Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by askropp and Frech.
Posts: 41
Joined: 22 Feb 2006 03:07
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by jjmcgr » 25 Jun 2008 21:48

Oberst Herbert Köstlin was the Chief of Staff of the LXXX. Corps at the end of the war. American documents reported him captured at Tagnon, France, on 31 August 1944. It is obvious that these sources were wrong. A task force from the US 7th Armored Division did overrun the corps headquarters and capture the corps records along with some officers and men. But according to the corps commander, Gen.d.Inf. Franz Bayer, most of the staff hid and waited for darkness and escaped back to German lines. So it appears that only Köstlin's records were captured.
US Army intelligence produced a synopsis of Köstlin's record using him as a sample of the career pattern of a "successful" GSO. He had been at the Kriegsakademie when the war started and served as an artillery officer early in the war. Buit he was soon placed in GSO assignments, then transferred to the GSO itself in mid-1940. He had the typical assignments of Division Ib, Division Ia, Corps Ia and Corps Chief of Staff. Once he got up to Corps-level, his career stagnated because in 1943 several of his seniors felt he was too "pessimistic" while serving as a corps chief of staff in Army Group Center. Accordingly he was transferred to the backwater of Poiters, France, as Chief of Staff, LXXX. Corps early in 1944.

After the invasion, the British increased their special operations in France. In one of these in July 1944, Operation Bulbasket, the bicycle-mounted fusilier battalion of a reserve infantry division stationed in Poitiers captured a number of British combatants. The Nazi hierarchy immediately demanded the imposition of the 1942 "Commando Order" which decreed execution for all "commandos" captured behind the lines. The executions fell on the LXXX. Corps headquarters in early July 194. Köstlin' tried to resist the order, but was painted into a corner. His commander, Gen.d.Art. Gallenkamp, conveniently toured the command the day of the execution, providing him with plausible deniability. In early August the corps headquarters, along with the 1st Army headquarters, was ordered to join the main front in central France to command and control some of the flotsam retreating from the Falaise pocket. on 10 August Bayer replaced Gallenkamp who declared himself too ill to command.

After the war, the entire German command was brought up on charges for the executions as war crimes. The Army Group commander, anti-Nazi Generaloberst Blaskowitz (who had fought the SS over atrocities in Poland in 1939, hence his exile to the hinterlands of the Atlantic Wall) committed suicide at the very thought he'd be charged with war crimes. Both Gallenkamp and Köstlin were found guilty and given life sentences. Gallenkamp's sentence was soon commuted.

What I am seeking here is any information on Köstlin. His sentence had to have also been commuted, but I cannot find any reference to him later than the guilty verdict in 1947. Hopefully, someone on here knows what happened to him.

User avatar
Posts: 3442
Joined: 21 Mar 2002 01:50
Location: Louisiana, USA

Re: Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by USAF1986 » 25 Jun 2008 22:11

Here is his entry from the source cited. The last post given is Chef Gen.St. LXXX. AK

Koestlin, Herbert
* 19.09.1902

06.10.1936 4./Art.Lehr.Rgt. (Bttr.Chef)
10.11.1938 Kriegsakademie
26.08.1939 Arko 35 (Offz.zbV)
15.01.1940 F.R. OKH (Standort Berlin)
05.02.1940 Stab 96. Inf.Div. (Ib)
20.04.1940 i. d. Gen.St. versetzt
20.04.1940 Stab 260. Inf.Div. (Ia)
22.03.1942 GenSt. XIII. AK kdt. (Vert. Chef)
01.06.1942 Gen.St. 9. Armee
05.12.1942 FR. OKH, Chef Gen.St. XII. AK (m.W.b.)
01.01.1943 Chef Gen.St. XII. AK
18.08.1943 Chef Gen.St. IX. AK
01.10.1943 FR. OKH, Dienst regelt HPA/P 3
10.12.1943 Chef Gen.St. LXXX. AK

01.01.1943 (100) Oberst

02.06.1940 EK II
14.07.1940 EK I
25.03.1944 Dt. Kreuz in Gold

Best regards,

SOURCE: Zweng, Christian. Die Dienstlaufbahnen der Offiziere des Generalstabes des deutschen Heeres, 1935-1945, Band 1: A-K. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, Germany, 1995.

