The Awards of Kurt Freiherr von Liebenstein
Awards and documents to Generalmajor Kurt Freiherr von Liebenstein, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross Winner and the Commander of the 164. Leichte Afrika-Division, known as "the last major German formation in North Africa to lay down its arms": German Cross in gold, by maker 1 (Deschler), heavy version (69.2 grams), tiny contact marks to enamels, in worn condition, good very fine; Iron Cross 1st. Class 1914, magnetic center, silver frame (marked 800 on reverse), excellent quality, in case of issue; two iron crosses second class 1914; Clasp to the Iron Cross First Class 1939, in silvered tombac, type I with scalloped bar, unmarked but attributed to Juncker (known as unknown maker 1), a very rare version of the clasp (with award document, dated 18.5.1940, as Oberstleutnant 10. Panzer Division); Clasp to Iron Cross Second Class 1939, in silvered tombac, type I with scalloped bar, in silvered tombac (with award document, dated 11.5.1940, as Oberstleutnant 10. Panzer Division); Tank Badge, silver grade, in silvered zinc; Hindenburg Cross with Swords; Bulgaria, Order for Military Merit, Knight with Crown, silvered and enameled, in case of issue (with Bulgarian award document, dated 1934, and related German “Permission to Wear” document dated 1935); award document for Army Long Service Award 2nd Class, dated 1936; promotion document to a Major, with ORIGINAL signatures of A. Hitler and Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg, dated 1936; promotion document to a Rittmeister, with original signatures of Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg, dated 1933; a document providing his family tree (Nachweis der arischen Abstammung), confirming his Aryan roots; a document listing his WWI and Weimar Republic Military Service, dated 1937; Soldbuch, full of entries, in good/fair condition; Diplomatpass, with his uniform photo; several small photos of von Liebenstein; awards and documents are generally in very fine condition. Footnote: Kurt Freiherr von Liebenstein was born in Horb am Neckar in the Kingdom of Württemberg. On 20 December 1916, he joined the Württemberg Army, completed several months of basic training and subsequently an ensign course. On 16 February 1918 he was promoted to a Lieutenant and become a platoon leader in the 26th Dragoons Regiment. During WWI he was decorated with the Iron Cross First and Second Class; in September of 1918 he became a prisoner of war in England, from which he was dismissed in late December 1919. After his release he remained in active Army service, where he served between 1920 and 1930 as a platoon leader in the cavalry regiment 18, and was enrolled for two years at Cavalry School Hannover. In 1925 he was awarded Württemberg’s Life-Saving medal. In October of 1930, he completed a second two-year course for a General Staff Officer at the War Academy in Berlin-Moabit. Promoted to a Captain (Rittmeister) in 1933, he served as a group leader of the General Staff of the Army, the Department of Foreign Armies in Poland, and from March 1937 to the beginning of the War as assistant military attaché in Paris (he maintained in close contact with his uncle Leo Geyr of Schweppenburg, from 1933 -1937 military attaché in London). During the Polish campaign von Liebenstein served in the Army General Staff; he was then transferred to the 17 Infantry Division; he was then transferred again in February 1940 to the 10th Panzer Division. From October 1940 he was Chief of the General Staff of the 2nd Panzer Army under General Guderian, and in this role he received on 26 January 1942 the German Cross in gold. During the Russian campaign von Liebenstein participated in the Operation Barbarossa, and subsequent major offensives in Russia including Kiev, Moscow, Kharkov, Caucuses, as a Commander of the Panzer units. In late 1942 he was transferred to Afrikakorps, to a 164. Leichte Afrika-Division, serving under Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel. On January 1943 he become a Commanding Officer, was promoted to a Generalmajor on May 10, 1943, and was decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (1801. award). Only two days later, after heavy fighting his division was destroyed near Tunis, and he fell into British captivity. Thus the 164. Leichte Afrika-Division earning the distinction of being "the last major German formation in North Africa to lay down its arms". He returned from British captivity in April of 1947. After various entrepreneurial attempts, on 1 May 1956 von Liebenstein was accepted as a Generalmajor in the Bundeswehr and appointed commander of the Military District V (Stuttgart). He died in 1975.