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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.
|Born||26 March 1885|
Zöbigker, Leipzig, Kingdom of Saxony, German Empire
|Died||6 April 1960 (aged 75)|
Fulda, Hesse, West Germany
|Allegiance|| German Empire |
|Years of service||1899–1945|
|Rank||General der Panzertruppe|
|Commands held||1st Panzer Division|
LVII Panzer Corps
|Battles/wars||World War I
|Awards||Knight'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. 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.
He participated in the invasion of Poland as a brigade commander; he was appointed command of the 1st Panzer Division in November 1939. On 1 April 1940 he was promoted to Generalleutnant. Kirchner led the division in the Battle of France and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 May 1940. 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.
- Iron Cross (1914) 2nd Class (1 October 1914) & 1st Class (26 September 1917)
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939) 2nd Class (22 September 1939) &1st Class (4 October 1939)
- German Cross in Gold on 22 April 1942 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 1. Panzer-Division
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Knight's Cross on 20 May 1940 as Generalleutnant and commander of the 1. Panzer-Division
- Oak Leaves on 12 February 1944 as General der Panzertruppe and commanding general of the LVII. Panzer-Korps
- Swords on 26 January 1945 as General der Panzertruppe and commanding general of the LVII. Panzer-Korps
- Horne, Alistair (1982) . 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.