|8 January 1889 – 3 April 1956|
|Place of birth||Wolframitz, district of Znaim|
|Place of death||Vienna|
|Allegiance|| Austria-Hungary (to 1918)|
First Austrian Republic (to 1938)
|Commands held||6th Panzer Division|
3rd Panzer Army
|Battles/wars||World War I|
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
Erhard Raus (January 8, 1889 - 1956) was born in Wolframitz (Moravia), which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Events 871 - Battle of Ashdown - Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army Year 1889 ( MDCCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1043 - Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England. Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Znojmo (ˈznojmo Znaim is a city in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, near the border with Lower Austria. Vienna ( in Wien; see also other names) is the Capital of Austria, and is also one of the nine States of Austria. In Austrian history the First Republic encompasses the period following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the end of World War I, up Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Colonel General is a senior Military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross ( German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, often simply Ritterkreuz) was a grade of the Iron Cross Events 871 - Battle of Ashdown - Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army Year 1889 ( MDCCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Moravia (Morava; Morawy Moravie Moravia is a historical region in central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, one of the former Czech lands. He was a German Colonel General (Generaloberst) during World War II, commanding the 6th Panzer Division during the early years of the war on the Eastern Front before taking Army and Army Group commands. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Colonel General is a senior Military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including
He entered the Austro-Hungarian Army Cadet School at Koenigsfeld on 1st October 1905 and was commissioned as an officer on 18th August 1909. The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy (1867 - 1918 He fought throughout World War I with the Bicycle Light Infantry, becoming highly decorated, rising to the rank of Captain and eventually commanding Bicycle Light-Infantry Battalion 1. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All
He married Marries Anna Morsani on August 17, 1918.
On January 18, 1919 he was selected for retention in the Austrian Army following the end of the war, eventually raising to the rank of Colonel in 1936. The current name of the Military of Austria is Österreichs Bundesheer ("Federal Army of Austria " official English name Austrian Armed Forces He spent these years in a number of staff and training posts before being absorbed into the Wehrmacht during the Anschluss in 1938, following which he continued with several other staff roles. Wehrmacht (literally "defense force" was the name of the unified Armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945 The ( German: "link-up" also known as the, was the 1938 Annexation of Austria into Greater Germany by the Nazi
Raus was appointed chief of staff, to XVII Corps a few months before the war started but did not see any combat with these units, due to his staff role, when they attacked Poland and then headed west in 1940.
Following the practice of sending staff officers into the line he took over the command of Infantry Regiment 243 in June 1940, then Motorised Infantry Regiment 4 in July. In May 1941 he took command of the 6th Motorised Infantry Brigade of the 6th Panzer Division. 1leichte-Brigade 1leichte-Division 6Panzer-Division The German 1st Light Brigade was a mechanized unit established in October 1937 in imitation However he had never led any of these formations into any sort of battle prior to June 22nd, 1941. Operation Barbarossa ( Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the Codename for Nazi Germany 's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II His last combat experience was with the Bicycle Light Infantry Battalion 1 in the Austro-Hungarian Army where for 5 months in 1918 he was the acting commander. The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy (1867 - 1918
On the 22nd June 1941, Kampfgruppe Raus (the 6th Panzer Division was operating with two Kampfgruppen – Kampfgruppe Raus and Kampfgruppe von Seckendorff) under his leadership, launched into the Baltic States and by August 20th had crossed through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, fought alone for several days after capturing a bridgehead over the Luga River, took part in some the early Eastern Fronts most infamous battles and actions, broke through the Stalin Line and had arrived upon the outskirts of Leningrad. 1leichte-Brigade 1leichte-Division 6Panzer-Division The German 1st Light Brigade was a mechanized unit established in October 1937 in imitation In Military history and Military slang, the German term Kampfgruppe (pl Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Latvia ( Latvija officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia ( Eesti or Eesti Vabariik) is a Country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region The Luga River (Луга is a River in Novgorod Oblast and Leningrad Oblast of Russia. The Stalin Line was a line of Fortifications along the western border of the Soviet Union. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River
On the 7th September 1941, Raus was appointed the acting commander of the 6th Panzer Division.
