Johann von Kielmansegg
|Johann von Kielmansegg|
Johann von Kielmansegg in 1967
|Born||30 December 1906
|Died||26 May 2006
|Allegiance||Nazi Germany (to 1945)|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg was the youngest of three children of Johann Adolf von Kielmansegg (1864 - 1907) and his wife Eva Mathilde (1868 - 1953). His two sisters Ilse and Anna both quickly married into noble families.
Kielmansegg joined the German Army on April 7, 1926 after his time in cadet school in Rosleben and served as a cavalry officer in the 16th Cavalry Regiment in Hofgeismar, Langensalza and Erfurt. In 1930 he was promoted to lieutenant, and in 1937, to captain. From October 1937 to August 1939 he received General Gtaff training at the Prussian Military Academy in Berlin.
During World War II, Kielmansegg served in various divisions, staff regiments, and fronts in Poland, France and Russia. From 1942 to 1944 he served as General Staff officer to the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW). On 1 May 1944, he was promoted to colonel, but was a few months later arrested by the Gestapo for being a co-conspirator of the 20 July plot, but released on 23 October 1944 for a lack of evidence. He later said:
"The plotters set a good example to the army, because these men put their lives on the line against the dictator."
— Johann von Kielmansegg
After the war, Kielmansegg was first a British and later American prisoner of war. He was released in May 1946 and later worked as a truck driver on a farm. From February 1948, he worked as a journalist. And finally from 1949 onwards, as a publishing assistant in Hamburg.
In 1949, Kielmansegg published a book called The Fritsch Affair of 1938 in the defense on his uncle, General Werner von Fritsch, in order to "wash away those charges of homosexual activity".
In October 1950 Kielmansegg was appointed to the Blank Office in Bonn, where he remained until 1955. Later in 1955, he became the Secretary for Military Policy, and then Deputy Director General of National Defense. During this time, he was the German delegate in the negotiations on the European Defence Community and the London and Paris Conferences. Kielmansegg is considered one of the spiritual fathers of the principle of "Inner Guidance", which was the hallmark of the Federal Armed Forces in uniform with the concept of the citizen.
In 1955, Kielmansegg re-joined the German Armed Forces in the rank of brigadier general. From 1955 to 1958 he acted as National Military Representative at Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE).
Then Kielmansegg, from 1958 to 1960, commanded the 5th Panzer Division in Koblenz as a major general. In 1961, he commaned the 10th Panzer Grenadier Division in Sigmarigen. In 1963 he was again active in the International area and was, since 5 July 1963, as lieutenant general of NATO's Supreme Command, of Allied Land Forces Central Europe in Fontainebleau, in France. In 1965, he was awarded with the Freiherr-vom-Stein Prize. On 15 March 1967, he was promoted to Commander-in-Chief of NATO's forces in Central Europe, first in Fontainebleau, Germany, and then in Brunssum, in The Netherlands.
In 1985, he, together with Oskar Weggel, published the book Invincible? on the military power of the People's Republic of China.
- "General Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- "General von Kielmansegg, a NATO Leader, Dies at 99". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- "Johann-Adolf, Count von Kielmansegg". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2014-01-06.