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"Any Generals Killed in WWII?" Topic

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5,622 hits since 25 Sep 2012
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CPBelt25 Sep 2012 4:36 p.m. PST

I wondering about this today. What Allied and Axis generals were killed in combat during the war and how? I can't think of any.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 4:52 p.m. PST

Simon Bolivar Buckner, USMC, killed on Okinawa by – uh-oh, can't remember – shrapnel, IIRC.

Rhino Co Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 4:52 p.m. PST

Gen Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. was killed during the Battle of Okinawa by Japanese artillery. He was succeeded in command by Marine General Roy Geiger. Geiger was the Commanding General of III Amphibious Corps and was the only US Marine General to command an army sized organization. Sundance scooped me!

Redroom Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 4:52 p.m. PST

Quite a few executions.

The only one I can think of is Yamamoto(sp) whose plane was shot down.

Don Manser25 Sep 2012 4:53 p.m. PST

Try this:



Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 4:55 p.m. PST

Gott was killed in North Africa.

Rhino Co Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 4:58 p.m. PST

Lieutenant General Lesley McNair was the highest-ranking U.S. soldier to be killed in action in the European Theater of Operations. Inaccurate bombing by the Eighth Air Force during the preparation for the breakout from the Normandy beach head near St-Lo

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 5:03 p.m. PST

MG Maurice Rose was killed almost at the end of the war in Europe, by enemy fire.


tuscaloosa25 Sep 2012 5:06 p.m. PST

Only one of Hitler's Field Marshalls died due to enemy fire.

General von Bock (commanded AGC for the beginning of Barbarossa), who was driving in a car with his wife and daughter in Schleswig-Holstein the last week of the war, when they were strafed by an RAF fighter.

They were all killed and buried in the local village, where by coincidence he is in the next row over from my grandfather.

Oddball25 Sep 2012 5:08 p.m. PST

Many were killed in action. Off the top of my head I can think of three.

1) Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. – Lt. General, commander 10th Army on Okinawa. KIA on Okinawa – artillery

2) Isoroku Yamamoto – Commander of Combine Fleet. Shot down and killed over Bougainville.

3) Kenneth Newton Walker – Brigadier General, shot down on raid over Rabaul – Jan. 1943.

Brief research shows 11 US Generals KIA and 130+ German generals. Japanese it is tough to tell as they did not let themselves be taken prisoner. Soviets had to be in the 100's and I'm sure there were several British/Commonwealth losses.

Oddball25 Sep 2012 5:10 p.m. PST

Florida Tory,

Nice memory on MG Rose. He was 3rd Armored if I remember correctly and was in a jeep that drove into a group of Germans in the Ruhr pocket.

tuscaloosa25 Sep 2012 5:12 p.m. PST

I find the story associated with General Rose very interesting: (from Wikipedia)

"On March 30, 1945, a few miles south of the city of Paderborn in a rural forest area, General Rose was riding at the front of the Task Force Welborn column. The front of this column consisted of his own jeep, a jeep in front of him, a tank at the lead of the column, an armored car behind him, and a motorcycle messenger bringing up the rear. Suddenly they began taking small arms fire as well as tank and anti-tank fire. General Rose, along with the other men, jumped into a nearby ditch with his Thompson sub-machine gun as the lead tank took a direct hit and was destroyed. When they realized that they were being surrounded by German tanks they re-entered their jeeps and tried to escape. They drove off the road and through a nearby field before heading back towards the road. When arriving back at the road they realized it was occupied by numerous German Tiger tanks. The lead jeep gunned its engine and narrowly made it past the tiger tanks and escaped to the other side. The driver of General Rose's jeep attempted to do the same but one of the German Tigers turned to cut them off and as Rose's jeep was passing the Tiger tank wedged the jeep against a tree. The top hatch of the Tiger tank flung open and a German soldier appeared pointing a machine pistol at the group in the jeep. General Rose reached towards his pistol holster (either to throw it to the ground or in an attempt to fight back). The German soldier shot him several times with at least one round hitting Rose in the head. It is believed that the German tank crews never had any idea that the man they killed was a general because sensitive documents, as well as General Rose's body, were not removed from his jeep. Rose is buried in ABMC Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.

