PDA

View Full Version : Highest Raking Casualties in WW2


mamboman
10-28-2005, 06:56 AM
Who were the highest ranking officers killed in active service (that is, killed in actual battles, not, say, shot down travelling back to HQ) from each of the major combatants in WW2?

mm

Mk VII
10-28-2005, 07:17 AM
British Lt-Gen. 'Strafer' Gott was killed when his plane was shot down when returning to Cairo to take command of Eighth Army in 1942.
Lt-Gen. Lumsden was killed in a kamikaze attack on the USS New Mexico off Okinawa in 1945

China Guy
10-28-2005, 07:18 AM
yamamoto got set up, cracked the japanese military code and then ambused his flight...

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-28-2005, 07:22 AM
Admiral Yamamoto's transport aircraft was intercepted by US P-38 Lightnings in 43. It was a deliberate ambush.

Raguleader
10-28-2005, 07:35 AM
Heh, you're going to find that a lot of the higher-ranking types who get killed in wars tend to get killed via being shot down in their transport planes. I know that at least when Yamamoto got shot down, it was a minor battle of it's own accord, involving several American fighters in a large dogfight with a fairly large Japanese escorting force.

David Simmons
10-28-2005, 07:38 AM
US Lt. Gen Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. was killed by a sniper on Okinawa in 1945 and Lt. Gen Leslie McNair was killed by friendly fire in 1944 when US bombs fell short of target during the breakout from the Normandy.

Balle_M
10-28-2005, 07:39 AM
LTG Lesley McNair, killed at St. Lo by "friendly" bombs in 1944.

Sailboat
10-28-2005, 07:39 AM
Who were the highest ranking officers killed in active service (that is, killed in actual battles, not, say, shot down travelling back to HQ) from each of the major combatants in WW2?

mm

Why doesn't "shot down travelling back to HQ" count? Would the South have considered Stonewall Jackson more of a hero if he'd died attacking a Union gun position instead of being shot by his own men while returning from scouting?

The distinction of when a battle started and ended was blurred even before WWII; some battles in both world wars took place over the course of months (Verdun, Somme, Stalingrad; heck, Petersburg in the US Civil War) and some were geographical in scale -- you could be a long way from the town the battle would be named for and still be part of "the battle".

That said, and going by memory, I'd say the highest ranking US officer to die in Europe was General Maurice Rose (http://www.3ad.org/wwii_heroes/rose_maurice/rose_maurice_home.htm).

In the Pacific, the navy can take particular pride in Admiral Norman Scott (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Scott) and Admiral Daniel Callaghan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Callaghan) , who died in a sacrificial naval battle in direct support of hard-pressed American ground troops on Guadalcanal.

Sailboat

Sailboat
10-28-2005, 07:41 AM
Oops, forgot to check if McNair outranked Rose, and forgot all about Buckner...my bad.

Sailboat

David Simmons
10-28-2005, 07:53 AM
Oops, forgot to check if McNair outranked Rose, and forgot all about Buckner...my bad.

SailboatAnd I forgot all about Gen Rose. He was a division commander and so would have been a Maj. Gen.

And going down in rank a little, Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Deputy Cdr. of the 4th Infantry Division died of a heart attack on Utah Beach during the Normandy operation.

Rayne Man
10-28-2005, 07:54 AM
General Sikorski (Commander-in-Chief of the Polish armed forces, as well as Prime Minister of the Polish Government-in-Exile) was killed in a plane crash in 1943. I know this wasn't a battle casualty as such, but there have been several conspiracy theories about his death.

mamboman
10-28-2005, 08:19 AM
Why doesn't "shot down travelling back to HQ" count?

How can I put this? I wanted generals who died "with their boots on" as it were, involved in the actual combat operations they were directing. Bruckner was a great example of what I was looking for, Rommel or Yamamoto not so much. Make sense?

mm

Paul in Qatar
10-28-2005, 08:23 AM
I would suppose the Germans lost at least a few Field Marshals under the conditions you describe. In fact, other than Paulis, I cannot recall any German FM falling into the sack.

Mk VII
10-28-2005, 08:49 AM
if you open it up to Admirals, Vice-Admiral Lancelot Holland who was lost in HMS Hood on 24th May 1941, might be the highest British one.

mamboman
10-28-2005, 08:50 AM
I would suppose the Germans lost at least a few Field Marshals under the conditions you describe. In fact, other than Paulis, I cannot recall any German FM falling into the sack.

Few of their FM's popped themselves, as well - which doesn't count.

Good old Paulis - talk about sticking it to the man! :)

mm

jimmmy
10-28-2005, 09:09 AM
Besides the three Field Marshals that died or suicided trying to kill Hitler only one died in actual battle.

German Field Marshal Fedor von Bock died in the allied bombing of Hamburg -- in the days AFTER Hitlerís suicide and before the surrender.

Field Marshals Ernst Busch & (Red Baron Cousin) Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen both died in POW camps in captivity -- but were captured post-surrender -- not in Battle

Field Marshal Walther Model committed suicde in April Ď45 rather than surrender (and face a War Crimes Trial - he was no military-style hero). Likewise, Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim committed suicide - AFTER being captured post German surrender and told he was being sent to the Rusiians.

(FTR I like Paul in Saudi and am answering him - not trying to be a 'smarty-pants')

David Simmons
10-28-2005, 10:39 AM
How can I put this? I wanted generals who died "with their boots on" as it were, involved in the actual combat operations they were directing. Bruckner was a great example of what I was looking for, Rommel or Yamamoto not so much. Make sense?

mmGeneral Rose (http://www.3ad.org/wwii_heroes/rose_maurice/rose_maurice_home.htm) (Commander 3rd Armored Division) was shot by a German tank commander when the jeep he was in rounded a corner and ran into the tank.

General McNair, a Corps Commander, was in the field with troops of the 30th Infantry Division during Operation Cobra, a large bombing mission to open a gap in the German lines near St. Lo. The purpose of the raid was to facilitate a breakout toward the south and east from the Normandy pocket.

General Roosevelt (Deputy Commder, 4th Infantry Division) was directing operations of the 4th Infantry Division at Utah Beach when he suffered his heart attack.

I would certainly call off of these "death in combat action."

Slithy Tove
10-28-2005, 11:50 AM
US Lt. Gen Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. was killed by a sniper on Okinawa in 1945

Slight correction: by rock fragments from a artillery hit on the bluff behind him (not exactly the same as a ricochet, as wikipedia has it). Cite: William Manchester, historian and Okinawa participant.

David Simmons
10-28-2005, 12:07 PM
Slight correction: by rock fragments from a artillery hit on the bluff behind him (not exactly the same as a ricochet, as wikipedia has it). Cite: William Manchester, historian and Okinawa participant.Oops.

scotandrsn
10-28-2005, 03:43 PM
I believe the Leaf-waffe, in attempting to clear a path through the Black Forest for advancing Nazi infantry, suffered at least one impaling injury on a particularly tall hill during some good-natured if ill-advised horseplay...

What?

Oh, never mind...

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.