SOME OF THE PRISONERS HELD AT
The photos and
the copy of the soldbuch are courtesy of a Private Collection
that Schönfeld is wearing his Knight’s Cross
of the Iron Cross reversed to display the date “1813” (institution of the
original Iron Cross series of decorations). Following the surrender of Germany,
the Allies required all German prisoners of war to remove any badge or decoration
that displayed the swastika. Hence, Schönfeld has simply reversed his decoration to conceal the offending
symbol and the date “1939” found on the obverse.
Generalmajor Henning Schönfeld
OF BIRTH: 19 May 1894
PLACE OF BIRTH: Stettin
DATE OF DEATH: 11 March 1958
PLACE OF DEATH: Bonn
OCCUPATION: Regular Soldier
NEXT OF KIN:
Front cover of Soldbuch (paybook)
Please click to enlarge
Commands & Assignments:
12 February 1912
18 August 1913 (Patent 19 August 1911)
5 October 1916
als Rittmeister: September 1918
1 January 1937
1 June 1940
1 April 1942
1 December 1944
February 1912: Entered the Army as a Fahnenjunker in Ulanen-Regiment
Großherzog Friedrich von Baden (Rheinisches) Nr. 7.
1918: Separated from the Army with the rank of honorary Rittmeister.
October 1934: Returned to Army service with the rank of Ritmeister.
a Rittmeister (Captain) in 1936
Interestingly, he is not wearing is Iron Cross 1st Class
November 1938: Commander of Reconnaissance Battalion 20 (Motorized)
of the 20th Infantry Division (Motorized). [After taking part in the
invasion of Poland in September 1939, the division shifted to the Western
Front and saw heavy combat during the invasion of the Low Countries
and France in May-June 1940. During the latter campaign, then Oberstleutnant
Schönfeld received the Knight’s
Cross of the Iron Cross for special initiative, successful action and
bravery near Jussey, France while commanding Reconnaissance Battalion
June 1940: Group Leader in the Motor Vehicle and Motorization Office
of the Army High Command (combined with the 6th Inspectorate of the
Weapons Department for Tank Troops, Cavalry and Army Motorization; later
renamed the Department of Motorized Troops).
wearing all medals
March 1943: Commander of Grenadier Regiment 29 of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier
Division. [After reorganizing and training in France, the division transferred
to Italy at the end of July 1943. Following the surrender of Italy in
September 1943, the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division took part in the occupation
of Rome and later saw combat at Salerno, Monte Cassino and Anzio.]
1944: Course for Higher Formation Commanders.
September 1944-15 December 1944: Commander of the 2nd Panzer Division
on the Western Front. [Virtually destroyed in Normandy and the subsequent
German retreat from France during the summer of 1944, the remnants of
the 2nd Panzer Division withdrew to the Eifel region of western Germany
for reorganization. On 21 September 1944, then Oberst Schönfeld took
command of the 2nd Panzer Division from Oberst Gustav-Adolf von Nostitz-Wallwitz.
The latter officer had been in command since 31 August 1944 when he
assumed leadership of the division from Generalleutnant Heinrich Freiherr
von Lüttwitz upon his transfer to command of the XXXXVII Panzer Corps.
Following the rest and reorganization of the 2nd Panzer Division, Oberst
Meinrad von Lauchert assumed command from Generalmajor Schönfeld on
15 December 1944. The next day the division took part in the Ardennes
Offensive—better known as the Battle of the Bulge—and achieved the deepest
penetration made by any German unit during the offensive.]
December 1944: Retired from the Army.
1945-Circa 1947: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
- 9th January
1946 transferred from Camp 1 to Island Farm Special Camp 11
- 17th December
1946 transferred from Island Farm Special Camp 11 to Allendorf (on
- 30th September
1947 transferred to US Custody for discharge.
a POW at Island Farm in 1946
Generalmajor Henning Schönfeld (Right)
Generalmajor Werner Friebe (Left)
Generalmajor Gottfried Fröhlich
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross: 15 August 1940, Oberstleutnant, Commander
of Reconnaissance Battalion 20 (Motorized).
Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class (1914)
Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1914)
1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class: 2 October 1939.
1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class: 13 September 1939.
Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service Medal): 5 August
Armed Forces Long Service Award, 4th Class (4-year Service Medal): 5 August
Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze: June 1940.
Wound Badge in Black - World War I award