Generaloberst, in English colonel general, was, in Germany and Austria-Hungary—the German Reichswehr and Wehrmacht , the Austro-Hungarian Common Army, and the East German National People's Army, as well as the respective police services—the second highest general officer rank, ranking above full general but below general field marshal. It was equivalent to Generaladmiral in the Kriegsmarine until 1945, or to Flottenadmiral in the Volksmarine until 1990. The rank was the highest ordinary military rank and the highest military rank awarded in peacetime; the higher rank of general field marshal was only awarded in wartime by the head of state. In general, a Generaloberst had the same privileges as a general field marshal.
Deutsches Reich was the official name in the German language for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945. The Reich became understood as deriving its authority and sovereignty entirely from a continuing unitary German 'national people'; with that authority and sovereignty being exercised at any one time over a unitary German 'state territory' with variable boundaries and extent. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not in itself have monarchical connotations. The word Kaiserreich is applied to denote an empire with an emperor; hence the German Empire of 1871–1918 is termed Deutsches Kaiserreich in standard works of reference. From 1943 to 1945, the official name of Germany became – but was not formally proclaimed – Großdeutsches Reich on account of the further German peoples and associated territories annexed into the state's administration during and before the Second World War.
Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe from 1867 to 1918. It was formed by giving a new constitution to the Austrian Empire, which devolved powers on Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) and placed them on an equal footing. It broke apart into several states at the end of World War I.
The Reichswehr formed the military organisation of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when it was united with the new Wehrmacht.
A literal translation of Generaloberst would be "uppermost general", but it is often translated as "colonel-general" by analogy to Oberst, "colonel", including in countries where the rank was adopted, e.g. in Russia (генерал-полковник, general-polkovnik). "Oberst" derives from the superlative form of Germanic ober (upper), cognate to English over, thus "Superior General" might be a more idiomatic rendering. The rank was created in 1854, originally for Emperor William I—then Prince of Prussia—because traditionally members of the royal family were not promoted to the rank of field marshal. During the 19th century the rank was largely honorary and usually only held by members of the princely families or the Governor of Berlin. Regular promotion of professional officers to the grade did not begin until 1911. Since the rank of Generalfeldmarschall was also reserved for wartime promotions, the additional rank of a "supreme general in the capacity of a field marshal"—the Generaloberst im Range eines Generalfeldmarschalls—was created for promotions during peacetime. Such generals were entitled to wear four pips on their shoulder boards, compared to the normal three. As such, Generaloberst could be a peacetime equivalent of the general field marshal rank.
William I, or in German Wilhelm I., of the House of Hohenzollern, was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and the first German Emperor from 18 January 1871 to his death, the first head of state of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Despite his long support of Bismarck as Minister President, William held strong reservations about some of Bismarck's more reactionary policies, including his anti-Catholicism and tough handling of subordinates. In contrast to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while staunchly conservative, he was more open to certain classical liberal ideas than his grandson Wilhelm II.
Generalfeldmarschall was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsgeneralfeldmarschall); in the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, the rank Feldmarschall was used. The rank was the equivalent to Großadmiral in the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine, a five-star rank, comparable to OF-10 in today's NATO naval forces.
Generaloberst was the second highest general officer rank—below field marshal—in the Prussian Army as well as in the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1921–33), the Wehrmacht (which included the Luftwaffe , established in 1935) of Nazi Germany (1933–45), and the East German Nationale Volksarmee (1949–1991). As military ranks were often used for other uniformed services, the rank was also used by the Waffen-SS and the Ordnungspolizei of Nazi Germany, and the Volkspolizei and Stasi of East Germany. In East Germany, the rank was junior to the general of the army (Armeegeneral), as well as to the briefly extant, and never awarded, rank of Marschall der DDR .
Field marshal is a very senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army, and when it is, few persons are appointed to it. It is considered as a five-star rank (OF-10) in modern-day armed forces in many countries. Promotion to the rank of field marshal in many countries historically required extraordinary military achievement by a general. However, the rank has also been used as a divisional command rank and also as a brigade command rank. Examples of the different uses of the rank include Austria-Hungary, Prussia, Germany and Sri Lanka for an extraordinary achievement; Spain and Mexico for a divisional command ; and France, Portugal and Brazil for a brigade command.
The Royal Prussian Army served as the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It became vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.
The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.
In 1915 the Generaloberst - Vezérezredes rank was introduced to the Austro-Hungarian Common Army. It was the second highest behind the Feldmarschall - Tábornagy rank.
Rank insignia of the German Empire 1871 until 1918, here shoulder strap of the German Imperial Army: twisted of silver- and golden-braids with three stars to "Colonel general" (equivalent to four-star rank, today: OF-9).
The Imperial German Army was the unified ground and air force of the German Empire. The term Deutsches Heer is also used for the modern German Army, the land component of the Bundeswehr. The German Army was formed after the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership in 1871 and dissolved in 1919, after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I.
