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CV) q~ju THE UiN KON GENERALS -- GERMAN CORPS COMMANDERS IN WOILD WAR II 0 Athesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial D T IC fulfillment of the requirements for the degree " SEP 0 6 1W8 MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE , D by FRENCH L. hACLEAN, MiAJ, USA B.S.,United States Military Academy, 1974 Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 1988 *Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited -.ks.! Pk -3237 - * 88 92 n _, **,v

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  • CV)q~ju THE UiN KON GENERALS -- GERMAN CORPS COMMANDERS IN WOILD WAR II

    0

    Athesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. ArmyCommand and General Staff College in partial D T ICfulfillment of the requirements for the

    degree" SEP 0 6 1W8

    MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE ,

    D

    by

    FRENCH L. hACLEAN, MiAJ, USAB.S.,United States Military Academy, 1974

    Fort Leavenworth, Kansas1988

    *Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited

    -.ks.! Pk -3237 -

    * 88 92 n_, **,v

  • Unclassified u, 2.. /SECUR&TY CLASSIFICATION OF TIS PAGE / / ( d ' . . -

    * REPORT DOCUMENTAION PAGE1a. REPORT-SECURITY CLASSIFICATION 1b. RESTRICTIVE MARKINGS

    UNCLASSIFIED N/A2a. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY 3 DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY OF REPORT2b. DECLASSIFICATION /DOOWNGRADING SCHEDULE "Approved for public release; distribution

    Zb. ECLASIFIATIO DWNGRDINGSCHEULEi s unliimi ted."

    4 PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER(S) 5. MONITORING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER(S)

    6a. NAME OF PERFORMING ORGANIZATION 6b. OFFICE SYMBOL 7a. NAME OF MONITORING ORGANIZATIONtfA anG e (If applicable)StfUS"AyclgCOmmand and General ATLSDG.

    S ge ATZL-SWD-GD&A RESktLYjae.didi ZIP code) 7b. ADDRESS (City State, and ZIP Code)

    Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900

    Ba. NAME OF FUNDING/SPONSORING I "8b OFFICE SYMBOL 9. PROCUREMENT INSTRUMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBERORGANIZATION , (If applicable)

    8c. ADURESS (City, State, and ZIP Code) 10. SOURCE OF FUNDING NUMBERS

    PROGRAM PROJECT TASK WORK UNITFLIVMENT NO. INO. NO. ACCFrSION NO

    I II_

    -F 11 TITLE (Include Security Classification)

    THE UNKNOWN GENERALS -- GERMAN CORPS COMMANDERS IN WORLD WAR II

    1 PfRSO L AUTHOR(S1n Major rencnHL. MacLean

    13a. TYPE OF REPORT 13b. TIME COVER D 114. DATE OF REPORT (Year, Morth, Day) 1S. PAGE COUNTMaster's Thesis FROM 8-1987 TO 6-19881 1988 June 3 , 169

    16 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTATION

    17. COSATI CODES 18. SUBJECT TERMS (Continue on reverse if necessary and identify by block number)FIELD GROUP SUB-GROUP World War II Generals, Corps Commanders, Leadership

    Characteristics

    '9 ABSTRACT Continue on reverse if necessary and identify by block number)

    THE UNKNOWN GENERALS - GERMAN CORPS COMMANDERS IN WORLD WAR II: ALeadership Analysis of German Army Corps Comnanders by Major FrenchL. MacLean, USA, 169 pages.

    (See reverse side)

    J- 20. DISTRIBUTION/ AVAILABILITY OF ABSTRACT 21. ABSTRACT SECU-RITY CLASSIFICATION! -0 UNCLASSIFIED/UNLIMITED [0 SAME AS RPT. 0 DTIC USERS Unclassified

    .'. 22a NAME OF RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUAL 22b. TELEPHONE (nclude Area Code) 22c. OFFICE SYMBOL

    DD FORM 1473. 84 MAR 83 APR edition may be used until exhausted. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF THIS PAGEAll oth r editions are obsolete.

    * Unclassified

    2 . '- . . -; - - ".- a' .- ' L -" .'. :.w . . ".w " ; v," ; ". '. "- . " -- . " . "- . , ,. . . -. -w ". . .. "

  • UnclassifiedS ,CURITY CLASSIFICATION OF THIS PAOE

    19. ABSTRACT "(Continued)

    This study is an historical analysi.s of the background anddemonstrated leadership attributes of 332 World War II German corpscommanders on the Eastern, Italian, and Western Fronts. Overallcharacteristics are determined based on each officer's experienceand performance based on available historical records. These recordsfocus on age, nobility, background, education, branch, previouscommand and staff positions, membership in the General Staff,demonstrated military achievement, promotion, and subsequent highercommand.

    Among the many conclusions which could be drawn from thisinvestigation are: most successful corps commanders possessed anexcellent educational background, performed well in previoussignificant comnnand and staff positions, and demonstrated thecapability for independent action; and, political factors played aminor role in the selection of officers for corps conmand.

    The study concludes that the Eastern, Western, and Italian Fronts

    all had competent German corps commanders conducting operations; noFront had a preponderence of successful commander's to the detrimentof the other two.

    ...

    5.

