Famous German Soldiers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite German Soldiers
 1 
Claus von Stauffenberg
(Military Leader)
Claus von Stauffenberg
down4
Birthdate: November 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jettingen-Scheppach, Germany
Died: July 21, 1944

German army officer Claus von Stauffenberg, a significant figure of the German Resistance Movement within the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944, but failed. He was executed by a firing squad soon after Operation Valkyrie. He had earlier actively participated in World War II.

 2 
Otto Skorzeny
(Nazi SS Officer)
Otto Skorzeny
down8
Birthdate: June 12, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 7, 1975
Austrian-born German SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny served in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He led the Gran Sasso raid that rescued Benito Mussolini. He also headed Operation Greif that had German soldiers attacking Allied forces by using uniforms of their enemies. He later spent time in Egypt and Argentina.
 3 
Karl Von Clausewitz
down4
Birthdate: July 1, 1780
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Burg bei Magdeburg
Died: November 16, 1831

Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian military theorist and general. As a theorist, Clausewitz stressed the political aspects of war. His book Vom Kriege, which talks about military strategy, has been very influential despite the fact that it was unfinished at the time of his death. His ideas also influenced personalities like Karl Marx, Mao Zedong, and Leon Trotsky.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Erich Hartmann
(Aviator, Officer)
Erich Hartmann
down8
Birthdate: April 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weissach
Died: September 20, 1993

Remembered as the most successful fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare, Erich Hartmann completed 1,400 missions in his Messerschmitt Bf 109 and shot down 352 Allied planes. Known for his dogfighting strategy, he inspired the popular biography The Blond Knight of Germany and became a flight instructor post-retirement.

 5 
Hans-Ulrich Rudel
down6
Birthdate: July 2, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kondratów, Poland
Died: December 18, 1982

Nazi World War II pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel hated academics but loved skiing as a young man. He is believed to have destroyed 519 Soviet tanks and even got a leg amputated. Post-war, he went to Argentina briefly, wrote books, and also became an entrepreneur after returning to Germany.

 6 
Reinhard Heydrich
(Nazi Official)
Reinhard Heydrich
down10
Birthdate: March 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle
Died: June 4, 1942

Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi police officer and a high-ranking SS. Heydrich is widely regarded as one of the main architects of the Holocaust, a World War II genocide that killed some six million Jews. Described by Adolf Hitler as the man with the iron heart, Heydrich is regarded as the darkest figure of the Nazi era by many historians.

 7 
Franz Halder
(Former general, chief of staff of the Army High Command (OKH) in Nazi Germany from 1938 until September 1942)
Franz Halder
down4
Birthdate: June 30, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: April 2, 1972

Franz Halder, the son of an army officer, became the Chief of General Staff of the German army, replacing General Ludwig Beck. He later became the Commander in Chief but was replaced due to disagreements with Hitler. He later testified against major Nazi officials in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.

You May Like
 8 
Hanns Scharff
(Visual artist, Air force officer)
Hanns Scharff
down3
Birthdate: December 16, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kętrzyn
Died: September 10, 1992

Known as the Nazi Master Negotiator, Hanns Scharff was famous for his unusual method of extracting information out of prisoners without the use of violence. Initially part of his family textile business, he had also mastered the art of sales. He later moved to the US and became a mosaic artisan.

 9 
Hans-Joachim Marseille
(German Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot and Flying Ace During World War Ii)
Hans-Joachim Marseille
down3
Birthdate: December 13, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 30, 1942

Remembered for his aerial battles during the North African Campaign, Hans-Joachim Marseille was a German Luftwaffe fighter pilot and a flying ace, who claimed a total of 158 victories, out of which 151 victories were against the British Commonwealth's Desert Air Force. Nicknamed Star of Africa, he is also credited with shooting down seventeen Allied fighters in a single day.

