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Generalstabsarzt and Admiralstabsarzt are in German armed forces the rank designations of the second highest grad of the generals rank group.

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HD S Kragenspiegel Gen R.svg HD H 62b Generalstabsarzt HM L.svg LD B 62b Generalstabsarzt HM L.svg
Rank insignia German medical service ranks
Rank group Commissioned officers
Navy AdmStArzt (ASA)
Army / Air Force GenStArzt (GSA)
US Army/Airn Force Assistant Surgeon General
US Navy Deputy Surgeon General



Generalstabsarzt and Admiralstabsarzt are the second highest general ranks of the Joint Medical Service or the military medical area of the Bundeswehr.

Normally the Bundeswehr Surgeon General of the medical service (de: Inspekteur des Sanitätsdienstes) might be assigned.

Equivalent to that two-star ranks (NATO-Rangcode OF-7) are Generalmajor (en: Major general) of the German Army or German Air Force, and the Konteradmiral (en: Rear admiral) of the German Navy.


The manner of formal addressing of military surgeons with the rank Generalarzt (OF6, one-star), Generalstabsarzt (OF7, two stars) or Generaloberstabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Generalarzt“. At the other hand, military surgeons with the rank Admiralarzt (OF6, one-star), Admiralstabsarzt (OF7, two stars) or Admiraloberstabsarzt is, „Herr/Frau Admiralarzt“.

Rank insigniasEdit

On the shoulder straps (Heer, Luftwaffe) there are two golden stars in golden oak leaves and the career insignia (de: Laufbahnabzeichen) as symbol of the medical standing, or course of studies. Regarding the Marine, the career insignia is in the middle of both sleeves, tree cm above the cuff strips, and on the shoulder straps between strips and button.

junior Rank
German medical officer rank
senior Rank


Generalstabsarzt rank insignia
Arabesque (until 1944)[1]
Shoulder strap Generalleutnant, with Rod of Asclepius in row to one general star
Waffenfarbe Scarlet:: to all general ranks[1]

Wehrmacht 1933 – 1945Edit

Generalstabsarzt of the Wehrmacht was comparable to the Generalleutnant (OF-7, two stars), as well as to the Gruppenführer and Generalleunant of the Waffen-SS.

In line to the so-called Reichsbesoldungsordnung (en: Reich's salary order), appendixes to the Salary law of the German Empire (de: Besoldungsgesetz des Deutschen Reiches) of 1927[2] (changes 1937 – 1940), the comparative ranks were as follows: C 2

  • Generalleutnant (Heer and Luftwaffe)
  • Vizeadmiral (Kriegsmarine)
  • Generalstabsarzt, from 1934 (medical service of the Wehrmacht)
  • Generalstabsveterinär, from 1934 (veterinarian service of the Wehrmacht)

Comparative military ranksEdit

Ranks Wehrmacht until 1945[3]  
Medical service en translation Equivalent Heer en equivalent
Generaloberstabsarzt Senior Staff-Surgeon General General der Waffengattung three star rank OF-8
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalleutnant two star rank OF-7
Generalarzt Surgeon General Generalmajor one star rank OF-6
Oberstarzt Colonel (Dr.) Oberst Colonel OF-5
Oberfeldarzt Lieutenant colonel (Dr.) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF-4
Oberstabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Stabsarzt Captain (Dr.) Hauptmann Captain (army) OF-2
Oberarzt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF-1a
Assistenzarzt Second lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF-1b
Unterarzt Sergeant 1st Class (Dr.) Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel
Officer Aspirant OR-7[4]
Feldunterarzt (since 1940)
See also main article
Ranks and insignia of the German Army (1935–1945)

Rank designations of the Kriegsmarine as to Match 30, 1934, are contained in the table below.

