Juergen von Arnim

Juergen von Arnim

Juergen von Arnim was a German colonel-general who served in World War One and World War Two. Arnim took part in Nazi Germany’s Polish, French, Russian and North African campaigns during World War Two. He was captured in 1943 and was imprisoned in Mississippi, USA for the remaining years of the war.

Born on 4 April 1889, Arnim became a member of the German Army in 1908. After his training period he signed up with the 4th Regiment of Prussian Foot Guards. During World War One he served as a junior officer, fighting on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. After the war he made the decision to stay in the army.

Arnim was made Major General in January 1938, and the next month he was given command of the 4th Frontier Zone.

Arnim commanded the 52nd Infantry Division during Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939. On 1 December he received a promotion of Lieutenant General.

Arnim commanded the 17th Panzer Division in October 1940 which made up a section of the Army Group Centre for ‘Operation Barbarossa’ - the Nazi code name for Germany’s invasion of the USSR - which began in June 1941. The attack on the Soviet Union was successful in the first stage and senior commanders were rewarded by Hitler because of this, but Anim himself was seriously wounded.

Arnim was then promoted to General in October 1941 and a month later was put in charge of the XXXIX Panzer Corps.

Arnim was sent to North Africa in November 1942 to serve under Erwin Rommel. Rommel left for Europe and was subsequently banned by Adolf Hitler from returning to Tunisia. Thus in December 1942 Arnim was promoted to Colonel General and in March 1943 he was given command of the whole of Army Group Africa when Erwin Rommel returned to Europe.

This promotion was a poisoned chalice. Allied Forces were advancing rapidly in Africa and there was not much Arnim could do by way of stopping them. He handed over his forces on 12 May 1943 and was made a British Prisoner War. He was held in captivity at Camp Clinton in Mississippi until July 1947. He then returned to Germany, where he died 15 years later.

See also: Claude Auchinleck 

MLA Citation/Reference

"Juergen von Arnim". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.

Key facts

Name: General Juergen von Arnim
Birth Date: 4 April 1889, Ernsdorf, Prussia
Death: 1 September 1962 (aged 73), Bad Wildungen, Hesse
  • Served as a Junior Officer in World War One.
  • Served as a Major General, Lieutenant General and Colonel General in World War Two.
  • Saw action in Poland, France, the USSR and North Africa.
  • Seriously injured in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa.
  • Captured and made a Prisoner of War in 1943.
Military Awards (Germany)
  • 1914: Iron Cross
  • 1918: Knight’s Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords; Wound Badge in Silver
  • 1941: Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross
  • 1941/42: Eastern Front Medal