Reichsmarschall

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The original baton of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring shown in the West Point Museum
The original uniform of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring shown in the Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr in Berlin

Reichsmarschall, Marshal of the Reich (literal translation: Empire or Realm), was the highest rank in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II.[1]

History

The rank of Reichserzmarschall was originally created before the 12th century, during the time of the Holy Roman Empire. During the era of the German Empire and World War I, no one in the German Army held the rank.

During World War II, Hermann Göring, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, was the only man elevated to Reichsmarschall.[2][3] He was promoted by Adolf Hitler during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony on 19 July, primarily to make him as senior to the other Wehrmacht commanders made Generalfeldmarschall that day, and confirm his position as Hitler's designated successor.

Nevertheless, in April 1945, when Göring suggested to Hitler that he assume leadership, Hitler relieved Göring of his duties and named a new successor, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. The appointment was made on or before the day of Hitler's suicide (30 April 1945), but notification by Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels was delayed until 1 May 1945.[4]

Official standards

Rank insignia

junior rank
Generalfeldmarschall
 Nazi Germany
(Ranks Wehrmacht)
Reichsmarschall
senior rank
None (Reich Chancellor as Supreme Commander)

References

  1. ^ Haskew 2011, p. 46.
  2. ^ Göring also held many other prestigious titles, such as Reich Master Hunter and Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan
  3. ^ Haskew 2011, pp. 25, 46, 119.
  4. ^ O'Donnell 1979, p. 217.

Bibliography

  • Haskew, Michael (2011). The Wehrmacht. Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-907446-95-5. 
  • O'Donnell, James P (1979). The History of the Reich Chancellery Group. London, UK: J.M. Dent. OCLC 638799214. 
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