User avatar
Doktor Krollspell
Posts: 941
Joined: 13 May 2005 17:12
Location: Sweden

Re: Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 25 Jun 2008 22:32

Hello jjmcgr!
British authorities released Herbert Köstlin on November 8, 1952 from a jail in Werl, Westfalen. See (short) article...
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract. ... 5F468585F9


User avatar
Doktor Krollspell
Posts: 941
Joined: 13 May 2005 17:12
Location: Sweden

Re: Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 25 Jun 2008 22:35

For Shawn.
Herbert Köstlin received the DKiG on 25.03.1942 as a Major i.G. in the 260. Infanterie-Division.
Source: Patzwall & Scherzer (2001).

Posts: 41
Joined: 22 Feb 2006 03:07
Location: Leavenworth, KS

The Intell Memo on Köstlin from Dec 44

Post by jjmcgr » 26 Jun 2008 16:18

This is an extract of anAllied intell memo from December 1944:
Introduction.- On August 28, 1944, two American divisions advanced upon Reims, which forced the German H.Q.and Staff of the LXXX Army Corps to retreat in the direction of Rethel. Due to German mismanagement, disruption of lines of communication, and the general chaos caused by low level strafing from the air, the Staff with all its belongings was overrun at Tagnon early morning, August 30.
Among the PWs. taken was one Obst.i.G. Herbert KÖSTLIN, C. of S., LXXX. Army Corps (Sources: 3rd U.S. Army, G-2 Report 83, 1.9.44; captured enemy mail). [NOTE: The actual date of the attack on the LXXX. Corps commandp ost was 0600 31 August 1944 and Koestlin was not capture]
From the time that a General Staff Officer (hereafter abbreviated GSO) receives his first assignment, each of his superior officers sends an occasional progress reports regarding his work, behavior, personality, etc. to the Army personnel office. These reports and personality ratings become a part of his permanent file and serve as the basis for his promotions and future assignments.
Obst.i.G. Herbert KÖSTLIN was a successful GSO in the German Army, and with his set of personality judgments in our hands we can gain a fairly complete picture, not only of the man and his army career, but also of the systematic methods in which the German GSO is scrutinized.
This appreciation consists of the following outline:

Evidently the earlier forms for the purpose of personality ratings were used exclusively for officers of the General Staff. Later forms have been made more flexible, to be used either as a Beurteilung (personality judgment) or as Beurteilungsnotizen (critical personality notes), for all officers in general, excluding medical, veterinary, engineer, and ordnance officers. It may be concluded, then, that personality ratings in the German Army are not exclusively intended for general staff officers only.
Brief analysis of personality, nationalsocialist attitude, bearing in the face of the enemy, performance of duties, mental and physical disposition
Strong characteristics
Weak characteristics
Summary judgment, whether average, above average, or below average
Suitable disposition: for which higher assignment
for which special assignment
for which assignment in the near future
Language abilities; examinations passed, with dates
which of his qualities have been revealed to him, when, in what manner, and through whom?
What punishments have been meted out to him, on what grounds, and what further disposition has been made
Since when is he known to the undersigned (the analyst) and since when under his command
Signature, rank, and unit of the analyst
Additional remarks by the Cof S of the rated officer’s next higher unit
Additional remarks by other superiors of the rated officer
b. The routing of Köstlin’s blanks.- The breakdown of the nine blanks which we have from the file of Köstlin shows first his position at the time of the rating, next the date of the blank, then the office and unit with which the blank originated, and finally the succeeding offices and units through which the blank was routed.

It is sometimes difficult to translate properly the terms used in ascribing personality traits to an individual. An attempt has been made in this section to retain accurately the original idea; yet sufficient freedom to achieve an equivalent English usage of terms has been maintained whenever possible.

