General der Infanterie Karl Allmendinger was born in Abtsgemuend, Baden-Wuerttemberg on February 3, 1891. He volunteered for military service as an officer cadet in October 1910. In 1913 Allmendinger was commissioned a Leutnant in Fusilier Regiment Kaiser Franz Joseph von Oesterreich, Koenig von Ungarn (4.Wuerttembergisches) Nr. 122 Heilbronn. He served with his regiment in several capacities during the First World War, from section leader to company commander, battalion adjutant, regimental ordinance officer, and regimental adjutant.
General Allmendinger remained an officer in the German Army until the end of the Second World War. During the interwar period he was a staff officer, a training officer, and a cavalry and infantry officer. He also served in the Reichswehr Ministry. In 1935 he was operations officer in 1 Army Corps, in 1937 commander of Infantry Regiment 35, and in 1938 a member of the General Staff. Allmendinger became Chief of Staff in 5 Army Corps in 1939. He became an Oberst in August 1936, a Generalmajor in August 1940, a Generalleutnant a year later, and General der Infanterie in April 1943.
General Allmendinger became commander of 5 Infantry Division in November 1940, and served with it in Russia until January 1943. At that time he was placed on reserve status with OKH. During the first half of 1943 Allmendinger was commander of the academy for divisional commanders in Berlin. He took command of 5 Army Corps in Russia in July 1943. Allmendinger became commander of 17 Army in April 1944, but was placed on reserve status again in August of the same year. He remained in reserve status until the end of the war. After the loss of the Crimea in May 1944, Adolf Hitler convened a court martial against Allmendinger, in an effort to make the General the scapegoat for the loss of the Crimea and much of 17 Army. The court-martial failed to convict the General of the charge.
While commanding 5 Infantry Division during the early stages of Operation Barbarossa, then Generalmajor Allmendinger received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross in July 1941. Five months later, as a Generalleutnant commanding 5 Jaeger Division, Allmendinger became the 153rd German soldier to receive the Oakleaves to the Knight’s Cross. He was in American custody from May 1945 until December 1947, and died in October 1965.[i]
Born: February 3, 1891, Abtsgmuend/Kreis Aalen/Wuerttemberg.
Died: October 2, 1965, Ellwangen (Jagst)/Baden-Wuerttemberg.
October 1, 1910 Joined as a volunteer Fuesilier Regiment Kaiser Franz Joseph von Osterreich, Koenig von Ungarn (4 Wuerttembergisches) Nr. 122, Heilbronn.
April 22, 1911 Faehnrich.
January 27, 1913 Leutnant with Patent from January 29, 1911.
April 18, 1916 Oberleutnant with Patent from April 18, 1916.
1914-1918 Zugfuehrer in 11 Kompanie/Fuesilier Regiment 122/Battalion Adjutant/Kompaniefuehrer/Ordonnanz Offizier beim Regimentsstab/Regimentsadjutant.
January 1, 1919 Regimental adjutant, volunteer regiment Haas (Wuerttembergisches Jaeger Battalion).
July 1, 1919 Adjutant, Jaeger Battalion 13.
October 1, 1919 Reichswehr Schuetzen Regiment 26.
October 1, 1920 III.Jaeger Battalion/13.Wuerttembergische Infantry Regiment (Ludwigsburg).
January 27, 1923 Hauptmann.
October 1, 1924 Staff, I Battalion/13.Wuerttembergische Infantry Regiment.
October 1, 1926 posted to 15.(Prussian) Reiter Regiment.
April 1, 1928 posted to Reichswehr Ministry/Section T 3.
October 1, 1929 Company Commander in 1.(Prussian) Infantry Regiment (Insterberg, East Prussia).
February 1, 1932 Major.
October 1, 1932 posted to Reichswehr Ministry/Section T 4.
July 1, 1934 Oberstleutnant.
August 15, 1934 posted (with effect from August 1, 1934) to the staff of 1 Infantry Division.
October 15, 1935 first general staff officer (Ia)/I.Armee Korps Koenigsberg (East Prussia).
August 1, 1936 Oberst.
October 12, 1937 Commander Infantry Regiment 15 Tuebingen.
November 10, 1938 Chief Abteilung 10, Army General Staff, Berlin.
October 15, 1939 Chief of Staff, 5 Armee Korps.
August 1, 1940 Generalmajor.
October 25, 1940 with effect from November 1, 1940, Commander 5 Infantry Division (became 5 Jaeger Division, July 6, 1942).
July 17, 1941 Ritterkreuz.
January 5, 1942 awarded German Cross in Gold as Generalmajor and commander, 5 Light Infantry Division.
August 1, 1942 Generalleutnant.
December 13, 1942 Eichenlaub (153).
January 5, 1943 Fuehrer Reserve OKW.
April 1, 1943 General der Infanterie.
July 1, 1943, commander, 5 Army Corps.
July 25, 1944 Fuehrer Reserve OKW.
May 16, 1945-December 22, 1947 in American custody.
[i] Franz Thomas and Guenter Wegmann, Die Ritterkreuztraeger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939-1945, Teil III: Infanterie; Band 1: A-Be (Osnabrueck: Biblio Verlag, 1987), pp. 43-45; Wolf Keilig, Die Generale des Heeres und die Sanitaetsoffiziere im Generalsrang (Friedberg: Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, 1983), p. 10; Walther-Peer Fellgiebel, Elite of the Third Reich. The Recipients of the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945 (Solihull: Helion & Company Limited, 2003), pp. 56, 99; Gerhard von Seemen, Die Ritterkreuztraeger 1939-1945 (Friedberg: Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, 1976), pp. 31, 70. On the circumstances surrounding the General’s fall from grace in the wake of the Crimean fiasco see Earl F. Ziemke, Stalingrad to Berlin. The German Defeat in the East (Washington: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1968), pp. 291-295; John Erickson, The Road to Berlin. Stalin’s War with Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), pp. 191-196.