Walter Krüger (SS general)

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Walter Krüger
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-212-0212A-19, Russland, SS-Brigdeführer und Erich Hoepner.jpg
Krüger (left) with Colonel General Erich Hoepner in October 1941
Born (1890-02-27)27 February 1890
Straßburg, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire now Strasbourg, Alsace, France
Died 22 May 1945(1945-05-22) (aged 55)
Libau, Generalbezirk Litauen, Reichskommissariat Ostland now Liepāja, Kurzeme Region, Lithuania
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1920)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1908–20, 1935–45
Rank 40px Obergruppenführer
Service number SS #266,184
Commands held SS-PzGrenDiv "Das Reich"
VI. Waffen Armeekorps der SS
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Walter Krüger (27 February 1890 – 22 May 1945[Note 1]) was an SS-Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant General). He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. At the end of the war, Krüger committed suicide.


Born in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire (nowadays in France), Krüger was the son of an army officer and attended cadet school. As a young second lieutenant, he joined the 110th Fusilier Regiment during World War I. After World War I, he joined the Freikorps and fought in the Baltic region during 1919.

In 1933, when Adolf Hitler gained power, Krüger worked in the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht training department. In 1935, he joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe where he formed the SS-Standarte Germania. At the SS Officer's school at Bad Tölz, he served as an instructor. He earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, after taking command of the SS Polizei Division which fought on the Leningrad front, Krüger himself taking place in the siege of the city itself.

Krüger became commander of the SS Division Das Reich in March 1943. After that, he went on to become the inspector general of all infantry troops of the Waffen-SS. He assumed command of the newly formed, voluntary, VI (Latvian) SS Corps.

On 22 May 1945[a], Krüger committed suicide in the Courland Pocket fourteen days after the surrender of Nazi Germany.

Rank promotion

  • April 30, 1935 – SS-Obersturmbannführer
  • January 30, 1939 – SS-Standartenführer
  • April 20, 1941 – SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of Waffen-SS
  • January 30, 1942 – SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of Waffen-SS
  • June 21, 1944 – SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Waffen-SS



  1. Date of death is inconclusive. According to Florian Berger date of death is 20 May 1945, Walther-Peer Fellgiebel states 8 May 1945 and Veit Scherzer presents the 22 May 1945.[1][2][3]
  2. According to Scherzer as commanding general of the VI. SS-Freiwilligen Armeekorps[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Scherzer 2007, p. 479.
  2. Berger 1999, p. 173.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fellgiebel 2000, p. 47.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thomas 1997, p. 416.
  5. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 276.
  6. Von Seemen 1976, p. 210.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 71.
  8. Von Seemen 1976, p. 37.
  9. Von Seemen 1976, p. 19.


  • Ailsby, Christopher (1997). SS: Roll Of Infamy. Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-7603-0409-2.
  • Berger, Florian (1999). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges (in German). Vienna, Austria: Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 978-3-9501307-0-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. 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. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Schaulen, Fritjof (2004). Eichenlaubträger 1940 – 1945 Zeitgeschichte in Farbe II Ihlefeld – Primozic (in German). Selent, Germany: Pour le Mérite. ISBN 3-932381-21-1.
  • 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7909-0051-4. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yerger, Mark C. (1999). Waffen-SS commanders. Vol. II : the army, corps and divisional leaders of a legend. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7643-0769-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Kurt Brasack
Commander of SS Division "Das Reich"
29 March 1943 – 23 October 1943
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding
Preceded by
SS-Obergruppenführer Alfred Wünnenberg
Commander of IV. SS-Panzerkorps
23 October 1943 – 1 July 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Obergruppenführer Matthias Kleinheisterkamp