This study is an historical analysis of the background and demonstrated leadership attributes of 332 World War II German corps commanders on the Eastern, Italian, and Western Fronts. Overall characteristics are determined based on each officer’s experience and performance based on available historical records. These records focus on age, nobility, background, education, branch, previous command and staff positions, membership in the General Staff, demonstrated military achievement, promotion, and subsequent higher command.
Among the many conclusions which could be drawn from this investigation are: most successful corps commanders possessed an excellent educational background, performed well in previous significant command and staff positions, and demonstrated the capability for independent action; and, political factors played a minor role in the selection of officers for corps command.
The study concludes that the Eastern, Western, and Italian Fronts all had competent German corps commanders conducting operations; no Front had a preponderance of successful commander’s to the detriment of the other two.