SOME OF THE PRISONERS HELD AT
NAME: Generalfeldmarschall Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt
CAPTURED: Bad Tölz, Germany
DATE: 1 May 1945
DATE OF BIRTH: 12
PLACE OF BIRTH: Aschersleben
DATE OF DEATH: 24 February 1953
PLACE OF DEATH: Hannover
OCCUPATION: Regular Soldier
HEIGHT: 5’ 9”
HAIR COLOUR: Light
EYE COLOUR: Light
NEXT OF KIN: Kassel,
Parents: Gerd Arnold Konrad and Adeheid
Eleanore (née Fischer) von Rundstedt.
Married Luise “Bila” von Goetz on 22 January 1902 – one son, Hans Gerd von
Rundstedt, born 21 January 1903. The Field Marshal’s son died on 12 January
1948 followed by his wife, Bila, in October 1952. Both passed away in Hannover
22 March 1892
17 June 1893 (renamed Leutnant on 1 January 1899)
1 October 1902
24 March 1909
28 November 1914
1 October 1920
1 February 1923 (12)
1 November 1927
1 March 1929
der Infanterie: 1 October 1932
1 March 1938 (1)
19 July 1940 (3)
Commands & Assignments:
April 1888: Entered the Cadet Institute at Oranienstein.
April 1890: Entered the Senior Cadet Institute at Gross Lichterfelde.
March 1892: Entered the Army as a Fähnrich in the Infanterie-Regiment
von Wittlich (3. Kurhessisches) Nr.83.
October 1896: Battalion Adjutant in Infantry Regiment 83.
von Rundstedt taken while he was a Leutnant in 1897
March 1900: Regimental Adjutant of Infantry Regiment 83.
October 1902: Accepted to the War Academy in Berlin for General Staff
April 1907: Joined the Great General Staff in Berlin.
October 1910: General Staff Officer in the General Staff of the XI Army
September 1912: Leader of 6th Company of the 2. Ober-elssäsiches Infanterie-Regiment
July 1914: Operations Officer (Ia) of the 22nd Reserve Infantry Division.
1914: Evacuated sick from the Western Front with a lung infection.
1914: On the staff of Military Government in Antwerp, Belgium.
April 1915: Chief of the General Staff of the 86th Infantry Division on
the Eastern Front.
1915: Evacuated sick from the Eastern Front with lung and heart ailments.
September 1915: Administrative and Logistics Officer (Ib) on the staff
of the Military Government in Warsaw, Poland.
November 1916: Operations Officer (Ia) and, later, acting Chief of the
General Staff of the XXV Reserve Corps in the Carpathians.
October 1917: Chief of the General Staff of the LIII Corps on the Eastern
March 1918: Recommended for award of the Prussian Pour le Mérite Order;
August 1918: Chief of the General Staff of the XV Corps on the Western
1918: Posted to the Great General Staff. Again recommended for award of
the Prussian Pour le Mérite Order; not approved due to abdication of Kaiser
Wilhelm II the previous month.
October 1919: On the staff of Wehrkreis [Military District] V, Stuttgart.
1920: Chief of Staff of the 3rd Cavalry Division.
October 1923: Chief of Staff of Wehrkreis II and the 2nd Division, Stettin.
May 1925: Commander of the 18th Infantry Regiment, Paderborn.
October 1926: Chief of Staff of Group Command 2, Kassel.
October 1928: Commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division, Breslau.
February 1932: Commander of Wehrkreis III, Berlin.
October 1932: Commander of Group Command 1, Berlin.
Gerd von Rundstedt wearing his Turkish war medal
Generals Werner Freiherr von Fritsch (centre) and
Werner von Blomberg, circa 1935-37.
Note that Fritsch is wearing his Knight of Justice of the Johanniter
Order around his neck as well as the breast badge of the order (white
Maltese cross) below his Iron Cross, 1st Class (1914).
Werner von Blomberg is wearing his Prussian Pour le Mérite Order around
September 1938: Commander-in-Chief of the 2nd Army and, at the same
time, Group Command 1.
- 1 November
1938: Retired from the Army and appointed Honorary Chief of Infantry Regiment
1939: Recalled to active service to assist in preparations for the forthcoming
invasion of Poland (Arbeitstab or Working Staff von Rundstedt).
August 1939: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group South. [On 1 September 1939,
Germany invaded Poland signaling the start of World War II. Commanded by von
Rundstedt, Army Group South (8th, 10th and 14th Armies) advanced from Silesia
and Slovakia in conjunction with Generaloberst Fedor von Bock’s Army Group
North (3rd and 4th Armies) attacking from East Prussia and Pomerania. Despite
heroic and determined resistance, Poland had been overwhelmed within the month.]