 10 
Joachim Peiper
(German Schutzstaffel officer)
Joachim Peiper
down6
Birthdate: January 30, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: July 14, 1976
German SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper led the 1944 Malmedy killings of U.S. prisoners of war. He worked with Heinrich Himmler during World War II. After a 12-year prison sentence, he started working as a translator in France but was murdered after his real identity as a war criminal was discovered.
 11 
Kurt Knispel
(Soldier)
Kurt Knispel
down3
Birthdate: September 20, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zlaté Hory
Died: April 28, 1945

Remembered as one of the most successful tank commanders of World War II, Kurt Knispel demolished at least 168 tanks. The German Tiger commander, who died of a shrapnel injury, is often compared to fellow commander Otto Carius. He was honored with a German Cross in Gold.

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger
down3
Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Parchim
Died: June 18, 1916

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger was a German military officer who served as a general. Moltke the Younger became the Chief of the German General Staff and led the German Army between 1906 and 1914. His influence on Germany's decision to enter World War I has tarnished his legacy. The failure of his Schlieffen Plan has also earned him criticisms.

 13 
Karl Wolff
(Politician, Officer)
Karl Wolff
down3
Birthdate: May 13, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Darmstadt
Died: July 17, 1984

Karl Wolff was a German SS official during World War II. By the end of the war, Wolff was serving as the Supreme SS and Police Leader in Italy, where he played a major role in bringing the war to an end sooner than in the rest of Europe. Wolff was prosecuted in 1962 for the deportation of Italian Jews.

 14 
Adam Worth
(art thief)
Adam Worth
down3
Birthdate: 1844 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Prussia
Died: January 8, 1902

Adam Worth was a German-born American thief whose short stature earned him the nickname Napoleon of the criminal world. It is widely believed that he was the inspiration behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Professor James Moriarty. In the 1976 period comedy film Harry and Walter Go to New York, Adam Worth was portrayed by English actor Sir Michael Caine.

 15 
Ernst Jünger
(German Soldier and Author Known for His World War I Memoir 'Storm of Steel')
Ernst Jünger
down4
Birthdate: March 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Died: February 17, 1998

Though Ernst Jünger was part of the German Army in both the World Wars, he was against the Nazi dictatorship and was accused of being involved in a plot to kill Hitler. He authored the diary-novel The Storm of Steel and also made a mark as an entomologist.

 16 
Hans Speidel
(Career soldier, Military personnel)
Hans Speidel
down3
Birthdate: October 28, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Metzingen
Died: November 28, 1984

A West German military leader of the post WWII period, General Hans Speidel is best remembered for his contributions to German rearmament and integration into NATO. The only leading member of the 20 July Plot to survive the war, he later played an important role in the international defense cooperation, eventually being appointed Commander of Allied Land Forces Central Europe.

 17 
Hans Kammler
(architect, engineer)
Hans Kammler
down3
Birthdate: August 26, 1901
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Szczecin
Died: May 9, 1945

Hans Kammler was a German architect and civil engineer. He was responsible for several civil engineering projects of the Nazi regime and its secret weapons programs. Kammler supervised the construction of many Nazi concentration camps. A few days before the culmination of the war, Hans Kammler absconded and his fate remains a mystery to date. 

 18 
Kurt Student
(Aviator, Officer)
Kurt Student
down3
Birthdate: May 12, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Birkholz
Died: July 1, 1978

A pioneer in developing airborne operations, Kurt Student was a German general and commander of the Luftwaffe's paratroop branch. Assigned to military research and development in interwar years, he became interested in gliders and paratroopers, eventually helping to develop Germany's airborne forces. He masterminded airborne attacks in places like Netherlands and Crete, forcing the Allies to develop their own airborne troops.

 19 
Friedrich Olbricht
(Military personnel, Officer)
Friedrich Olbricht
down3
Birthdate: October 4, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Leisnig
Died: July 21, 1944

German general Friedrich Olbricht was part of the First World War but is best remembered for his association with the July Plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Eventually arrested for the conspiracy, he and the other plotters were executed, and Olbricht was the first to be shot.

