SOME OF THE PRISONERS HELD AT
SPECIAL CAMP 11


NAME: Generalleutnant Harry Hoppe

PW NO:         340730

RANK:          Generalleutnant

CAPTURED:  Belluno, Italy

DATE:            2nd May 45

PERSONAL
DATE OF BIRTH:     11 February 1894 (Born as Arthur Hoppe, he formally
                                                                changed his first name to “Harry” on 18 February 1943.)

PLACE OF BIRTH:   Braunschweig

DATE OF DEATH:    23 August 1969

PLACE OF DEATH: Wetzlar

NATIONALITY:       German

RELIGION:                Evangelical

OCCUPATION:        Regular Soldier

HEIGHT:                    5'8"

WEIGHT:                  132lbs

HAIR COLOUR:       Fair

EYE COLOUR:         Blue

NEXT OF KIN:         Christine Hoppe, (US Zone)

Promotions:

Commands & Assignments:

  • 8 August 1914: Entered the Army as a War Volunteer in Braunschweigisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.92.
  • 15 September 1914: In the field with Reserve Infantry Regiment 208.
  • 24 October 1914: Wounded/in hospital.
  • 22 December 1914: Allocated to the Replacement Battalion of Reserve Infantry Regiment 208.
  • 18 February 1915-14 April 1915: Detached to the Fahnenjunker Course in Döberitz.
  • 13 April 1915: Named a Reserve Officer Aspirant.
  • 21 April 1915: In the field with the Garde-Füsilier-Regiment.
  • 5 June 1915: Sick/in hospital.
  • 20 August 1915: Allocated to the II. Replacement Battalion of the Guard Fusilier Regiment.
  • 20 August 1915: Transferred to the Replacement Depot of the XXXX Reserve Corps.
  • 29 November 1915: In the field with Reserve Infantry Regiment 261.
  • 1 October 1916: Leader of the 2nd Company of Reserve Infantry Regiment 261.
  • 9 April 1917: Wounded/in hospital.
  • 30 August 1917: Again, Leader of the 2nd Company of Reserve Infantry Regiment 261.
  • 18 March 1918: While retaining his position in Reserve Infantry Regiment 261, named an Active Officer in 5. Hannoversches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.165.
  • 27 December 1918: Allocated to Detachment “von Grothe” in Freikorps “von Hülsen.” [Formed near Berlin in December 1918, this volunteer unit was commanded by Generalleutnant Walter von Hülsen. After taking part in putting down the Spartacus uprising in Berlin in January 1919 and quelling further disturbances there in March, von Hülsen’s unit was later incorporated into the Reichswehr as III. Reichswehr Brigade.]
  • 30 April 1919: Transferred to Infantry Regiment 165.
  • 19 August 1919: Transferred to Reichswehr Schützen [Rifle]-Regiment 6.
  • 15 October 1919: Transferred to Reichswehr Infantry Regiment 103.
  • 14 May 1920: Transferred to Reichswehr Infantry Regiment 12.
  • 22 May 1920: Leader of the 7th Company of Infantry Regiment 31.
  • 5 November 1920: Transferred to Reichswehr Schützen-Regiment 13.
  • 1 January 1921: Transferred to Infantry Regiment 18.
  • 16 March 1925-8 April 1925: Detached to the Course for Light Machineguns in Munsterlager.
  • 23 June 1925-19 November 1925: Detached for the training of Instructors in Physical Education at Wünsdorf.
  • 1 September 1927: Transferred to the 13th Company (Mortar) of Infantry Regiment 18.
  • 4 April 1927-28 August 1927: Detached to the Officers’ Weapons Course in Dresden.
  • 1 June 1928-20 September 1928: Detached to Artillery Regiment 3.
  • 1 October 1928: Detached for Leader Assistant training with the staff of the 2nd Division.
  • 1 June 1929-25 September 1929: Detached to the 4th Signals Battalion.
  • 1 October 1930: Transferred to Infantry Regiment 2 and detached to Infantry Regiment 9 and to the Reich Archive, Potsdam.
  • 1 October 1931: Transferred to Infantry Regiment 15.
  • 1 December 1931: Chief of the 12th Company of Infantry Regiment 15.
  • 6 October 1933-28 October 1933: Detached to the Transport and Equipment Course at the Hannover Transport Training Command.
  • 1 October 1934: Company Chief in Infantry Regiment “Kassel.”
  • 1 October 1935: Commander of Machine Gun Battalion 2.
  • 19 December 1939: Operations Officer (Ia) and Infantry Advisor on the Reconnaissance Staff of the Commander-in-Chief East.
  • 5 October 1940: Commander of Infantry Regiment 424 of the 126th Infantry Division. [The division was engaged in the invasion of the Soviet Union from June 1941 as a component of Generaloberst Ernst Busch’s 16th Army in Army Group North.]
  • 14 October 1942: Delegated with the leadership of the 126th Infantry Division on the Eastern Front.
  • 1 December 1942: Commander of the 126th Infantry Division on the Eastern Front.
  • 25 April 1943-14 July 1943: Delegated with the leadership of the 126th Infantry Division on the Eastern Front.
  • 10 December 1943: Commander of the 278th Infantry Division. [The division was deployed from Belgium to Italy in February 1944.]
  • 5 April 1945: Commander of the 278th Volksgrenadier Division in Italy.
  • 8 May 1945-17 May 1948: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
    • 4th October 1946 transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from LDC (London District Cage)
    • 12th May 1948 transferred to Camp 186 for repatriation.

Harry Hoppe was nicknamed “Stan Laurel” by his comrades because of his facial resemblance to the English actor/comedian. He was the commander of 278th Infantry Division in Italy; integrated into this unit was one of the few fascist Italian battalions of the RSI (Italian Social Republic, Mussolini's last “puppet government”) used by the German Wehrmacht in the front line. It was named “battaglione d'assalto Forlì” (assault battalion Forlì). It was composed by 500 fascists from Forlì, Mussolini's hometown, who defended the city.

Awards & Decorations:

  • Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross: 12 September 1941, Oberst, Commander of Infantry Regiment 424.
  • Oakleaves (No. 682): 18 December 1944, Generalleutnant, Commander of the 278th Infantry Division.
  • German Cross in Gold: 16 May 1942, Oberst, Commander of Infantry Regiment 424.
  • Prussian Royal Hohenzollern House Order, Knight’s Cross with Swords: 17 April 1918.
  • Prussian Iron Cross 1st Class (1914): 15 March 1917.
  • Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class (1914): 20 March 1916.
  • 1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class: 12 July 1941.
  • 1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class: 26 September 1939.
  • Medal for the Winter Campaign in Russia 1941/1942 (“East Medal”)
  • Brunswick War Merit Cross, 1st Class
  • Brunswick War Merit Cross, 2nd Class with “Bewährung” (Reliability) Clasp
  • Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
  • Armed Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year Service Cross)
  • Armed Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service Medal)
  • Wound Badge in Silver – World War I award
  • Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht [Armed Forces Communiqué]: 6 July 1944.
Uniform photos provided courtesy of the private collection of Drew Wright

Click here to see a photo of Generalleutnant Harry Hoppe in the company of fellow prisoners of war at Island Farm.

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