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Colonel
Colonel
general is variously a three or four-star rank in the army, equivalent to that of a full general in the US Army. North Korea
North Korea
and Russia
Russia
are two countries that have used the rank extensively throughout their histories. The rank is also closely associated with Germany, where Generaloberst
Generaloberst
has formerly been a rank above full General
General
and below Generalfeldmarschall.

Contents

1 Austria 2 People's Republic of China 3 Czechoslovakia 4 Egypt 5 France 6 Georgia 7 Germany 8 Hungary 9 Iraq 10 North Korea 11 Russia 12 Sweden 13 Syria 14 United Kingdom 15 United States 16 Vietnam 17 See also 18 Notes 19 References 20 External links

Austria[edit]

Gorget patch

Colonel
Colonel
general (Generaloberst) was the second-highest rank in the Austro-Hungarian Army, introduced following the German model in 1915. The rank was not used after World War I
World War I
in the Austrian Army
Austrian Army
of the Republic. People's Republic of China[edit] See also: Jiang (rank) The People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
had a rank of Da Jiang (Chinese: 大将; literally: "grand general") from 1955 to 1965. Da Jiang corresponded to the Soviet rank of colonel general. The rank system of the People's Liberation Army
Army
was abolished in 1965 and restored in 1988. The 1988 system introduced a rank of Yi Ji Shang Jiang (Chinese: 一级上将; literally: "first class senior general"). No one had held such rank and it was abolished in 1994. Czechoslovakia[edit]

The rank of colonel general (generálplukovník) was created in the Czechoslovak army in 1950; it was dropped after the 1993 dissolution of the state. Egypt[edit] The Egyptian Army
Army
uses a rank that translates as "colonel general". It is equal to the rank of 4-star or "full" general. Colonel
Colonel
general is, however, junior to the rank of field marshal and is an honorary distinction usually held only by defense ministers. France[edit] Main article: Colonel
Colonel
General
General
(France) In the French Army, under the Ancien régime, the officer in nominal command of all the regiments of a particular branch of service (i. e. infantry, cavalry, dragoons, Swiss troops, etc.) was known as the colonel general. This was not a rank, but an office of the Crown. Georgia[edit] The Republic of Georgia adopted Soviet designations after its independence in 1991 so that the rank of colonel-general (გენერალ-პოლკოვნიკი general-polkovniki) exists, yet it is only used as highest possible rank in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Germany[edit] The equivalent German four-star ranks (OF-9) of the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
were as follows:

Generaloberst Generaladmiral

This is not to be confused with Generaloberst, the three-star rank (OF-8) of the National People's Army
National People's Army
until 1990. However, the Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
(first in West Germany
Germany
and since 1990 in a unified Germany) does not use the rank.

Rank insignia Generaloberst

German Imperial Army
German Imperial Army
(OF-9) until 1918

Wehrmacht, Heer (OF-9) until 1945

... Luftwaffwe until 1945

... collar patch

National People's Army
National People's Army
(OF-8) until 1990

Hungary[edit] In Hungary, the rank of colonel general (vezérezredes) was introduced to the Imperial and Royal Army
Army
(the common ground force of the Dual Monarchy) in 1915. The rank replaced the ranks of gyalogsági tábornok (general of infantry), lovassági tábornok (general of cavalry), and táborszernagy (general of artillery) in the early 1940s. The rank title vezérezredes is still in use for the highest ranking (four-star) general officers of the Magyar Honvédség (Hungarian Defence Forces) and foreign four-star general officers' rank titles are usually translated as vezérezredes in Hungarian including Commonwealth air forces' Air Chief Marshals. Iraq[edit] The equivalent rank for Colonel
Colonel
general in Iraq is called "Ferik Awwal", in Arabic "فريق أول", which is considered the highest rank in Iraqi Army
Army
nowadays. North Korea[edit]