 20 
Hans Krebs
(Former general of infantry who served during World War II)
Hans Krebs
down3
Birthdate: March 4, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Helmstedt, Germany
Died: May 2, 1945

German Army general Hans Krebs was the last OKH Chief of Staff during the last phase of World War II. He was part of the Fuehrer’s entourage during his final days in the Fuehrerbunker. Following Hitler’s suicide, he was sent to deliver the surrender terms to the Soviets but eventually committed suicide.

 21 
Heinz Hitler
(Son of Alois Hitler, Jr. and his second wife Hedwig Heidemann)
Heinz Hitler
down3
Birthdate: March 14, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Magdeburg, German
Died: February 21, 1942

Heinz Hitler was a German Unteroffizier who served between 1939 and 1942 in the unified armed forces of Germany, Bundeswehr. Heinz belonged to the infamous Hitler family and was widely regarded as Adolf Hitler's favorite nephew. An ardent supporter of the Nazis, Heinz Hitler joined the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany, at the dawn of World War II.

 22 
Dietrich von Choltitz
(Military personnel)
Dietrich von Choltitz
down3
Birthdate: November 9, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Łąka Prudnicka
Died: November 5, 1966

Dietrich von Choltitz, the last commander of Nazi-occupied Paris, is best remembered for disobeying Adolf Hitler’s orders of burning Paris down, an action that earned him the nickname of the Savior of Paris. His many awards include the Knight's Cross and the German Cross. His exploits inspired the film Is Paris Burning?

Erich Priebke
down3
Birthdate: July 29, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hennigsdorf
Died: September 11, 2013

SS captain Erich Priebke made headlines when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing 335 boys and men in groups of 5, at the Ardeatine Caves in Italy. He eventually died of old age in house arrest at age 100, and was the oldest surviving Nazi war criminal back then.

 24 
Kurt Meyer
(Officer)
Kurt Meyer
down4
Birthdate: December 23, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jerxheim
Died: December 23, 1961

Nazi commander Kurt Meyer, also known as Panzermeyer, is remembered for his atrocities, especially the mass murder of the Canadian POWs in Normandy. He was sentenced to death as a war criminal, but his sentence was later commuted and he was eventually released from jail.

 25 
Lothar von Richthofen
(Aviator, Military personnel)
Lothar von Richthofen
down3
Birthdate: September 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: July 4, 1922

Lothar von Richthofen was a German flying ace who served during the First World War. He was the younger brother of another aviator Manfred von Richthofen, whose life inspired the 2008 German-British biopic The Red Baron where Lothar von Richthofen was played by German actor Volker Bruch. Richthofen died in a flying accident when he was just 27 years old.

 26 
Werner von Blomberg
(First Minister of War in Adolf Hitler's government)
Werner von Blomberg
down3
Birthdate: September 2, 1878
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stargard, Poland
Died: March 13, 1946

Werner von Blomberg was a German military officer who served as a German General Staff officer. Blomberg also served as Nazi Germany's first Minister of War. As the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Werner von Blomberg played a key role in Germany's preparation in the years leading to the Second World War.

 27 
Fritz Todt
(Engineer, Politician, Civil engineer, Architect)
Fritz Todt
down3
Birthdate: September 4, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pforzheim
Died: February 8, 1942

Fritz Todt was a German civil engineer and architect. A senior Nazi, Todt oversaw the construction of Reichsautobahnen, a controlled-access highway, and also served as the Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition. Before the start of the Second World War, Todt initiated a military-engineering company called Organisation Todt that oversaw the construction of many Nazi concentration camps. 

 28 
Reinhard Gehlen
down3
Birthdate: April 3, 1902
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erfurt
Died: June 8, 1979

Known as Adolf Hitler’s favorite spy, Reinhard Gehlen led the Wehrmacht military intelligence during World War II. Following the war, he surrendered to the Allies and then joined hands with the CIA to form Germany’s modern spy service consisting of countless former Nazis and war criminals.

