Schole Harsein, about to be shot in 1941.
|Born||April 8, 1889|
|Died||July 6, 1941|
Niemen River Crossing, Russia
|Rank||13th Panzer Division Commander|
|Key Conflicts||World War II|
|Key Battles||Niemen River Incident|
Schole Harsein was born in Schweinfurt, Germany, to parents of mixed German and Turkish ancestry; his grandfather served in the expedition of Helmuth von Moltke the Elder in 1832 to Egypt to assist the Ottoman Empire, and married a local woman and returned to Germany with her. Harsein was educated in Russia, and after school, he fought in World War I as a junior officer under the command of Erich von Falkenhayn. He was wounded at Verdun in 1916, and nearly died during the battle of Arras in 1917, where he was one of the first men to pilot a tank. After World War I, he immigrated to Denmark, where he went to college and finished his education. Harsein returned to Germany in 1922, and fought in the Beer Hall Putsch against the Bavarian government in support of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party. He was imprisoned in Bad Aibling Prison, and was released in 1930. He led the German 35th Infantry Division down the streets of Rain-am-Lech during the overthrow of Paul von Hindenburg's Weimar Republic, and retired from military service in 1934, a year after the war.
World War II Edit
Harsein returned to active military service in 1939, given the rank of Tank Commander. He fought in the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and he fought in the Battle of Kock against the Polish troops, where he commanded the 13th Panzer Division. Harsein was later sent to the Low Countries and fought in the Battle of Belgium and the Fall of France, and he fought in the Balkans in March 1941. On June 22, he was ordered to fight on the Eastern Front, taking part in Operation Barbarossa. He fought alongside German panzer aces in the advance to Russia, and he was assassinated near the Niemen River, shot in the head, by a Russian sniper; Harsein was a skilled soldier.