Friedrich Kirchner

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
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1997-018-33, Friedrich Kirchner.jpg
Born(1885-03-26)26 March 1885
Zöbigker, Leipzig, Kingdom of Saxony, German Empire
Died6 April 1960(1960-04-06) (aged 75)
Fulda, Hesse, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Years of service1899–1945
RankGeneral (Wehrmacht) 1.svg General der Panzertruppe
Commands held1st Panzer Division
LVII Panzer Corps
Battles/warsWorld War I

World War II

AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords


Friedrich Kirchner joined the Royal Saxon Army in 1899 and became an officer in 1907. During World War I he served with the 23d Division.[citation needed] After World War I he was retained in the Reichsheer. 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 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.

He was taken prisoner by US forces in May 1945 and released in 1947.




  1. ^ a b c Mitcham 2009, p. 133.
  2. ^ To Lose a Battle: France 1940, Alistair Horne
  3. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 364.
  4. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 229.
  5. ^ a b c 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 Militaer-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 Corps
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 Corps
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 Corps
2 June 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by