A four-star rank is the rank of any four-star officer described by the NATO OF-9 code. Four-star officers are often the most senior commanders in the armed services, having ranks such as (full) admiral, (full) general, or air chief marshal. This designation is also used by some armed forces that are not North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members.
Carl Grafvon Horn was a Bavarian Colonel General and War Minister from April 4, 1905 to February 16, 1912. He was born in Würzburg and died in Munich. Before he became minister, he was Lieutenant General and divisional commander in Regensburg, where the Hornstraße is named in honor of him.
Paul Otto Felix FreiherrKreß von Kressenstein was a Bavarian Colonel General and War Minister from 16 February 1912 to 7 December 1916.
Army shoulder board
|Rank||General officer group|
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The equivalent ranks of a colonel general were in the:
⇒ see also main articles Ranks: Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and Waffen-SS
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer and Generaloberst of the Waffen-SS :
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer and Generaloberst of the Police:
In the Land Forces and Air Forces of the National People's Army, as well as the Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic Generaloberst was in line to Soviet military doctrine third general officer rank in that particular genera´s rank group. Pertaining to the NATO-Rangcode it might have been comparable to the three-star rank (OF-8). The equivalent to the Generaloberst was Admiral of the Volksmarine .
Job Wilhelm Georg Erdmann Erwin von Witzleben was a German officer, by 1940 in the rank of Generalfeldmarschall, and army commander in the Second World War. A leading conspirator in the 20 July plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was designated to become Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht in a post-Nazi regime had the plot succeeded.
SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer was the highest commissioned rank in the Schutzstaffel (SS), with the exception of Reichsführer-SS, held by SS commander Heinrich Himmler. The rank is translated as "Supreme group leader" and alternatively translated as "colonel group leader". The rank was correctly spelled Oberst-Gruppenführer to avoid confusion with the more junior rank of Obergruppenführer.
The 12th Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II, established in 1940.
Hans-Valentin Hube was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded several panzer divisions during the invasions of Poland, France and the Soviet Union. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Nazi Germany's highest military decoration. Hube died in an air crash on 21 April 1944.
General is the highest rank of the German Army and German Air Force. As a four-star rank it is the equivalent to the rank of admiral in the German Navy.
The 32nd Infantry Division of the German Army was mobilized on 1 August 1939 for the upcoming invasion of Poland. At that time, it consisted of the usual German infantry division elements: three infantry regiments of three battalions each, one three-battalion regiment of light artillery, one battalion of heavy artillery, a Panzerjäger (anti-tank) Battalion, a reconnaissance (Aufklärungs) Battalion, a Signals Battalion, a Pioneer (Engineer) Battalion, and divisional supply, medical, and administrative units.
Luftflotte 2 was one of the primary divisions of the German Luftwaffe in World War II. It was formed 1 February 1939 in Braunschweig and transferred to Italy on 15 November 1941. The Luftflotte was disbanded on 27 September 1944.
General der Artillerie may mean:
Otto Dessloch was a German Luftwaffe general during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany.
The Pilot/Observer Badge was a World War II German military decoration awarded to Luftwaffe service personnel who had already been awarded the Pilot's Badge and Observer Badge. It was instituted on 26 March 1936 by the Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring. It was worn on the lower part of the left breast pocket of the service tunic, underneath the Iron Cross 1st Class if awarded. It was to replace the older 1933 Aircrew Badge.
Heinrich Kirchheim was a German generalleutnant who served in both World War I and World War II. He is also one of few German officers who were awarded the Pour le Mérite and the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He also served as a deputy member on the "Court of Military Honour," a drumhead court-martial that expelled many of the officers involved in the 20 July Plot from the Army before handing them over to the People's Court.
General of the Infantry is a former rank of German Ground forces. Present it is an appointment or position to an OF-6 rank officer, responsible for particular affairs of training and equipment of the Bundeswehr infantry.
General der Panzertruppe was a General of the branch OF8-rank rank of German Army, introduced in 1935. A General der Panzertruppe was a Lieutenant General, above Major General (Generalleutnant), commanding a Panzer corps.
General der Gebirgstruppe was a category of German Army three-star, a new example of the traditional German 'General der' rank introduced by the Wehrmacht in 1940, comparable to the NATO grade OF-8.
General of the Cavalry was a General of the branch OF8-rank in the Imperial Army, the interwar Reichswehr, and the Wehrmacht. It was the second-highest General officer rank below Generaloberst. Artillery officers of equivalent rank were called General der Artillerie, and infantry officers of equivalent rank General der Infanterie. The Wehrmacht also created General der Panzertruppen, General der Gebirgstruppen, General der Pioniere (engineers), General der Flieger (aviators), General der Fallschirmtruppen, and General der Nachrichtentruppen
The 96th Infantry Division was a German division deployed during World War II. It was formed on 25 September 1939 in Bergen near Celle.