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Otto Lasch, the last fortress commandant (Festungs-Kommandant) of Königsberg
Karl Hanke (de), Fortress Kommandant of Breslau in 1945.

In the German language, a military Kommandant (English: Commandant) is the commanding officer of a military installation (e.g. a military cadet institute, a fortress, air base, concentration camps and prisoner of war camps), vehicle, aircraft (the pilot is not always Kommandant, if another crew member has a higehr rank) or vessel (e.g. U-Boot-Kommandant).


Fortress commandant

In contrast to the governor, the fortress commandant of the Imperial German Army or the Wehrmacht never had higher but only lower jurisdiction. When subordinate to a governor, his duties were limited to garrison duty. Subordinate to him was the Platzmajor.

Federal Republic of Germany

In the navy of the Bundeswehr, commandants, including former commandants, wear the special commandant badge. When the commandant is active, it is worn on the right side of the chest above the breast pocket. Former commandants wear it on the left breast under the name tag.


In Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol, the head of the volunteer fire brigade is called the Kommandant. As such, he leads the fire brigade and is responsible for the training and deployment of his local fire brigade. In his own local area, he leads the operations management of all fire brigades as long as this is not taken over by the higher-level operations management.

English language

The first known use of "commandant" in the English language was in 1687.