Rose was the highest-ranking American killed by enemy fire in the European Theater of Operations during the war. (Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair was killed by friendly fire in Normandy in July 1944.)"

Man of Few Words25 Sep 2012 6:27 p.m. PST

LTG Buckner was US Army, graduate of USMA, and an Infantryman.

dmclellan Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 6:39 p.m. PST

Four US Admirals that I can think of were killed in combat.
Kidd (Pearl Harbor) Scott and Callaghan (Guadalcanal) and Chandler (off Luzon, by kamakazi)

Lee and McCain died while on duty, but not from combat. Lee suffered a heart attack.

Correction/addition. McCain died a few days after the Japanese Surrender. I believe he was present at Tokyo Bay for the surrender.

Wilcox was lost at sea, washed overboard in the Atlantic.

Stacky25 Sep 2012 6:40 p.m. PST

Brigadier General James Hargest, 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force was killed by artillery fire while acting as an observer with a British division at Normandy in June 1944. Prior to that he had been captured in North Africa in 1941 and escaped from an Italian POW camp in Italy. He had been a battalion commander on the Western Front in WW1 and awarded the Military Cross. He also commanded a brigade during the German invasion of Crete in May 1941.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 6:52 p.m. PST

Lieutenant General Lesley McNair, inventor of the Tank Destroyer doctrine, died from "friendly" strategic bombing at Saint-Lô.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2012 6:56 p.m. PST

Poor old Lesley McNair was done in the 9th US Army Air Force – who were fondly (well, maybe not fondly) called "The American Luftwaffe" by the ground pounders in Normandy

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 6:57 p.m. PST

Found this list,
"Brig. Gen. James Leo Dalton II was the assistant commanding general of the 25th Division in the Philippines. The 25th Division was involved in fighting across the South Pacific but met its strongest resistance in one of its last battles, capturing the Balite Pass at the head of Cagayan Valley at Luzon in 1945.

Brig. Gen. Claudius Miller Easley was the assistant commanding general of the 96th Infantry Division when it was activated in 1942…Easley was wounded by a sniper during the Leyte campaign and was killed on June 19, 1945.

Brig. Gen. Charles L. Keerans, Jr. was the assistant commander of the 101st Airborne Division. His death was one of the oddest to occur during the war. In 1943 the 101st had prepared to make a night combat jump into the area around the Gulf of Gela, on the western coast of Italy. The effort was plagued with problems, including several American transport planes being shot down by friendly fire. Keerans' plane was one of those hit by friendly fire, but the pilot was able to crash land the plane in the water, 400 yards off shore. Keerans survived the crash and the next morning chatted with a sergeant from another unit and asked the sergeant to accompany him inland. The sergeant said that he wanted to return to his outfit and left. Keerans went inland by himself and was never seen again. For several years the army assumed he had been killed during the ditching of the aircraft, but the sergeant's story provided a different interpretation and the general was simply listed as killed in action, although his body was never found.

Maj. Gen. Edwin Davies Patrick was the commanding general of the 6th Division, heavily engaged with the enemy …when he died of wounds he received in battle in 1944. Patrick was given command of the 6th Division in September 1944, and was in hostile action near Bayanbayannan, Luzon, at the time of his death.

Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose was commander of the 3rd Armored Division when he was killed in March 1945…

Brig. Gen. James Edward Wharton replaced General Lloyd Brown as commander of the 28th Infantry Division in August 1944. A few hours later he was killed while visiting one of his regiments on the front line.

Brig. Gen. Don F. Pratt was the assistant division commander of the 101st Airborne Division and was in the first wave of glider landings in France, which began at 3 am on D-Day. His glider took a lot of enemy fire as it approached the field surrounded by hedgerows that was his designated landing area. When the glider landed, cargo broke loose from its moorings, broke through the bulkhead, and crushed Pratt, who was sitting in the cockpit.

