Translate a military rank (?) from German to English

+4 votes
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I know this is a loaded term, but is "Fuehrer" a common military rank? How would I translate it to English?
in WikiTree Help by Gus Gassmann G2G6 Mach 1 (16.6k points)
Gus, can you provide a profile number?  In this particular case, i.e. the word "Fuehrer," I would think that a substitute term, such as the English equivalent, would be better.
I wanted to know the answer before I actually create the profile. The guy I am looking at was a "Fuehrer" in the Wurttemberg army in the early 1700s. I have no idea whether that means a corporal or a general, or anything in between. I think it would help if I knew whether the term was used to designate a specific rank or not.
Why don't you just go ahead and create the profile without a title?  You can mention the title in the biography.  I imagine all the German WikiTreers have long gone to bed, but maybe some will respond tomorrow.

4 Answers

+5 votes
 
Best answer
In Germany "Führer" is not and was never a military rank.

"Führer" is a general term for leader or commander. It is a term for a position not for a rank. So in the military it could be a person who leads everything between a fire team or an army group.

As above mentioned it could be every rank between corporal and general (field marshal).
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
selected by Gus Gassmann
+1 vote
Google translate has Fuehrer as Leader.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
+3 votes

I think the Wikipedia article addresses your question directly:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Führer

If you are using the title in a profile, it's not really necessary to translate it.  WikiTree would support the German spelling, and everyone would most likely recognize it.

Edit:  But it looks like G2G doesn't support my link, so I stand corrected about that:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BChrer

by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (385k points)
+3 votes
On reflection, I have decided to go with "commander". This is equally generic in army terms, avoids the complications of "Fuehrer", and is a bit more descriptive than "leader".
by Gus Gassmann G2G6 Mach 1 (16.6k points)

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