01.07.

General Kurt Student – Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe Parachute Units – 1978

General Kurt Student – Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe Parachute Units – 1978

The most famous action of German paratroopers was the mass air invasion of Crete in 1941. The Germans called parachute units the Fallschirmjägers, and ranked them among the most elite units of the Wehrmacht in general.

On July 1, 1978, Kurt Student, a former high-ranking Luftwaffe general, died. During World War II, Kurt Student reached the rank of Colonel General of the Luftwaffe (Generaloberst der Luftwaffe), which was a rank just below the field marshal.

Luftwaffe generals wore different uniforms than Army generals. Their ceremonial uniform collars were rolled down, similar to business suits, not raised around the neck as in Army officers. Unlike the generals of the Army, who wore on their collars a gilded embroidery called arabesque or Larisch-Stickerei, the colonel generals of the Luftwaffe wore an embroidered gilded eagle with a swastika and a laurel wreath.

General Kurt Student was particularly notable for being the commander-in-chief of German parachute troops during World War II. These units were called Fallschirmjägers, and they were ranked among the most elite units of the Wehrmacht in general. General Student was given command of the first Fallschirmjäger division in the history of the German army. Later, even a parachute army (1st Fallschirmarmee) was formed as a larger unit, and it was also commanded by General Kurt Student.

The most famous action of German paratroopers was the mass air invasion of Crete in 1941. Although they managed to conquer Crete, the Germans suffered such losses there that Hitler banned further mass parachute invasions. The commander-in-chief of the paratroopers during the invasion of Crete was precisely General Kurt Student. Interestingly, he was not particularly severely convicted after the war, although massacres were committed in Crete. General Student died in Germany at large at the high age of 89.

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