NIKOLAUS VON FALKENHORST (17 January 1885 – 18 June 1968) was a German general and a war criminal during 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.
* 1 Career * 2 War crimes * 3 Awards * 4 References
Falkenhorst was born in Breslau (now Wrocław , Poland) into a noble family with military roots, the Jastrzembski of Bad Königsdorff-Jastrzemb in 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 , and later the _ 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 , 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
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.
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
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 , where his family had settled after fleeing from Lower Silesia . He was buried in the Holzminden Cemetery.
* Knight\'s Cross of the Iron Cross (30 April 1940)
* Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)
* ^ 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 .
Preceded by _None_ COMMANDER OF _32. INFANTERIE-DIVISION_ 1 October 1936 – 19 July 1939 Succeeded by Generalleutnant 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
Colonel General (_Generaloberst_) of the Army
* Wilhelm Adam * Hans-Jürgen von Arnim * Ludwig Beck * Johannes Blaskowitz * Eduard Dietl * Friedrich Dollmann * Nikolaus von Falkenhorst * Johannes Frießner * Werner von Fritsch * Friedrich Fromm * Heinz Guderian * Curt Haase * 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 * 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
SS-Oberst- Gruppenführer of the SS
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 69836672 * LCCN : no95038338 * ISNI : 0000 0000 8876 8137 * GND : 123489059
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