niehoff

Hermann Niehoff

Hermann Niehoff
Born (1897-04-03)3 April 1897
Died 5 November 1980(1980-11-05) (aged 83)
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Infanterie
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Hermann Niehoff was a German officer during World War II. He was born on 3 April 1897 and died in 1980. Niehoff was born in Papenburg/Ems. He was a German infantry general and was the garrison commander of Fortress Breslau (Festung Breslau) during the Battle of Breslau.


  • Commands 1
  • Actions 2
  • Awards 3
    • Wehrmachtbericht reference 3.1
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


  • Commanding Officer of the 211th Replacement Regiment - 1939 to 1940
  • Commanding Officer of the 464th Regiment - 1940 to 1943
  • Infantry General (General der Infanterie) of the 371st Infantry Division - 1943 to 1945
  • Garrison Commander of Fortress Breslau - 2 March to 6 May 1945


As General of the 371 Infantry Division (371.Infanterie Division), Niehoff participated in the break out from the Kamieniec-Podolski Pocket during March and April 1944. At this time, his division was part of Colonel General (Generaloberst) Hans-Valentin Hube's 1st Panzer Army.

From 13 February to 6 May 1945, Breslau was besieged by the Soviet 6th Army. The 6th Army was part of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front commanded by Marshal Ivan Konev.

On 2 March, Niehoff became the garrison commander. To oppose the Soviets, Niehoff had a mix of German Army, Home Guard, and Hitler Youth troops. During the siege, Niehoff's over-matched forces held Breslau for more than two months while much of the city was destroyed and many of his troops were killed.

On 6 May, four days after Berlin fell and only two days before the unconditional surrender of Germany, Niehoff surrendered Fortress Breslau to the Soviets. Niehoff remained a prisoner of war from 1945 to 1955.


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
11 August 1944 In den Kämpfen an der Ostfront haben sich die westfälische 371. Infanteriedivision unter Führung von Generalleutnant Niehoff und das Jägerregiment 229 unter Oberst Schury hervorragend bewährt.[6] In the battles on the Eastern Front, the Westphalian 371 Infantry Division under the command of Lieutenant-General Niehoff and the 229 Infantry Regiment under Colonel Schury have proved themselves to be excellent.


  1. ^ No evidence of the award can be found in the German National Archives. The Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) only assumes that the Swords were awarded. According to Niehoff's testimony he was nominated by Gauleiter Karl Hanke. The date and sequential number "147" were assigned by the AKCR. Niehoff was member of the AKCR.[4] The sequential numbers greater than 143 for the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords are unofficial and were assigned by the AKCR and are therefore denoted in parentheses.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Thomas 1998, p. 119.
  2. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 331.
  3. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 569.
  4. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 161.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 49–51.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, p. 199.
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger.  
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall.  
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag.  
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag.  
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945] (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985.  

External links

  • Hermann Niehoff @ Ritterkreuzträger 1939–45
  • Hermann Niehoff @ Personenlexikon
  • Hermann Niehoff @ Lexikon der Wehrmacht
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Richard Stempel
Commander of 371. Infanterie-Division
1 April 1943 – 10 June 1944
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Hans-Joachim Baurmeister
Preceded by
Generalmajor Hans-Joachim Baurmeister
Commander of 371. Infanterie-Division
10 July 1944 – 2 March 1945
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Rolf Scherenberg