October 1939: Commander-in-Chief East and Military Governor of Poland.
October 1939: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group A. [Transferred to the western
front, von Rundstedt took command of one of three army groups allocated for
the invasion of France and the Low Countries. Attacking on 10 May 1940, Generaloberst
von Bock’s Army Group B on the German right wing, advanced into the Netherlands
and Belgium drawing French and British forces northwards. In the German center,
von Rundstedt’s army group (4th, 12th and 16th Armies and Panzer Group “Kleist”),
spearheaded by seven panzer divisions, crossed the Meuse and broke through
at Sedan. The panzer divisions raced for the English Channel effectively sealing
the fate of France. On 22 June
1940, the French signed an armistice with the ceasefire taking effect three
days later. On 19 July 1940, in a gala victory celebration
at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Adolf Hitler showered promotions and decorations
on his conquering generals. Twelve generals, including von Rundstedt, received
field marshals’ batons while Hermann Göring, the Reich Air Minister and Commander-in-Chief
of the Luftwaffe, was advanced to the exalted rank of Reichsmarschall and
decorated with the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross.
Additionally, fourteen Army and five Luftwaffe officers were promoted to Generaloberst
and one naval officer, Rolf Carls, to Generaladmiral.]
- 1 October
1940: Commander-in-Chief West headquartered in France.
- 1 April
1941: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group South. [On 22 June 1941, Germany launched
Operation “Barbarossa,” the invasion of the Soviet Union. One of three army
groups allocated to the invasion, von Rundstedt’s forces—the German 6th, 17th
and 11th Armies, Panzer Group 1 (later redesignated the 1st Panzer Army),
the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies, the Slovak Expeditionary Army Group and the Hungarian Carpathian Army
Group—battled through the Ukraine on a wide front stretching from the Pripet
Marshes to the Black Sea.
Shortly after capturing Rostov on 20 November 1941, Generaloberst Ewald von
Kleist’s 1st Panzer Army was struck by a major Russian counteroffensive. Facing
a disastrous situation, von Rundstedt ordered von Kleist to abandon the city
and withdraw his overextended army behind the river Mius. Defying Hitler’s
orders to halt the withdrawal, von Rundstedt was relieved of his command and
replaced by Generalfeldmarschall Walter von Reichenau.]
- 1 December
1941: Relieved of command and transferred to Army High Command Leader Reserve.
March 1942: Commander-in-Chief West and Army Group D headquartered in France.
- 2 July
1944: Transferred to Army High Command Leader Reserve.
Rundstedt viewing a large-scale exercise conducted by the 12th SS
Panzer Division "Hitler Jugend" in Belgium, 1944.
Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt
Hubert Meyer, operations officer (Ia) of the 12th SS Panzer
Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, Commanding General of I SS
Fritz Witt, commander of the 12th SS Panzer Division
Kurt Meyer, commander of the division's SS Panzer Grenadier
September 1944: Commander-in-Chief West.
March 1945: Transferred to Army High Command Leader Reserve and unemployed
for the remainder of World War II.
May 1945: Captured along with his son, Leutnant Dr. Hans Gerd von Rundstedt,
by U.S. troops of the 36th Infantry Division at Bad Tölz, Germany.
- 11th May 1946 transferred
to LDC (London District Cage) from Island Farm Special Camp 11
- 5th July 1946 transferred
to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from LDC
- 28th July transferred
to LDC from Island Farm Special Camp 11
- 19th August 1946
transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 from LDC
- 17th March 1947
transferred to LDC from Island Farm Special Camp 11
- 12th May 1948 transferred
to Camp 231
 The following nine Army generals were promoted
to Generalfeldmarschall, each with a date of rank of 19 July 1940 (in order
of seniority): Walther von Brauchitsch, Wilhelm Keitel, Gerd von Rundstedt,
Fedor von Bock, Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, Wilhelm List, Günther von Kluge,
Erwin von Witzleben and Walter von Reichenau. Concurrently, three Luftwaffe
generals received promotion to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall: Erhard Milch,
Hugo Sperrle and Albert Keßelring.
 In July-August 1941, the Italian Expeditionary
Corps in Russia commanded by Generale di Corpo d’Armata Giovanni Messe arrived
on the Eastern Front and fought under Army Group South. Generalfeldmarschall
von Rundstedt later commented on the international character of his command:
“I had an absolute League of Nations ‘Armee’. I had Rumanians, Italians, Hungarians,
Slovaks, Croats, Germans. All that was lacking was the [Spanish] ‘Blue’ Division
and the French, otherwise I had everything.” See Messenger (page 149) for
this quote and von Rundstedt’s assessment of the allied contingents under