    Unclassified

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF THIS PAGE

  • THE Ui%INC4N GENEaLS -- GERNAN CORPS COMMANDERS IN WORLD WAR II

    A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. ArmyComumand and General Staff College in partial

    fulfillment of the requirements for thedegree

    MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE

    by

    FRENCH L. !"LCLEA, MAJ, USAB.S.,United States Military Academy, 1974 -g>--,----

    TNt

    Fort Leavenworth, Kansas1988 'I

    A Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited

    88- 3237

    0 PRs

  • MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE

    THESIS APPROVAL PAGE

    Name of candidate - French L. MacLean

    Title of Thesis - The Unknown Generals -- German CorpsCommanders in World War II

    Approved by:

    Thesis Coummittee ChairmanYohn A. Reichley, M.B.A. M.J.

    ~~eAtM.PMember, Graduate Facultyr ] u ne W..THein M.P .A

    -r Graduate FacultyDr:. Robert F. Baum r, Ph.D.

    Accepted this 3rd day of June 1988 by:

    Ph.D.4- Director, Graduate Degree ProgramsPhilip'J. Brookes, Ph.D.

    The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of thestudent author and do not necessarily represent the views of theU.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any othergovernmental agency. (References to this study should include theforegoing statement.)

    li

  • ABSTRACT

    THE UNKNOWN GENERALS - GERMAN CORPS COMMANDERS IN WORLD WAR II: ALeadership Analysis of German Army Corps Commanders by Major FrenchL. MacLean, USA, 169 pages.

    This study is an historical analysis of the background anddemonstrated leadership attributes of 332 World War II German corpscommanders on the Eastern, Italian, and Western Fronts. Overallcharacteristics are determined based on each officer's experienceand performance based on available historical records. These recordsfocus on age, nobility, background, education, branch, previouscommand and staff positions, membership in the General Staff,demonstrated military achievement, promotion, and subsequent highercommnand.

    Among the many conclusions which could be drawn from thisinvestigation are: most successful corps commanders possessed anexcellent educational background, performed well in previoussignificant command and staff positions, and demonstrated thecapability for independent action; and, political factors played aminor role in the selection of officers for corps command. '

    -The study concludes that the Eastern, Western, and Italian Frontsall had competent German corps commanders conducting operations; noFront had a preponderence of successful commander's to the detrimentof the other two. ( ) ..

    0

    S

    0l

    -'' 13

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Chapter Page

    Chapter 1 - Defining the Problem 1

    Chapter 2 - Review of Literature 10

    Chapter 3 - The German Corps System 26

    * Chapter 4 - Background, Education, and

    Experience 38

    Chapter 5 - Performance, Promotion, and

    Potential 73

    Chapter 6 - Overall Characteristics 103

    Appendix A - Abbreviations 118

    Appendix B - List of Commanders 123

    Bibliography 164

    iv

    0

  • LIST OF TABLES

    ' Table Title Page

    Table 1 Army Strength 3

    Table 2 Corps Headquarters Strength 26

    Table 3 Parent Army Headquarters 29

    Table 4 Corps Assigned to Army Headquarters 30

    Table 5 Divisions Assigned to Corps 32

    Table 6 General Officer Grades 38

    Table 7' Age of Cxmnanders 40

    Table 8 Newly Promoted Majors 43

    Table 9 Newly Promoted Lieutenant-Colonels 44

    Table 10 Newly Promoted Colonels 44

    Table 11 Commanders of Noble Descent 46

    Table 12 Commander's Background 47

    ." Table 13 Corps Commanders with

    Police Backgrounds 49

    Table 14 Panzer Corps Commanders

    with Police Backgrounds 51.

    Table 15 Austrian Army and Army

    Group Cotmanders 52

    Table 16 Newly Promtoted Generalmajor 53

    Table 17 Newly Promoted Generalleutnant 54

    Table 18 Newly Promoted General der

    Infanterie, etc. 54

    . Table 19 Branch Affiliation 56

    V

    - .* , . - - b.. " d" W - i - %, . . .. .. .. , .

  • Table 20 Commanders from the General Staff 58

    Table 21 Prior Division Coniand Experience 61

    Table 22 Corps Commanders Coming

    out of Retirement 67

    Table 23 Corps Commanders from the Police 68

    Table 24 Panzer Corps Commanders

    from Panzer Divisions 70

    Table 25 Army Recipients of the

    Knight's Cross 77

    Table 26 Highest Decor"tions Received

    by the Corps Commanders 78

    Table 27 Knight's Cross with Oakleaves

    and Swords for Corps Command 79

    Table 28 General Officers in Service 83

    Table 29 Corps Commanders Promoted

    to Generalfeldmarschall 84

    Table 30 German Dead 1939-1944 89

    Table 31 General Officer Fatalities by Grade 89

    Table 32 General Officer Fatalities by Cause 90

    Table 33 Corps Commander Fatalities 90

    Table 34 National Comittee for a

    Free Germany 93

    Table 35 Generaloberst 99

    Table 36 General leutnant 100

    Table 37 Army Group Commanders 100

    Table 38 Corps Coaander Baseline

    Characteristics 106

    Table 39 Corps Commanders by Front Comparison 108

    Vi.

    MO0

  • CHAPTR 1

    DEFINING THE PROBLM

    INTRODUCTON

    The purpose of this study is to examine the background and

    proficiency of German corps commanders in World War II. It is

    evident that these men, the links between operational and tactical

    levels, were key components in the resulting succe