Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt was a Field Marshal in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Born into a Prussian family with a long military tradition, Rundstedt entered the Prussian Army in 1892. During World War I, he served mainly as a staff officer. In the inter-war years, he continued his military career, reaching the rank of Colonel General (Generaloberst) before retiring in 1938.
He was recalled at the beginning of World War II as commander of Army Group South in the invasion of Poland. He commanded Army Group A during the Battle of France, and was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal in 1940. In the invasion of the Soviet Union, he commanded Army Group South, responsible for the largest encirclement in history, the Battle of Kiev, as well as the largest mass killing of the Holocaust to that date, at Babi Yar. He was relieved of command in December 1941, but was recalled in 1942 and appointed Commander-in-Chief in the West.
He was dismissed after the German defeat in Normandy in July 1944, but was again recalled as Commander-in-Chief in the West in September, holding this post until his final dismissal by Adolf Hitler in March 1945. Rundstedt was aware of the various plots to depose Hitler, but refused to support them. After the war, he was charged with war crimes, but did not face trial due to his age and poor health. He was released in 1949, and died in 1953.