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Original German WWII Leather Greatcoat & Swagger Stick Attributed to 4th Panzer Div. & 5th Panzer Army Commander General der Panzertruppen Heinrich Eberbach - Formerly Part of the A.A.F. Tank Museum

Regular price $4,995.00

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Heinrich Eberbach (24 November 1895 – 13 July 1992) was a German Panzertruppe General in the Heer Army during World War II, who commanded the 4th Panzer Division and later the 5th Panzer Army during his WWII service. Originally an Oberstleutnant (Lt. Colonel) at the beginning of the war, he eventually rose to the rank of General der Panzertruppe (Lt. General) at the end of the war when commander of the 5th Panzer Army. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, later receiving Oak Leaves for it, as well as many other prestigious awards.

This wonderful German WWII Leather Greatcoat & Swagger stick Set came to us from the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance Memorial Museum. The AAF Tank Museum was a living memorial dedicated to the Tank and Cavalry soldiers of the world. Before 1981 some of the artifacts that make up the AAF Tank Museum was a private collection belonging to Mr. William Gasser. Mr. Gasser felt that his collection would be beneficial in educating present and future generations to the sacrifices made and the technologies gained during war. Therefore, in 1981 the AAF Tank Museum was established as a non-profit charitable organization, and Mr. Gasser's donated his private collection to the Tank Museum. Mr. Gasser is still active as Volunteer Director and Curator of the Tank Museum and his knowledge of military history has been a great asset to the museum. Unfortunately after 20 years of operation it had to close its doors, which is when this set was acquired.

Born 24 November 1895, Heinrich Eberbach graduated with his Abitur diploma on 30 June 1914, and on the next day joined the Army of Württemberg. When the war broke out, Eberbach was deployed to the Western Front, and during September 1915, Eberbach was severely wounded, losing part of his nose, and was taken prisoner of war by French forces. He eventually was released to Germany via Switzerland, and fought for a bit more during the war. During the Weimar republic, he served as a police officer, before joining the Wehrmacht in 1935.

He was well-decorated, and the following is a list of awards we have been able to locate, along with the dates they were bestowed, if available:

● Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class (12 October 1914)
- 1st Class (10 November 1917)
● Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (spange - 23 September 23 1939)
- 1st Class (spange - 2 October 2 1939)

Most notably, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 4 July 1940 as Oberstleutnant and commander of  Panzer-Regiment 35 / 4. Panzer-Division / XVI. Armee-Korps. This was just after the Fall of France, and many areas of resistance were still present. The unit was able to capture several major bridges, and the next day captured 5000 prisoners and many AFVs. He was then the 42nd Recipient of the Oak Leaves for the Knight's Cross on 31 December 1941 as Oberst and commander of 5.Panzer-Brigade / 4. Panzer-Division / XXIV. Armee-Korps / 2. Armee / Heeresgruppe Mitte. It should also be noted that due to his long service he would have qualified for the Wehrmacht Long Service awards, and other awards not listed.

Each shoulder is decorated with button-attached style General der Panzertruppen rank shoulder boards. They are both constructed out of a row of interwoven silver and gold bullion strands in the typical Russian braid style in an interlocking weave pattern ending at a pebbled gilt metal (magnetic) button. There are two rank pips installed, correct for a General der Panzertruppen and other specialized General ranks equivalent to a U.S. Army Lt. General. Of note is that they are of slightly different materials and sizes, so the shoulder boards were upgraded as Eberbach rose in rank. We do not know which pair were added first, but that they are matching pairs means they were almost certainly added during wartime.

The included swagger stick is in relatively good condition, showing a Panzer soldier wearing a wrap tunic as well as a "Panzer Beret" protective helmet. It is also fitted with a 1914 Iron Cross insignia, indicating that the owner saw WWI service, as Eberbach did. The head of the figure has broken off, and was repaired at some point, but it still can fall out. The swagger stick fits into slots added to the left side of the greatcoat, and measures 39 inches in overall length.

We were also able to find just TWO photographs of Eberbach on the internet, one of which is an autographed photograph, with the other a post war picture at Trent POW Camp. These are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not included.

A lovely German WWII leather greatcoat, attributed to a legendary Panzertruppe General. Ready to research and display!

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 11"
Shoulder to sleeve: 26”
Shoulder to shoulder: 18”
Chest width: 23"
Waist width: 22"
Hip width: 29"
Front length: 48.5"

More Information on Heinrich Eberbach:
Heinrich Eberbach (24 November 1895 – 13 July 1992) was a German general during World War II who commanded the 5th Panzer Army during the Allied invasion of Normandy. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of NSDAP Germany.

