Military Wiki
Richard Ruoff
Soviet Union. Richard Ruoff, of the 4th Panzer Armee
talking with a wounded soldier
Born (1883-08-18)18 August 1883
Died 30 March 1967(1967-03-30) (aged 83)
Place of birth Meßbach
Place of death Tübingen
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Rank Generaloberst
Commands held V.Armeekorps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Richard Ruoff (18 August 1883 – 30 March 1967) was an officer in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) before and during World War II.

Colonel-General (Generaloberst) Richard Ruoff commanded the 4th Tank Army from 8 January 1942 to 31 May 1942. The 4th Tank Army was part of Army Group A (Heeresgruppen A) which was formed when Army Group South (Heeresgruppen Sud) was split into two formations for the summer offensive of 1942.

Ruoff commanded the 17th Army from 1 June 1942 to 24 June 1943. The 17th Army was also part of Army Group A. Ruoff was the commander of the 17th Army when, on 3 June 1942, the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia, or CSIR) was briefly subordinated to it. From June to July, the German 17th Army, the CSIR, and the Romanian 3rd Army were organized as "Army Group Ruoff" (Heeresgruppen Ruoff).

By July 1942, Ruoff lost the Italian unit. The CSIR was subsumed by the larger Italian Army in Russia (Armata Italiana in Russia, or ARMIR) and transferred to Army Group B (Heeresgruppen B).

During the late summer, as part of Army Group A, Ruoff and the 17th Army attacked towards the Caucasus oilfields. By December, Soviet forces had destroyed the armies defending its flanks (including the ARMIR) and had en-circled the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

Army Group B was withdrawn from southern Russia but Ruoff and the 17th Army were ordered to hold the "Kuban bridgehead."

Command History

  • Commanding Officer, 13th Regiment - 1933 to 1934
  • Chief-of-Staff, V Corps - 1934 to 1936
  • Chief-of-Staff, 3rd Army Group Command - 1936 to 1938
  • Chief-of-Staff, 5th Army Group Command - 1938 to 1939
  • General Officer Commanding V Corps - 1939 to 1942
  • General Officer Commanding, 4th Tank Army, Eastern Front - 1942
  • General Officer Commanding, 17th Army, Eastern Front - 1942 to 1943
  • Retired - 1943

Awards and decorations

See also


  • 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]. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
Military offices
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Hermann Geyer
Commander of V. Armeekorps
1 May 1939 – 12 January 1942
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Wetzel
Preceded by
Generaloberst Erich Höpner
Commander of 4. Panzer-Armee
8 January 1942 – 31 May 1942
Succeeded by
Generaloberst Hermann Hoth
Preceded by
Generaloberst Hans von Salmuth
Commander of 17. Armee
1 June 1942 – 24 June 1943
Succeeded by
Generaloberst Erwin Jaenecke

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