Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Chevallerie, Kurt von der (1891–1945)

German army general who participated in Operation barbarossa. Born on 23 December 1891 in Berlin to a family of Huguenot origin, Kurt von der Chaevallerie was commissioned in the army as a lieutenant in August 1911. His first assignment was with the 5th Guards Grenadier Regiment in Berlin-Spandau. Decorated for valor in World War I, he remained on duty with the 4th Infantry Regiment after the war.

During the interwar period, Chevallerie held a variety of infantry command assignments and staff posts. He commanded the 83rd Infantry Division as a Generalmajor (U.S. equiv. brigadier general) at the outbreak of World War II. Promoted to Generalleutnant (U.S. equiv. major general), he commanded the 99th Light Division in Operation barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. He took command of LIX Army Corps in December 1941 and was promoted to General der Infanterie (U.S. equiv. lieutenant general). In January 1942, Chevallerie's forces sealed a dangerous gap between Velikiye Luki and Rzhev, preventing a Soviet breakthrough. He was also involved in the effort to rescue the surrounded garrison at Velikiye Luki in January 1943.

At the time of the Normandy Invasion, Chevallerie commanded First Army, part of Army Group G under Generaloberst (U.S. equiv. full general) Johannes von Blaskowitz. Chevallerie's duties were to defend southwest France and the Bay of Biscay areas. He had about 100,000 men but few first-rate combat soldiers. Most of his men were garrison or coastal defense troops fit mainly for occupation duties or limited defensive missions. Chevallerie eventually wound up defending the Paris-Orléans gap area south of Paris. He was unable to accomplish the impossible and halt the Allied advance, so Adolf Hitler removed him from command and placed him on the command reserve list, where he remained for the rest of the war.

Chevallerie disappeared in the Soviet assault on and capture of Kolberg on 18 March 1945. He may have died either in the city or in Soviet captivity shortly after. His younger brother was Generalleutnant (U.S. equiv. major general) Helmut von der Chevallerie, who commanded the 11th Panzer Division and then the 273rd Reserve Panzer Division.

Jon D. Berlin


Further Reading
Carell, Paul. Hitler Moves East, 1941–1943. Boston: Little, Brown, 1965.; Carell, Paul. Scorched Earth: The Russian-German War, 1943–1944. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972.; Mitcham, Samuel W., Jr. Retreat to the Reich: The German Defeat in France 1944. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000.; Ziemke, Earl F. Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1984.
 

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