Best WWII German Field Marshals

Choose your favorite World War Two German Field Marshal.

The Top Ten

1 Erich von Manstein

Clearly better than Rommel. If it wasn't for Hitler, Manstein would have save the encircled 6th Army. After the Stalingrad disaster he was able to stabilize the front in the south and launched a counter offensive recapturing charkov. The "Unternehmen Zitadelle" (battle of Kursk) was also his idea, but Hitler ordered them to wait until Summer 1943. So the Red army had enough time to fortify their defense lines. Also important for his status as the best german Feldmarschall is the fact, that von Manstein never gave a order to execute civilians, jews or any other ethnic group. He was no racist or member of the Nazi party.

Field Marshall Manstein was a brillant tactician who understood how the warfare had to be conducted. It is indeed sad that he was not allowed to do what he had planned and this led to the reversal of the German army.
As said earlier by others if Hitler had allowed his Field Marshalls / Generals to conduct their battles, the history what we see today and what would have been would be different. Manstein counter offensives were brillant and today many of his battle plans are case studies in the military academy worl wide.

Probably the best German General. He was called "the fireman" for putting fires Hitler had set, because of his ego. Each German General had his good points and strengths but among historian he rates among the highest, and his tactics are studied in American Military Academies for their sheer brilliance.

A great strategist, If Hitler had let Manstein control the war, we probably would maybe be under German rule know as he would of been able to break through the Stalingrad front in December 1942 thus stopping the Russian encirclement of 6th army in that city. He was also known not to follow Hitler as much as the other Nazi high command did

2 Erwin Rommel Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, popularly known as the Desert Fox, was a German field marshal of World War II. He worked under Adolf Hitler's Third Reich as a leading general and gained fame from his battles in North Africa.

He was a brilliant strategist. Many say that he lost in North Africa eventually but we must remember the circumstances. He had neither air or naval superiority and the allies, had lots of compromised intel about his troops and their positions. He was very short on supplies and fought with inferior equipment. Not only that the allies had vastly superior numbers (They had around 3-4 times more), they also had equipment better suited to desert warfare which Rommel simply didn't have access to. Yet, many of his battles led to the Germans inflicting much greater losses on the enemy. Truly a great military tactician. If he had the amount of supplies and troops the allies had, he would be totally untouchable.

Erwin Rommel is the best German General because he was against the Nazi regime and his presence on the battlefield always boosted the morale of the soldiers. He was cunning enough to storm the deserts with Blitzkrieg and he strongly stood against the merciless killing of Jews.

In my vision the best of all field marshalls FMG Erwin Rommel. His tactics, strategies, and his talents were extraordinary. His respect to enemy was famous to all. Very kind. He was also a national hero. He just fought for battle, not for any other interest. Almost all the German generals were sharper than any generals of the world. Their patriotism were also mentionable. If they were not being commanded by Hitler, the world was their to rule. Still not being a German, I really have the deepest respect to all the German generals.

Erwin Rommel was even more popular within the the enemy lines than he was within his troops... So frightened by his popularity and tactics were Allies that FieldMarshall Auchinelek Commander of the British Eighth Army Had to issue the orders of zero tolerance for soldiers found indulged in his praise... Perfect soldier... Ordered to present such food and water to prisoners as would be used by his field commanders... Exceptional behaviour with the enemy prisoners... If he would have commanded Normandy... operation Overlord would have been a great failure!

3 Heinz Guderian

Guderian was brilliant and confident. His confidence and courage was his undoing as he frequently opposed Hitler and wasn't shy about voicing his objections. Hitler was unable to take criticism(s) and thus removed Guderian. To me Guderian was one of the few German Generals who had balls like Patton and Churchill.

The rest of the Generals were running their show constantly looking over their shoulder to not offend the High Command. A Top General has his mind on the battlefield and the victory. He isn't making decisions based on what would please the Fuhrer

Guderian was removed by Hitler because he protested against his army group center being constantly diverted to support army group South against Russia. He would have clearly made it into and taken Moscow had he been allowed to advance as per the original plan. Instead the southerly diversions gave the Russians precious time to prepare tank defenses and then the coldest winter did the rest.

Should this be a top ten WW2 General's list? Regardless, in my humble opinion, if Hitler didn't get in the way of Guderian's advances, he could have changed the outcome of the entire war. Great General!

