Comparative officer ranks of World War II

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The following table shows comparative officer ranks of major Allied and Axis powers during World War II.

KEY:

Navy
Army
Air Force[note 1]
Waffen-SS/Allgemeine SS
Generic ranks not specific to any service
Flag of NATO.svg
rank
Union Flag Flag of the USA Flag of the USSR Flag of the Republic of China Flag of Poland Flag of Greece Swastika flag of the Third Reich Flag of the Kingdom of Italy Flag of Finland Flag of the Empire of Japan Free French Flag Yugoslav Partisan Flag
British Commonwealth[note 2] United States Soviet Union[note 3] China Poland[note 4] Greece[note 5] Germany Italy Finland Japan Free French Yugoslav Partisans[note 6]
Генералиссимус Советского Союза (Generalissimus of the Soviet Union)[note 7] 大元帥 T'e-chi Shang-chiang (General Special Class)[note 8] Primo Maresciallo dell'Impero[note 9] 大元帥 Dai-Gensui(Grand Marshal)[note 10]
Admiral of the Navy[note 11]
General of the Armies
Reichsmarschall des Großdeutschen Reiches
("ReichMarshall of the Greater German Reich")
[note 12]


Suomen marsalkka Marskalk av Finland
("Marshal of Finland")
[note 13]
Maréchal de France[note 14]


Amiral de France[note 15]

Maršal Jugoslavije
(Маршал Југославије)[note 16]
OF-10 Admiral of the Fleet
Field Marshal
Marshal of the Royal Air Force[note 17]
Fleet Admiral
General of the Army
Маршал Советского Союза (Marshal of the Soviet Union) 一級上將 I-chi Shang-chiang (General 1st Class) Marszałek Polski- Αρχιναύαρχος (Admiral of the Fleet)[note 18]
Στρατάρχης (Field Marshal)[note 18]
Αιθεράρχης (Marshal of the Air Force)[note 18]
Großadmiral
Generalfeldmarschall
Reichsführer-SS[note 19]
SS-Volksmarschall
[note 20]
Grand'Ammiraglio
Maresciallo d'Italia
Maresciallo dell'Aria
Sotamarsalkka Fältmarskalk ("War Marshal") 元帥 Gensui (Marshal)[note 21] Amiral de la flotte General armije (Генерал армије)
OF-9
Admiral
General
Air Chief Marshal
Admiral
General
Главный маршал ... (Chief marshal ...)[note 22]
Маршал ... (Marshal ...)
二級上將 Ehr-chi Shang-chiang
(General 2nd Class)
Admirał
Generał broni
Ναύαρχος
(Admiral)[note 23]

Στρατηγός (General)[note 23]
Πτέραρχος (Air Chief Marshal)[note 23]
Generaladmiral
Generaloberst
Oberstgruppenführer
Ammiraglio d'Armata
Generale d'Armata
Generale d'Armata Aerea
Amiraali Amiral
Kenraali General
海軍大将Kaigun-Taishō(Admiral)
陸軍大将 Rikugun-Taishō (General)
Général d'armée
Vice-amiral chef d'état-major de la marine

Général d'armée aérienne

General-pukovnik (Генерал-пуковник)
Адмирал флота
(Admiral of the Fleet)[note 24]

Генерал армии

(General of the army)

OF-8
Vice-Admiral
Lieutenant-General
Air Marshal
Vice Admiral
Lieutenant General
Адмирал (Admiral)
Генерал-полковник (General-colonel)
中將 Chung-chiang
(Lieut.-General)
Wiceadmirał
Generał dywizji
Αντιναύαρχος
(Vice-Admiral)

