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Luftwaffe Reichsmarschall.svg
Shoulder boards
Country Nazi Germany
RankSix-star (unofficial)
NATO rankOF-11
Non-NATO rankO-12
Formation12th century (historical)
19 July 1940
Next higher rankNone
Next lower rankGeneralfeldmarschall
The original uniform of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring shown in the Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr in Berlin

Reichsmarschall, Marshal of the Reich (literal translation: Empire or Realm), was the highest rank in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany during World War II.[1]


The original baton of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring shown in the West Point Museum

The rank of Reichserzmarschall was originally created before the 12th century, during the time of the Holy Roman Empire. During the era of the German Empire and World War I, no one in the German Army held the rank.

During World War II, Hermann Göring, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, was the only man elevated to Reichsmarschall.[2][3] He was promoted by Adolf Hitler, who first declared himself 1st Soldier of German Empire and Supreme Commander, during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony on 19 July, primarily to make Göring senior to the other Wehrmacht commanders made Generalfeldmarschall that day, and confirm his position as Hitler's designated successor.

Nevertheless, on 23 April 1945, when Göring suggested to Hitler that he assume leadership of the crumbling Third Reich, Hitler relieved Göring of his duties and named a new successor, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. Dönitz' appointment was made on or before the day of Hitler's suicide (30 April 1945), but notification by Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels was delayed until 1 May 1945.[4]

Official standards[edit]

Rank insignia[edit]


  1. ^ Haskew 2011, p. 46.
  2. ^ Göring also held many other prestigious titles, such as Reich Master Hunter and Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan
  3. ^ Haskew 2011, pp. 25, 46, 119.
  4. ^ O'Donnell 1979, p. 217.

General sources[edit]

  • Haskew, Michael (2011). The Wehrmacht. Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-907446-95-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • O'Donnell, James P (1979). The History of the Reich Chancellery Group. London, UK: J.M. Dent. OCLC 638799214.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Junior rank
 Nazi Germany
(Ranks Wehrmacht)
Senior rank
Führer und Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht