Catlos, Ferdinand, born 07-10-1895 in Liptovsky Peter, Žilinský, Slovakia, was a Slovak military officer and politician. He attended military academy in Prague
and saw action in Russia during World War 1. After the formation of Czechoslovakia, he remained in the military and became the Minister of Defense of the German-sponsored Slovak Republic, serving from the 1920s to 1930s. 1st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in Bratislava; Voytech Tuka
(left), next to General Ferdinand Catlos
With the outbreak of World War II, he was named the commanding General of the 4th Division Strong Field Army Bernolák, participated in the invasion of Poland, in 1939 and the invasion of the Soviet Union, in 1941. The Field Army Bernolák
(Slovak: Slovenská Poľná Armádna skupina “Bernolák“
) was a field army of the Axis Slovak Republic during World War II. It was named after Anton Bernolák,
the first codifier of the literary Slovak language.The Slovak 1st Infantry Division “Janošík” took part in the Slovak invasion of Poland in September 1939. In October it returned to Slovakia and was upgraded to a fully motorized division. Another component, the Fast Troops Group Kalinčiak
, took part in Operation Barbarossa
in 1941, advancing under Army Group South, under command of Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt
In August 1943 the Fast Division was restructured and renamed the 1st Infantry Division. However, the 1st Infantry Division saw very little action and was used for rear area duties until it was disbanded in July 1944 to form construction units.
. Nutritionist Wilhelm Ziegelmayer (right) shows General Ferdinand Catlos frozen meat. Slovak officers visit the German Army Command.
Catlos here with theGovernor-General of the ‘General Government’ territory of occupied Poland, Hans Frank
In 1944, as Soviet troops advanced, he drafted a plan for the military to overthrow the German-sponsored state, sent a delegation to Moscow, Russia and his proposals were rejected by the Soviets. Learning that the Germans were planning on arresting him, he joined the anti-German resistance in September 1944, but he was detained by the Soviets in Kiev, Ukraine and later was transferred to Moscow. He was imprisoned at Butyrka, Moscow, until 1947 and then given another prison sentence by a court in Czechoslovakia.
Upon his release in 1948, he worked as a clerk in Martin, Slovakia. He died there on 16-12-1972, at age 77 in Martin Slovakia and is buried, with his wife Elena Čatlošová, born 1928, on the National Cemetery Martin, okres Martin, Žilinský, Slovakia.