Ranks Kriegsmarine (medical service)  
Medical service en translation Equivalent Kriegsmarine en equivalent
Admiraloberstabsarzt Surgeon general Admiral (Germany) three star rank OF-8
Admiralstabsarzt Rear admiral upper half (Dr.) Vizeadmiral two star rank OF-7
Admiralarzt Rear admiral lower half (Dr.) Konteradmiral one star rank OF-6
Flottenarzt Captain naval (Dr.) Kapitän zur See Captain (naval) OF-5
Geschwaderarzt Commander (Dr.) Fregattenkapitän Commander OF-4
Marineoberstabsarzt Lieutenant commander (Dr.) Korvettenkapitän Lieutenant commander OF-3
Marinestabsarzt Lieutenant naval (Dr.) Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant (naval) OF-2
Marineoberarzt Lieutenant junior grade (Dr.) Oberleutnant zur See Lieutenant (junior grade) OF-1a
Marineassistenzarzt Ensign (Dr.) Leutnant zur See Ensign OF-1b

Germany before 1933Edit

Generalstabsarzt D.M. Grimm, here Major general of the Medical Corps, wood-engraving ca. 1885.

In Prussia and Bavaria Generalstabsarzt der Armee (en: Surgeon General of the Army) was an appointment and the official title of the Chief of the entire military medical service. Officers, assigned to that particular staff position, could rise in ranks op to Generalleutnant (OF7).

In the first instance the Generalstabsarzt of the Prussian Army could be promoted to the Oberst OF5-rank. Since 1856 he could rise to Generalmajor, and since 1873 to Generalleutnant. At the same time the Generalstabsarzt was Chief of the Medical department of the Prussian Ministry of War, and Chief of the Medical corps. He was also superior to the Generalarzt.

Equivalent authority, mandate and competence was with the Generalstabsarzt of the Imperial German Navy. He was also Chief of the Medical division in the German Imperial Naval Office, and Chief of the Navy's Medical corps.


k.k. GenStArzt Felix Ritter von Kraus, 1864.

In the Austria-Hungarian Heer there were two regular Generalstabsarzt staff positions established. One Generalstabsarzt was Chie of the Medical division of the Reichskriegsministerium and Chief of the military surgeon officer corps. The second Generalstabsarzt was Praeses of the Military medical committee. That particular rank was comparable to the Generalmajor OF6-rank (Major general).

In some cases a Surgen General of a Generalkommando (en: Army corps or Corps — XXX —) could be promoted to the rank of Generalstabsarzt.

Officers with that rankEdit

Ranks k.u.k. Army until 1918  
Medical service en Equivalent Heer en
Generalstabsarzt Staff-Surgeon General Generalmajor Major general OF-6
Oberstabsarzt I. Klasse Colonel (Dr. 1st class) Oberst Colonel OF-5
Oberstabsarzt II. Klasse Lieutenant colonel (Dr. 2nd class) Oberstleutnant Lieutenant colonel OF-4
Stabsarzt Major (Dr.)
Regimentsarzt I. Klasse Captain (Dr. 1st class) Hauptmann Captain OF-2
Regimentsarzt II. Klasse Captain (Dr. 2nd class)
Oberarzt First lieutenant (Dr.) Oberleutnant First lieutenant OF-1a
Assistenzarzt Second lieutenant (Dr.) Leutnant Second lieutenant OF-1b

Relevant literatureEdit

  • Neumann, Alexander: Arzttum ist immer Kämpfertum - Die Heeressanitätsinspektion und das Amt "Chef des Wehrmachtsanitätswesens" im Zweiten Weltkrieg (1939-1945), 2005. ISBN 3-7700-1618-1
  • Süß, Winfried: Der "Völkskörper" im Krieg: Gesundheitspolitik, Gesundheitsverhältnisse und Krankenmord im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland 1939-1945, 2003. ISBN 3-486-56719-5


  1. ^ a b Afterwards specialist general officers wore branch-specific colours; the background being cornflower blue for medical and crimson for veterinary services.
  2. ^ Besoldungsgesetz vom 16. Dezember 1927 (RGBl. I …, C Soldaten S. 391), changes 1937 to 1940
  3. ^ F. Altrichter: “The reserve officer”, fourteenth checked addition, Berlin 1941, pages 158-159. (Original title: F. Altrichter: „Der Reserveoffizier“, vierzehnte durchgesehene Auflage, Berlin 1941, Seiten 158-159.)
  4. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"