SS Generals – M thru Z

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Otto Ohlendorf

Otto Ohlendorf (4 February 1907 – 7 June 1951) was a German SS-Gruppenführer and head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Inland, responsible for intelligence and security within Germany. Ohlendorf was also the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe D, which perpetrated mass murder in Moldova, south Ukraine, the Crimea, and, during 1942, the north Caucasus. He was convicted of and executed for war crimes committed during World War II.

Artur Phleps

Artur Gustav Martin Phleps, 29. November 1881 – 21 September 1944, was an Austro-Hungarian, Romanian and German army officer who held the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS (lieutenant general) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. An Austro-Hungarian Army officer before and during World War I, he specialised in mountain warfare and logistics, and had been promoted to Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel) by the end of the war. During the interwar period he joined the Romanian Army, reaching the rank of General-locotenent (major general), and also became an adviser to King Carol. After he spoke out against the government, he was sidelined and asked to be dismissed from the army.

In 1941 he left Romania and joined the Waffen-SS as a SS-Standartenführer (colonel) under his mother’s maiden name of Stolz. Seeing action on the Eastern Front as a regimental commander with the SS Motorised Division Wiking, he later raised and commanded the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, raised the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian), and commanded the V SS Mountain Corps. Units under his command committed many crimes against the civilian population of the Independent State of Croatia, German-occupied territory of Serbia and Italian governorate of Montenegro. His final appointment was as plenipotentiary general in south Siebenbürgen and the Banat, during which he organised the evacuation of the Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) of Siebenbürgen to the Reich. In addition to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, Phleps was awarded the German Cross in Gold, and after he was killed in September 1944, he was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross.

Oswald Pohl

Oswald Ludwig Pohl (30 June 1892 – 8 June 1951) was a Nazi official and member of the SS. He rose to the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer, and was involved in the administration of German concentration camps during the Second World War. After the war he went into hiding and then was found in 1946, was judicially tried in 1947, repeatedly appealed his case, and finally was executed by hanging in 1951.

Hermann Prieß

Gerhard “Gerd” Pleiß (May 24, 1901 – February 2, 1985) was the commander of 3rd SS Division Totenkopf following the death of Theodor Eicke in February 1943. 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.

He was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS on April 20, 1944. On October 30, 1944 he became the commanding officer of the 1st SS-Panzerkorps Leibstandarte and led it during the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, Hermann Prieß was convicted of war crimes because of his involvement in the Malmedy massacre and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He was released in 1954.

Johann ‘Hans’ Rattenhuber

Johann Rattenhuber (30 April 1897 – 30 June 1957), also known as Hans Rattenhuber, was a German police and SS general (Gruppenführer, i. e. Generalleutnant). Rattenhuber was the head of German dictator Adolf Hitler’s personal Reichssicherheitsdienst (Reich Security Service; RSD) bodyguard from 1933 to 1945.

Wilhelm Rediess

Friedrich Wilhelm Rediess (10 October 1900 – 8 May 1945) was the SS and Police Leader during the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War. He was also the commanding General (Obergruppenführer) of all SS troops stationed in occupied Norway, assuming command on 22 June 1940 until his death in 1945.

Heinz Reinefarth

Gruppenführer Heinrich Reinefarth (commonly known as Heinz Reinefarth, December 26, 1903-May 7, 1979) was a Nazi German military officer during World War II and government official in FRG after the war. During the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944 his troops committed numerous war atrocities. After the war Reinefarth became the mayor of the town of Westerland and member of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag. Despite Polish demands for extradition, he was never convicted of any war crimes.

August Schmidhuber

August Schmidhuber, 8 May 1901 – 19 February 1947was an SS-, Brigadeführer of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen from 20 January 1944 to 8 May 1945, and the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) from May 1944 onwards.

During the anti-partisan warfare in Kosovo, Schmidhuber issued orders to kill prisoners and burn villages. Convicted of war crimes in Yugoslavia, he was executed on 27 February 1947 in Belgrade.

Felix Steiner

Felix Martin Julius Steiner (23 May 1896 – 12 May 1966) was an Obergruppenführer in the Waffen-SS during World War II, who commanded several SS divisions and corps. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Together with Paul Hausser, he contributed significantly to the development and transformation of the Waffen-SS into a military force made up of volunteers and conscripts from both occupied and un-occupied lands.

