Born in 1904, von Mellenthin joined the Seventh Cavalry Regiment in 1924. In 1935, he began his general staff training and in 1939 was an intelligence officer. By the end of the war, he had risen in rank to Major General and was Chief of General Staff, Fifth Panzer Army, on the Western Front. Active in the Polish campaign of 1939, the conquest of France, the Balkans, the desert with Rommel, as well as in Russia, at Stalingrad, and Kursk, he was in a unique position to write Panzer Battles, having been present at every major panzer campaign. In 1944, he was moved to the Western Front under Field Marshall von Rundstedt. Captured in 1945 by the Americans, he moved to South Africa after the war and became an executive for a major German airline.
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F.W. von Mellenthin was born in 1904, and joined the German Army in 1924. By 1945, he had been involved almost every major tank battle on every front.
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