Αντιστράτηγος (Lieutenant General)
Αντιπτέραρχος (Air Marshal)
Admiral
General ...
Obergruppenführer
Ammiraglio di Squadra
Generale di Corpo d'Armata
Generale di Squadra Aerea
Vara-amiraali Viceamiral
Kenraaliluutnantti Generallöjtnant
海軍中将Kaigun-Chūjō(Vice-Admiral)
陸軍中将 Rikugun-Chūjō (Lieutenant-General)
Général de corps d'armée
Vice-amiral commandant en chef une force
Général de corps d'armée aérienne
General-lajtnant (Генерал-лајтнант)
Vice-amiral
OF-7
Rear-Admiral
Major-General
Air Vice-Marshal
Rear Admiral
Major General
Вице-адмирал (Vize-admiral)
Генерал-лейтенант (General-leitenant)
少將 Shao-chiang (Major-General) Kontradmirał
Generał brygady
Υποναύαρχος
(Rear Admiral)

Υποστράτηγος (Major General)
Υποπτέραρχος
(Air Vice-Marshal)
Vizeadmiral
Generalleutnant
Gruppenführer
Ammiraglio di Divisione
Generale di Divisione
Generale di Divisione Aerea
Kontra-amiraali Konteramiral
Kenraalimajuri Generalmajor
海軍少将Kaigun-Shōshō(Rear-Admiral)
陸軍少将 Rikugun-Shōshō (Major-General)
Général de division
Contre-amiral
Général de division aérienne
General-major (Генерал-мајор)
OF-6
Commodore[note 25]
Brigadier[note 26]
Air Commodore
Commodore[note 27]
Brigadier General
Ко́нтр-адмира́л (Kountr-admiral)
Генера́л-майо́р (General-major)
- - - Konteradmiral
Generalmajor
Brigadeführer
Contrammiraglio
Generale di Brigata
Generale di Brigata Aerea
- - Général de brigade
capitaine de vaisseau chef de division[note 25]
Général de brigade aérienne
-
OF-5
Captain
Colonel
Group Captain
Captain
Colonel
Капита́н 1-го ра́нга (Captain 1st rank)
Полко́вник (Polkovnik)
上校 Shang-hsiao (Colonel) Komandor
Pułkownik
Πλοίαρχος (Captain)
Συνταγματάρχης (Colonel)
Σμήναρχος (Group Captain)
Kommodore[note 28]
Oberführer
Capitano di Vascello
Colonnello
Kommodori Kommodor
Eversti Överste
海軍大佐Kaigun-Daisa(Captain)
陸軍大佐Rikugun-Taisa (Colonel)
Colonel
capitaine de vaisseau
Colonel
Pukovnik (Пуковник)
Kapitän zur See
Oberst
Standartenführer
OF-4
Commander
Lieutenant-Colonel
Wing Commander
Commander
Lieutenant Colonel
Капита́н 2-го ра́нга (Captain 2nd rank)
Подполко́вник (Podpolkovnik)
中校 Chung-hsiao (Lieutenant-Colonel) Komandor porucznik
Podpułkownik
Αντιπλοίαρχος (Commander)
Αντισυνταγματάρχης (Lieutenant Colonel)
Αντισμήναρχος (Wing Commander)
Fregattenkapitän
Oberstleutnant
Obersturmbannführer
Capitano di Fregata
Tenente Colonnello
Komentaja Kommendör
Everstiluutnantti Överstelöjtnant
海軍中佐Kaigun-Chūsa(Commander)
陸軍中佐 Rikugun-Chūsa (Lieutenant-Colonel)
Lieutenant-colonel
capitaine de frégate
Lieutenant-colonel