19.09.1902 KÖSTLIN, Herbert Rudolf Konrad, born in Gumbinnen
26.08.1939 On the staff Arko 35 (until 14.01.1940)
15.01.1940 Führer-Reserve OKH (until 29.01.1940)
30.01.1940 Ib, 96. Inf.Div. (until 14.04.1940)
15.04.1940 1. GenStOffz. and Ia, 260. Inf.Div. (until 31.05.1940)

01.06.1940 RDA as Maj.i.G. (41)

02.06.1940 EK II (Iron Cross, 2nd class)
17.07.1940 EK I (Iron Cross, first class)

15.02.1941 Personality judgment by Genlt. SCHMIDT, Kdr. 260 Inf.Div.: “Energetic officer; fearlessness; gladly accepts responsibility. Has proved himself reliable in the face of the enemy; has disposed well of his combat and GSO duties; tactically well qualified.- Fulfils his duties as Ia, 260. Inf.Div. very well. For promotion recommended as well suited for GSO in mobile units (Schnelle Verbände.)”
15.02.1941 Additional remarks by Obst. i.G. HARTENECK, ChdSt XXVII. AK: “I approve of the above statement. A skillful, judicious and tactful GSO, full of understanding for the troops.”
01.03.1942 Seniority as Obstlt.i.G.(328a)
19.03.1942 Before going on leave, Obstlt.i.G. DAWANS, ChdSt. XIII. AK, left this statement to be added to the personality judgment of 05.02.1942 below: “Prudent, energetic divisional staff Ia officer; decidedly resolute and at all times master of the situation; has withstood heavy combat crises in a spirit of exemplary leadership; well fitted as corps C of S.”
21.03.1942 Deputy ChdSt. XIII. AK (until 13.05.1942)
27.04.1942 Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (Order of the German Cross in Gold)
05.04.1942 Personality judgment by Obst. KRENN (?) (poor signature), Acting Kdr. 260. Inf.Div.: “Upright character; conscientious personality, ready to take responsibility; for outstanding bravery he was decorated with the Order of the German Cross in Gold; well disposed of combat knowledge and GSO duties; well informed on tactics. Due to his strong willpower he has been able to overcome quickly the spiritual shortcomings brought about by difficult circumstances. – Fills his present position (Ia, 260. Inf.Div. very well. – To be recommended as corps C of S.”
Additional remarks by Obst.i.G. DAWANS, ChdSt. XIII. AK: see 19.03.1942 above.
08.04.1942 Additional remarks by Genlt. OTTENBACHER, Acting Kdr. XIII. AK: “A particularly able and unusually pleasant GSO. Well liked; has proved himself worthy as Deputy Corps C of S since 21.03.1942. Well fitted as corps C of S.”
11.04.1942 Additional remarks by Obst.i.G. von BERNUTH (?) (poor signature), ChdGenSt. AOK 4: “Has displayed a knowledge of military science during his present position (as Deputy Corps C of S).”
01.06.1942 1. GenStOffz and Ia 9. Armee (until 09.12.1942), and for a time also Deputy Chef d. GenSt AOK 9.
15.07.1942 Ostmedaille (Eastern Front Medal)
10.12.1942 ChdSt. XII. AK (until 17.08.1943)
11.12.1942 Personality judgment by Genmaj. KREBS, ChdGenSt. AOK 9: “Occasion for this application: Köstlin’s transfer to XII. AK. – Upright, sympathetic personality; Conscientious and ready to accept responsibility. Analytically minded man with a clear understanding and a strong will. Well qualified also as Deputy Army C of S, even in most difficult situations. Resourceful and circumspect. Independent, accurate worker, with very good tactical knowledge, leading the corps efficiently and energetically. Lives and acts according to Nationalsocialist principles. – Recommend as corps C of S. – He is known to me since 01.06.1942 and is under my command since 01.06.1942.”
13.12.1942 Additional remarks by Genobst. MODEL, OB AOK 9: “In critical campaigns of the Army he has fully displayed his ability as deputy corps C of S and Ia of the Staff.”
01.01.1943 Recommendation for promotion to Obst.i.G. by Gen.d.Inf. GRAESSNER, KG XII. AK: “For three weeks Obstlt.i.G. Köstlin has been posted here for the purpose of learning the duties of a C of S. During this time he has shown himself fully capable of this position. Before that he was Ia on the staff of the 9. Armee (beginning 02.06.1942) for six months, and for a time also Deputy C of S with the Army. The Army C of S and the Army CO gave him the following recommendations at the time of his transfer: (Here he quoted the above statements of Krebs and Model). – Before his transfer to the 9. Armee, Obstlt.i.G. Köstlin was Deputy C of S, XIII. AK, for about two months (20.03. – 13.05.1942). – I consider this very capable GSO, who will later also be considered for advanced positions of leadership, as particularly qualified for early promotion. – Known to me since 02.05.1942; under my command since 11.12.1942.”