Brig. Gen. Guy O. Fort commanded the 81st Division in the Philippines at the time of the massive Japanese invasion of Luzon. Nothing more is known of Fort's death, only that he was captured, tortured, and executed by the Japanese in 1942.

Brig. Gen. Vicente Lim was a native Filipino, with a military education that included officer training at Fort Benning Infantry School. One of his classmates at Fort Benning was Akira Nara, who as a Japanese general was in combat with Lim's 41st Division on Bataan.Lim was taken captive at Bataan and survived the infamous death march. He was freed by the Japanese, as they were attempting to separate or alienate Filipinos from the United States. Once freed, Lim became a member of the resistance. He was captured again in the vicinity of Manila and taken to Fort Santiago. After being tortured, he was executed by the Japanese.

Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews was a pioneer in the field of military aviation…In 1942, he became the commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East, and in February 1943, he was given supreme command of all U.S. forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Unfortunately, three months after this assignment he was killed in the crash of a B-24 Liberator bomber while attempting a landing in Iceland.Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on the southeast outskirts of Washington, D.C., is named in his honor.

Brig. Gen. Charles Henry Barth, Jr., was the chief of staff for General Andrews' European theater command and was on the same flight that crashed in Iceland, killing General Andrews and 13 others.

Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Gaffey…Gaffey commanded the 4th Armored Division during the relief operation at Bastogne. Following this successful operation, he was given command of VII Corps. He was killed in a plane crash shortly after the capitulation of Germany in 1945.

Brig. Gen. Stuart Chapin Godfrey was commander of Geiger [Air] Field near Spokane, Wash. Godfrey had directed construction of airfields in the China-Burma-India theatre for use by B-29 Superfortress bombers on raids against Japan prior to assuming command at Geiger Field. He was returning from a conference at Fort Hamilton in San Francisco in 1945 when his plane crashed into a small hill six miles from Geiger Field.

Major Gen. Stonewall Jackson was commander of the 84th Infantry Division at the time of his death in 1943. Jackson had only been in command a few months, assuming command of the division in February 1943, and he was promoted to major general in March. The division was on maneuvers at Fort (then Camp) Polk, La.

Lt. Gen. Leslie McNair was one of the highest ranking American officers killed in World War II. McNair had been commander of Army ground forces and was responsible for training of all components of the active Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard. He wanted a field command but never received one. As frequently as he could, he visited the fronts and was wounded in Tunisia. He was made commander of the mythical 1st Army Group, replacing General Patton McNair was observing the 30th Infantry Division's preparations for deployment to St. Lo in 1944 when the Army Air Corps accidentally dropped bombs on his position and he was killed. He was posthumously promoted to full general in 1945.Ironically, his son, Colonel Douglas McNair, chief of staff of the 77th Division, was killed two weeks later by a sniper on Guam.

Maj. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was the only American general to go ashore in the first wave on D-Day…On July 12, 1944, Roosevelt was given command of the 90th Division. He died later that night of a heart attack, at the age of 57."



thosmoss25 Sep 2012 8:00 p.m. PST

> Only one of Hitler's Field Marshalls died due to enemy fire.

Rommel's ghost might contest that point.

platypus01au25 Sep 2012 9:42 p.m. PST

Rommel killed himself. Unless you are saying he was his own enemy?


Agesilaus Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 9:47 p.m. PST

General Kurabayashi

Rudi the german Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 11:13 p.m. PST


Please find here the List with the 276 fallen Wehrmacht Generals

Please find here the List with 121 fallen Luftwaffe Generals


Please sind here the List of the 74 members in general rank of the Kriegsmarine.


And here the 185 Generals of the SS.

Counting only Killed by Enemy Fire, Not sickness or accidents.


uruk hai Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 11:41 p.m. PST

Ord Wingate.

artaxerxes Inactive Member26 Sep 2012 3:39 a.m. PST

MG George Vasey.

