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Paul von Kleist file photo [18189]

Paul von Kleist

SurnameKleist
Given NamePaul
Born8 Aug 1881
Died13 Nov 1954
CountryGermany
CategoryMilitary-Ground
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbasePaul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist was born into a Prussian aristocratic family in 1881. He graduated from a military academy in 1900 and served as a commander at the regiment level during WW1. He rose to divisional command in 1932 and retired from service in 1935. In Aug 1939, aged 58, he was recalled to duty as Germany made the final preparations for war. He participated in the invasion of Poland as the commanding officer of 22nd Panzer Corps, in the invasion of France as the commanding officer of Panzergruppe von Kleist, and in both the Balkans campaign and the invasion of the Soviet Union as the commanding officer of 1st Panzergruppe. In Nov 1942, he was made the commanding officer of Army Group A, in which role he participated in the failed attempt to capture the oil producing regions of southern Russia. He was promoted to the rank of field marshal in 1943. In Mar 1944, Adolf Hitler relieved him of his command for ordering German 8th Army to fall back without Hitler's permission; Kleist would hold no further active roles in the European War. He was captured by the Americans in 1945 and was handed over to Yugoslavia to face war crimes charges in 1946. In 1948, he was handed over to the Soviet Union for war crimes trials. Found guilty in 1952, he was sentenced to a 10-year prison term. He died while in captivity at the Vladimir Prison in Vladimir Oblast in Russia; he was the highest ranked German officer to die in Soviet captivity.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2013

Paul von Kleist Timeline

8 Aug 1881 Paul von Kleist was born in Braunfels an der Lahn in central Germany.
28 Jun 1934 Generalleutnant Ewald von Kleist, the German Army Commander in the Silesia region, was alarmed to discover from a local SA commander that both SS and SA units were arming for an attack on each other.
29 Jun 1934 Generalleutnant Ewald von Kleis flew to Berlin, Germany to warn General Werner von Fritsch of the impending violence between the SS and SA organizations of the Nazi Party. When Fritsch informed Walther von Reichenau at the Defence Ministry the latter simply replied that it was "too late now".
15 May 1940 Paul von Kleist was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.
10 Apr 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
13 Apr 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
26 Aug 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
27 Aug 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
5 Oct 1941 Field Marshal Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist was named the commander of German 1.Panzerarmee.
11 Oct 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
12 Oct 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
22 Nov 1941 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
17 Feb 1942 Paul von Kleist was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.
30 May 1942 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
22 Nov 1942 Paul von Kleist was made the commanding officer of German Army Group A.
19 Aug 1943 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
9 Oct 1943 Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
30 Mar 1944 Paul von Kleist was awarded Swords to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.
13 Nov 1954 Paul von Kleist passed away in Vladimir Prison in Vladimir, Russia.

Photographs

Portrait of Paul von Kleist, 1940Colonel General Paul von Kleist visiting a recently captured steelworks  in Ukraine, Nov 1941




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. james Smith says:
3 Oct 2013 06:39:11 AM

I heard a slightly different ending to von Kleist's story. He was not actually found 'guilty' of war crimes...this was a problem for the Soviet Legal team. Since he behaved reasonably in the USSR, he was charged with Anti-Soviet Activity (ie; by being 'kind' he had tried to convert Russians to Nazism)...therefore, he was found guilty as charged under USSR Law.
2. Joe Belladonna says:
20 Apr 2016 06:03:51 AM

In Yugoslavia, he was sentenced to 15 years in jail because of war crimes committed during the invasion of Yugoslavia.

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More on Paul von Kleist
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Poland
» Invasion of France and the Low Countries
» Balkans Campaign
» Operation Barbarossa
» Caucasus Campaign

Paul von Kleist Photo Gallery
Portrait of Paul von Kleist, 1940Colonel General Paul von Kleist visiting a recently captured steelworks  in Ukraine, Nov 1941


Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945