General and KFOR and LANDCENT commander ret
General Klaus Reinhardt was born on the 15th January 1941 in Berlin. However, it was in the mountainous region of Garmisch - Partenkirchen that he spent the majority of his youth and in which he developed his passion for skiing and mountaineering. After graduating from secondary education in 1960, General Reinhardt embarked on a military career as an officer candidate with the Mountain Infantry in Mittenwald. In 1967, he studied history and political sciences at the University of Freiburg. He graduated in 1972 and obtained his doctorate with a thesis on the failure of Hitler’s strategy in the Second World War. From 1973 to 1975, General Reinhardt attended the Bundeswehr Command and General Staff College in Hamburg, Germany. He was then selected to attend the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Back in Germany, he progressed through many appointments including commander of a Mountain Infantry Battalion, Senior Military Assistant to the then Minister of Defence, Dr. Manfred Wörner, commander of the Bundeswehr’s only Mountain Infantry Brigade, and assuming the position of Deputy Chief of Staff (Plans) in the Ministry of Defence. In this job, he was responsible for the amalgamation of the Bundeswehr and the former East German Army. In 1990, General Reinhardt assumed command of the Bundeswehr Command and General Staff College, the German armed forces’ highest training institution. In this appointment, he not only forged the College into a strategic-operational ‘think tank’, but also opened the College to many countries of the former Warsaw Pact, which earned him an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest, Hungary. In March 1999 he assumed command of III.(GE) Corps. One year later, he became the commander of the the German Army Forces Command, i.e. the Bundeswehr’s coordinating agency for all operations abroad, in which he commanded the deployments to Somalia, Croatia and Bosnia- Herzegovina. General Reinhardt’s military career culminated with his promotion to Four Star General in April 1998 as Commander of Allied Land Forces Central Europe (LANDCENT) in Heidelberg, Germany. In October 1999, he assumed command of the International Peace Force in Kosovo (KFOR). In this decisive position, at the interface between politics and the military, he commanded 50,000 soldiers deployed from 39 nations. After returning from Kosovo in the spring of 2000, General Reinhardt reorganised his Headquarters in Heidelberg into Joint Headquarters Centre (JHQ CENT), a multinational command that comprises soldiers from all services. In this appointment, he was responsible for integrating the Polish and Czech Land Forces into NATO. From there, he went into retirement on the 1st April 2001. Today, Klaus Reinhardt lives with his wife in Starnberg, Bavaria, where he works as an author and teaches at the universities of Augsburg and Munich. He has two boys, Sascha (37) and Florian (25). He is President of the Clausewitz – Society.
Articles by Klaus Reinhardt
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