Simply the best. Hurry Up Heinz devised tank warfare, and all other Generals with half a brain followed his doctrine. He understood Blitzkrieg best because he wrote the book on Blitzkrieg. Von Manstein was behind the plan for the Battle of France, and it was a good plan, but after consulting with Guderian, it became a great plan. Hitler sacking him was lucky for us, and he was probably never made a Field Marshall due to his courage in telling the truth.

4 Gerd von Rundstedt

Von Rundstedt was forced to put up with Hilter yet provided the leadership required to keep an army together more than any of the other field marshals

He was a brilliant strategist also he was the last of Germany's "Black Knights".

Brilliant commander of the invasion of Europe in 1939... along with Manstein, responsible for how well it went

He was intelligent field marshal and his war tactics were different from all. He was a feared general and most respected in nazi hierarchy. He used clever tactics and bet that it worked by his side.

5 Albert Kesselring

He had the most thorough grasp of both people and technology. He never stopped learning- learned to fly at 48. He had the creativity, optimism, honesty, and strength of character to accomplish anything and earned the honor and admiration of his Allied enemies, who dubbed him "Smiling Albert."

He saved the city of Rome from allied destruction. Without his actions, Rome would have been another Dresden. A shame that Rome has not erected a monument in his honour.

A Luftwaffe field marshal whom was also adept at handling his ground troops, he was a cutting-edge strategist for his time. He once said that he thought generals in the future would have to be adept at managing all aspects of combat on land, sea, and air. His steady defense of central and northern Italy have been dubbed "flawless," by several historians.

He did more with less than any other General

6 Fedor von Bock

A Prussian's Prussian. He did well in Poland in 1939. He should have not been replaced by von Rundstedt as the commander of the Army Group that would be the deciding force in the Fall Gelb operation in 1940. He was the most aggressive of the three army group commanders. He was constantly on the move driving his subordinate commanders forward. He would not have hesitated to wipe out the surrounded Dunkirk enemies. He was also highly aggressive against the Russians and should have been allowed to drive on Moscow. Had Moscow fallen in the Fall of 1941. It would have been the greatest catastrophe. Moscow was the greatest political prize, it was the road and railroad center of the country. It also had great industrial value as well and the electric grid was centered there too. Gfm. von Bock burned himself out in this campaign. He could possibly have been rated higher than von Manstein had he been allowed to do what he wanted in 1940 and 1941.

7 Walter Model

Brilliant in defense, through good intelligence, a continuous frontline, and retreating through prepared defenses. The man knew how to use his tanks to slaughter enemies, in spite of the loss of air supremacy.

The youngest Field Marshall was also a brilliant commander for crises. Excelled in the art of orderly retreat while at the same time giving a bloody nose to the attackers.

So amazing in defense called lion of defense

Did an outstanding job in the Battle of the Bulge even if he didn't have the men or the supplies

8 Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb

He was a man who was very familiar with war tactics and defense so much so that he wrote books about it and was regarded as an authority on defense... And in the use of tactics to wear down the enemy rather than stage a full frontal attack. Hitler's impatience, misguided alterations to field strategy, and arm chair tactics to take Leningrad led to his failure to take leningrad and ultimately cost him the war.

Grossly underrated and one of the most brilliant if not moral of the German senior officers.

I I appreciate his time in the day

Von dweeb?

9 Gunther von Kluge

He was a good general

Gunther who?

Hans von Kluge was born in Poznan, Germany. He was a veteran of WW1, participating in major battles such as the Battle of Verdun in 1918 as a field artillery specialist. He achieved the rank of major general in 1933, then lieutenant general in 1936.

10 Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen

A clear thinking aristocrat, he showed with simple math that the trapped 6th army at Stalingrad could not be sufficiently supplied from the air.

A master of tactical air support. Should be around #4-6 on the list.

