Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WWII Profile - Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt

Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt

The most senior German Army officer of World War II, Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt was born in Aschersleben in 1875. he served as a General Staff officer in the Great War. He commanded some of the largest armored campaigns in history, from the Ardennes attack in 1940 to the overall command in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. 

Rundstedt commanded Army Group South in Poland in 1939. In 1940, he commanded Army Group A in the invasion of France. He was promoted to Field Marshal after the fall of France on July 19, 1940. 

Rundstedt commanded Army Group South during Operation Barbarossa. Hitler sacked him on December 12, 1941 for a tactical withdrawal near Rostov. 

He was appointed commander-in-chief of Army Group West in France in March 1942,. Hitler sacked him on July 2, 1944 for failing to stop the D-Day landings.  

Rundstedt was reluctantly brought out of retirement one final time to command the Ardennes Offensive of December 1944. 

Excerpted from German Panzers in WWII (Order of Battle) by Chris Bishop. 

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