01.01.1943 Seniority as Obst.i.G. (100). Judging from pencil notes and certain corrections in later blanks, this promotion order came through on 01.03.1943.
19.01.1943 Pencil note by Hptm. SCHÖLL, IIa XII. AK: “From 19.01.1943, beginning with the leave of Gen.d.Inf. Graessner, Köstlin took over temporary command of the Army Corps until 19.02.1943, the appearance of the newly named CO, Gen.d.Inf. von Tippelskirch.”
13.02.1943 Critical personality notes by Gen.d.Inf. GRAESSNER, KG XII. AK: “Sincere, strong-principled, energetic, and spirited personality; confident and self-willed. Possesses very good tactical and administrative knowledge and qualities. A quiet, prudent and tactful C of S, who proves himself capable in every respect, especially also as leader of the Staff. Physically sound and tough; a passionately good rider. – Strong points: energetic, judicious, skillful C of S. – Weak points: none. – Summary judgment: Above average. – Recommend for an advanced position as an Army C of S; for the present recommend his retention as C of S, XII. AK. – Points revealed to him: none, - Disciplinary action: none.”
01.03.1943 Personality judgment by Gen.d.Inf. von TIPPELSKIRCH, KG XII. AK: (He merely quotes his predecessor, Gen.d.Inf. Graessner.)
18.08.1943 ChdSt. IX.AK (until 01.10.1943).
23.08.1943 Critical personality notes by Gen.d.Inf von TIPPELSKIRCH, KG XII. AK: “Self-contained and spirited personality in good form; pure character, setting a good example; thinks and acts Nationalsocialist; takes an active part, and enjoys to a high degree the confidence of leaders and troops; very observant; tactically and administratively a capable GSO; prudent, energetic; penetrating intellect with an analytical bent of mind; a quiet and dependable C of S; physically sound and tough; a good rider. – Strong points: judicious, strong-willed, outspoken personality. – Weak points: none noticeable, - Summary judgment: above average. – Recommend promotion; Army C of S, or secondly, Div CO. – Known to me and under my command since 19.02.1943.”
01.10.1943 Führer-Reserve OKH (until 09.12.1943)
07.10.1943 Personality judgment by Gen.d.Inf. SCHMIDT, KG IX. AK:
12.10.1943 Additional remarks by Obst.i.G. DAWANS, OB 4. Armee: “An outstanding GSO, who, because of his good talents and the strength of his personality, exercises a very extensive influence upon his surroundings. In critical moments his penetrating intellect often places more emphasis on unfavorable reports rather than upon the favorable in his analysis of a situation, creating a condition which then influences his environs. In spite of this weakness, this deserving and particularly capable officer must be retained with the General Staff. He is self-willed and critically inclined; a very good tactician and a splendid organizer; well qualified as Corps C of S.”
18.10.1943 Additional remarks by Genobst. HEINRICI, OB 4. Armee: “Very talented, particularly capable and thorough GSO and Corps C of S. Because of his type of personality he exercises a forceful influence upon his surroundings, in spite of the fact that his suggestions may not always be the most advantageous. Well qualified as a Corps C of S on a front other than the East (Russian) Front.
26.10.1943 Additional remarks by Genmaj. KREBS, ChdGSt. Heeresgruppe Mitte (Army Group Center): “A very good Corps C of S, whose ability to rise to the occasion under critical conditions has suffered a bit because of overwork. Not yet qualified as an Army C of S.”
10.12.1943 ChdSt. LXXX. AK
29.02.1944 Genmaj. FEYERABEND, ChdGenSt. 1. Armee, sends a report to the KG LXXX. AK, stating that since Köstlin has heretofore not been told the several points scored against him (by Dawans 12.09.1943; by Heinrici 18.10.1943; by Krebs 26.10.1943), Feyerabend revealed these several negative points to him verbally.
01.03.1944 Personality judgment by Gen.d.Art. GALLENCAMP, KG LXXX. AK: “In spite of the short period that he has been under my supervision, I can fully approve of the earlier favorable judgments. He is an exemplary GSO, with a keen insight, and has good tactical knowledge; an excellent organizer. Has had staff well under control, even though most of the officers are older than he. A strong-willed, ability-conscious leadership-type personality. Above average. – Recommend his retention in his present position. Known to me since autumn 1923; under my command since 10.12.1943.”
07.08.1944 Additional remarks by Gen.d.Art. GALLENCAMP, KG LXXX. AK: “He has given an outstanding account of himself in every respect. Qualified as Div CO.”

