Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was born January 17th, 1885 in Breslau, Silesia, Germany. He grew up in a family of Prussian military tradition. He took a military education and joined the army in 1903 as a cadet. He joined the General Staff as early as 1904. During WW 1 he served on the staff of various units. After WW 1 he left for Finnland to fight against Bolsjewism. 1920 he returned to Germany and was automatically taken up in the post-war Reichswehr. October 1st, 1932, he was promoted to Brigadeer and served as a military attaché in Prague, Belgrade and Bukarest between 1933 and 1935. After numerous promotions, he attained the rank of Lieuteant-general in 1937. At the start of WW 2, during the Polish campaign he commanded XXI Armee Korps (AK, Army Corps). Following the German invasion of Norway, July 19th, 1940, he was promoted to Generaloberst. From July 25th, 1940 onwards, he was formally named commander of OKH Norwegen (Supreme Army Command Norway). During operation Barbarossa, Von Falkenhorst and his Lapp Army were assigned a special task: they were to capture the city of Murmansk but in this, they did not succeed. After this failure, Von Falkenhorst returned to his post of commander of German forces in Norway. He held this post until he was fired for having openly criticised Reichskommissar Terboven. Von Falkenhorst was known as a ruthless commander. He peremptorily ordered British commandos who had been captured be turned over to the Gestapo for execution.
As he had always followed orders unquestioningly, he was sentenced to death by a military court in 1946. This sentence was later revised to 20 years imprisonment. He was released July 23rd, 1953, on grounds of ill health.
Nikolaus von Falkenhorst died in Holzminden, Germany, June 18th, 1968 at the age of 83.
August 1st, 1935: Generalmajor;
August 1st, 1937: Generalleutnant;
October 1st, 1939: General der Infanterie;
July 19th, 1940: Generaloberst.
1903: kaiserliche Armee;
April 1st, 1933 - April 1st, 1935: Militärattachée Prag;
October 6th, 1936 - August 25th, 1939: Kommandeur 32. Infanterie-Division;
August 26th, 1939 - December 18th, 1940: XXI. Armeekorps;
December 19th, 1940 - January 7th, 1945: Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber Norwegen;
January1945 - May 1945: Führerreserve;
May 8th, 1945 - August 2nd, 1946: POW;
August 2nd, 1946: Sentenced to death by British Military Court;
December 2nd, 1946: Sentence changed to 20 years imprisonment;
July 13th, 1953: Early release.
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