The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Gerhard Kegler, the German general, who dared to disobey Himmler – Part I


A Brief Overview of Gerhard Kegler’s Education and Military Background

1898 – 1986 (Chart II a – II)

On January 26, 1898, Gerhard Kegler was born in Grünewald, Pomerania (Province of Germany until 1945). Posts on his three older siblings Marie, Günther, and Gertrud can be found in the archives of this blog. They show how the children of Pastor Carl Kegler and his wife Elisabeth had a happy childhood in the small Pomeranian community of Grünewald. Also the third chapter of the P. and G. Klopp Story has more information on the Kegler family background, which therefore need not be repeated here. Like his brother Günther, Gerhard began his military career as a cadet in 1908. The outline of his comet-like rise in the ranks of the German army follows below.

  • 1904 -1908 Elementary School at Grünewald
  • 1908 – 1914 Military Academy at Plön
  • 1914 – 1917 Military Academy at Groß-Lichterfelde
  • March 1, 1917 Officer Cadet at the 149th Infantry Regiment in Schneidemühl
  • September 1917 On the Western Front at Champagne and Argonne
  • November 1, 1917 Lieutenant
  • 1918 Participated in the last major German offensive of World War I
  • 1919 – 1920 Border Patrol at the section between Schneidemühl and Bromberg
  • End of November 1920  Transfer to the 4th infantry regiment of the newly created army, which was limited by the Treaty of Versailles to 100,000 men
  • 1921 – 1922 Officer’s training in Munich
  • 1924 Teacher at the Officer’s Sports Training School in Berlin
  • 1925 Promoted to the rank of first lieutenant
  • 1926 – 1929 Trainer and Sports Teacher at the Infantry School in Dresden
  • 1929 – 1933 Leader of military courses for officers’ trainees in Berlin and Dresden
  • March 1, 1933 Advanced to the rank of captain
  • 1933 – 1934 In charge of the 11th Infantry Regiment 9 at Spandau
  • 1934 – 1938 In charge of the 3rd MG Battalion 8 at Züllichau
  • 1937 Promoted to the rank of major
  • 1938 Teacher at the Military Academy in Munich
  • 1939 At the beginning of World War II Battalion commander in the Infantry Regiment 282 of the 98th Division at the Western Front
  • 1940 Commander of Infantry Battalion in Training at Kreuznach; front-line duty in the attack on the French Maginot line in the Vosges Mountains
  • November 1, 1940 Commander of the Infantry Regiment  27 and promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel
  • 1941 – 1944 Invasion of the Soviet Union
  • February 1942 Promoted to the rank of colonel
  • October 1, 1944 Promoted to the rank of major-general
Gerhard Kegler on a Visit at Gutfelde 1944

Gerhard Kegler on a Visit at Gutfelde 1944 (the tall person in the middle)

In February 1945, Gerhard Kegler was condemned to death after being court-martialed for disobeying Himmler’s orders to defend the town of Landsberg on the River Warthe. The following posts will deal with the circumstances leading up to this terror verdict and will hopefully contribute to dispel the myth about all German officers blindly following the Nazi Regime without any moral backbone.

To be continued

6 thoughts on “Gerhard Kegler, the German general, who dared to disobey Himmler – Part I

  1. Pingback: Gerhard Kegler, the general, who dared to disobey Himmler – Part VI | The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

  2. Roy Arnoldt

    My name is Roy Arnoldt nd I lived in Northern Michigan. At about 1950 (+/-) as part of the American effort to get Germany back on its feet Gerhard Kegler was identified as a person who could help Germany establish a new government and thus was part of a team of possible leaders who entered special training. This training included a tour of the United States. Because of my folks both were German immigrants (1920’s) and still spoke German well they, they were identified as possible hosts for one member of group when they visited northern Michigan. At that time I 8-10 (+/-) years old.

    I remember him while he stayed at our house for several weeks (?). Since we lived on the western shore of Lake Michigan we went swimming many times and noticing his missing left(?) arm, but he continued to swim with both my sister & me.

    Looking at this document I immediately recognized him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Dear Roy, I finally can respond to your comment. Everything you wrote about my uncle seemed so far fetched that I believed it to be spam at first. But today I checked it out with my cousin, the general’s son, and he confirmed that in 1951 his father was invited to go on an information gathering tour in the USA. Now my cousin wondered if you could provide him with the name of the town or place where he was staying with your family. Greetings from Canada, where I have been living for the past 50 years.


  3. Roy Arnoldt

    Dear Peter Klopp:

    The town was Traverse City, Michigan. This is located in the NW Corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan (Immediately across Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin Door peninsula (Green Bay Wisconsin) We lived on the Peninsula approximately three miles from town. As I remember the address it was Box 45E West Bay shore road. This gave us a sandy beach with a view of Traverse City at the southern end of the lake. This lake formed a large natural harbor for the great lakes including Lake Michigan.

    I grew up at that house but finally left the area later to go to collage (Michigan Technological University to study engineering. Since collage I been a practicing engineer doing evaluation and design in the field of Geotechnical Engineering (building & bridge foundation structures). I retired in 2016. I now live in Bandon, Oregon (by the West coast).

    I would like to continue this conversation at your convenience to pass additional information. Please feel free to contact me.

    Roy Arnoldt

    (541) 347-6069

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Dear Roy,

      Thank for the valuable feedback on your place in Michigan, where my uncle Gerhard Kegler had spent some time with your family in the early 1950’s. There is a lot of information on my blog about my life both in Germany and in Canada, where I have been living for the 50 years. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Greeting from Fauquier, BC! Peter

      PS: I will pass your letter onto the general’s son in Germany.

      On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:08 AM The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project wrote:



      1. Roy Arnoldt

        Dear Peter Klopp;

        In an effort to keep this communication as efficient s possible I request that you use my email address which is
        Many thanks

        please inform me of a similar address for my emails back to you



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