Hendrik Klopper

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Hendrik Balzazar Klopper
Born (1903-09-25)25 September 1903
Died 30 December 1977(1977-12-30) (aged 74)
Allegiance  Republic of South Africa
Service/branch  South African Army
Years of service 1924–1958
Rank General

General Hendrik Balzazar Klopper DSO (25 September 1903 – 31 December 1977[1]) was a South African military commander. He joined the South African Army in 1924.

Military career[edit]

During World War II he commanded the 3rd Infantry Brigade[2] in North Africa, for which he was awarded the DSO[3] and then briefly commanded 2nd Infantry Division. As fortress commander, Klopper was forced to surrender Tobruk and its garrison to Axis forces on 21 June 1942. He escaped from captivity in 1943 and was officially exonerated for the Tobruk disaster.

He was OC of Northern Command in 1945[4]

He served as Army Chief of Staff from 1951 to 1953, as Inspector-General from 1953 to 1956, and as Commandant-General,[5]:94 i.e. head of the Union Defence Force,[6] from 1956 to 1958.

Awards and Decorations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "KLOPPER H.B. 1903-1977". eGGSA Library. The Genealogical Society of South Africa:eGGSA Branch. 24 February 2003. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Generals of WWII: Klopper, Hendrik Balzazer". generals.dk. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The London Gazette, Issue 35697, page 3948". The Gazette. The London Gazette. 8 September 1942. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Uys, Ian (1992). South African Military Who's Who 1452-1992. Fortress Publishers. ISBN 0-9583173-3-X. 
  5. ^ Nöthling, C.J.; Meyers, E.M. (1982). "LEIERS DEUR DIE JARE (1912-1982)" (Online). Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies (in Afrikaans). 12 (2): 89–98. doi:10.5787/12-2-631. ISSN 2224-0020. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Englebrecht, Leon (10 November 2008). "Fact file: Chiefs of the SA Army". DefenceWeb.co.za. DefenceWeb. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Christiaan du Toit
Chief of the General Staff of the Union Defence Force
1956 – 1958
Succeeded by
Stephen Melville
Preceded by
Christiaan du Toit
Chief of the South African Army
1951 – 1953
Succeeded by
Pieter Grobbelaar
Preceded by
Jock Kriegler
OC SA Army College
1944 – 1945
Succeeded by
SJ Joubert
Preceded by
JR Wocke
OC Special Service Battalion
1938 – 1939
Succeeded by
Pik van Noorden