On the 15th September, the 6th Panzer Division, minus its artillery was ordered off the line outside of Leningrad. 1leichte-Brigade 1leichte-Division 6Panzer-Division The German 1st Light Brigade was a mechanized unit established in October 1937 in imitation The division was to be transferred to Army Group Centre to take part in Operation Typhoon – the attempt to capture Moscow. Army Group Center (Heeresgruppe Mitte was the name of two distinct German strategic Army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II The Battle of Moscow (Битва под Москвой Romanized: Bitva pod Moskvoy, Schlacht um Moskau is the name given by the Soviet historians to the two Moscow (Москва́ romanised: Moskvá, IPA: see also other names) is the Capital and the largest city of In Raus' opinion, the Soviet strength in his division's sector had been crushed, opening an opportunity to break into the city. He tells of how his men in one week during the furious fighting outside the city had rolled up 12 Soviet defensive positions and captured 248 bunkers. 
On the 11th October he was awarded the Knights Cross for his seizure and defence of the Luga River bridgehead. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross ( German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, often simply Ritterkreuz) was a grade of the Iron Cross 
Raus and his men were transferred to the LVI Panzer Corp and formed part of the spearhead striking for Moscow. Moscow (Москва́ romanised: Moskvá, IPA: see also other names) is the Capital and the largest city of During this drive, his men working in combination with other panzer divisions helped encircle 400 000 men at Vyazma. Vyazma (Вя́зьма Wiaźma is a town in Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Vyazma River, about halfway between Smolensk and
At the beginning of December they stood only 14km from the outskirts of Moscow. During the Soviet winter counterattack Raus claims to have saved his entire division by giving orders to blast holes into the frozen soil - each large enough to shelter three to five soldiers. Within hours his men were dug in and able to repel further Soviet attacks and withstand the terrible weather for fewer losses. 
During the beginning of January the Soviet counterattacks were threatening to cut off the Fourth and Ninth armies, here Raus gained a new command of high importance. General Model (commanding the Ninth Army) issued orders that all rear area personnel would be placed under the command of Raus and he was given the job of organising these men to protect the lines of communications and stop any encircling operation by the Soviets.  By February, Raus states he had collected around 35 000 men under his command and by mid February was counterattacking the Soviet positions, helping stabilise the line and halt any chance of large chunks of Army Group Centre from being encircled. Army Group Center (Heeresgruppe Mitte was the name of two distinct German strategic Army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II
In early April, now with only his 6th Panzer Division under his command they were transferred to France to refit and rest and he was appointed the commander of the division on the 29th April. 
In mid November, the division left France for the Soviet Union via train. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Raus claims to have saved much of his division from needless casualties by ignoring protests by train officials and organizing the transport of his men in what he called "Combat Trains", that being each trainload of his men would be able to deploy into small combined arms groups and thus be able to effectively repel partisan attacks for minimal material damage or loss of life. 
By the end of November, the division was detrained and its mission became clear: To take part in Operation Winter Storm. This article is about Operation Wintergewitter - Eastern Front.
As the division along with the other elements of XLVIII Panzer Corps attacked, Raus makes clear that his division's ability to inflict such heavy losses upon the Soviet forces facing them was in part due to his leadership skills and inspiration. The XLVIII Panzer Corps ( German XLVIII Panzerkorps) originally called the XLVIII Motorized Corps, was a Corps level formation of the German
When the offensive was called off and the Panzer divisions called back, Raus makes the claim that his troops were within striking distance of Stalingrad and that his force could have saved the encircled Sixth Army claiming there was no resistance between them. The 6th Army was a German Field army which saw action in World War I and World War II. He fails to mention that the relief force was unable to carry on fighting towards the city because of increasing numbers of Soviet formations moving between the two and that Paulus was also unwilling to breakout.
With the collapse of the front following Stalingrad, Raus found himself being placed in command of a newly formed XI Corps known until midsummer as “Provisional Corps Raus” , as well as a promotion to General of Panzer Troops. The Battle of Stalingrad is a commonly used name in English sources for several large operations by Germany and its allies and Soviet forces conducted with the  He was now under the command of Army Detachment Kempf and was commanding himself the 168th, 298h and 320th Infantry Divisions.
