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
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]
Generalissimus of the Soviet Union (created June 1945)[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
Marshal of the Soviet Union Marszałek Polski 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]
Reichsführer-SS[note 17]
Admiral of the Fleet
Field Marshal
Marshal of the Royal Air Force[note 18]
Fleet Admiral
General of the Army
Chief Marshal[note 19] 一級上將 I-chi Shang-chiang (General 1st Class) - Αρχιναύαρχος (Admiral of the Fleet)[note 20]
Στρατάρχης (Field Marshal)[note 20]
Αιθεράρχης (Marshal of the Air Force)[note 20]
Großadmiral
Generalfeldmarschall
SS-Volksmarschall[note 21]
Grand'Ammiraglio
Maresciallo d'Italia
Maresciallo dell'Aria
Sotamarsalkka Fältmarskalk ("War Marshal") 元帥 Gensui (Marshal)[note 22] Amiral de la flotte General armije (Генерал армије)
Адмирал флота
(Admiral of the Fleet)[note 23]

Генерал армии

(General of the Army)
Маршал (Marshal)

Admiral
General
Air Chief Marshal
Admiral
General
Адмирал (Admiral)
General-Colonel
二級上將 Ehr-chi Shang-chiang
(General 2nd Class)
Admirał
Generał broni
Ναύαρχος
(Admiral)[note 24]

Στρατηγός (General)[note 24]
Πτέραρχος (Air Chief Marshal)[note 24]
Generaladmiral
Generaloberst
Oberstgruppenführer
Ammiraglio d'Armata
Generale d'Armata
Generale d'Armata Aerea
Amiraali Amiral
Kenraali General
大将 Taishō (General) Général d'armée
Amiral
Général d'armée aérienne
General-pukovnik (Генерал-пуковник)
Vice-Admiral
Lieutenant-General
Air Marshal
Vice Admiral
Lieutenant General
Vice-Admiral
General-Lieutenant
中將 Chung-chiang
(Lieut.-General)
Wiceadmirał
Generał dywizji
Αντιναύαρχος
(Vice-Admiral)

Αντιστράτηγος (Lieutenant General)
Αντιπτέραρχος (Air Marshal)
Admiral
General[note 25]
Obergruppenführer
Ammiraglio di Squadra
Generale di Corpo d'Armata
Generale di Squadra Aerea
Vara-amiraali Viceamiral
Kenraaliluutnantti Generallöjtnant
中将 Chūjō (Lieutenant-General) Général de corps d'armée
Vice-amiral d'escadre
Général de corps d'armée aérienne
General-lajtnant (Генерал-лајтнант)
Vice-amiral
Rear-Admiral
Major-General
Air Vice-Marshal
Rear Admiral
Major General
Ко́нтр-адмира́л (Counter-Admiral)
Генера́л-майо́р (General-Major)
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
少将 Shōshō (Major-General) Général de division
Contre-amiral
Général de division aérienne
General-major (Генерал-мајор)
Commodore[note 26]
Brigadier[note 27]
Air Commodore
Commodore[note 28]
Brigadier General
- - - - Konteradmiral
Generalmajor
Brigadeführer
Contrammiraglio
Generale di Brigata
Generale di Brigata Aerea
- - Général de brigade
capitaine de vaisseau chef de division[note 26]
Général de brigade aérienne
-
Kommodore[note 29]
Oberführer
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)
Kapitän zur See
Oberst
Standartenführer
Capitano di Vascello
Colonnello
Kommodori Kommodor
Eversti Överste
大佐 Taisa (Colonel) Colonel
capitaine de vaisseau
Colonel
Pukovnik (Пуковник)
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
中佐 Chūsa (Lieutenant-Colonel) Lieutenant-colonel
capitaine de frégate
Lieutenant-colonel
Potpukovnik (Потпуковник)
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
少佐 Shōsa (Major) Commandant
capitaine de corvette
Commandant
Major (Maјор)
Lieutenant
Captain
Flight Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Captain
Капита́н-лейтена́нт (Captain-Lieutenant)
Капита́н (Captain)
上尉 Shang-wei (Captain) Kapitan marynarki
Kapitan[note 30]
Υποπλοίαρχος (Lieutenant)
Λοχαγός (Captain)
Σμηναγός (Flight Lieutenant)
Kapitänleutnant
Hauptmann[note 31]
Hauptsturmführer
Primo Capitano Kapteeniluutnantti Kaptenlöjtnant
Kapteeni Kapten
大尉 Taii (Captain) Capitaine
Lieutenant de vaisseau
Capitaine
Kapetan (Капетaн)
Tenente di Vascello
Capitano
Sub-Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Flying Officer
Lieutenant Junior Grade
First Lieutenant
Ста́рший лейтена́нт (Senior Lieutenant)
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 32]
Luutnantti Löjtnant 中尉 Chūi (First Lieutenant) Lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 1re classe
Lieutenant
Poručnik (Пοручник)
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
少尉 Shōi (Second Lieutenant) Sous-lieutenant
Enseigne de vaisseau de 2nde classe
Sous-lieutenant
Potporučnik (Потпоручник)
Мла́дший лейтена́нт (Junior Lieutenant)
Мла́дший лейтена́нт (Junior Lieutenant)
准尉 Chun-wei (Warrant Officer) Chorąży marynarki
Chorąży
Sottotenente 准尉 Jun-i (Warrant Officer) Aspirant

See also[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. ^ 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.
  18. ^ For example, King George VI was "Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force" during 1939-45.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ a b c Rank held only by King George II
  21. ^ 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. de:Volksmarschall
  22. ^ Gensui, although usually translated as Field Marshal/Grand Admiral, was actually an honorary title conferred by the Emperor and not a rank as such.
  23. ^ 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]
  24. ^ a b c No officer was appointed to this rank during the war
  25. ^ Generals of this rank in the German army and airforce generally held the rank of their service branch. In the Heer (army) these were "General der Infanterie" (infantry), "General der Artillerie" (artillery), "General der Kavallerie" (Cavalry), "General der Panzertruppe" (armoured troops), "General der Nachrichtentruppe" (line of communication troops), "General der Pionier" (pioneer troops) and "General der Gebirgstruppe" (mountain troops). In the Luftwaffe (air force) the ranks were "General der Flieger" (air force), "General der Fallschirmtruppe" (parachute troops) and "General der Flakartillerie" (anti-aircraft artillery).
  26. ^ a b Prior to 1997 an appointment held by senior captains.
  27. ^ An appointment conferred on Colonels rather than a substantive rank
  28. ^ Rank reintroduced in 1943.
  29. ^ 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".
  30. ^ Traditionally captains of Polish cavalry held the rank of rotmistrz, a direct equivalent of the rank of kapitan in other branches of the military.
  31. ^ Captains in the cavalry and mounted transport corps were called Rittmeister.
  32. ^ "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