Gerhard Elsner
Fictional Character
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Germany
Date of Birth: Late 19th century
Occupation: Tank commander
Military Branch: Imperial German Army (World War I)
Wehrmacht (World War II)

Captain Gerhard Elsner commanded Sgt. Ludwig Rothe's panzer company from the beginning of the Second World War. A good officer, he made it a habit to check on the different panzers in his command on a regular basis and to ensure his men received a hearty meal before a major operation[1]

Elsner was hopeful that a final push through Beauvais and Alonne would allow the Wehrmacht to swing around Paris and take it unlike the previous generation. This in spite of the fact that his company was at less than half strength (13 effective panzers rather than the organizational 32 at the start of the war) since the enemy had also suffered losses. However, the French had either through skill or luck placed their own chars at the Schwerpunkt and so prevented the German breakthrough.[2]

Elsner had served as a noncomm in the previous war and had won an Iron Cross, Second Class.[3]


  1. Hitler's War, pg. 132, HC.
  2. Ibid, pgs. 487-489, HC.
  3. Ibid, pg. 132, HC