Walter Krüger (SS general)

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Walter Krüger
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-212-0212A-19, Russland, SS-Brigdeführer und Erich Hoepner.jpg
Krüger (left) with Colonel General Erich Hoepner in October 1941
Born (1890-02-27)27 February 1890
Strasbourg
Died 22 May 1945(1945-05-22) (aged 55)[a]
Lithuania
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Rank SS-Obergruppenführer Collar Rank.svg Obergruppenführer
Commands held SS-PzGrenDiv "Das Reich"
VI. Waffen Armeekorps der SS
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Walter Krüger (27 February 1890 – 22 May 1945[a]) was an SS-Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant General). He was also a 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]

Born in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire (nowadays in France), Krüger was the son of an army officer and attended cadet school. As a young second lieutenant, he joined the 110th Fusilier Regiment during World War I. After World War I, he joined the Freikorps and fought in the Baltic region during 1919.

In 1933, when Adolf Hitler gained power, Krüger worked in the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht training department. In 1935, he joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe where he formed the SS-Standarte Germania. At the SS Officer's school at Bad Tölz, he served as an instructor. He earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, after taking command of the SS Polizei Division which fought on the Leningrad front, Krüger himself taking place in the siege of the city itself.

Krüger became commander of the SS Division Das Reich in March 1943. After that, he went on to become the inspector general of all infantry troops of the Waffen-SS. He assumed command of the newly formed, voluntary, VI (Latvian) SS Corps.

On 22 May 1945[a], Krüger committed suicide in the Courland Pocket fourteen days after the surrender of Nazi Germany.

Rank promotion[edit]

  • April 30, 1935 – SS-Obersturmbannführer
  • January 30, 1939 – SS-Standartenführer
  • April 20, 1941 – SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of Waffen-SS
  • January 30, 1942 – SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of Waffen-SS
  • June 21, 1944 – SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Waffen-SS

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • a Date of death is inconclusive. According to Florian Berger date of death is 20 May 1945, Walther-Per Fellgiebel states 8 May 1945 and Veit Scherzer presents the 22 May 1945.[2][3][4]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 416.
  2. ^ a b c d Scherzer 2007, p. 479.
  3. ^ Berger 1999, p. 173.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 47.
Bibliography
  • Ailsby, Christopher (1997). SS: Roll Of Infamy. Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-7603-0409-2.
  • 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. 
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2004). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe II Ihlefeld – Primozic (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-21-1.
  • 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. 
  • Yerger, Mark C. Waffen-SS Commanders: The Army, Corps and Divisional Leaders of a Legend : Krüger to Zimmermann. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing (February 1, 1999). ISBN 0-7643-0769-X, ISBN 978-0-7643-0769-0.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Kurt Brasack
Commander of SS Division "Das Reich"
March 29, 1943 – October 23, 1943
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding
Preceded by
SS-Obergruppenführer Alfred Wünnenberg
Commander of IV. SS-Panzerkorps
October 23, 1943 – July 1, 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Obergruppenführer Matthias Kleinheisterkamp