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Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin
4 September 1891(1891-09-04) ‚Äď 9 January 1963 (aged 71)
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-311-0914-10A, General Fridolin v. Senger und Etterlin.jpg
Place of birth Waldshut
Place of death Freiburg
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held 17. Panzer-Division
XIV. Panzerkorps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Frido von Senger und Etterlin (September 4, 1891 ‚Äď January 9, 1963) was a German general during World War II.



Frido von Senger und Etterlin was born in Waldshut, Germany, into an aristocratic Roman Catholic family. He started his military career in 1910, serving in an artillery regiment. After that he went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He participated in World War I as a lieutenant.

After World War I, he continued to serve in the Reichswehr as a squadron commander of 18th Cavalry Regiment. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1927, to lieutenant-colonel in 1936 and to colonel in 1939, while commanding the 22nd Cavalry Regiment.

During the Battle of France, von Senger und Etterlin commanded the Schnelle Brigade von Senger and was part of the German commission for the French-Italian Armistice of 1940. On September 1, 1941, he was promoted to major-general.

On October 10, 1942, von Senger und Etterlin received the command of the 17th Panzer Division in Southern Russia. On May 1, 1943, he was promoted to lieutenant-general. In June 1943 he received the command of the German forces in Sicily during the Battle of Sicily. In August 1943, he commanded German formations on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. He conducted the evacuation from all of these islands when the German position there became untenable. On October 8, 1943, he received the command of the XIV Panzer Korps in Italy, and on January 1, 1944, he was promoted to General der Panzertruppen.

During the Battle of Monte Cassino, von Senger und Etterlin was responsible for the very successful defense of the Gustav Line, which included Monte Cassino. The German position was only broken by the Allies in May, 1944.[1] There was an ironic twist to the battle: the monastery overlooking the town of Cassino which was destroyed by Allied bombing belonged to the Benedictines, the order of which von Senger was a lay member.[2]

Frido von Senger und Etterlin was one of the generals who opposed the principles of Nazism, but he was not implicated in the plot to kill Hitler. However, his known anti-Nazi feelings resulted in his contribution to the defence of Cassino being played down by the German authorities.[2]

After the war he wrote his memoirs, entitled Neither Fear nor Hope (which were translated into English), and he continued to write on military matters and theory.

He took part in a BBC Radio discussion on the Battle of Monte Cassino with Dan Davin, who had also been a Rhodes Scholar, and Desmond (Paddy) Costello, who like Davin had been in Allied corps commander Bernard Freyberg’s intelligence team. He was interviewed on the BBC TV programme Face to Face in 1960.

Frido von Senger und Etterlin died in Freiburg.


See also


  1. ^ Fridd von Senger und Etterlin (sic) "Cassino Battles", An Cosantoir, n.d.
  2. ^ a b Majdalany (1957), p. 46


  • Majdalany, Fred (1957). Cassino: Portrait of a Battle. London: Longmans, Green.  
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000), Die Tr√§ger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Ritterkreuztr√§ger 1939‚Äď1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verb√ľndeter Streitkr√§fte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • von Senger und Etterlin, Fridolin (1963). Neither fear nor hope: the wartime career of general Frido von Senger und Etterlin, defender of Cassino. translated from the German by George Malcolm. London: Macdonald.  
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Rudolf-Eduard Licht
Commander of 17th Panzer Division
October 10, 1942 - June 16, 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Walter Schilling
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppen Joachim Lemelsen
Commander of 14. Armee
October 15, 1944 - October 24, 1944
Succeeded by
General der Artillerie Heinz Ziegler


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