a. Köstlin’s ranks:-
Maj.i.G. 01.6.1940 (41)
Obstlt i.G. 01.03.1942 (328a)
Obst i.G. 01.01.1943 (100)

b. Köstlin’s positions:
26.08.1939 Staff,Arko 35
15.01.1940 Führer-Reserve OKH.
30.01.1940 Ib, 96. Inf.Div.
15.04.1940 1. GenStOffz. and Ia 260. Inf.Div.
21.03.1942 Deputy ChdSt. XIII. AK.
01.06.1942 1. GenStOffz. and Ia 9. Armee; also for a time Deputy C of S.
10.12.1942 ChdSt. XII. AK.
18.08.1943 ChdSt. IX. AK.
01.10.1943 Führer-Reserve OKH.
10.12.1943 ChdSt. LXXX. AK.

c. Köstlin’s medals:
02.06.1940 EK II (Iron Cross, 2nd Class)
15.01.1940 EK I (Iron Cross, 1st ClassI)
27.03.1942 Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (Order of the German Cross in Gold)
15.07.1942 Ostmedaille (Eastern Front Medal)

d. Köstlin’s education:
Kriegesakademie, Berlin.
Kriegsschulausbildung (War college training).

e. Köstlin’s personality summarized:
Energetic, fearless, dominating personality; good organizer; strong-willed leader; capable staff administrator; reliable; judicious; tactful; conscientious; quiet; thorough; physically robust; a good tactician; a loyal Party member; highly analytical and cautious; sometimes a bit over-pessimistic.

f. Miscellany:
He is married; has three sons. A newspaper account of January 11, 1944, reports the birth of his youngest son. His wife’s address is Ostseebad Wüstrow i.M.

His branch of service is Artillery.

Posts: 41
Joined: 22 Feb 2006 03:07
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by jjmcgr » 26 Jun 2008 16:21

Doktor Krollspell,

thanks for the reply. i knew he had to have been released early in the 1950s as all the others including far more sinister characters like Panzer Meyer and Peiper were released then as well. I posted extracts from the intell memo on Koestlin in a separate post.

