Rundstedt, Karl Rudolf Gerd von (1875–1953), a German army officer. Rundstedt was a member of an aristocratic Prussian family and the son of a general. He served as an officer in World War I. In 1939–40 General Rundstedt commanded German armies in Poland and France. He was responsible for the Ardennes breakthrough, the German victory that doomed the French army in World War II. Hitler made him a marshal and sent him to the Russian front as commander in the Ukraine.
In 1942 Rundstedt was shifted to the west as military ruler of occupied France. He was supreme commander of German forces on the western front at the time of the Allied Normandy invasion, 1944. Later in the year Rundstedt launched the Battle of the Bulge, which temporarily stopped the Allied advance eastward. He was detained by the Allies as a possible war criminal, but was released because of poor health.