Oberstleutnant i.G. Friedrich-Wilhelm
28 October 1911 - Berlin
in Stalingrad since 24 January 1943.
Ia (operations officer) of the 29. Infanterie Division (mot.)
Fieldpostnumber in the Stalingrad
Kdo. 29. Inf. Div. (mot.) : 03602
peace time assignment : Füsilierregiment
Oberstleutnant i.G. Friedrich-Wilhelm Meisner
promoted major on 1 January 1942.
promoted Oberstleutnant posthumously on 1 November
Generalmajor Hans-Georg Leyser
(commander 29. Infanterie Division (mot.) during
the battle for Stalingrad) wrote in his Stalingrad
memoirs (published in the Divisional History “Das Buch
der Falke-Division - 29. Infanterie Division (mot.)) that
he saw Oberstleutnant i.G.
Friedrich-Wilhelm Meisner for the last time when he
ordered him on 24 January 1943 to make contact with XIV Panzerkorp
headquarters (superior formation of 29. Infanterie
Division (mot.) commanded by Generalleutnant Helmuth Schlömer.)
Hans-Georg Leyser (left) after he was captured at Stalingrad.
headquarters of the XIV Panzerkorp were in the GPU
cellar (prison). The headquarters of the 29. Infanterie
Division (mot.), by then a Kampfgruppe, was located
in the Tigoda balka. (Tigoda gully). Friedrich-Wilhelm Meisner
never returned to the divisional headquarters from his mission.
Generalmajor Ernst Leyser noticed in his memoirs that he
was informed about a commander’s attempt to break out of the Stalingrad “pocket” (he mentioned no name). This took
place on 26 January 1943 with officers and soldiers of units belonging to the
XIV Panzerkorp likely including Major
Friedrich-Wilhelm Meisner. However, this was not an
order from Generalleutnant Hans-Georg Leyser.
In fact, Leyser could not believe this when he heard about the
attempt to break out. He was informed beforehand that there would be
practically no chance of success. The nearest German frontline was about 300
to 400 km
west from the Stalingrad “pocket”. With no
clothes or food to survive the cold and almost no ammunition, Leyser never heard from this group again.
That his Ia (Meisner) took part in this
attempt was unthinkable for Leyser because to him Oberstleutnant i.G.
Friedrich-Wilhelm Meisner would mentally and
physically not be able to overcome the odds.
Meisner was an intelligent General Staff Officer
who as Ia worked together well with his fellow
officers. However once in the Stalingrad
“pocket” he became ill and had a nervous breakdown. Officially he stayed Ia of the 29. Infanterie
Division (mot) but after his physical and mental exhaustion, his work was taken over by the 01 of the
division (Hauptmann Fritz Schott) and Major von Berg (Ib
of the division)
Oberstleutnant i.G. Friedrich-Wilhelm Meisner was declared officially dead on 8
* On 29
December 1942 Meisner wrote a letter to a friend of
his who was an Oberst. He gave the letter to his
aide, Oberleutnant Herchentröther
whom he ordered to deliver this letter. What was in the letter and to which Oberst it was addressed to remains unknown to this day.