User avatar
Posts: 2597
Joined: 22 May 2006 22:50
Location: Deutschland

Re: Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by Heimatschuss » 03 Jan 2013 23:25

jjmcgr wrote: What I am seeking here is any information on Köstlin. His sentence had to have also been commuted, but I cannot find any reference to him later than the guilty verdict in 1947. Hopefully, someone on here knows what happened to him.
some miscallaneous info on him from an essay on his wife Renate Köstlin:

Oberst Herbert Köstlin

* Sep. 19th, 1902 Gumbinnen (East Prussia)
+ Mar. 17th, 1980 Ludwigsburg (Württemberg) (Dillenburger, p.51)

1936 marriage with Renate Harlfinger, lyrics writer (Dillenburger, p.62)

1952 co-author of a study for the Historical Division, US Army Europe:
General d. Artillerie Curt Gallenkamp, Oberst i.G. Herbert Koestlin, and Generalleutnant Willy Seeger
Experience Gained in Combined Arms Training with Live Ammunition

1953 - 1961 head of personnel department, Konrad Hornschuch AG, Urbach (Dillenburger, p.51)

1961 - 1971 consultant on personnel affairs, Salamander shoe factories, Kornwestheim (Dillenburger, p.51)


Dillenburger, Inge
Autorinnen in Stadt und Kreis Ludwigsburg vom 18.-20. Jahrhundert.
Hirzel Verlag; Stuttgart; 2007

Best regards

Posts: 8689
Joined: 11 Nov 2004 12:53
Location: Hohnhorst / Deutschland

Re: Oberst Herbert Köstlin

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 17 Feb 2017 12:51

Entry at Balsi


User avatar
Forum Staff
Posts: 7397
Joined: 07 May 2008 23:42

Oberst Herbert Köstlin (1902-1980)

Post by askropp » 28 May 2018 15:36

*19.09.1902 Gumbinnen
+17.03.1980 Ludwigsburg [?]

Vater: Julius Köstlin, Major (gefallen am 03.09.1914)
Mutter: Käte Köstlin, geb. Anschütz (+01.04.1930)
21.09.1929 Heirat mit Gisela Rothmaler
02.02.1933 Scheidung
[1936] Heirat mit Renate Harlfinger

01.12.1925 Leutnant (127)
01.02.1929 Oberleutnant (8)
01.10.1934 Hauptmann (69)
01.06.1940 Major (41)

30.03.1920 Eintritt ins Infanterieregiment 21
01.05.1926 in der 2. / Artillerieregiment 5 (Fulda) [laut Stellenbesetzung]
01.05.1928 in der 1. / Artillerieregiment 5 (Fulda) [laut Stellenbesetzung]
01.01.1931 Adjutant der III. / Artillerieregiment 5 (Ludwigsburg)
20.10.1932 kommandiert zur Kommandantur von Ulm
01.10.1934 Adjutant des Artillerieregiments 15 (Ludwigsburg)
15.10.1935 in der 8. / Artillerieregiment 25 (Ludwigsburg) [laut Stellenbesetzung]
06.10.1936 Chef der 4. / Artillerielehrregiment (Jüterbog)
10.11.1938 zur Ausbildung an der Kriegsakadmie (Berlin)
26.08.1939 Offizier z.b.V. im Stab des Artilleriekommandeurs 35
15.01.1940 Führerreserve OKH (III)
05.02.1940 Ib der 96. Infanteriedivision
20.04.1940 Ia der 260. Infanteriedivision
22.03.1942 mit der stellvertretenden Wahrnehmung der Geschäfte als Chef des Generalstabes des XIII. Armeekorps beauftragt
01.06.1942 Ia der 9. Armee
05.12.1942 Führerreserve OKH (HPA)
10.12.1942 Chef des Generalstabes des XII. Armeekorps (bis 01.01.1943 mWdGb)
18.08.1943 Chef des Generalstabes des IX. Armeekorps
01.10.1943 Führerreserve OKH (HPA)
10.12.1943 Chef des Generalstabes des LXXX. Armeekorps

02.06.1940 EK II
14.07.1940 EK I
27.03.1942 Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
15.07.1942 Ostmedaille

You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
There are times in history when staying neutral means taking sides.

Return to “The Dieter Zinke Axis Biographical Research Section”