A young Johann von Ravenstein - photographed in dress uniform in 1910
May 1918
Generalleutnant Johann von Ravenstein wearing his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and Prussian Pour le Mérite Order

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NAME:      Generalleutnant Johann “Hans” Theodor von Ravenstein

PW NO:        22301
RANK:          Generalleutnant
CAPTURED: Vicinity of Tobruk, North Africa
DATE:           29 November 1941


DATE OF BIRTH:     1 January 1889
PLACE OF BIRTH:   Strehlen
DATE OF DEATH:   26 March 1962
NATIONALITY:       German
RELIGION:               Evangelical
OCCUPATION:       Army Officer
HEIGHT:                   Unknown
WEIGHT:                  65kgs
HAIR COLOUR:       Fair
EYE COLOUR:         Blue
NEXT OF KIN:         Elisabeth Ravenstein, Iserlohn, Buergergarten (British Zone)

Commands & Assignments (included):

Photographed at Tobruk shortly after his capture
by New Zealand troops, 29 November 1941.

Decorations (included)

This unique photo depicts then Oberst von Ravenstein (left)
in conversation with King Boris III of Bulgaria (right).

Letter from Frau Elisabeth von Ravenstein to Rowland Ryder as quoted in his book Ravenstein: Portrait of a German General (Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., London, 1978, page 170):

He [Generalleutnant Johann von Ravenstein] rather disliked Bridgend in comparison to the camp in Canada [Bowmannville] where they had found great understanding. At Bridgend the generals were more strictly confined than the orderlies. The latter were allowed occasional visits to English families they knew, but not the generals. What my husband regretted very much at Bridgend was the fact that it was entirely a general's camp, the majority "Hitler's generals" which was what we called rapidly promoted officers, who may have been efficient, but whose bearing and manners were not what one understood a general to posses. At Bowmannville there had been only young POW officers; thus my husband was able to work with them and for them: listening, advising, trying to patch up family marriages, etc. Apart from the favourable external circumstances-the farm, the lecture courses, and finally even the connection with Toronto University, which allowed its professors to visit the camp-to co-organize, just to help was very much in his line.


Boris III's six-year-old son, Simeon II, ascended to the throne in 1943 upon the death of his father. Simeon fled the country in 1946 when the Communists took over and lived in exile in Spain until just recently.

Simeon never abdicated the throne, so his title of "King of Bulgaria" remained valid. He goes by the name of "Mr. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha," his royal house title. He's a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II who is also of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha via her relation to Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria.

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Named New Prime Minister

The first monarch from Eastern Europe to return to political power in his homeland since the collapse of Communism. In a historic first for Eastern Europe, former King Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha accepted the role of prime minister on July 12, with full support of the party he founded, the National Movement Simeon II (NMS). "With great emotion but with a sense of responsibility, and having in mind the trust that the voters gave me on June 17, I accept this proposal," Simeon said.