His men took part in the counterattack during the Third Battle of Kharkov, he then lead his men fighting across the Donets River during the Battle of Kursk (now commanding the 106th, 168th and 320th Infantry Divisions), there mission being to screen the Fourth Panzer Army while they broke through he Soviet defences and drove on for Kursk to complete the encirclement. The Third Battle of Kharkov was a series of offensive operations undertaken by the German Army Group South against the Red Army, around the city of Kharkov ( The river Seversky Donets (Северский Донец Сіверський Донець alternatively Donetz) flows into the Don River Russia The Battle of Kursk (Курская битва refers to a series of German and Soviet operations on the Eastern Front of World War II
In late July following the failure of Operation Citadel, Raus' badly mauled Corp fought a rearguard action towards the Donets while the rest of the Army crossed before they finally crossed over. The Battle of Kursk (Курская битва refers to a series of German and Soviet operations on the Eastern Front of World War II
There would be no relief for Raus or his men as the Red Army kept up its attacks, at this time the whole front was being pushed back by the Red Army, he nevertheless managed to stabilise a major crossing point across the Donets. In doing so, he halted the Russians that threatened to outrun the retreating German army, which was scrambling to establish themselves on the Panther-Wotan Line; which was only partially completed at the time. The Panther-Wotan Line was a Defensive line partially built by the Wehrmacht in 1943 on the Eastern Front.
When they were finally ordered to fall back his men had taken heavy losses, they fell back on Kharkov where they took part in the final battle for the city.
For his leadership during the defensive fighting from Belgorad to Kharkov he was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross. 
He would soon again be on the retreat, leading his men from Kharkov back to the Dnieper River, having to fend off constant Soviet attacks and attempts to envelop the Corp until they reached the bridgehead at the river on the 20th September. For the rocket see Dnepr rocket. For other uses see Dnieper (disambiguation.
Following his arrival, 8th Army gave Raus the mission of organizing the withdrawal of all Axis units in its sector (13 divisions) from the east side of the river to the west. The 8th Army (German 8 Armee Oberkommando) was a World War I and World War II field army 
Following these events Raus spent the rest of the year fighting in the Ukraine. On 10 December 1943 he was appointed acting commander of the Fourth Panzer Army.
Several days later after setting up effective administration and improvising whatever craft he could lay his hands on, he had succeeded in his mission, pulling all divisions back across the river as well as thousands of cattle and horses  .
The first test of his command was to blunt the Soviet Christmas offensive launched on the 24th. Having deployed his units to be able to absorb the initial Soviet attack, he ordered the construction of an anti tank ditch behind his lines as well as the evacuation of all unneeded material along with other efforts, but they were not to able to halt the Soviets  .
However, through skillful use of his forces, Raus halted the Soviet offensive and scored a major defensive success although losing many men and being pushed back around 100 kilometres. He had kept the Soviets from breaking through  although Raus openly admits that General Balck’s Panzer Corp played a key role in halting the Soviet attack. Hermann Balck ( December 7, 1893 &ndash November 29, 1982) was a General in Nazi Germany 's Wehrmacht during 
More fighting was to follow through April which resulted in the loss of further men unnecessarily due to Hitler's orders to turn cities and towns into fortresses and fight to the last man.
Some have called Raus one of the most competent and creative Generals to serve on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front of World War II (die Ostfront 1941-1945, der Rußlandfeldzug 1941-1945 (Russian campaign or der Ostfeldzug 1941-1945 (Eastern Campaign While many would dismiss the first, on reading his memoirs he does appear to be the latter, using innovative tactics when leading his division into the Soviet Union and the subsequent campaigns and then again when in command of Corps and finally Armies.
Others have commented that his achievements throughout the war mostly go unrecognised even though he was very successful when in command and blame the high command for pulling him off the line when he was close to achieving his objectives. The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH was Germany 's Army High Command from 1936 to 1945
In general the Eastern Front does not get as much attention as it should in the West and when the invasion of the Soviet Union began Raus was only in command of a Kampfgruppe (roughly a brigade) before rising to a divisional commander. The Eastern Front of World War II (die Ostfront 1941-1945, der Rußlandfeldzug 1941-1945 (Russian campaign or der Ostfeldzug 1941-1945 (Eastern Campaign In Military history and Military slang, the German term Kampfgruppe (pl Casual observers of the events on the Eastern Front would probably not have heard of him. The Eastern Front of World War II (die Ostfront 1941-1945, der Rußlandfeldzug 1941-1945 (Russian campaign or der Ostfeldzug 1941-1945 (Eastern Campaign Following that, he was always fighting in the shadow of events, people or divisions, which catch the attention of readers and historians.
