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Sylvester Stadler
30 December 1910(1910-12-30) – 23 August 1995 (aged 84)
SS-Obersturmbannführer Sylvester Stadler
Nickname Vestl
Place of birth Fohnsdorf
Place of death Augsburg-Haunstetten
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1935–1945
Rank SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern

Sylvester Stadler (30 December 1910 – 23 August 1995) was a SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen-SS, a commander of the 4. Panzer-Grenadier Regiment Der Führer, 9. SS-Panzer Division Hohenstaufen and a winner of the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. He was one of the youngest German generals during World War II, being only 34 years old when the war ended in 1945.


Early life

Stadler was born in Fohnsdorf, Austria, on 30 December 1910 and trained to become an electrician before joining the Schutzstaffel (SS) in 1933. In 1935 and 1936 he attended officer's school at the SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz, Bavaria. He became a company commander in June 1939, and a battalion commander in March 1942.

Der Führer and Oradour-sur-Glane massacre

In May 1943, Stadler was made commander of the Panzer-Grenadier regiment Der Führer (part of the elite 2. SS-Panzer Division Das Reich). On 10 June 1944, part of Der Führer regiment, lead by SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Diekmann, undertook a massacre in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in France, in which 642 villagers were killed. Although Stadler ordered a court martial for Diekmann, the SS officer responsible, his reputation was tarnished. Diekmann himself was killed in combat before he could face trial.

The Hohenstaufen

On 10 July 1944, Stadler was made commander of the elite 9. SS-Panzer division "Hohenstaufen". Along with Kurt Meyer ("Panzermeyer") Stadler was among the youngest divisional commanders in the German armed forces. The Hohenstaufen fought in Poland, France, at the Eastern Front, in Normandy (at the defense of the infamous Hill 112 and at the Falaise pocket), at Arnhem ("Operation Market Garden"), in the Ardennes offensive and in Hungary. He surrendered his division to the United States Army in Austria in May 1945.

Military decorations

Stadler was several times wounded severely. His personal bravery won him the Close Combat Clasp in Gold as a divisional commander in 1944. In 1943, Stadler was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) after the German recapture of Kharkov – a strategically located city south of Kursk in the Soviet Union – during Spring 1943. The Knight's Cross was upgraded with Oak Leaves following the Battle of Kursk (the Eichenlaub - Nr. 303 - was presented to Stadler personally by Adolf Hitler). The award was upgraded once more just before the end of the war with Swords (Schwertern - Nr. 152), presented to him by Sepp Dietrich.

Personal life and death

Stadler married in 1936 and had two sons. He died on 23 August 1995 in Augsburg-Haunstetten, Bavaria.


  1. ^ No evidence of the award can be found in the German National Archives, also not mentioned by the order commission of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR). According to Fellgiebel, the award was presented by SS-Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich, which would make it an unlawful presentation. Fellgiebel is referring to H. Buch and W. Kment as sources. Buch reported on 25 June 2004 that he hadn't to do anything with this case. Stadler himself claimed that Dietrich proposed him on 22 March 1945, even though the 9. SS-Panzer-Division "Hohenstaufen" was not subordinated to the 6. SS-Panzerarmee. The sequential number "152" was assigned by the AKCR. The date might have been taken from Ernst-Günther Krätschmer.[1]


  1. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 176.
  • Berger, Florian (2000). Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
  • Berger, Florian (2004). Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold. Selbstverlag Florian Berger. ISBN 3-9501307-3-X.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D. and Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 - 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-45-X.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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 (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Thomas Müller
Commander of 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen
10 July 1944 – 31 July 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Oberführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Walter Harzer
Commander of 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen
10 October 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by

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