He is the master of modern air war

His name alone makes him riot

The Contenders

11 Ewald von Kleist

He os very good man

A very brilliant commander and should be ranked amoung the top 5.
He did not bother to hide his hatred of the Nazi regime. He showed brilliant tactics wherever he was sent and was promoted to Fieldmarshall in 1943.
He has been described as warmhearted and caring and thought first and foremost og his men.He despited the activities of SS behind the fronline. He tried to make friendship with the people in the occupied contries and even helped starving people in the occupied terretories as good as he could.
He was arrested by the Americans in 1945 and sent to Yugoslavia where he was going to be tried but he led the forces which took Belgrad and Yugoslavia in just three weeks which was a masterpiec. However the Yugoslavians sent him to U.S.S.R so he could be tried there for war crimes but he had led the forces which were supposed to take Caucasus. No war crimes or ill treatment of the enemy could be proven but he was still sentenced into 20 years imprisoment. He died in prison in ...more

12 Walter von Reichenau

Was in command of 6th Army. Had he not died, Paulus would not have succeeded him as commander of this Army. The debacle at Stalingrad would not have to occurred.

13 Gotthard Heinrici

Did the best he could with limited resources and maximized his potential assets to inflict incredible losses on an opponent with overwhelming resources. Unlike other German generals he paid strict attention to logistics and intelligence resulting in superior defensive tactics.

An absolute genius, Great at defensive and offensive tactics. One of the (many) tactics he devised included: drawing enemy infantry out of their area of artillery support and then taking them out with heavy machine guns, SPG's, artillery and Anti air guns (Used to attack infantry) afterwards procceding to attack the remaining artillery (which had no idea about the whereabouts of German troops and equipment) with tanks, often encirceling and capturing the soviet guns. If you were to charge an area defended by Gotthard you'd be dead within seconds. He had been part of the German military 1905, he was not a Nazi (He disobeyed Hitler and Göring) and fought purely out of pattriotism. He held important positions within the German military E.G he lead the defense of Moscow (Where he lost 35.000 men and the soviets lost 530.000 men.) and in 1945 he controlled the defense of the Eastern front against the advancing soviets. He also survived poison gas at the battle of Tannenberg and, his ...more

Gen. Heinrici put morals before orders and saved thousands of his men's lives because of his brilliant tactics in a fighting retreat from the Oder river to Berlin. Would have been a Field Marshal but angered Hitler with his religious beliefs. I believe he should be number one on the list.

Extremely capable commander. Underrated.

14 Wilhelm List

An under rated general who wasn't used for most of the war, but had great understanding of large field formations and strong defensive strategies.

15 Hermann Hott

A very capable commander, specially with tanks.

Not a Field Marshal but certainly should have been. Known as "General don't go there" by his Russian opponents he crushed the last remnants of the Russian Red Army at Vorenezh in the Summer of 1942 opening up all of Southern Russia to German offensive actions and indirectly threatening Moscow.

He was my cousin on my mother's side. He was a career soldier with strong morals.He often disagreed w/Hitler's armchair tactics,but, he dutifully served.His vocal opposition too Hitler's tactics was his roadblock to further promotion in command and was the result of his relief in Barbarossa.Even though Hitler's refusal to re-supply him sealed their fate,he wanted to move forward.A solid Gen. indeed.

16 Hugo Sperrle

Tatar at

17 Karl Doenitz

When hitler died, who did he pick to leave in charge...

I am surprised such lists even exist

He should be no.3

I'm surprised the head of the navy and if the Wolfpack isn't higher on the list.

18 Hermann Balck

A great commander, shame he was on the wrong side, during the surrounding of Stalingrad, he led a sole division on the flank of Manstein's main thrust to help the trapped 6th army under Paulus. In this engagement he defeated a much larger soviet army ten times bigger than his own division.
In the final closes of the war he was sent to command the army of Hungary and stayed in this post until his surrender to the allies on the 8th may 1945 following the surrender of the German government

Brilliant. I believe him to be the finest divisional commander of the war. Imagine what he could have done if he had the equipment and supplies provided to Allied commanders. He would have been unstoppable.

Awesome (but never a field marshal)

If he wasn't named I would have just left this page all together.

