|Born||12 May 1890|
|Died||1 Jul 1978|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseKurt Student was born in Birkhonz, Germany. He became a commissioned officer in the German Army in 1912 and in the following year became a pilot with the Army's air force as a pilot. During WW1, he shot down several French aircraft. He remained with the German military after the nation's defeat in WW1, and in 1934 joined the Luftwaffe, where he was responsible for introducing the concept of airborne infantry. After being kept back during the Poland campaign, the paratroopers were used to achieve stunning successes during the quick capture of the Low Countries in 1940, though Student was injured from friendly fire during the operation and did not return to active duty until Jan 1941. When he returned, he engaged in several plans to drop paratroopers in Malta, Gibraltar, and even Britain, and he was given the chance to mount another airborne offensive, this time in Crete, Greece. The Crete operation, however, did not go well; there were so many casualties that Adolf Hitler refrained from conducting large scale airborne operations for the remainder of the war. After Crete, German paratroopers were slowly integrated into ordinary infantry units. In 1943, he had another spectacular record for the planning of the daring rescue of Benito Mussolini by gliders and other small aircraft (which Otto Skorzeny commanded from the field). In 1944, he was transferred to lead the First Paratroop Army against the Allied advances in France and the Low Countries. He was captured by the British in Apr 1945 and was freed in 1948.
ww2dbaseSources: Spartacus Educational, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: May 2006
Kurt Student Timeline
|12 May 1890||Kurt Student was born.|
|25 May 1941||Luftwaffe Lieutenant-General Kurt Student arrived at Maleme in Crete, Greece.|
|31 May 1941||In Crete, Greece, German Luftwaffe General Kurt Student issued an order authorizing reprisals against the civilian population, including women and boys, proven of involvement in fighting, committing sabotage, or mutilating or killing wounded soldiers. The reprisals were to consist of shooting, fines, burning villages or extermination of the male population. Several senior officers stormed out of the conference in protest of the order but there were a few officers who were quite prepared to lead execution squads.|
|25 Dec 1943||Kurt Student ordered the formation of a 2,200-strong Italian parachute regiment, to be placed within German 4.Fallschirmj√§ger Division.|
|1 Jul 1978||Kurt Student passed away.|
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944
2 Feb 2011 11:32:07 AM
Student dit not achieve a "stuning success" with the invasion of the L:ow Countries, especially not in the Battle for The Hague. It was a complete disasters and the first of its kind in military history. Thh germans lost 525 aircraft - half of the assault for for this venture, among which some 280 Ju 52s. Some 1200 Greman paratroopers were made prisoner of war. The 3 airfields around The Hague were captured, but re-captured the same day. Student himself was wondering around, only to be rescued after the terror-bombing of Rotterdam, otherwise he would have been arrested too. The German learned a lesson that day, and only in Crete did they dare to use paratroops again.