World War 2 Generals – A thru E

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Karl Allmendinger

Karl Allmendinger (3 February 1891 – 2 October 1965) was a German general of Infantry, serving during World War I and World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Allmendinger was the son of Karl Allmendinger (1863 – 1946), alias “Felix Nabor” a teacher, poet and writer.

In the Army’s reserve since 1944, he was arrested by U.S. forces in 1945 but released in 1946.

Curt Badinski

Curt Badinski (17 May 1890 – 27 February 1966) was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II who held several divisional commands. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Kurt Badinski was captured by American troops in August 1944 in the Falaise Pocket. He was held until 1947.

Franz Bäke

Generalmajor der Reserve Dr. med. dent. Franz Bäke (28 February 1898 – 12 December 1978) was a German Army officer and panzer ace. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Bäke fought during World War I, but rose to fame for his command of heavy panzer forces in World War II. A reservist, Bäke was a dentist in civilian life, having received his doctorate in dental medicine in 1923.

Hermann Balck

Hermann Balck (7 December 1897 – 29 November 1982) was an officer of the German army who served in both World War I and World War II, rising to the rank of General der Panzertruppe. He was highly decorated, receiving the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten), an award created to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or outstanding military leadership. At the time of its presentation to Balck it was Germany’s highest military decoration. His father, William Balck, was a Generalleutnant in the German army and prominent writer on tactics before and immediately after the First World War. He was a recipient of the Knight of the Order Pour le Mérite, which he was awarded while commanding an infantry division.

Erich Bärenfänger

Erich Bärenfänger (12 January 1915 – 2 May 1945) was an officer in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Fritz Bayerlein

Fritz Hermann Michael Bayerlein (14 January 1899 – 30 January 1970) was an officer in the German Army during the Second World War. He served as the operations officer for a number of significant units, most prominently with Erwin Rommel in the Afrika Korps. On his return to Europe he was made divisional commander for the 3rd Panzer Division, and later the Panzer Lehr Division. In the closing stages of the war he commanded the LIII Army Corps. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Ludwig Beck

Generaloberst Ludwig August Theodor Beck (29 June 1880 – 20 July 1944) was a German general and Chief of the German General Staff during the early years of the Nazi regime in Germany before World War II. Ludwig Beck was never a member of the Nazi Party, though in the early 1930s he supported Adolf Hitler’s forceful denunciation of the Versailles Treaty and belief in the need for Germany to rearm. Beck had grave misgivings regarding the Nazi demand that all German officers swear an oath of fealty to the person of Hitler in 1934, though he believed that Germany needed strong government and that Hitler could successfully provide this so long as he was influenced by traditional elements within the military rather than the SA and SS. In serving as Chief of Staff of the German Army between 1935 and 1938, Beck became increasingly disillusioned in this respect, standing in opposition to the increasing authoritarianism of the Nazi regime and Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy. It was due to public foreign policy disagreements with Hitler that Beck resigned as Chief of Staff in August 1938. From this point, Beck came to believe that Hitler could not be influenced for good, and that both Hitler and the Nazi party needed to be removed from government. He became a major leader within the conspiracy against Hitler, and would have been provisional head of state had the 20 July plot succeeded. When the plot failed, Beck was arrested and he offered to commit suicide with a pistol.

Hermann-Heinrich Behrend

Hermann-Heinrich Behrend (25 August 1898 – 19 June 1987) was a German Generalmajor, serving during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Wilhelm Berlin

Wilhelm Otto Julius Berlin (28 April 1889 – 15 September 1987) was a highly decorated General der Artillerie in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Wilhelm Berlin was captured by American troops in May 1945 and remained in captivity until 1947.

Johannes Block

Johannes Block (17 November 1894 – 26 January 1945) was a highly decorated General der Infanterie in the Wehrmacht during World War II who held commands at division and corps level. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Johannes Block was killed on 26 January 1945 near Kielce, Poland during the Vistula-Oder Offensive.

 Erich Brandenberger

Adolf Robert Erich Brandenberger (15 July 1892 – 21 June 1955) was a German General der Panzertruppe. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Hermann Breith

Hermann Albert Breith (7 May 1892 – 3 September 1964) was a German general of the Panzertruppe, serving during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Breith commanded the III. Panzerkorps.

Walther Buhle

General Walther Buhle (26 October 1894 – 28 December 1959) was an infantry General in the German army who was the Chief of the Army Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht from 1942 and chief of armaments for the army in 1945.

Wilhelm Burgdorf

Wilhelm Emanuel Burgdorf (15 February 1895 – 2 May 1945) was a German general. Born in Fürstenwalde, Burgdorf served as a commander and staff officer in the German Army during World War II.

Theodor Busse

Ernst Hermann August Theodor Busse (15 December 1897 – 21 October 1986) was a German officer during World War I and World War II.

 Karl Decker

Karl Gustav Adolf Decker (30 November 1897 – 21 April 1945) was a German general in the infantry, serving during World War II. Trapped in the Ruhr Pocket, Decker committed suicide on 21 April 1945. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Eduard Dietl

Eduard Dietl (21 July 1890 – 23 June 1944) was a German general of World War II. He was born in Bad Aibling, Bavaria. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Walter Dornberger

Major-General Dr Walter Robert Dornberger (6 September 1895 – 27 June 1980) was a German Army artillery officer whose career spanned World Wars I and II. He was a leader of Germany’s V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center.

Dornberger was born in Gießen and enlisted in 1914. In October 1918, as an artillery lieutenant Dornberger was captured by US Marines and spent two years in a French prisoner-of-war camp (mostly in solitary confinement because of repeated escape attempts). In the late 1920s, Dornberger completed an engineering course with distinction at the Berlin Technical Institute, and in the Spring of 1930, Dornberger graduated after five years with an MS degree in mechanical engineering from the Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg in Berlin. In 1935, Dornberger received an honorary doctorate, which Col. Karl Emil Becker arranged as Dean of the new Faculty of Military Technology at the TH Berlin.

Anton Dostler

Anton Dostler (Munich, May 10, 1891 – Aversa, December 1, 1945) was a general of the infantry in the regular German Army during World War II. In the first Allied war trial after the war, Dostler was found guilty of war crimes and executed by firing squad.

Anton Dostler joined the German Army in 1910 and served as a junior officer during World War I. From the start of World War II to 1940, he served as chief of staff of the 7th Army. Subsequently, he commanded the 57th Infantry Division (1941–1942), the 163rd Infantry Division (1942) and after some temporary stand-ins at corps, was appointed commander of 75th Army Corps (Jan-July 1944) in Italy and then as commander of the Venetian Coast (Sept to Nov 1944) when its name was changed to 73rd Army Corps, at which he finished the war.

Walter Elflein

Walter Elflein (10 December 1914 – 30 December 2000) was a highly decorated Major der Reserve in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Gerhard Engel

Gerhard Michael Engel (13 April 1906 – 9 December 1976) was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded several divisions after serving as adjutant to Adolf Hitler. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Gerhard Engel was captured by American troops in 1945 and was held until 1947.

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History

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