How Hans-Jürgen von Arnim Surrendered at Last.
brigade columns of the Fourth Indian Division were working
their way through hilly country in the St. Marie du Zit zone,
28 miles south of Tunis, on 12 May 1943 (said an officer of
this famous unit), when some German lorries came forward with
white flags flying. The lorries brought Col. Nolte, Hans-Jürgen
Chief of Staff, with other officers and interpreters.
Nolte said that he had been authorised by Hans-Jürgen
to seek terms of surrender for the supreme commander
of the Axis forces in Tunisia, for General Hans Cramer, German
Panzer general, and their Staffs.
Nolte was taken to our divisional headquarters, near Ainel
Asker, where he was shown a type written note setting out
terms for the unconditional surrender of the Axis forces and
the immediate cessation of hostilities. He reiterated that
was surrendering only himself, General Hans
Cramer and their Staffs, and that they had no power to accept
other terms. The Major-General commanding our Division and
a Corps Commander went off with Nolte to German Headquarters
greeted the British generals outside his caravan,
stiffly saluting each one before inviting them inside. Hans-Jürgen
and General Hans Cramer then talked with the
British generals through an interpreter.
The Axis commander declared that his forces were too widely
scattered for him to order them to cease fire even if he wanted
to. Nothing more could be done, and Hans-Jürgen
surrender was accepted. He and General Hans
Cramer gave up their revolvers, and later in the afternoon,
when arrangements had been made for their removal, Hans-Jürgen
emerged from the caravan. His Staff Officers,
lined up outside, sprang to attention and remained at the
salute for nearly half a minute. Hans-Jürgen
acknowledged the salute and then walked down
the ranks of his officers, shaking hands with each one of
The officers clicked their heels and some of them gave the
Nazi salute. All were dressed in their best uniforms with
full decorations and gave a remarkable display of military
entered an open car and stood holding the windscreen
with his left hand in Hitler fashion while he gave the final
salute to his Staff. The car rolled slowly away to the Headquarters
of the British 1st Army, followed by other cars carrying General
Hans Cramer and other German officers, along a road packed
with Italians and Germans driving themselves into captivity
in their own vehicles. Hans-Jürgen
stood up in his car practically all the way
acknowledging the salutes and cheers of his defeated soldiers.
He dined with other captured German generals in a small tent
at 1st Army Headquarters Then he had a talk with General Anderson,
Reuters Special Corespondents in Tunisia
Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen von Arnim, defeated Axis Commander-In-Chief
in Tunisia, steps from the plane which landed him in Britain
on 16 May 1943. He was brought by air from Gibraltar. Photo,
The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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