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Ernst Busch
File:Буш Эрнст.JPG
Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch
Born (1885-07-06)July 6, 1885
Died July 17, 1945(1945-07-17) (aged 60)
Place of birth Steele, Kreis Essen
Place of death Camp Aldershot near London, England
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1904-1945
Rank Generalfeldmarschall
Commands held 16. Armee
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Pour le Mérite
Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves

Ernst Bernhard Wilhelm Busch (6 July 1885 – 17 July 1945) was a German field marshal during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or outstanding military leadership.


Early life and career

He was born in Essen-Steele, Germany, and was educated at the Groß Lichterfelde Cadet Academy. Busch entered the Prussian Army in 1904 and served on the Western Front during World War I. He was awarded the Pour le Mérite in 1918. After the war, Busch remained in the army and was appointed Inspector of Transport Troops in 1925. He was promoted in 1930 to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the Infantry Regiment No. 9.

World War II

Busch served under Wilhelm List during the Invasion of Poland of 1939, and the following year he led the German Sixteenth Army during the Western Offensive. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by Hitler for his efforts.

Busch took part in Operation Barbarossa and on 8 September 1941 his 16th Army took Demyansk before taking part in the siege of Leningrad. Despite a counter-attack by the Red Army, Busch's troops held the line from Staraya Russa to Ostashkov. After a brave defence of his position he was promoted to field marshal. He commanded Army Group Centre in 1943 and 1944 but after the disastrous defeat of June 1944, he was sacked by Hitler early in July 1944 and replaced by Field Marshal Walter Model.

Busch was recalled in March 1945 when he became head of Army Group Northwest. Along with Kurt Student and his 1st Parachute Army, Busch had the task of trying to halt the advance of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and the Allies into Germany. Busch surrendered to Montgomery on 3 May 1945, and died in a prisoner of war camp in Aldershot, England, on 17 July 1945. He is buried at Cannock Chase German war cemetery, Staffordshire.

Awards and decorations


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Thomas 1997, p. 94.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 255.
  3. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 151.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 71.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kemp, Anthony (1990 reprint). German Commanders of World War II (#124 Men-At-Arms series). Osprey Pub., London. ISBN 0-85045-433-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1997) (in German). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 23. Infanterie-Division
October 1935 – February 1938
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Walter von
Preceded by
Commander of 16. Armee
January, 1940 – 12 October 1943
Succeeded by
General der Artillerie Christian Hansen
Preceded by
Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge
Commander of Heeresgruppe Mitte
12 October 1943 – 28 June 1944
Succeeded by
Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model
Preceded by
Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz
Commander of Heeresgruppe H
15 April 1945 – 3 May 1945
Succeeded by

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