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General of the branch

general of the branch

The term "general of the branch" or "general of the branch of service" refers to a rank equivalent to a three-star lieutenant general or four-star general Several nations divide, or have once divided, their general officers by the branch of troops they are qualified to command, or simply as an honorific title


Collar insignia of an Austro-Hungarian "general of the branch"

In the Austro-Hungarian Army there were three general of the branch ranks from 1867 to 1918:

  • General der Infanterie en: General of the Infantry
  • General der Kavallerie en: General of the Cavalry
  • Feldzeugmeister en: General of the Artillery

Historically, the rank of general of artillery German: Feldzeugmeister; literally "battlefield ordnance master"; "gun master";Note 1 in Hungarian Táborszernagy was equivalent to lieutenant general1 In French, the equivalent expression was grand maitre d'artillerie, used since the time of Philip VI of France The English position of Master-General of the Ordnance was similarly derived

The rank of General der Infanterie was only introduced in 1908, until then infantrymen were promoted to Feldzeugmeister

See also: Army ranks and insignia of the Austro-Hungarian Army § Generals


The Third Bulgarian State from its inception in 1878 had a highest military rank of "general" Bulgarian: генерал, but in 1897 this rank was split into three grades - general of infantry генерал от пехотата, of cavalry генерал от кавалерията and of artillery генерал от артилерията The rank was replaced after World War II, when Bulgaria fell into the Soviet sphere of influence, with the all-encompassing rank of general


Full generals 4 star; NATO OF-9 in the Finnish military were classified as generals of infantry jalkaväenkenraali, cavalry ratsuväenkenraali, jaeger jääkärikenraali and artillery tykistönkenraali The title is now merely honorific, and only one 4-star general is active at any one time in the modern Finnish military


General of the branch
shoulder insignia and gorget patches
Heer Luftwaffe Waffen-SS

In the German Wehrmacht a "general of a branch" General der Waffengattung was linked to service arms of the Heer army and Luftwaffe air force, depending on where the officer served and what troops he nominally commanded It was equivalent to the three-star rank of admiral in the Nazi Kriegsmarine, and SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS in the Waffen-SS A commander-in-chief Kommandierender General or Befehlshaber of a German army corps was usually of this rank

  • General of artillery
  • General of mountain troops
  • General of infantry
  • General of cavalry
  • General of the communications troops
  • General of panzer troops armoured troops
  • General of engineers
  • General of the medical corps
  • General of the veterinary corps
Air force
  • General of parachute corps
  • General of anti-aircraft artillery
  • General of aviators
  • General of air force communications corps
  • General of the air force


Sleeve insignia of a Polish generał broni

In the Polish armed forces the rank equivalent to lieutenant general is generał broni "general of a branch"Note 2

Russian Empireedit

"General of the branch", Imperial Russian Army See also: Ranks and rank insignia of the Imperial Russian Army until 1917

Peter the Great created the ranks of general of infantry and general of cavalry in the Imperial Russian Army in 1699citation needed

See alsoedit

  • Comparative military ranks of World War I
  • Comparative officer ranks of World War II


  1. ^ The term is German Feld- means battlefield, as used in the German Feldmarschall "field marshal", and -zeug- refers to the guns used by the artillery
  2. ^ Polish broń means both "weapons, firearms" and "branch of troops"; in this context the meaning is clearly "general of a branch of troops", not "general of weapons"


  1. ^ Lackey, Scott 1995 The Rebirth of the Habsburg Army: Friedrich Beck and the Rise of the General Staff Issue 161 of Contributions in Military Studies ABC-CLIO p 1 ISBN 0313031312 

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