Potpukovnik (Потпуковник)
OF-3
Lieutenant-Commander
Major
Squadron Leader
Lieutenant Commander
Major
Капита́н 3-го ра́нга (Captain 3rd rank)
Майо́р (Major)
少校 Shao-hsiao (Major) Komandor podporucznik
Major
Πλωτάρχης (Lieutenant Commander)
Ταγματάρχης (Major)
Επισμηναγός (Squadron Leader)
Korvettenkapitän
Major
Sturmbannführer
Capitano di Corvetta
Maggiore
Komentajakapteeni Kommendörkapten
Majuri Major
海軍少佐Kaigun-Shōsa(Lieutenant-Commander)
陸軍少佐 Rikugun-Shōsa (Major)
Commandant
capitaine de corvette
Commandant
Major (Maјор)
OF-2
Lieutenant
Captain
Flight Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Captain
Капита́н-лейтена́нт (Capitan-lieutenant)
Капита́н (Captain)
上尉 Shang-wei (Captain) Kapitan marynarki
Kapitan[note 29]
Υποπλοίαρχος (Lieutenant)
Λοχαγός (Captain)
Σμηναγός (Flight Lieutenant)
Kapitänleutnant
Hauptmann[note 30]
Hauptsturmführer
Primo Capitano Kapteeniluutnantti Kaptenlöjtnant
Kapteeni Kapten
海軍大尉Kaigun-Daii(Lieutenant)
陸軍大尉 Rikugun-Taii (Captain)
Capitaine
Lieutenant de vaisseau
Capitaine
Kapetan (Капетaн)
Tenente di Vascello
Capitano
OF-1a
Sub-Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Flying Officer
Lieutenant Junior Grade
First Lieutenant
Ста́рший лейтена́нт (Senior lieutenent)
Ста́рший лейтена́нт (Senior lieutenant)
中尉 Chung-wei (Lieutenant) Porucznik marynarki
Porucznik
Ανθυποπλοίαρχος (Sub-Lieutenant)
Υπολοχαγός (Lieutenant)
Υποσμηναγός (Flying Officer)
Oberleutnant zur See
Oberleutnant
Obersturmführer
Sottotenente di Vascello
Primo Tenente[note 31]
Luutnantti Löjtnant 海軍中尉Kaigun-Chūi(Lieutenant Junior Grade)
陸軍中尉 Rikugun-Chūi (First Lieutenant)
Lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe
Lieutenant
Poručnik (Пοручник)
OF-1b
Commissioned Warrant Officer
Second Lieutenant
Pilot Officer
Ensign
Second Lieutenant
Лейтена́нт (Lieutenant)
Лейтена́нт (Lieutenant)
少尉 Shao-wei (2nd Lieutenant) Podporucznik marynarki
Podporucznik
Σημαιοφόρος (Ensign)
Ανθυπολοχαγός (Second Lieutenant)
Ανθυποσμηναγός (Pilot Officer)
Leutnant zur See
Leutnant
Untersturmführer
Guardiamarina
Tenente
Aliluutnantti Underlöjtnant
Vänrikki Fänrik
海軍少尉Kaigun-shōi(Ensign)
陸軍少尉 Rikugun-Shōi (Second Lieutenant)
Sous-lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 2nde classe
Sous-lieutenant
Potporučnik (Потпоручник)
OF-1c
Мла́дший лейтена́нт (Junior lieutenant)
Мла́дший лейтена́нт (Junior lieutenant)
准尉 Chun-wei (Warrant Officer) Chorąży marynarki
Chorąży
Sottotenente 兵曹長Heisōchō(Warrant Officer)
准尉 Jun-i (Warrant Officer)
Aspirant

