Friedrich Kirchner

Friedrich Kirchner
Born (1885-03-26)26 March 1885
Died 6 April 1960(1960-04-06) (aged 75)
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1899–1945
Rank General der Panzertruppe
Commands held 1st Panzer Division
LVII Panzer Corps

World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Friedrich Kirchner (26 March 1885 – 6 April 1960) was a German general during World War II who commanded 1st Panzer Division and the LVII Panzer Corps. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.


Friedrich Kirchner joined the Imperial German Army in 1899 and became an officer in 1907. During World War II he served with the 23d Division. After World War I he was retained in the Reichswehr. Kirchner was promoted to Major in 1928 and from 1929 he served in the staff of a cavalry division. Kirchner was promoted to Oberst in 1934 and appointed to command an infantry regiment Regiment of the in the 1st Panzer Division) on 15 October 1935 and commanding officer of an infantry brigade on 10 November 1938. He was promoted to Generalmajor in March 1938.[1]

He participated in the invasion of Poland as a brigade commander; he was appointed command of the 1st Panzer Division in November 1939.[1] On 1 April 1940 he was promoted to Generalleutnant.[1] Kirchner led the division in the Battle of France and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 May 1940.[2] He then took command of the LVII Armeekorps on 15 November 1941 and remained in command of the unit (re-designated LVII Panzer Corps) until the end of World War II.




  1. 1 2 3 Mitcham 2009, p. 133.
  2. To Lose a Battle: France 1940, Alistair Horne
  3. 1 2 Thomas 1997, p. 364.
  4. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 229.
  5. 1 2 3 Scherzer 2007, p. 442.


  • Horne, Alistair (1982) [1969]. To Lose a Battle: France 1940 (Penguin repr. ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-14-00-5042-6. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2009). Men of Barbarossa: Commanders of the German Invasion of Russia, 1941. Philadelphia: Casemate Publishers. ISBN 978-1-935149-66-8. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Rudolf Schmidt
Commander of 1. Panzer-Division
2 November 1939 – 17 July 1941
Succeeded by
Generalmajor Walter Krüger
Preceded by
LVII. Armeekorps
Commander of LVII. Panzer-Korps
21 June 1942 – 30 November 1943
Succeeded by
General der Panzertruppe Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck
Commander of LVII. Panzer-Korps
19 February 1944 – 25 May 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Dr. Franz Beyer
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Dr. Franz Beyer
Commander of LVII. Panzer-Korps
2 June 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
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