Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Georg von Küchler
Born in Philippsruhe castle near Hanau, Küchler led the German 18th Army in 1940 in the invasion of neutral Holland and was able to defeat the much smaller Dutch army and continued on into Belgium. Küchler's army defeated the Belgians, took Antwerp and then moved into France. The 18th Army ended this phase of the war at Pas de Calais. His role in this campaign earned him the rank of colonel general.
The colonel general became commander of Army Group North after Field Marshall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was relieved of his command. Küchler, unlike his predecessor Leeb, was seen as politically compliant and was liked by Hitler, who hoped that Küchler would succeed where he believed that Leeb had failed.
Küchler commanded Army Group North from December 1941 through January 1944 but was unable to achieve any victory at Leningrad. Küchler maintained the siege of Leningrad, launching massive bombardments in an attempt to intimidate the Red Army into surrender. On June 30, 1942 Hitler promoted Küchler to Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall). In January 1944 Soviet troops were able to completely break the blockade of Leningrad, and Küchler was sacked when he demanded the withdrawal necessary to save Army Group North.
At the end of World War II Küchler was arrested by American occupation authorities and tried by a military court in 1948 in the High Command Trial. Küchler was sentenced to twenty years in prison for crimes against humanity but only served eight before he was released in 1953 due to illness and old age. He died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Pavlov, Dmitri V. Leningrad 1941: The Blockade. Translated by John Clinton Adams. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1965.
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