 29 
Werner Goldberg
(Former Soldier Whose Image Appeared in the Berliner Tageblatt as "The Ideal German Soldier")
Werner Goldberg
down3
Birthdate: October 3, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 28, 2004

Surprisingly German soldier Werner Goldberg was half-Jewish. Associated with the Nazi German army, he was part of World War II and was tagged The Ideal German Soldier. The Nazis considered him Aryan and not Jewish since his mother was non-Jewish. Following the war, he served as a politician.

 30 
Hans von Seeckt
(Politician, Officer)
Hans von Seeckt
down3
Birthdate: April 22, 1866
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schleswig
Died: December 27, 1936

Hans von Seeckt was a German military officer. He played an important role in the First World War where he was a key figure in planning the victories achieved by August von Mackensen during World War I.

 31 
Hans Langsdorff
down3
Birthdate: March 20, 1894
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bergen auf Rügen
Died: December 19, 1939

Hans Langsdorff was a German naval officer best remembered for commanding the Admiral Graf Spee, a heavily armed cruiser, which was nicknamed pocket battleship by the British. The legendary ship played a key role in the Spanish Civil War where it conducted five non-intervention patrols.

 32 
Erhard Milch
(Politician, Military personnel)
Erhard Milch
down3
Birthdate: March 30, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wilhelmshaven
Died: January 25, 1972

Known for playing a key role in establishing Luftwaffe, Erhard Milch joined civil aviation industry after a brief army career during WWI and eventually became State Secretary of Reich Ministry of Aviation. Soon, he started building up Luftwaffe and quickly reaching a high position. Tried as war criminal after WWII, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released within seven years.

 33 
Gerhard Barkhorn
(Aviator, Officer)
Gerhard Barkhorn
down3
Birthdate: March 20, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Königsberg
Died: January 8, 1983

Gerhard Barkhorn was a German military aviator who served as the wing commander in the Luftwaffe during World War II. He was a fighter ace and is counted among the most successful fighter pilot of all time, with over 300 victories. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords for his outstanding achievements.

 34 
Maximilian von Weichs
(Military personnel)
Maximilian von Weichs
down3
Birthdate: November 12, 1881
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dessau
Died: September 27, 1954

Maximilian von Weichs was a German field marshal during World War II. Joining the military as a youngster, he fought in World War I. He was a senior army officer when World War II broke out and commanded the army during the invasions of France, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union. He was implicated in war crimes but was never sentenced.  

 35 
Heinz Linge
(Painter)
Heinz Linge
down3
Birthdate: March 23, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bremen
Died: March 9, 1980

Heinz Linge went from being a bricklayer to a Schutzstaffel official. He joined Adolf Hitler’s household staff, as his valet. Stationed at the Führerbunker with Hitler during the fall of the Nazis, he was eventually tasked with cremating Hitler’s body. Captured by the Red Army, he later penned a memoir.

 36 
Fritz Pfeffer
(Physician)
Fritz Pfeffer
down3
Birthdate: April 30, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gießen
Died: December 20, 1944

Known as Albert Dussel in Anne Frank’s diary, Fritz Pfeffer was a successful Jewish dentist who had hid along with Anne Frank and her family in the Secret Annex during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. Initially deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, he later died at the Neuengamme concentration camp.

 37 
Tessy Antony de Nassau
(Businesswoman)
Tessy Antony de Nassau
down4
Birthdate: October 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Tessy Antony de Nassau is a Luxembourgish non-profit executive and businesswoman. She was formerly married to Prince Louis of Luxembourg and was one of the most important members of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg. For her humanitarian work, Tessy was honored with the Mrongovius Medal in 2016. A multi-talented personality, Tessy practices spinning, scuba diving, swimming, skiing, and hunting.

 38 
Heinrich Severloh
down3
Birthdate: June 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Eldingen
Died: January 14, 2006

Heinrich Severloh was a German soldier who achieved notoriety in 2000 when a memoir titled WN 62 – Erinnerungen an Omaha Beach Normandie, 6. Juni 1944 was published. The book claims that Severloh gunned down more than 1,000 American soldiers on Omaha Beach on D-Day. At the end of the war, Heinrich Severloh was held as a prisoner of war. 

