Balck, Lieutenant General Hermann, 1893-1950

Balck was a very energetic German tank Commander, who rose to command an Army Group in France. Balck was very successful in the opening stages of the Battle of France: he managed to establish a bridgehead across the Meuse at Sedan. He commanded a regiment in the First Panzer Division of GUDERIAN’s Group and for Operation Barbarossa he was promoted to command a full Panzer Division. In November 1943 he was given command of the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps and took part in the defense of Sicily. In August 1944 he was ordered back to the USSR to command the Fourth Panzer Army but arrived too late to contain KONEV’s attack in the Ukraine. In September 1944 he was sent to relieve BLASKOWITZ and pursued a policy of elastic defense which held up PATTON’s advance into Lorraine. He was then sent to command the Sixth Army in Hungary but he displeased HITLER and ended the war commanding a mere subgroup.

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