He was an officer in the German military from 1903 to 1945. He attained the rank of Generaloberst during World War II. He fought in France, but is most noted for his later exploits as a panzer commander on the Eastern Front. Hoth commanded the 3rd Panzer Group during Operation Barbarossa in 1941, and the 4th Panzer Army later during the Wehrmacht's 1942 summer offensive. Following the encirclement of the 6th Army in Stalingrad in November 1942, Hoth commanded the panzer army during Operation Wintergewitter. After Stalingrad, Hoth was involved in the Kursk counter offensive in the summer of 1943 and the Battle of Kiev. The Fourth Panzer Army under his command at Kursk was the largest tank formation ever assembled. Hoth was dismissed from command by Adolf Hitler in 1943, only to be reinstated for a short time during the last weeks of the war. After the war, he served six years in prison for war crimes, and became a writer on military history.