Branch: Kaiserliche Heer / Reichsheer / Heer
Born: 30 May 1881 in Philippsruhe castle in Hanau, Hesse-Nassau, Germany.
Died: 25 May 1968 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , Germany.
General der Infanterie
Georg Karl Friedrich Wilhelm von Küchler was born on 30 May 1881 and became a German Field Marshal during the World War II. Georg von Küchler was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to acknowledge uttermost battlefield courageousness or successful military leadership.
Georg von Küchler was born in Philippsruhe Castle in Hanau, Hesse-Nassau, Germany on 30 May 1881. Very little is known about Georg von Küchler's earlier life and childhood. After attending cadet school, Georg von Küchler entered the Kaiserliche Heer in 1900 and served in the 25th Field Artillery Regiment. After being promoted to First Lieutenant, he spent three years at the Prussian Military Academy from 1910 to 1913, prior to joining the General Staff in Berlin, Germany.
During World War I Georg von Küchler commanded an artillery battery on the Western Front and participated in the major offensives at the Somme and Verdun. In 1916 Georg von Küchler became staff officer of the 206th Infantry Division. In 1919 Georg von Küchler joined the Freikorps and fought the Red Army in Poland. After returning to Germany Georg von Küchler joined the staff of the Jüterbog Artillery School. And was promoted to Colonel, Georg von Küchler became Deputy Commander of the 1st Infantry Division in East Prussia in 1932. Georg von Küchler succeeded Walther von Brauchitsch as commander of Wehrkreis I in 1937. The following year Georg von Küchler endorsed Adolf Hitler in his removal of Werner von Blomberg and Werner von Fritsch from power. In March 1939 Georg von Küchler joined forces with Heinrich Himmler in the successful occupation of the Lithuanian port of Memel.
At the outbreak of World War II, Georg von Küchler was given command of the 3rd Army. During the invasion of Poland Georg von Küchler's troops captured Danzig. Whilst a committed sponsor of the national socialist Party, Georg von Küchler upset the Schutzstaffel (SS) by punishing soldiers who committed atrocities against civilians. In 1940 he became far more supportive of national socialist racial policy and ordered on 22 February stop to any criticism of ethnic struggle being carried out in the General Government, for example Polish minorities, of the Jews and of the Church matters. Georg von Küchler order explained that the Final ethnic solution called for unique and harsh measures.
During the Western Offensive Georg von Küchler fought under General Fedor von Bock and commanded the 18th Army, which invaded the Kingdom of The Netherlands. In the invasion of neutral Kingdom of The Netherlands, Georg von Küchler was able to defeat the Dutch ground forces at Moerdijk, Rotterdam, and the Hague. Subsequently Georg von Küchler's forces moved into Kingdom of Belgium and occupied Antwerp on 18 May 1940. And then Georg von Küchler moved into France, attempting to cut off the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from the English Channel at Dunkirk, which in the final analysis ended in failure. The 18th Army finished this phase of the war at Pas de Calais surrounding Dunkirk. Georg von Küchler's role in this military campaign earned him the rank of colonel-general.
After meeting Adolf Hitler in March 1941 to plan for Operation Barbarossa, Georg von Küchler told his divisional commanders on 25 April 1941, We're separated from Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, ideologically and racially, by a deep abyss. Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic is, if only by the mass of her territory, an Asian state. Adolf Hitler does not wish to palm off responsibility for Germany's existence on to a later generation, Adolf Hitler has decided to force the dispute with Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic before the year is out. If Germany wishes to live in peace for generations, safe from a threatening danger in the East, this cannot be a case of pushing Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic back a little or even hundreds of kilometres but the aim must be to eradicate European Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, to dissolve the Russian state in Europe. Georg von Küchler went on to call Red Army commissars criminals who should all be shot.
On 17 January 1942, Georg von Küchler became commandant of Heeresgruppe Nord (Army Group North) after Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was relieved of his command. Georg von Küchler, contrary to his predecessor Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, was seen as politically submissive and was liked by Adolf Hitler, who trusted that Georg von Küchler would come through where he believed Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb had went wrong.
Georg von Küchler commanded Heeresgruppe Nord (Army Group North) from December 1941 through January 1944 but was not able to accomplish any victory at Leningrad. Georg von Küchler sustained the siege of Leningrad, setting in motion massive bombardments in an endeavour to intimidate the Russian Army into surrender. On 30 June 1942 Adolf Hitler promoted Georg von Küchler to field marshal (Generalfeldmarschall). In January 1944 Russian military personnel were able to break the encirclement of Leningrad, and Georg von Küchler was dismissed when he called for the withdrawal to the Luga River, which was essential to the survival of Heeresgruppe Nord (Army Group North).
Whilst in retirement Georg von Küchler was approached by Carl Goerdeler who tried to persuade him to join the July Plot. While sympathetic to the group's objectives, Georg von Küchler declined to take part in the attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. At the end of the Second World War, Georg von Küchler was apprehended by American occupation authorities and tried by a military court in 1948 in the High Command Trial. On 27 October 1948 Georg von Küchler was sentenced to twenty years' incarceration for his treatment of partisans in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics but only served eight years before he was released in 1953 due to sickness and old age. Georg von Küchler died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 25 May 1968.
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