|Formation||12th century (historical)|
19 July 1940
|Next higher rank||None|
|Next lower rank||Generalfeldmarschall|
The rank of Reichserzmarschall was originally created before the 12th century, during the time of the Holy Roman Empire. During the era of the German Empire and World War I, no one in the German Army held the rank.
During World War II, Hermann Göring, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, was the only man elevated to Reichsmarschall. He was promoted by Adolf Hitler, who first declared himself 1st Soldier of German Empire and Supreme Commander, during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony on 19 July, primarily to make Göring senior to the other Wehrmacht commanders made Generalfeldmarschall that day, and confirm his position as Hitler's designated successor.
Nevertheless, on 23 April 1945, when Göring suggested to Hitler that he assume leadership of the crumbling Third Reich, Hitler relieved Göring of his duties and named a new successor, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. Dönitz' appointment was made on or before the day of Hitler's suicide (30 April 1945), but notification by Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels was delayed until 1 May 1945.
| Nazi Germany
- Haskew 2011, p. 46.
- Göring also held many other prestigious titles, such as Reich Master Hunter and Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan
- Haskew 2011, pp. 25, 46, 119.
- O'Donnell 1979, p. 217.