NKPA
NKPA
Colonel
Colonel
General
General
rank insignia

The North Korean rank of sangjang translates as "colonel general". Sangjang is senior to that of jungjang (usually translated as "lieutenant general") and junior to that of daejang (usually translated as "general"). This rank is typically held by the commanding officer of units along the Korean DMZ
Korean DMZ
and the North Korean security zone at Panmunjon. It is also the rank held by the KPA Pyongyang Defense Command's commanding general. Russia[edit]

Rank insignias colonel general

Army

Air Force

comparable to NATO OF-8

The rank of colonel general (Russian: генерал-полковник, general-polkovnik) did not exist in Imperial Russia[citation needed] and was first established in the Red Army
Army
on 7 May 1940, as a replacement for previously existing командарм второго ранга (kommandarm vtorovo ranga, "army commander of the second rank").[1] During World War II, about 199 officers were promoted to colonel general. Before 1943, Soviet colonel generals wore four stars on their collar patches (petlitsy). Since 1943, they have worn three stars on their shoulder straps, so Charles Pettibone compares the rank to the US lieutenant general.[1] The rank still exists in the contemporary Russian Army
Army
and Air Force.[citation needed] Unlike the German Generaloberst
Generaloberst
(which it most probably calqued), the Soviet and Russian colonel general rank is neither an exceptional nor a rare one, as it is a normal step in the "ladder" between a two-star lieutenant general and a four-star army general. Other than that, the Soviet and Russian rank systems sometimes cause confusion in regard to equivalence of ranks, because the normal Western title for brigadier or brigadier general ceased to exist for the Russian Army
Army
in 1798. The combrig rank that corresponded to one-star general only existed in the Soviet Union during 1935–1940. Positions typically reserved for these ranks, such as brigade commanders, have always been occupied by colonels (polkovnik) or, very rarely, major generals (see History of Russian military ranks). The rank has usually been given to district, front and army commanders, and also to deputy ministers of defense, deputy heads of the general staff and so on. In some post-Soviet CIS armies (for example in Belarus), there are no generals of the army or marshals, and so colonel general is the highest rank, usually held by the minister of the defense. The corresponding naval rank is admiral, which is also denoted by three stars. Sweden[edit] Colonel
Colonel
general (generalöverste) has also been a senior military rank in Sweden, used principally before the 19th century. Syria[edit] The Syrian Arab Army
Syrian Arab Army
uses the rank of colonel general ( "Imad-awwalعماد أول) only for the senior-most rank of the army beneath that of field marshal. Usually, only defence ministers have held this rank – only six officers have held this rank till now – Hafez al-Assad, Mustafa Tlass, Hikmat al-Shihabi, Ali Habib Mahmud, Dawoud Rajiha
Dawoud Rajiha
and Fahd Jassem al-Freij. United Kingdom[edit] The title of colonel general was used before and during the English Civil War in both Royalist and Parliamentarian armies. In these cases, it often appears to have meant a senior colonel as opposed to a senior general. United States[edit] In the United States, as commander of an army, the equivalent rank was general (four-star general, grade O-10). Vietnam[edit] In Vietnam, the rank of colonel general is known as thượng tướng (literally "upper general"), equivalent to a three-star general and admiral. Thượng tướng is senior to trung tướng (usually translated as "lieutenant general") and junior to đại tướng (usually translated as "general"). It is used in the army and the air force. It is the equivalent to đô đốc (admiral) in the Navy. See also[edit]

List of colonel generals List of German colonel generals

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

^ a b Charles D. Pettibone (2009). Organization and Order of Battle of Militaries in World War II : Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Trafford On Demand Pub. p. 905. ISBN 1-4269-2251-5. 

Data about Germany
Germany
and Austria are based, in part, on the German-language article: "generaloberst"

External links[edit]

Biographies of German army generalobersten Biographies of Luftwaffe generalobersten Biographies of Austro-Hungarian generalobe

.