Martin Rapier26 Sep 2012 3:56 a.m. PST

Lots of Soviet generals killed, even excluding the ones shot by their own side.

tuscaloosa26 Sep 2012 3:58 a.m. PST

Rudi's list of SS generals killed includes those condemned and executed by firing squad post-war.

Which is perhaps, technically, killed by enemy fire, but not what I would have thought of….

Giles the Zog26 Sep 2012 5:27 a.m. PST

Quite by co-incidence before firing up the computer I'd been reading Osprey's book "Germany's Eastern Front Allies 1941 – 1945" (I am not a WW2 gamer) and one fact stuck in my head about the Romanians: "…three generals were killed…in Stalingrad".

There's no citation for this though, and no names mentioned


Barakvarr26 Sep 2012 9:53 a.m. PST

Vice Admiral Lancelot Ernest Holland, died on the Hood when she was sunk in the Denmark Strait.

Also Lt Gen Herbert Lumsden, killed on the USS New Mexico when it it was hit by a Kamikaze off Luzon (just read this in Max Hasting's Nemesis), apparently Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, of North Cape fame, narrowly escaped with his life in the same attack.

Mad Monarchist Inactive Member26 Sep 2012 11:22 a.m. PST

Off the top of my head:

Brigadier Lawson was killed whilst attempting a breakout from his HQ in Hong Kong.

Zhang Zizhong, the hero of Taierzhuang (sometimes called the Chinese Stalingrad), was, IIRC, killed in close combat during the lead-up to the battle of Changsha.

Air Vice Marshal Pulford died upon being shipwrecked after the fall of Singapore.

General Overakker, who commanded Dutch troops on Sumatra, was beheaded by the Japanese during the closing days of the war.

Mad Monarchist Inactive Member26 Sep 2012 11:24 a.m. PST

Might also add that in the case of admirals both Doorman and Philips went down with their ships.

mjkerner Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2012 11:49 a.m. PST

"Correction/addition. McCain died a few days after the Japanese Surrender. I believe he was present at Tokyo Bay for the surrender."

IIRC, after years away from home, McCain did of a heart attack almost immediately upon returning to his home after the war. Literally, within minutes of walking through the front door.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2012 12:32 p.m. PST

Not any smart ones…

CooperSteveOnTheLaptop Inactive Member26 Sep 2012 2:25 p.m. PST

"Literally, within minutes of walking through the front door."

Very dangerous, peace time…

dmclellan Inactive Member26 Sep 2012 7:56 p.m. PST


I didn't read far enough … that's if you trust Wiki.

By war's end in August 1945, the stress of combat operations had worn McCain down to a weight of only 100 pounds. He requested home leave to recuperate but Halsey insisted that he be present at the Japanese surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. Departing immediately after the ceremony, McCain died just 4 days later of a heart attack at his home in Coronado, California on September 6, 1945.

That is sad beyond belief.

RJ Smith Inactive Member27 Sep 2012 8:37 a.m. PST

Brigadier General John Lawson Killed in Action at Hong Kong, according to some accounts he left his CP with a pistol in each hand to near the end of the battle determined to go down fighting.

PDF link


wardog30 Sep 2012 12:39 p.m. PST

ok not in combat ,patton couple of months after war (december 45) i think

Eclaireur01 Oct 2012 9:13 a.m. PST

would you mind double checking your source in Brigadier Hargest's death ? I have read some of his letters in the National Archives – he was Military Observer to XXX Corps. I am sure there is one dated in July where he talks about his experience of a routine operation at one of the Normandy field hospitals.
I any case, if he was KIA, I am interested in the circs. An excellent letter writer, as well as a very brave man…

Porkmann Inactive Member04 Oct 2012 1:55 p.m. PST

Quite a few died in combat/forlorn hopes at Stalingrad. Also Stemmermann at Korsun.

Deadone Inactive Member04 Oct 2012 8:31 p.m. PST

Apparently a few Romanian generals were killed leading massed bayonet charges on Eastern Front.

Clearly they missed the chapter on the efficacy of massed bayonet charges in WWI,

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