Wilhelm List

Wilhelm List (left) and Walter Kuntze

Wilhelm List (left) and Walter Kuntze

Wilhelm List (born 14 May 1880 in Oberkirchberg near Ulm, † 16 August 1971 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen) was a German army officer (since 1940 Field Marshal) during World War II and commander of various armies and army groups. He was sentenced in the process generals in South Eastern Europe in 1948 as a war criminal.


Empire and the First World War

List came in 1898 in the Bavarian Army, where he joined the engineering corps and in 1900 was promoted to lieutenant. After the artillery and engineering school visit in 1904, he served for several years as the 3rd Battalion sadjutant Bavarian royal engineer battalion. List as a first lieutenant in 1908 moved to the Bavarian War College and was promoted to captain after graduation. This is followed by commanding changes connected to the first Infantry Regiment “King” and the fortress of Ingolstadt. In the period up to the beginning of the First World War, he was then employed in the central office of the Bavarian general staff s.

After war broke out in 1914 List was first used as a general staff officer in the Bavarian II Corps. In the winter of 1915 he fell seriously ill and had to undergo surgery. After his recovery he served first as Second General Staff Officer (Ib) in the Army and Department Strantz from 1917 first General Staff Officer (Ia) of the Bavarian 8 Reserve Infantry Division. In January 1918 List was promoted to Major. End of the war he served in the Bavarian War Ministry.

Weimar Republic

In the early 1920s, List was involved as a member of the Freikorps Epp on various missions against the Soviet Republic. In the transitional army, he served on the staff of the Group Command 4 (Munich), which later became the military district command VII emerged.

From April 1923 to October 1924 List was commander of the III. (Hunter) Battalion of the 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment in Kempten, which was formed here on a mountain towards use. The following list was about ten years mainly in training to operate the Reichswehr. From 1924 on, he was now promoted to lieutenant colonel, for two years as First General Staff Officer of the 7th Division and head of the leader assistants training in the military district VII used. He then moved in 1926 to the Defense Ministry, to be there at first as Speaker of the Army Training Department (T4) were used. With the first March 1927 List was promoted to colonel and appointed simultaneously with the management of the department. On 1 February 1930 he took over the leadership of the Infantry School in Dresden’s Albert City. On this post was created on 1 List October 1930 promoted to major general and lieutenant general in 1932.

Period of National Socialism


On 1 October 1933 List was then commander of the military district IV (Dresden) and commander of the 4th Division. Two years later, on 1 October 1935, List was appointed general of the infantry, and was now the Commanding General of the Fourth Army Corps.List in February 1938 assumed the position of commander’s command of Army Group 2 in Kassel. On 1 List of April, after the “Anschluss” of the German Reich Chief of the Army Group Command 5 in Vienna, with the task to integrate into the Austrian army, the Wehrmacht. On 1 April 1939 he was promoted to colonel general.

World War II

As commander of the 14th List army took part in the Polish campaign in 1939 and received on 30 September, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. During his campaign in the West was now under 12 in Army renamed the Association of Army Group A in the center of the front. For his substantial contribution to the victory over France, he was 19 July 1940 promoted to General Field Marshal (also 11 other generals).

In the Balkan campaign, beginning on 6 List April 1941 was commander of the 12th Army, and in this position the head of all German ground operations against Greece and Ostjugoslawien. On 21 List April took the Greek meet capitulation after on 17 April, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia capitulated. On the edge of the Greek capitulation there were complications with the former German ally Italy. List left, instructed by Hitler to make the signing of the surrender document without participation of Italian officers. After the Italian dictator Mussolini protested to Hitler, this sent the Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff there, Alfred Jodl, to Greece for a second time the act of surrender – this time with Italian participation – to perform.

After the conclusion of the Balkan campaign list Wehrmacht Commander Southeast was. In this role, he came under the military commander in Serbia, and Northern and Southern Greece. On 4 October 1941, he gave the order to build transit camp for hostages to shoot this in the resistance of partisans. Due to illness List resigned his post in October 1941 again.

In early 1942, Hitler received list of the order an inspection tour of the area occupied by Germany since 1940 Norway, to determine the preparedness against a possible British landing on the Norwegian west coast.

List, which can not be accused of excessive proximity to Nazism and Hitler to non hid this setting, however, was then entrusted only to advocacy of various officers of the Wehrmacht and military leadership with a new task. On 1 July 1942 List got the command of the newly formed Army Group A in the south of the Eastern Front. In this position, there was soon a dispute with Hitler on the conduct of operations. On 10 September List was relieved of his duties as commander of Army Group A again.

He was not used until the end of the war. Although the list is not joined military resistance, but as has been recorded that after the assassination of his 20th July 1944 no allegiance address sent – in contrast to several other senior officers.

In May 1945, he was captured by American troops in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


At the Nuremberg trials n in the so-called “process hostage”, also known as the process of Southeast generals, Wilhelm List, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1948. In his closing remarks, he once again took position on the murder of civilians and tried to assign any blame from himself: “The blame rests with those who have led this fight from the beginning cruel and sneaky on Balkan style”.

The U.S. High Commissioner John Jay McCloy refused on 31 January 1951, after consultation with an Advisory Committee for clemency for List from. In a press release he said:

List, who was seriously ill in 1952, released from prison in Landsberg, but then lived until his death in 1971 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


Iron Cross (1914) Class II and I.

•Knight’s Cross of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern with Swords

•Bavarian Military Merit IV Class with swords and crown

•Frederick Knight’s Cross of the Order

•Austrian Military Merit Cross III. Class with war decoration

•Knight’s Cross of the Bulgarian Military Merit

Wound Badge (1918) Black

•Clasp to the Iron Cross II and First Class

•Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 September 1939


•Friedrich Christian Stahl: Field Marshal Wilhelm List in. Ueberschär Gerd R. (ed.): Hitler’s military elite.From the beginning of the war until the end of World War II. Volume 2 Primus, Darmstadt 1998, ISBN 3-89678-089-1, pp. 116-122.

Military person (Bavaria)

Person in the First World War (German Reich)

Freikorps member

Military person (Wehrmacht Heer)

General Staff Officer (German Reich)

Field Marshal (German Reich)

Logistics Officer (Germany)

Person (German occupation of Greece 1941-1945)

Person (German occupation of Yugoslavia 1941-1945)

Winner of House Order of Hohenzollern

Support of the Friedrich-Order (Knights)

Holder of the Bavarian Military Merit

Winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross

Defendant at the Nuremberg Trials


Born in 1880

Died in 1971


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress