SOME OF THE PRISONERS HELD AT
NAME: Generalleutnant Hermann Ernst Wilhelm Hölter
PW NO: A938996
DATE: 8 May 1945
DATE OF BIRTH: 31
PLACE OF BIRTH: Lemgo/ Lippe-Detmold
DATE OF DEATH: 5 May 1989
PLACE OF DEATH: Bad Boll/ Kreis
COLOUR: Dark Brown
NEXT OF KIN: Eugenie
Hoelter, (US Zone)
7 November 1917
22 April 1918
5 July 1918
18 October 1918
(without Patent): 1 August 1919
20 April 1921 – RDA 20 August 1918; RDA later changed to 1 December
1 November 1925 (6)
1 August 1933 (21)
1 January 1937 – RDA later changed to 1 April 1936 (53a)
1 October 1939 (8)
(without RDA): 1 April 1944; on 20 July 1944 RDA established at 1
July 1944 (11)
20 April 1945
November 1917: Entered the Army as a Fahnenjunker in the Replacement
Battalion of 10. Württembergisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 180.
March 1918: In the field with Infantry Regiment 180.
March 1918: Wounded during the attack on the Scarpe, France/in hospital.
April 1918: Transferred to the Replacement Battalion of Infantry Regiment
May 1918: In the field with Infantry Regiment 180.
July 1918: Transferred to the Replacement Battalion of Infantry Regiment
July 1918-14 October 1918: Detached to the Fahnenjunker Course in
April 1919: Transferred to Württemberg Security Company 8 in Gmünd.
July 1919: Transferred to the I. Battalion of Schützen [Rifle]-Regiment
November 1919-2 December 1919: Detached to the Sports Course in Cannstatt.
May 1920: Transferred to the II. Battalion of Reichswehr Infantry
June 1920-30 September 1920: Detached to the Sports Course in Cannstatt.
October 1920: Transferred to Infantry Regiment 13.
November 1920: Company Officer in the II. (Schützen-) Battalion of
Infantry Regiment 13.
May 1923-26 May 1923: Detached to the Gliding Course in Münsingen.
May 1924-15 August 1924: Detached to the Weapons School Course at
the Ohrdruf Troop Training Area.
January 1925-21 February 1925: Detached to the Signals Course in the
5th Signals Battalion.
February 1925: Signals Officer of the II. Battalion of Infantry Regiment
March 1925-7 March 1925: Detached to the Snow-Shoe Course.
April 1925-3 May 1925: Detached to the Sports Course with the 5th
November 1925-3 December 1925: Detached to the Snow-Shoe Course.
April 1926: Adjutant of the II. Battalion of Infantry Regiment 13.
December 1927: Transferred to the 4th (Machinegun) Company of Infantry
Regiment 13, detached from 1 April 1928 to the 8th (Machinegun) Company
of the regiment – played an active part in the 1928 Olympic Games
in Amsterdam (Modern Pentathlon).
October 1928: Transferred to the staff of Group Command 1 and detached
to the Army Sports School.
April 1929: Adjutant of the Wünsdorf Army Sports School and Leader
of Training for Officers in the Modern Pentathlon.
June 1931: Command of the Army Sports School nullified – service regulated
by the commander of the 3rd Division.
July 1931: Detached for Leader Assistant training with the staff of
the 5th Division.
October 1931: Transferred to the staff of the 5th Division.
October 1933: Officer for Special Employment to the Chief of the Army
May 1934: Transferred to the Army Training Department (T 4) of the
Reich Defense Ministry, on 1 May 1935 renamed the Reich War Ministry.
May 1935: While retaining his previous position, transferred to the
General Staff of the Army for employment.
October 1935: Primary Consultant for Army Sports Training in the Army
Training Department (T 4)/Reich War Ministry. Also served as a member
of the German Olympic Committee for the Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen,
1936 Olympic Games in Berlin (Military Ski Patrol and Modern Pentathlon
October 1937: Chief of the 10th Company of Infantry Regiment 45.
July 1938: Operations Officer (Ia) on the General Staff of the 34th
September 1940: Transferred to the General Staff of the German Plenipotentiary
General to the High Command of the Romanian Armed Forces and Chief
of the German Army Mission in Romania (General der Kavallerie Erik
Hansen) and, at the same time, served as a Tactics Instructor at the
Royal Romanian War Academy.
June 1941: Chief of the General Staff of the German General at the
Finnish Headquarters (Liaison Staff North) (General der Infanterie
Dr. phil. Waldemar Erfurth).
September 1941: Army High Command Leader Reserve.
October 1941: Chief of the General Staff of the Higher Command for
Special Employment XXXVI Mountain Army Corps.
