(Photo courtesy of Marcus Wendel, from collection of D.W. Paul)


Generalleutnant Johann ("Hans") Theodor von Ravenstein

Born: 01.01.1889 in Strehlen / Schlesien.
Died: 26.03.1962 in Duisburg.

Promotions:
24.03.1909 -- Leutnant (mit Patent vom 24.06.1909)
15.06.1915 -- Oberleutnant
00.06.1918 -- Hauptmann
31.03.1920 -- Charakter als Major
01.05.1934 -- Major (mit RDA vom 01.05.1934)
01.10.1936 -- Oberstleutnant
01.08.1939 -- Oberst (mit RDA vom 01.04.1939)
20.05.1941 -- Generalmajor
01.10.1943 -- Generalleutnant

Career:
00.00.1899 - 00.00.1903 -- Attended the Kadettenanstalt at Wahlstatt.
00.00.1903 - 00.00.1909 -- Attended the Hauptkadettenschule Gross- Lichterfelde. He was a member of the Corps of Pages to the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II during this period.
24.03.1909 - 00.00.1912 -- Commissioned as a Leutnant and assigned to Grenadier-Regiment "König Wilhelm I" (2. Westpreußisches) Nr.7.
00.00.1912 - 30.03.1918 (?) -- Assigned to 7. Westpreußisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.155.
30.03.1918 - Kommandeur of I.Battalion / Füsilier-Regiment "von Steinmetz" (1.Westpreußisches) Nr.37.
31.03.1920 -- Discharged from service as char. Major.
00.00.192_ - 00.00.192_ -- Studied law and political science at university.
Worked as electrician with a Duisburg-based firm, then in the administration of the City of Duisburg.

01.05.1934 - 24.11.1938 (?) -- Reentered Heer as a Major, assigned as Kommandeur of II.Bataillon / Infanterie-Regiment 60.
24.11.1938 - 15.07.1940 (?) -- Kommandeur of Schützen-Regiment 4 / 6.Panzer-Division (led this unit in the Polish Campaign, 09.1939 and in the Western Campaign, 05./06.1940.
15.07.1940 - 20.05.1941 -- Kommandeur of 16.Schützen-Brigade / 16.Panzer-Division. Led this unit in Greece, 04.1941. Succeeded by Oberst Paul Wagner.
20.05.1941 - 01.10.1941 -- Kommandeur of 5.leichte-Division in North Africa (reorganized and redesignated as 21.Panzer-Division, 01.10.1941).
01.10.1941 - 29.11.1941 -- Kommandeur of 21.Panzer-Division in North Africa.

Enemy Confinement and Postwar Activities:
Captured by New Zealand troops near Tobruk, 29.11.1941 (first German general to fall into Allied captivity, with PW-Nr. 22301, during World War II). Transported to Tobruk, 30.11.1941. Left Tobruk aboard the British ship "Chakdina", 05.12.1941; vessel sunk by enemy aircraft evening of the same date, and von Ravenstein was rescued/taken aboard the corvette HMS Thogrim, from which he debarked at Mersa Matruh on 07.12.1941. From there he was flown to Cairo by way of Alexandria. On 09.03.1942, he was sent from Cairo to South Africa, arriving in Durban aboard the liner "Pateur" on 18.03.1942. On 29.04.1942, he was transported from Durban, aboard the steamer "Nieuw Amsterdam", to Simonstown, arriving on 05.05.1942, and was moved to the "Queen Elizabeth" on 06.05.1942. At sea aboard the "Q.E." from 07.05.1942 to 22.05.1942. He was then taken by train, 24./25.05.1942 to Canada, and he was held at Bowmanville POW camp in Ontario from 25.05.1942 to 00.06.1943. Transferred in 06.1943 to Grandeligne POW camp in Quebec, where he remained until 00.07.1945. He was then transferred to Farnham POW camp, also in Canada. Transferred to Great Britain, he was held at Camp 17 until 13.06.1946, then transferred to Island Farm POW Special Camp No. XI in Bridgend, Wales where he remained until his 25.11.1947 repatriation to Germany. He then served as a Verkehrsdirektor in Duisburg until his retirement in 1954.

Awards & Decorations:
03.06.1918 -- Pour le mérite as Oberleutnant and Kdr. I.Bataillon / Füsilier-Regiment “von Steinmetz“ (1. Westpreussisches) Nr. 37
03.06.1940 -- Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes as Oberst and Kdr. Schützen-Regiment 4 / 6.Panzer-Division, Western Campaign
00.00.1916 -- Ritterkreuz des Kgl. Preuss. Hausordens von Hohenzollern mit Schwertern
00.00.19__ -- 1939 Spange zum 1914 Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse
00.00.19__ -- 1939 Spange zum 1914 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse
00.00.1915 -- 1914 Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse
00.00.1914 -- 1914 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse
ca. 1918 -- Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Silber
ca. 1934 -- Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
00.00.193_ -- Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung IV. bis III. Klasse

Notes:
* Son of Major Fritz von Ravenstein (1863-1905), an army officer. Great grandson of Leutnant Johann Friedrich August von Ravenstein (1792-1874), who received the Iron Cross as an officer of the Prussian Army in the 1813 - 1815 war against Napoleon. He served as an Adjutant to Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht Fürst Blücher von Wahlstatt, and was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo, 18.06.1815.




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