Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz

Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz
Born (1896-12-06)6 December 1896
Died 9 October 1969(1969-10-09) (aged 72)
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held 2nd Panzer Division
XLVII Panzer Corps

World War I

World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz (6 December 1896 – 9 October 1969) was a German general (General der Panzertruppe) during World War II who commanded the 2nd Panzer Division and the XLVII Panzer Corps.

Battle of the Bulge, "Nuts!"

In 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, Lüttwitz, commander of the XLVII Panzer Corps, had surrounded the US 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne commanded by US Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe. Before launching an assault by the 26th Volksgrenadier Division against the town, Lüttwitz sent an ultimatum to the American forces. His demand for the US troops to surrender was the following:

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note. If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term. All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

He received the following reply from McAuliffe:

To the German Commander. NUTS!

McAuliffe's reply, "Nuts!" was explained to the German negotiators as the equivalent of "go to hell!"



  1. Heinrich von Lüttwitz's nomination by the troop was received by the Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Personnel Office) on 28 April 1945. Major Joachim Domaschk decided on 30 April: "Heeresgruppe B, postpone!" General Von Lüttwiz together with the remaining forces of the Heeresgruppe B was either taken prisoner of war or missing in action in the Ruhr Pocket on 15 April. The nomination was thus not further processed in accordance with AHA 44 Ziff. 572. The nomination list for the higher grades of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross also contains a note from 28 April 1945: "postponed". A bestowal thus didn't occur.[5]




  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Reichswehrministerium, ed. (1924). Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres (in German). Berlin, Germany: Mittler & Sohn Verlag. OCLC 10573418. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 

Further reading

  • R. V. Cassill (1955), The General Said "Nuts": Exciting Moments of Our History—As Recalled by Our Favorite American Slogans, New York: Birk.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Vollrath Lübbe
Commander of 2. Panzer-Division
1 February 1944 – 4 May 1944
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven
Commander of 2. Panzer-Division
27 May 1944 – 31 August 1944
Succeeded by
Oberst Eberhard von Nostitz
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Hans Freiherr von Funck
Commander of XLVII. Panzerkorps
4 September 1944 – April 1945
Succeeded by
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