19 Wilhelm Keitel

"It is tragic to have to realize that the best I had to give as a soldier, obedience, and loyalty, was exploited for purposes which could not be recognized at the time, and that I did not see that there is a limit set even for a soldier's performance to his duty. That is my fate." - Keitel

"Why did the generals who have been so ready to term me a complaisant and incompetent yes-man fail to secure my removal? Was that all that difficult? No, that wasn't it; the truth was that nobody would have been ready to replace me, because each one knew that he would end up just as much a wreck as I." - Keitel

"I call on God Almighty to have mercy on the German people. More than two million German soldiers went to their death for the fatherland before me. I follow now my sons - all for Germany." - Keitel

"It isn't right to be obedient only when things go well; it is much harder to be a good, obedient soldier when things go badly and times are hard. Obedience and faith at such time is a virtue." - Keitel

20 Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Himmler was a German dictator, and a leading member of the Nazi party. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and one of the people most directly responsible for the Holocaust.

He command the SS sturm brigades that were responsible for discipline and acted as a special unit

Should not be on here. Had no military experience or knowledge of tactics and strategy.

Pig farmer who got lucky! Coward�� -

Was the waffen ss leader and Hitlers number 3

21 Sepp Dietrich

Always with his men, and from May 1940 onwards his LAH fought in every new theatre.

22 Erwin von Witzleben

Gen. Witzleben was right person to save in German and remove insane Nazis group. He knew they went too far that cause to destroy in German, and he knew German will fall hand or won't last for long era. If he win in operated Valkyrie then the history will change a lot different in a storied.

Probably not one of the best military minds like Manstein (although competent), but he had the merit of being the only firld marshall to resist Hitler at least from 1938 and support the german resistance unwaveringly since then.

He was a Prussian, to the end.
His lasting remark addressed to the Nazi judge, at the end of the farcical trial that condemned him to death... " You better hurry up and hang me, because it wont be long before they hang the lot of you "... Depicts the courage of the man...haggard, abused, tortured in the Gestapo interrogations, he stood in front of the judge, with no belt to hold up his trousers, with no false teeth to force him to slur his words...they hanged by a piano wire around his throat... The wire attached to a meat hook...and slowly raised him to a slow death...filmed for Hitlers entertainment...

23 Reinhard Heydrich

The most feared man in Europe. Organized record keeping and intelligence.

One of Himmler's Most Loyal men, if I remember correctly he had some knowledge of Tactics but they were not great.

Himmler was affraid from heydrich

24 Joachim Peiper

Unbelievable commander

Wasn't a field Marshall but did some great things in the Ardennes offensive where he commanded the most effective spearhead of the offensive.

25 Felix Steiner

The rare SS general with moral integrity. He ignored the infamous commissar order. He led an international unit of Dutch, Norwegian and Danish volunteers whose welfare he put before obedience to Hitler's mad orders during His last week in Berlin.

The Fireman of Berlin. Saved many thousands of civilians from the Red Army

The rare Waffen SS general with moral integrity. He ignored the infamous commissar order. He commanded an international unit of Dutch, Norwegian, and Danish volunteers and placed their welfare ahead of obedience to Hitlers mad orders during his last week in Berlin.

A good officer

26 Kurt Student

Led a successful campaign in Crete and then in the Battle of Bulge.

27 Hermann Fegelein

Been watching downfall have we? you tube? hermann was a clown, but a good one

28 Otto Skorzeny

Led multiple raids is still studied today as an original SOF leader.

29 Walter von Brauchitsch

Playing a key role in the Blitzkrieg on the western front and even making improvements on Erich von Mansteins original invasion of France he definitely deserves a spot on this list.

30 Hermann Hoth

Never promoted to Field Marshal but known as "General don't go there" by his Russian adversaries. Should have been promoted to Field Marshal after crushing the Red Army in a the so called "spoiling attack" that cracked open the entirety of Southern Russia to Germany starting in the Summer of 1942.

31 Hasso von Manteuffel

Probably not one of the best generals of Germany in world war 2 but did his best in order to support Rommel and Messe(Italian General) in Africa.
Also played an important role in operation Barbarossa as a supporting army for Marshal Manstein.

32 Hans-Valentin Hube

Perhaps one of the best, if more unknown German Generals of the Second World War. Wounded during the First World War (losing one of his arms,) he served in the Reichsheer. Why this is important? Well, in Article 160 of the Treaty of Versailles, it says: "The total effective strength of officers, including the personnel of staffs, whatever their composition, must not exceed four thousand." That's for the entire Reichsheer.

One of the best tactical and operational division commanders of the war.

