General der Pioniere Erwin Jaenecke (1890-1960)

General der Pioniere Erwin Jaenecke (1890 – 1960) was born on 22 April 1890 in Freren, entered army service in March 1911 and went to the Hanoverian War Academy. He had been promoted to Leutnant by the beginning of the First World War, serving with distinction in the 10th Pioneer Battalion, as well as serving as an Ordnance Officer on the staff of the 19th Infantry Division and as a General Staff Officer with the 26th Reserve Division. He stayed in the Reichswehr after the war, gradually rising up the ranks to become an Oberst by March 1936, serving in a variety of command and staff positions (including Course Director at the War Academy). At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was Quartermaster General of the 2nd Army, followed in 1940 by the 9th Army. He was promoted to Generalleutnant on 1 November 1941 and took command of 389th Infantry Division on 1 February 1942. He was made a General der Pioniere on 1 November 1942 and given command of the IV Corps. He was badly wounded just before the end of the battle for Stalingrad and airlifted out on 21 January 1943. After recovering he was given command of first, LXXXII Corps and then the 17th Army, where he tried to hold the Crimean Peninsula against overwhelming odds. Hitler refused to countenance a withdrawal until the last moment and because of that a mere fraction of the German and Rumanian troops that held the Crimea managed to escape. Jaenecke was made a scapegoat and retired. After the war he was held in Soviet captivity until 1955 and died on 3 July 1960 in Cologne.

How to cite this article: Antill, P., (27 August 2000), General der Pioniere Erwin Jaenecke, 27 April 1296,

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