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Air Force ranks equal to generic Army ranks are not shown.
  2. ^ The name "British Commonwealth" came into official use in 1926, in place of "British Empire".
  3. ^ Included ranks on WWII period only.
  4. ^ In Polish military tradition the Polish Air Forces form a separate branch of the Polish Army, though the military ranks were exactly the same as in the case of land forces. Sometimes the word pilot was added to distinguish Air officers from the officers of the land forces (cf. podporucznik pilot as opposed to podporucznik). Historically due to absence of full general rank (which was introduced later), Polish General ranks were shifted one position up compared to similar-sounding ranks in other countries. Hence the rank of generał brygady (literally "general of a brigade") in most cases was a commanding officer of a division and was roughly equivalent to Major General, and not Brigadier General in other armies.
  5. ^ There is no standard method of transliterating the Greek language. See Romanization of Greek.
  6. ^ All military ranks shown here date from 1943-46; the Partisans used positional ranks (similar to that used by the Red Army during the Russian Civil War) from their inception in 1941 to 1943, with minor changes.
  7. ^ From June 27, 1945. Stalin appointed this rank by Supreme Council after victory over Germany.
  8. ^ Rank held by the Chinese Leader Chiang Kai-shek.
  9. ^ Highest possible military rank of Italy, created in 1938 and held solely and at the same time by King Victor Emmanuel III and Benito Mussolini
  10. ^ Highest possible military rank of Japan, held solely by the Emperor of Japan
  11. ^ Admiral of the Navy and General of the Armies while not in active service had retroactively become the "six star" ranks within the forces of the U.S. A proposal to elevate Nimitz and MacArthur to these ranks for the invasion of Japan was made but not acted upon prior to Japan's surrender.
  12. ^ Essentially a "vanity rank" created by Hitler on June 29, 1941, for Hermann Göring. Hitler himself held the title of Führer, which was a political and party title, englobing the supreme command of the armed forces; however Führer wasn't, strictly speaking, a military rank, and Hitler never promoted himself from the rank of Gefreiter he had earned during World War I
  13. ^ An honorary title given to Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim on his 75th birthday in 1942.
  14. ^ Not a rank, but a dignity of the State.
  15. ^ Not a rank, but a dignity of the State. No Amiral de France was alive during the war.
  16. ^ Rank held only by Tito; conferred to him by the Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia on November 30, 1943.
  17. ^ For example, King George VI was "Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force" during 1939-45.
  18. ^ a b c Rank held only by King George II
  19. ^ In 1934, Heinrich Himmler's title became an actual rank after the Night of the Long Knives. From that point on, Reichsführer-SS became the highest rank of the SS and was considered on paper the equivalent of a Generalfeldmarschall in the Wehrmacht; however as Himmler's position and authority grew in Nazi Germany, so did his rank in a "de facto" sense. McNab, Chris. (2009) The SS, pp. 9, 30, 46-47.
  20. ^ In 1944, it was planned that the rank of SS-Volksmarschall to be introduced for possible promotion of Waffen-SS Generalobersts, but no one had ever been promoted to this rank.
  21. ^ Gensui, although usually translated as Field Marshal/Grand Admiral, was actually an honorary title conferred by the Emperor and not a rank as such.
  22. ^ Marshals and Chief marshals of a specific arm of service (Artillery, Armored Forces, Engineering Service, Air Force etc), were introduced in 1943; though they both are equal to General of the Army, they maintained precedence over each other.
  23. ^ a b c No officer was appointed to this rank during the war
  24. ^ Introduced in 1940 as an equivalent to General of the Army, but from May 1945 became equal to Marshal of the Soviet Union, with no intermediate rank in between. [1]
  25. ^ a b Prior to 1997 an appointment held by senior captains.
  26. ^ An appointment conferred on Colonels rather than a substantive rank
  27. ^ Rank reintroduced in 1943.
  28. ^ Actually a Kapitän zur See (Captain) acting in an admiral's capacity. This was a rarely used rank. Best-known holder was Karl Dönitz, who from 28 January 1939 until 1 October 1939 was "Kapitän zur See und Kommodore" and "Leader of U-Boats".
  29. ^ Traditionally captains of Polish cavalry held the rank of rotmistrz, a direct equivalent of the rank of kapitan in other branches of the military.
  30. ^ Captains in the cavalry and mounted transport corps were called Rittmeister.
  31. ^ "Primo" ranks were a way for identifying long term or career officers. Primo Capitano and Primo Tenente were officers with 12 years seniority in the rank or a total of 20 years of commissioned service.
Citations
Bibliography