For example, even though he won awards for his outstanding achievements during the drive to Leningrad, historical attention appears to focus on the massive encircling battles that Army Group Centre was conducting. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River Army Group Center (Heeresgruppe Mitte was the name of two distinct German strategic Army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II At Kharkov and Kursk, the Waffen SS and the Grossdeutschland divisions get the most attention and in the latter battle Raus was commanding an Infantry Corp on the extreme southern flank of the fighting away from the more popular large tank brawls which were taking place, while people such as Hoth or von Manstein are the more prominent figures. The Third Battle of Kharkov was a series of offensive operations undertaken by the German Army Group South against the Red Army, around the city of Kharkov ( The Battle of Kursk (Курская битва refers to a series of German and Soviet operations on the Eastern Front of World War II The Waffen-SS ( German for "Armed SS" literally "Weapons SS" was the Combat arm of the Schutzstaffel ("Protective Squadron" Infanterie-Division Großdeutschland (mot Panzergrenadier-Division Großdeutschland Panzer-Korps Großdeutschland The Battle of Prokhorovka was the largest tank battle in Military history, fought by armoured formations of Wehrmacht and the Red Army. Hermann "Papa" Hoth ( 12 April 1885 - 25 January 1971) was an officer in the German Military from Erich von Manstein ( November 24, 1887 &ndash June 9 1973) served the German military as a lifelong professional soldier
Raus wasn't popular with the major German military writers following WWII because Raus didn't subscribe to the use of armor in the defense in the way Guderian and others had developed the doctrine. The popularizers of German tactics in postwar writings, perhaps mostly F. W. von Mellenthin, believed armor should be used solely in mobile operations. Mellenthin disparaged Raus in his classic Panzer Battles for just these reasons. Steven H. Newton, however, argues persuasively that Raus developed a different tactical model that was just as effective and was a more realistic way to confront Soviet superiority in men and materiel after about 1943, when the Nazis lacked the means for mobile operations.
As for the claim that he was close to achieving the capture of Leningrad, Moscow and could have broke through to Stalingrad and it was the high commands fault he was "pulled off the line", these have been refuted by historical events. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River Moscow (Москва́ romanised: Moskvá, IPA: see also other names) is the Capital and the largest city of This article is about Operation Wintergewitter - Eastern Front. The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH was Germany 's Army High Command from 1936 to 1945 For example the latter, where more and more Soviet units were being pushed between Stalingrad and the relief force attempting to push through and the Soviet counterattacks being launched elsewhere which was pushing the front back. This article is about Operation Wintergewitter - Eastern Front.
Raus subsequently wrote and co-wrote a number of books and publications focusing on strategic analysis of the tank tactics used by his forces on the Eastern front. He died in Vienna General hospital on the 3rd April 1956. Vienna ( in Wien; see also other names) is the Capital of Austria, and is also one of the nine States of Austria.
Generalleutnant Franz Landgraf
|Commander of 6. Panzer Division|
29 April 1942–7 February 1943 
Generalleutnant Walther von Hünersdorff
|Commander of XI Corps (known as Provisional Corps Raus until 10 May 1943)|
10 February 1943–5 November 1943
General of Panzer Troops Heinrich Eberbach
|Commander of XLVII Panzer Corps|
5 November 1943–30 November 1943]
General of Panzer Troops Hermann Balck
Generaloberst Hermann Hoth
|Commander of 4. Panzer-Armee|
10 November 1943–21 April 1944]
General of Panzer Troops Walter Nehring
Colonel General Hans Hube
|Commander of 1. Panzerarmee|
21 April 1944–July, 1944]
General of Panzer Troops Erhard Raus
|Commander of Armeegruppe Raus|
July, 1944–August, 1944]
Colonel-General Gotthard Heinrici
Generaloberst Georg-Hans Reinhardt
|Commander of 3. Panzer-Armee|
16 August 1944–10 March 1945
General Hasso-Eccard von Manteuffel