 39 
Günther Rall
(Writer, Aviator, Officer)
Günther Rall
down3
Birthdate: March 10, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gaggenau
Died: October 4, 2009

Günther Rall was a German military aviator and General whose career spanned almost four decades. In 1938, Rall became a fighter pilot and went on to become one of the most successful fighter pilots in the history of aviation. Over the course of his illustrious career, Rall was honored with several awards like the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

 40 
Conrad Schumann
down3
Birthdate: March 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zschochau
Died: June 20, 1998
 41 
Friedrich Jeckeln
(Former SS commander during the Nazi era)
Friedrich Jeckeln
down3
Birthdate: February 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hornberg, Germany
Died: February 3, 1946

Friedrich Jeckeln was a German military officer and SS commander. He played a major role during World War II, serving as a Higher SS and Police Leader in the Soviet Union. He was personally responsible for organizing the murders of more than 100,000 people. After the end of the war, Jeckeln was convicted of war crimes and executed in 1946.

 42 
Julius Schreck
(Military personnel)
Julius Schreck
down3
Birthdate: July 13, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Munich
Died: May 16, 1936

Julius Schreck was a senior Nazi official who served in World War I. A close confidant of Adolf Hitler, Schreck is credited with co-founding the Sturmabteilung, Nazi Party's original paramilitary wing. He also played an active role in the development of Sturmabteilung. Julius Schreck was honored with a state funeral after his demise in 1936.

 43 
Günther Prien
(First U-boat commander to receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross)
Günther Prien
down3
Birthdate: January 16, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Osterfeld, Germany
Died: March 8, 1941

Günther Prien was a German military officer who played a major role as a U-boat commander during the Second World War. Under his command, submarine U-47 sank more than 30 Allied ships, including the legendary HMS Royal Oak. In 1939, Günther Prien became the first U-boat commander to be honored with the Knight's Cross for his efforts in the war.

 44 
Christian Wirth
(Former Military officer who was one of the primary architects of the program to exterminate the Jewish people of Poland, known as Operation Reinhard)
Christian Wirth
down3
Birthdate: November 24, 1885
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Balzheim, Germany
Died: May 26, 1944

Christian Wirth was a German military officer and leading Holocaust perpetrator. Wirth was one of the chief architects of Operation Reinhard, a program to exterminate the Jews in Poland. After the end of Operation Reinhard, Christian Wirth was murdered by Yugoslav Partisans.

 45 
Arthur Nebe
(Police officer)
Arthur Nebe
down0
Birthdate: November 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 21, 1945
 46 
Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock
(Soldier, Submariner)
Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock
down3
Birthdate: December 11, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bremen
Died: April 18, 1986

Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock was a German submarine commander who served in Nazi Germany's navy Kriegsmarine during World War II. Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic where he was one of the most successful U-boat commanders against the Allies. In 1941, he was honored with the prestigious Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

 47 
Wilhelm Bittrich
down3
Birthdate: February 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wernigerode
Died: April 19, 1979

Wilhelm Bittrich was a German Waffen-SS commander who served for Nazi Germany. Between 1942 and 1943, Wilhelm Bittrich commanded the Florian Geyer, a Waffen-SS cavalry division. From 1944 till the end of the war, Wilhelm Bittrich commanded the second SS Panzer Corps and played a major role during Operation Market Garden.

 48 
Adolf Heusinger
down3
Birthdate: August 4, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Holzminden
Died: November 30, 1982

Adolf Heusinger was a German military officer. A respected officer, Heusinger served as the general for West Germany from 1957 to 1961. From 1961 to 1964, Adolf Heusinger served as the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

 49 
Hermann Balck
(soldier, officer)
Hermann Balck
down3
Birthdate: December 7, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gdańsk
Died: November 29, 1982
Fabian von Schlabrendorff
down3
Birthdate: July 1, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halle (Saale), Germany
Died: September 3, 1980
Find out more about the greatest German Soldiers, including Manfred von Richthofen, Irma Grese, Claus von Stauffenberg, Erich Hartmann and Dietrich von Choltitz.