Friedrich Kirchner

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Friedrich Kirchner
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1997-018-33, Friedrich Kirchner.jpg
General Friedrich Kirchner
Born (1885-03-26)26 March 1885
Zöbigker Leipzig
Died 6 April 1960(1960-04-06) (aged 75)
Fulda
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1899-1945
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held 1. Panzer-Division
LVII. Panzerkorps
Battles/wars

World War I
World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Friedrich Kirchner (26 March 1885 – 6 April 1960) was a German general during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Career[edit]

Friedrich Kirchner joined the imperial German army as a Fähnrich on 1 May 1899 and was assigned to the 8. Königlich Sächsisches Infanterie-Regiment "Prinz Johann Georg" Nr. 107. While assigned to this regiment he was promoted to Leutnant on 27 January 1907. The officers patent was back dated to 18 August 1905. Kirchner was transferred to the 1. Königlich Sächsisches Ulanen-Regiment "Kaiser Franz Josef von Österreich, König von Ungarn" Nr. 17 in 1911. He was still assigned to this regiment at the outbreak of World War I. He was promoted to Rittmeister on 24 July 1915.

After World War I he was accepted for service in the Reichswehr where he initially served with the 12. (Sächs.) Reiter-Regiment. He was made escadron chief, a position which he officially held of the 4th escadron of the 12. (Sächs.) Reiter-Regiment in Großenhain by the spring of 1924. He held this position for many years before he was transferred to the Regimentsstab of the 12. (Sächs.) Reiter-Regiment in Dresden in the spring of 1928. Kirchner was promoted to Major on 1 February 1928. From 1929 he served in the Stab of the 2. Kavallerie-Division in Breslau. Kirchner was promoted to Oberstleutnant on 1 December 1932 and Oberst on 1 November 1934. He was made commanding officer of the Schützen-Regiment 1 on 15 October 1935 and commanding officer of the 1. Schützen-Brigade on 10 November 1938. He was promoted to Generalmajor on 1 March 1938.

He participated in the invasion of Poland with the 1. Schützen-Brigade until he was given command of the 1. Panzer-Division on 17 November 1939. On 1 April 1940 he was promoted to Generalleutnant. Kirchner led the 1. Panzer-Division in the Battle of France. Kirchner was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 May 1940 for the successful leadership of the 1. Panzer-Division. He was wounded during the invasion of France when one of his legs was run over by a German vehicle.[1] He then took command of the LVII. Armeekorps on 15 November 1941. He was promoted to General der Panzertruppe on 1 February 1942. Even after the re-designation of the LVII. Armeekorps to LVII. Panzerkorps he remained in command of the LVII. Panzerkorps until the end of World War II.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ To Lose a Battle: France 1940, Alistair Horne
  2. ^ a b c d Thomas 1997, p. 364.
  3. ^ Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 229.
  4. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 442.
Bibliography
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges [With Oak Leaves and Swords. The Highest Decorated Soldiers of the Second World War] (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2004). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe II Ihlefeld - Primozic [Oak Leaves Bearers 1940 – 1945 Contemporary History in Color II Ihlefeld - Primozic] (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 978-3-932381-21-8. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Rudolf Schmidt
Commander of 1. Panzer-Division
2 November 1939 – 17 July 1941
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Walter Krüger
Preceded by
LVII. Armeekorps
Commander of LVII. Panzer-Korps
21 June 1942 – 30 November 1943
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppen Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppen Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck
Commander of LVII. Panzer-Korps
19 February 1944 – 25 May 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Dr. Franz Beyer
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Dr. Franz Beyer
Commander of LVII. Panzer-Korps
2 June 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
none