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In August 1918 Rundstedt was transferred to the west, as chief of staff to XV Corps in Alsace, under General Felix Graf von Bothmer.Here he remained until the end of the war in November.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.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 undertook further training at the military college (Kriegsschule) at Hannover, before being commissioned as a lieutenant in June 1893. In 1896 he was made regimental adjutant, and in 1903 he was sent to the prestigious War Academy (Kriegsakademie) in Berlin for a three-year staff officer training course.He stayed in this post until November 1916, until he was promoted by being made chief of staff to an Army Corps, XXV Reserve Corps, which was fighting in the Carpathians. In October 1917 he was appointed chief of staff to LIII Corps, in northern Poland.The following month, however, the October Revolution led to the collapse of the Russian armies and the end of the war on the eastern front.In April 1915, his health recovered, he was posted as chief of staff to the 86th Infantry Division, which was serving as part of General Max von Gallwitz's forces on the Eastern Front.