Georg von Küchler

Georg von Küchler

Georg von Küchler

Georg von Küchler (born May 30, 1881 at Castle Philippsruhe at Hanau, † 25 May1968 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen) was a German army officer (since 1942, Field Marshal) and during World War II commander of armies and army groups and honorary Knight of the Order of St John for war crimes, he was sentenced to a long prison term.

Life

Empire and World War I

The son of a Grand Ducal Hessian colonel, aide and Lord Chamberlain resigned after graduating from the Georg-Ludwig Gymnasium inDarmstadtin1900 inthe first Grand Ducal Hessian Field Artillery Regiment 25. In 1901 he was promoted to lieutenant, and after several years of service to theMilitaryRidingSchoolinHanover1910 Küchler was appointed lieutenant.

In January 1914, after attending the military academy, Kuchler was transferred to the Great General Staff inBerlin.

During World War Küchler was used as battery commander, including the Iron Cross I. Class Award and promoted to captain. He was later transferred to the General Staff and the war end as First General Staff Officer (Ia) of the 206th Infantry Division and the 9th Reserve Infantry Division used.

Weimar Republic

After the war in the West had come to an end, Kuchler was a general staff officer of the brigade “Kurland” and in this capacity took part in the upcoming battles in the Baltics.

In the new Reichswehr Küchler was transferred to the First Army Corps. After a subsequent short stint in the Army training department of the Defense Ministry’s in 1920 for Küchler followed different uses in the field of education well into the 1930s. During this time he was in 1923 to Major in 1929 to lieutenant colonel in 1931 and eventually was promoted to colonel.

On 1 October 1932 Küchler was appointed artillery commander I inEast Prussia.

Nazi era

Prewar

After promotion to Major General on 1 April 1934, he was in fact appointed inspector of the military schools. The next promotion took place on 1 December 1935 to Lieutenant General. Prior to 1 April 1937 as a general of artillery for the commanding general of the First Army Corps was appointed inEast Prussia, was Küchler half a year vice president of theReich Courts

In March 1939, Kuechler troops marched into theMemel.

World War II

With the beginning of World War II was Küchler commander of the 3rd Army. The successful conduct of its troops brought Küchler one the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.

After Küchler for 22 Was September 1939 fell outside Warsaw former supreme commander of the army, Werner von Fritsch arranged a funeral and on this occasion, critical words about the circumstances in which Fritsch had lost his former post, said that he was relieved immediately of his duties. On intervention Walther von Brauchitsch’s but he was soon in command of the 18th Army entrusted.

As part of the campaign in the west it Kuechler troops occupied theNetherlandsand on 19 July 1940 he was appointed Colonel-General. Kuchler, who was informed of the crimes against humanity in occupiedPolandcarefully wrote on 20 August1940 inthe war diary:

“I stress the need to take care that all the soldiers of the army, especially the officers, any criticism of the fight in the General conducted with the population, such as the treatment of the Polish minority, the Jews, and church affairs included. The final solution of this folkish popular struggle that has been raging on the eastern border for centuries requires particularly strong measures.”

Even in the war against the Soviet Union 1941-1945 commanded the 18th Küchler Army, which was used in the Association of Army Group North. Following the resignation of Leeb Knight as Commander Küchler got on 17 January 1942. Command of the Northern Army Group As such, he was next to von Leeb responsible for the siege ofLeningrad.

The Commissar Order of Military particularly welcomed:

If it becomes known that we are the political commissars and GPU men immediately imagine a field court pass judgment and, it is hoped that the Russian Troops and the population itself free from this bondage. We want to use the funds in any case. It saves us German blood and we quickly come forward.

On 30 June 1942 Kuechler was appointed Field Marshal. After more than two years in the post of commander of Army Group North, he was on 29 January 1944 by Adolf Hitler relieved of his command after the Red Army had succeeded in breaking out ofLeningrad. By war’s end there was no further use Kuechler.

Postwar period

Kuechler was a member of the 1946 and 1947 Operational History (German) Section of the Historical Division of the U.S. Army. In his directive of 7 March 1947 for the area of the camp in his Garmisch to write opinions and essays should be considered a principle that the presentation of historical truth is to connect to the praise of his own army:

“It will be seen, the German deeds from the German standpoint, defined by our troops and a memorial…. The performance of our troops are due to celebrate and highlight. The truth, of course, may thus not be ignored.”

The staff there to protect him from prosecution but not as hoped. As a defendant in the trial of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, Küchler was sentenced in 1949 to 20 years imprisonment. After the term had been reduced to 12 years, Kuchler was released in 1953 from the Landsberg prison for war criminals.

Awards

  • Iron Cross (1914) Class II and I
  • Knight’s Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern with swords
  • Knight’s Cross, First Class of the Order ofFrederickwith swords
  • Hanseatic CrossHamburg
  • Frederick Cross
  • HesseBravery Medal
  • Wehrmacht Long Service Award IV to First Class
  • Medal to commemorate the homecoming ofMemel
  • Clasp to the Iron Cross II and First Class
  • Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
  • Knight’s Cross on 30 September 1939
  • Eichenlaub on 21 August 1943 (273rd ceremony)

  Medal Battles in the East 1941/42

  Named in the Wehrmacht on 21 October 1941 and on 12 August 1943

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