Nikolaus von Falkenhorst file photo [12769]

Nikolaus von Falkenhorst

Given NameNikolaus
Born17 Jan 1885
Died18 Jul 1968


ww2dbaseBorn Nikolaus Jastrzembski, he was a member of an aristocratic Silesian family with military traditions. In 1911, four years after he joined the German Army, he changed his Polish surname to Falkenhorst as a part of his Germanization process. As an officer, Falkenhorst served in WW1 at various positions. In 1919, he became a member of the restricted post-WW1 German military, Reichswehr. Between 1925 and 1927, he served in the Operations Division of the War Ministry. In Oct 1932, he was promoted to the rank of Oberst (colonel). Between 1933 and 1935, he was subsequently posted to Prague in Czechoslovakia, Belgrade in Yugoslavia, and Bucharest in Romania as a military attaché. In 1935, with the rank of Generalmajor, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Third Army. In 1937, he was promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant. When the European War began in Sep 1939, he commanded the German 21st Army Corps during the invasion of Poland; upon the successful completion of the invasion, he was promoted to the rank of General der Infanterie. In the morning of 20 Feb 1940, Falkenhorst was informed by Adolf Hitler that he was to plan for the invasion of Norway and was given only until 1700 hours of the same day to arrive at the invasion plan; he presented a plan in time, but unbeknownst to Hitler Falkenhorst had used a Baedeker travel book of Norway purchased from a stationary store and used the tourist maps within to plan the campaign. As the campaign resulted in a success not only in the conquest of Norway but also having repulsed an Allied invasion, he was promoted to the commanding officer of the entire German force in Norway and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. He was known to have been a effective commander who respected Norwegians. In Dec 1944, he was relieved from his position in Norway for his repeated opposition to the policies of German Reich Commissioner of Norway Josef Terboven. After the war, he was captured and tried as a war criminal. Found guilty for the execution of captured commandos and saboteurs, he was sentenced to death in 1946, but the sentence was later commuted to a 20-year prison term. He was released from prison on 23 Jul 1953 due to health reasons. Falkenhorst passed away in Holzminden, Lower Saxony, Germany in 1968.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2011

Nikolaus von Falkenhorst Interactive Map

Nikolaus von Falkenhorst Timeline

17 Jan 1885 Nikolaus Jastrzembski was born in Breslau, Prussia.
6 Jun 1911 A decree confirmed the name change for aristocratic Silesian soldier of the German Empire Nikolaus Jastrzembski to Nikolaus von Falkenhorst.
1 Oct 1932 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was promoted to the rank of Oberst.
1 Jul 1935 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was promoted to the rank of Generalmajor.
20 Feb 1940 General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was appointed to command the German invasion of Norway.
10 Apr 1940 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report.
30 Apr 1940 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.
18 Dec 1944 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was relieved as the commanding officer of German forces in Norway.
20 Jan 1945 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was awarded the German Cross in Silver.
2 Aug 1946 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was sentenced to death; the sentence would later be commuted to an imprisonment term.
23 Jul 1953 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was released from imprisonment due to health reasons.
18 Jul 1968 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst passed away in Holzminden, Lower Saxony, Germany.


Portrait of Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, 1940Portrait of Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, 1940; note signaturePortrait of a Nikolaus Falkenhorst, Apr 1940Vidkun Quisling, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Terboven, and Nikolaus von Falkenhorst at an event in Norway, 1941
See all 11 photographs of Nikolaus von Falkenhorst

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
19 May 2015 07:35:25 PM

So how/when did he come by the "von" in his name?

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Nikolaus von Falkenhorst
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Poland
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway

Nikolaus von Falkenhorst Photo Gallery
Portrait of Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, 1940
See all 11 photographs of Nikolaus von Falkenhorst

Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!