German Generalfeldmarschall’s of WW2


The Luftwaffe


(This page will be continuously updated with brief bio’s and interesting anecdotes throughout the year.  Please check back)


Hermann Goring


Promotion Date: February 4, 1938


One of the more interesting and charismatic figures of WW2, Goring was the first of the Luftwaffe Generals to be promoted to the rank of GFM.  A flamboyant man, Goring loved uniforms and regalia and is noted to have many non-regulation uniform variants.  In 1940 Hitler promoted Goring to Reichsmarschall, which gave him the highest military rank of all nations during World War Two.



Erhard Milch


Promotion Date: July 19, 1940


Erhard Milch was one of Germany’s early airline pioneers, becoming the first Chief Executive of Lufthansa in his early 30’s.  He used this experience to help establish and organize the Luftwaffe and though Hermann Goring is known for founding the Luftwaffe, Milch actually was the man most responsible.  Outside of a brief military command of a Luftwaffe wing during the Norwegian campaign, Milch’s role was primarily running the Luftwaffe for Goring.  When Milch surrendered to the British he was beaten over his head so severely with his own interim staff that it broke. 




Hugo Sperrle


Promotion Date: July 19, 1940


The gruff faced GFM Sperrle was commander of the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War and one of the instrumental commanders in the Battle of Britain.  As Air Commander West, his inability to be a force in stopping the Normandy landing led to his dismissal in August of 1944.



Albert Kesselring


Promotion Date: July 19, 1940


Nicknamed “Smiling Albert” for his enthusiasm and penchant for a wide grin, GFM Kesselring was probably best known for his role as Supreme Commander South.  In this capacity he commanded all of southern Europe and Africa (being Rommel’s superior) and was a particular thorn in the Allies side during their slow, costly battle up the leg of Italy.  Kesselring was also one of the few high ranking officers who never fell out of favor with Hitler and was never relieved from service.



Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen


Promotion Date: February 16, 1943


As distant cousin to the famous “Red Baron” von Richtofen, GFM Richthofen was also a WW1 flying ace with eight ‘kills’ to his credit.  WW2 found him with Legion Condor early in the war and then commanding a Flying Corps.  Richthofen was a very capable commander who formed an excellent air/ground working relationship with GFM Manstein.



Robert Ritter von Greim


Promotion Date: April 25, 1945


General von Greim is most famously known for having flown in to Berlin during the Russian siege of the city on Hitler’s request to see him.  Wounded by ground arms fire during the landing, Greim was rewarded for his daring visit by receiving a promotion to GFM by the Fuhrer.