One General not mentioned is Hans Hube. Abilities of half Manstein-half Model, he was also Hitler's fireman in most all theatres of war. Brilliant in defensive tactics, he saved German divisions from encirclement in Russia and Italy. Brought to Hitler on his 55th birthday to receive another cluster to his knights cross, he was killed in a plane crash after take off-April 21 1944. I would rank this man fourth, behind Guderian.

Demonstrated superior tactical ability and leadership qualities as panzer commander with 6th army in Fall Blu. Known as der mensch his troops would follow him into hell. So highly regarded Hitler flew him out of stalingrad. Conducted brilliant defense of Sicily, managing to extract his entire army intact despite allied land, air, and naval superiority. Later, back in Russia when his army group was surrounded he managed to save it against all odds. This rivaled Ney’s legendary escape when his rearguard was cut off in Russia in 1812. Both are still studied in military academies throughout the world. Without doubt one of the Reich’s 10 best

33 Dietrich von Choltitz

Saved Paris...

34 Hans von Luck
35 Sigfrid Henrici

The use of his strategy during seelow Hights by pulling back his troops to secondary trenches during artillery bombardments. He also did not follow Hitlers orders to scorch a city. He also pulled his army back attmepting to save his mens lives. He was also a decorated gearal and buried with full military honor.

36 Alfred Jodl

Alfred hold a general colonel in heers he was one of Hitler one of the last general in the bunker in Berlin is was the general how been in Nuremberg trials and reader died in haging

37 Reinhard Hardegen
38 Eduard Dietl
39 Ernst Busch

He mabey failed to defend against the russians but he did a decent job in the north near leningrad

40 Franz Halder

One of the greatest WW2 general loberst and general cheft of stuff of herees is is a and scared to Hitler and one of Nazi Respecful general of Nazi Germany and one of the commander of eastern he was a great commander after he's dismissal in 1942 because not ander standing with hiler

41 Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin

Along what Juin the French general, by far the best commander in Italy. No Nazi in fact a lay preacher and a Rhodes scholar, against superior forces made the allies pay for every km, with him I'd also mention Gunther Baade an amazing divisional commander in Italy, from memory the 15th PG,but I may be wrong.

42 Ferdinand Schörner

Great mountain general, achieved the pour le merit along side Erwin Rommel and served over him. He also lead army groups on the eastern front in the arctic area. He reached the rank of generalfeildmarshel and is the arctic version of Rommel

43 Hermann Göring Hermann Wilhelm Göring was a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party.

Most dangerous of the German Field Marshals by far he simply never had the resources necessary to accomplish what was promised by Hitler. He was not for the Barbarossa Plan but without his Air Force the German Army wouldn't have penetrated more than a hundred miles into Southern Russia. As it was they were a thousand miles away before the Army finally outran their Air Support then were crushed at Stalingrad for having done so.

Poor in retreat he had no answer for American Airpower since the United States was running much more durable air cooled radial engines.

The theory that Germany and Japan "ran out of pilots not aircraft" is simply false.

By 1945 neither had any of either planes or pilots giving the soon to be named "United States Air Force" complete Air Supremacy over Ally and Enemy both.

Only Goring understood the importance of this.

Goring was a muppet. How could that idiot be on this list. A useless pompous thieving druggie.

Goring wasn't brilliant in any way. Most of the early Luftwaffe success were due to them basically unopposed in the air. Once they faced some resistance (during the battle of Britain), he was indecisive and made the wrong decisions.

Morphine addict while he did all of this. Imagine him off of the smack?

44 Friedrich Paulus

Paulus was Catholic, and didn't believe in Bohemian Corporal Hitler's suicide ideas. He stated " He wouldn't kill himself for some Bohemian Corporal who knew nothing of was"! Paulus live the longest after the war. Who's the brilliant General?!

Paulus was not qualified to command 6th Army. He was a staff officer, and not the greatest. He also proved to be a traitor. Nice.

Great general if hitler had approved of his plans to invade Russia we would all be speaking german today

Agree. Traitor, coward, unfit to command. Too bad upon Reichenau died

45 Rudolf Hess

He tried to end the war, and was sentenced to life in prison.

He was in charge of half of Europ

46 Ivan Konev

Um, wasn't he... Russian?

47 Friedrich Fromm
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