Born: Jan. 14, 1899, Wurzberg, Bavaria, Germany
Died: Jan. 30, 1970, Wurzberg, Bavaria, Germany)
At the age of 18 Bayerlein was drafted as a private and sworn in June 1917 into the 9th King's Bavarian Infantry Regiment, known as the Wuerzburg "Neuner" Regiment . In early 1918 Bayerlein was sent to the 4th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse) for holding off an enemy attack by intensive machine gun fire during action on August 30th, 1918 as his 7th Company was in danger of being overrun by the British attackers. Bayerlein was wounded the next day by a grenade splinter and sent to recover at his hometown of Wuerzburg.
In mid-September he was promoted to Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier, and was sent for 3 months training at the Fahnenjunker Course in Freising. After the Armistance was signed on November 18th, 1918 he returned to the "Neuner" Regiment in Wuerzburg. During the trasitional phase of the post-war 100,000-man Reichswehr drawdown, Bayerlein was briefly a member of "Freiwillig" (volunteer) Battalion Dittmar, 5th Company. During May 1919 Bayerlein was transferred to the Reichswehr Infantry Regiment 45. During October 1919 - 1921 Bayerlein attended many military training schools (Waffenschulen, Infanterieschule, Lehrgang II). Bayerlein was accepted and promoted to "Oberfähnrich" as part of the 4,000 officer corps of the Reichswehr and signed a 25-year term of service as of January 1921.
|Generalmajor Fritz Bayerlein (right); Sonderführer Moosmüller, Propaganda Companie, Photographer (left); and Sonderführer Dr. Franz, translator, in spring of 1943. (Eberhard Dohm, Propaganda Kompanie)|
|Rommel and Bayerlein (right)|
When the Americans fought their way across the Rhine at Remagen, the LIII Armee Korps under Bayerlein’s command, attempted to repulse the attack and drive the Americans out of Germany. After six years fighting a futile war, battle fatigued, disillusioned and under threat of execution - against all orders from Field Marshal Walter Model - Generalleutnant Bayerlein surrendered his entire Corps to Major General Robert W. Hasbrouck and his “Lucky Seventh” Armored Division in the Ruhr pocket.
After the war, Bayerlein was widely involved in the early historical studies of the Second World War.
- National Archives and Records Administration II
- Library of Congress
- Permission Granted from Private Collectors to P.A. Spayd
|Narrative information source: "BAYERLEIN, from Afrikakorps to Panzer Lehr, The Life of Rommel's Chief of Staff, Generalleutnant Fritz Bayerlein," Author: P.A. Spayd, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310, USA www.schifferbooks.com|
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