November 1941: Chief of the General Staff of the XXXVI Mountain Army
Corps commanded by General der Infanterie Karl Weisenberger in Finland.
November 1943: Chief of the General Staff of the XIX Mountain Army
Corps commanded by General der Gebirgstruppe Georg Ritter von Hengl
February 1944: Army High Command Leader Reserve.
March 1944-9 May 1945: Chief of the General Staff of the 20th Mountain
Army (Generaloberst Eduard Dietl; Generaloberst Dr. Lothar Rendulic
from 23 June 1944; and then General der Gebirgstruppe Franz Böhme
from 8 January 1945-9 May 1945) and, from 18 December 1944, at the
same time, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Commander
Norway (Generaloberst Dr. Lothar Rendulic and then General der Gebirgstruppe
Franz Böhme from 8 January 1945-9 May 1945). [After the Finnish government
concluded an armistice with the Soviet Union on 4 September 1944,
all German troops in that country were required to withdraw by the
middle of the month or face internment. At the time, the 20th Mountain
Army commanded by Generaloberst Dr. Lothar Rendulic was based in northern
Finland and consisted of three corps. General der Gebirgstruppe Ferdinand
Jodl’s XIX Mountain Army Corps was dug in along the Litsa River guarding
the nickel mines near Petsamo and the iron ore mines at Kirkenes.
The other two corps—General der Infanterie Friedrich Hochbaum’s XVIII
Mountain Army Corps and Generalleutnant (later General der Gebirgstruppe)
Emil Vogel’s XXXVI Mountain Army Corps—were further south centered
on Uhtua/Kestenga and Salla respectively. In light of the political
developments, Adolf Hitler granted permission for Rendulic’s army
to withdraw from Finland into Norway in two phases: Operation “Birke”
(Birch), the movement of the XVIII and XXXVI Mountain Army Corps starting
on 6 September; and Operation “Nordlicht” (Northern Lights), the withdrawal
of the XIX Mountain Army Corps scheduled to begin in October. However,
on 7 October 1944, the 97,000-man Soviet 14th Army (Lieutenant General
Vladimir I. Shcherbakov) of General (later, Marshal) Kirill A. Meretskov’s
Karelian Front, supported by Admiral A. G. Golovko’s Northern Fleet
launched a major offensive against General Jodl’s corps before Operation
“Nordlicht” could be initiated. Despite the difficulties of fighting
in the bleak tundra above the Arctic Circle, the Soviets made steady
headway against the German XIX Mountain Army Corps withdrawing westward
along the limited road network into Norway. Supported by naval infantry
amphibious landings, the Soviet 14th Army captured Petsamo on 15 October
and Kirkenes ten days later. Although the Soviet offensive was highly
successful, the German 20th Mountain Army escaped destruction and,
by January 1945, established a new defensive position in Norway running
south of the Lyngen Fjord to the Swedish border and encompassing a
small section of northwestern Finland centered on the town of Kilpisjärvi.
The German front in northern Norway remained fairly stabilized along
this line for the remainder of the war although they abandoned the
Kilpisjärvi position in April 1945.]
May 1945-December 1947: Prisoner of war (from June 1945 in Great Britain).
- 9th January
1946 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from Camp 1
- 14th June
1947 transferred to LDC (London District Cage) from Island Farm
Special Camp 11
- 22nd December
1947 released from US Custody
Published Armee in der Arktis (Army in the Arctic), an account of
the German campaigns in northern Finland and Norway during World War
Decorations & Awards:
Cross of the Iron Cross: 3 May 1945, Generalleutnant, Chief of the
General Staff of the 20th Mountain Army.
Cross in Gold: 17 August 1944, Generalmajor, Chief of the General
Staff of the 20th Mountain Army.
Cross, 1st Class (1939): 14 May 1940.
Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1914): 18 June 1918.
Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class: 25 October 1939.
for the Winter Campaign in Russia 1941/1942 (“East Medal”): 24 August
War Merit Cross: 1918.
of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year Service Cross)
Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service Medal)
Badge in Black – World War I award: 26 July 1918.
- Finnish Order
of the Cross of Liberty, 2nd Class with Swords: 26 September 1941.
Shield (It is unknown if he actually received this battle shield,
but his service in Finland fit the award criteria)
for the Award of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross to Generalleutnant
General Staff Officer in the eyes of his superiors with a special inclination
and ability as a troop leader, Hermann Hölter particularly distinguished
himself during the withdrawal of the Lapland Army from Finland after
that country’s capitulation. His quick and sound decision-making ability
assisted to this end. As an expert on the Scandinavian land and peoples
as well as combat leadership in forest and mountainous tundra regions
under arctic climate, he contributed substantially to the fact that
the movement operation of the 20th Mountain Army from Lapland to northern
Norway succeeded despite extraordinary difficulties.