Hopner, General Erich, 1886-1944

One of the Wehrmacht’s tank experts and Panzer leaders, Hopner led the Fourth Panzer Group into the USSR in June 1941. As part of Army Group North, he headed first towards Leningrad but was then deployed to Moscow where his tanks penetrated enemy lines and almost reached Moscow, breaking through past Mozhaysk. He contracted dysentry in December 1941 when the Soviet counterattacks began. He was dismissed by HITLER in the purge of the eastern Generals and he was held responsible for the failure to take Moscow. Hopner was involved in STAUFFENBERG’s July Plot of 1944 to kill Hitler and was at the War Office in Bendlerstrasse to direct a military takeover of power. When the news broke that Hitler was alive, he was arrested that evening by FROMM. He chose to go on trial and was hanged on 8 August.

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