World War I and interwar years
Heinrich Eberbach was born on 24 November 1895 in Stuttgart, in the German Empire. Eberbach graduated with his Abitur (university-preparatory high school diploma) on 30 June 1914. On 1 July 1914, Eberbach joined the Army of Württemberg. With the outbreak of World War I, Eberbach's unit was deployed on the Western Front. On 16 October 1914, Eberbach was wounded in his thigh by artillery shrapnel. In September 1915, Eberbach was severely wounded, losing part of his nose, and was taken prisoner of war by French forces. During the 1920s Eberbach was a police officer; in 1935 he joined the Wehrmacht. In 1938 Eberbach became commander of a Panzer regiment, in the newly formed 4th Panzer Division under General Georg-Hans Reinhardt.

World War II
Eberbach participated in the German Invasion of Poland in September 1939 and then in 1940 in the Battle of France. His unit supported General Hasso von Manteuffel's offensive across the Meuse River in May. Shortly after the start of Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, he was assigned as commander of the 5th Panzer Brigade in Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg's XXIV Panzer Corps.

During the Battle of Moscow, Eberbach spearheaded Panzer Group 2's offensive towards Moscow as the commander of a combined-arms kampfgruppe within the 4th Panzer Division.[4] The attack began on September 30 and in only two days of fighting Kampfgruppe Eberbach had achieved a clean breakthrough, advanced over 120 kilometers, and put the entire Soviet Bryansk Front in a disastrous position while suffering negligible losses of its own. Eberbach demonstrated his flexibility as a troop leader by detaching two battalions to assist the 3rd Panzer Division's efforts in the same area of operations near Bryansk, despite serving under a different division. Soviet air attacks and a fuel shortage early on 2 October failed to prevent the kampfgruppe's aggressive combat leaders from advancing on the city of Orel, ending the Soviet industrial relocation efforts there and capturing a key communications hub of the Bryansk Front, on 3 October. Kampfgruppe Eberbach's losses had been light: 6 tanks knocked out, 34 men killed and 121 wounded. This was a small price to pay for the complete rupturing of the Soviet lines and the capture of a city of such strategic value. 4th Panzer division had also captured 1,600 Soviet troops, mostly Kampfgruppe Eberbach's work.

In March 1942 he was made commander of the 4th Panzer Division, in the German lines opposite the Russian town of Sukhinichi, roughly 120 miles west of Tula. In late November 1942 Eberbach was appointed commander of the XLVIII Panzer Corps that had just been overrun in the initial days of Operation Uranus, near the midpoint of the Battle of Stalingrad. Eberbach was soon wounded and evacuated, remaining hospitalized until February. He then became Inspector of the Armored Troops in the Home Army, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and promoted to lieutenant general.

In November 1943, Eberbach became commander of troops around Nikopol and fought in battles around Zhitomir in the Soviet Union. In early 1944 Eberbach was promoted to the rank of General der Panzertruppe. During the Allied invasion of Normandy, he fought against the British landings along the 'Juno' and 'Sword' beaches. On 4 July he took command of "Panzer Group West" (later, 5th Panzer Army) after Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg was relieved (two days before). On 9 August, this force was divided, with 5th Panzer Army retreating with the most damaged units; the effective units were reorganized as Panzergruppe Eberbach.

Eberbach was directed to lead this force in the counterattack through Mortain toward Avranches that was intended to cut off the Allied forces which had broken out of Normandy. According to Eberbach's post-war memoirs, he had no confidence in the attack. When General Warlimont of OKW arrived at his HQ on 1 August to "get a closer look at the situation", Eberbach told him that "the only possible solution was an immediate retreat to the Seine-Yonne line." However, Warlimont denied Eberbach's request to withdraw, and instead confirmed the order to attack.

The attack failed, and most of Panzergruppe Eberbach and 7th Army was surrounded and destroyed in the Falaise Pocket. Eberbach escaped and was given command of the remnants of 7th Army on 21 August. On 31 August Eberbach was surprised in his bed and captured by British troops at Amiens. He was later presented to Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks.

Post World War II
Eberbach was held in a prisoner-of-war camp until 1948. He participated in the work of the U.S. Army Historical Division, where, under the guidance of Franz Halder, German generals wrote World War II operational studies for the U.S. Army, first as POWs and then as employees. Eberbach was the father of the naval officer Heinz-Eugen Eberbach, commander of U-967 and U-230 during World War II.

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