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NIKOLAUS VON FALKENHORST (17 January 1885 – 18 June 1968) was a German general and a war criminal during World War II
World War II
. He planned and commanded the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in 1940 , and was commander of German troops during the occupation of Norway from 1940 to 1944.

After the war, Falkenhorst was tried by a joint British-Norwegian military tribunal for war crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1946. The sentence was later commuted to twenty years' imprisonment. Falkenhorst was released in 1953 and died in 1968.

CONTENTS

* 1 Career * 2 War crimes * 3 Awards * 4 References

CAREER

Falkenhorst was born in Breslau
Breslau
(now Wrocław , Poland) into a noble family with military roots, the Jastrzembski of Bad Königsdorff-Jastrzemb in Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
. In 1911 he changed this Polish-derived family name to the Germanized Falkenhorst (meaning "falcon's nest"). He joined the army in 1903 and served in World War I in regimental and staff roles, including a stint in Finland. In 1919, after the end of the war, he joined the paramilitary group Freikorps
Freikorps
, and later the Reichswehr
Reichswehr
. On 1 July 1935, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army. In 1939 he commanded the XXI Army Corp during the Invasion of Poland . Vidkun Quisling , Head of the SS Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
, Reichskommissar Josef Terboven , and Falkenhorst in Norway, 1941

On 20 February 1940, Hitler informed Falkenhorst that he would be ground commander for the invasion of Norway ( Operation Weserübung ), and gave him until 5 p.m. the same day to come up with a basic plan. With no time to consult military charts or maps, Falkenhorst picked up a Baedeker tourist guidebook of Norway at a stationery store on his way to his hotel room, where he planned the operation from maps he found in it. Hitler approved his plan.

The invasion was a success, aside from heavy losses inflicted upon the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
(navy). Allied forces tried to counter the German move, but Falkenhorst's troops drove them out of the country. For his part in the success he was promoted to Generaloberst
Generaloberst
(Colonel General).

In December 1942, Falkenhorst made a plan for the invasion of Sweden if necessary (Operation Polarfuchs; "Arctic Fox") which required 10 German divisions. Falkenhorst thought it would succeed in 10 days. Falkenhorst was dismissed from his command on 18 December 1944 and transferred to the Führerreserve . He did not receive a further assignment.

WAR CRIMES

After the war, Falkenhorst was tried by a joint British-Norwegian military tribunal for violating the rules of war. He had passed on the Führerbefehl known as the " Commando Order " which required captured commandos to be shot as spies, and several were. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1946. The sentence was later commuted to twenty years' imprisonment, after a successful appeal by Sven Hedin .

Falkenhorst was released from Werl prison on 23 July 1953, due to bad health. In 1968, following a heart attack , he died at Holzminden , West Germany
West Germany
, where his family had settled after fleeing from Lower Silesia . He was buried in the Holzminden Cemetery.

AWARDS

*

* Knight\'s Cross of the Iron Cross (30 April 1940)

* Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)

REFERENCES

* ^ Kersaudy, Francois , Norway 1940, pp. 45–47 * ^ Pierrejean, Claudine and Daniel, Les secrets de l'affaire Raoul Wallenberg ("The Secrets of the Raoul Wallenberg Affair"), L'Harmattan. * ^ Milestones, Time Magazine, 5 July 1968. * ^ "Cross of the Royal Prussian Order of St.John". Antique Photos. Retrieved 24 April 2014.

* Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) . Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6 .

MILITARY OFFICES

Preceded by None COMMANDER OF 32. INFANTERIE-DIVISION 1 October 1936 – 19 July 1939 Succeeded by Generalleutnant Franz Böhme
Franz Böhme

Preceded by None COMMANDER OF 21. ARMEE 19 December 1940 – 18 December 1944 Succeeded by General der Infanterie Kurt von Tippelskirch

* v * t * e

German Colonel Generals and General Admirals of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany

Colonel General
Colonel General
(Generaloberst) of the Army

* Wilhelm Adam * Hans-Jürgen von Arnim * Ludwig Beck * Johannes Blaskowitz
Johannes Blaskowitz
* Eduard Dietl * Friedrich Dollmann
Friedrich Dollmann
* Nikolaus von Falkenhorst * Johannes Frießner * Werner von Fritsch * Friedrich Fromm
Friedrich Fromm
* Heinz Guderian
Heinz Guderian
* Curt Haase * Franz Halder
Franz Halder
* Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord * Josef Harpe * Gotthard Heinrici * Walter Heitz * Carl Hilpert * Erich Hoepner * Karl-Adolf Hollidt * Hermann Hoth * Hans-Valentin Hube * Erwin Jaenecke * Alfred Jodl * Georg Lindemann
Georg Lindemann
* Eberhard von Mackensen * Erhard Raus * Georg-Hans Reinhardt * Lothar Rendulic * Richard Ruoff * Hans von Salmuth * Rudolf Schmidt * Eugen Ritter von Schobert * Adolf Strauß * Karl Strecker * Heinrich von Vietinghoff * Walter Weiß * Kurt Zeitzler

Colonel General
Colonel General
(Generaloberst) of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe

* Otto Deßloch * Ulrich Grauert * <