Steiner was chosen by Heinrich Himmler to oversee the creation of and then command the elite SS Division Wiking. In 1943, he was promoted to the command of the III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps. On 28 January 1945, Steiner was placed in command of the 11th SS Panzer Army, which formed part of a new ad-hoc formation to protect Berlin from the Soviet armies advancing from the Vistula River.

On 21 April, during the Battle for Berlin, Steiner was placed in command of Army Detachment Steiner, while Adolf Hitler ordered Steiner to envelop the 1st Belorussian Front through a pincer movement, advancing from the north of the city. However, as his exhausted unit was outnumbered by ten to one, Steiner made it clear that he did not have the capacity for a counter-attack on 22 April during the daily situation conference in the Führerbunker.

After the capitulation of Germany, Steiner was imprisoned and indicted as part of the Nuremberg Trials. He was cleared of war crimes charges and released in 1948. He was a founding member of HIAG, a lobby group of negationistic apologists, founded by former high-ranking Waffen-SS personnel in 1951 to campaign for the legal, economic and historical rehabilitation of the Waffen-SS.

Jürgen Stroop

Jürgen Stroop (born Josef Stroop, 26 September 1895, Detmold, Germany – 6 March 1952, Warsaw, Poland) was an SS General during World War II. He is best known for being in command against the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and for writing the Stroop Report, a booklength account of the operation. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, Stroop was prosecuted during the Dachau Trials and convicted of murdering nine American POWs. After his extradition to the People’s Republic of Poland, Stroop was tried, convicted, and hanged for crimes against humanity.

Anton Vogler

Anton Vogler , born 1882 , was a German SS – Brigadeführer and General Major in the Waffen SS . He was, among other things, Chief of Staff of SS-Oberabschnitt Süd and Deputy Commander of SS-Oberabschnitt Süd with a service center in Munich . In addition, he was Deputy Higher SS and Policf ( Höhere SS and Polizeiführer , HSSPF) in the Süd office with a service center in Munich.

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (1 March 1899 – 8 March 1972) was a high-ranking Schutzstaffel (SS) commander during World War II in charge of so-called anti-partisan warfare (Bandenkampf (literally: “bandit fighting”)) against “bandits” and any other persons assumed to present danger to the Nazi rule or Wehrmacht’s security in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe. It mostly involved the civilian population. In 1944 he led the brutal suppression of the Warsaw Uprising.

Despite his responsibility for numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, Bach-Zelewski did not stand trial in Nuremberg. He was convicted for politically motivated murders after the war and died in prison in 1972.

Karl von Eberstein

Friedrich Karl Freiherr von Eberstein (14 January 1894 – 10 February 1979) was a member of the German nobility, early member of the Nazi Party, the SA, and the SS (introducing Reinhard Heydrich to Heinrich Himmler in July 1931). Further, he rose to become a Reichstag delegate, an HSSPF and SS-Oberabschnitt Führer (chief of the Munich Police in World War II), and was a witness at the Nuremberg Trials.

Karl von Oberkamp

Karl von Oberkamp (30 October 1893 – 4 May 1947) was a German Waffen-SS commander and war criminal during World War II. During his SS career, he commanded the SS Division Prinz Eugen, the SS Division Nibelungen and the V SS Mountain Corps.

Following World War II, Oberkamp was extradited to Yugoslavia, where he was tried for war crimes. He was sentenced to death and hanged in Belgrade on 4 May 1947.

Theodor Wisch

Theodor Wisch (13 December 1907 – 11 January 1995) was a high-ranking member of the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a commander of the SS Division Leibstandarte (LSSAH) and a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. He assumed command of the LSSAH in April 1943. He was seriously wounded in combat on the Western Front by a naval artillery barrage in the Falaise Pocket on 20 August 1944, and replaced as division commander by SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke.

Fritz Witt

Fritz Witt (27 May 1908 – 14 June 1944) was a German Waffen-SS officer who served with the 1.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler before taking command of the 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend. Witt was killed by an allied naval barrage in 1944.

Karl Wolff

Karl Friedrich Otto Wolff (13 May 1900 – 17 July 1984) was a high-ranking member of the Nazi SS, ultimately holding the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS. He became Chief of Personal Staff to the Reichsführer (Heinrich Himmler) and SS Liaison Officer to Hitler until his replacement in 1943. He ended World War II as the Supreme Commander of all SS forces in Italy. After the war, Wolff was also a central witness as to the alleged plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII.

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