|This article contains extensive backstory designed to make your reading experience more enjoyable.|
|Allegiance||Greater German Space Reich|
|Years of service||ca. 1996 – present|
|Unit||Oberkommando der Wehrmacht|
|Awards||Order Of The Knight's Cross Of The Iron Cross|
Kurt Schäffer is a Feldmarschall of the Greater German Space Reich and a member of the Army Supreme Command. Manfred Hickten regards him as one of the few competent generals in his staff; he was appointed commander of the 3rd Army Group following the Space Nazi landing in Poland and assigned to lead the campaign on the Eastern Front. Schäffer is a veteran of the First Nazi War.
Schäffer was an army colonel in the First Nazi War, in command of the Fourth Panzer Company. His unit was renowned for its performance in the field, but managerial ineptitude by his superior officers hampered his ability to deploy the company to maximum effect.
Schäffer was one of the few officers to evade capture following the Republic of Coruscant’s conquest of Little Fitchburg, although during the Nazi Insurgency he declined front line command of a motorized unit, claiming the risk of his capture outweighed the value of his leadership. As he remained behind the scenes, he again was able to evade capture when the remaining general staff evacuated the planet completely.
After the Nazis re-established themselves on Helgan Prime, Schäffer resumed full military duties. He was promoted to Major General as a result of the lack of qualified officers, but he legitimized his position through experimentation in combat tactics that led to new military doctrine. When Manfred Hickten became leader of the nation, he immediately took cordial interest in Schäffer, even though the two held no familiarity from either war.
Third Nazi War
Prior to the Space Nazi invasion of Earth, Hickten promoted Schäffer to field marshal. He was then placed in command of the ground forces after the expedition landed in Poland, the Führer having assumed personal responsibility for the initial invasion. Schäffer’s first operation was the invasion of Germany, during which he had control over only one third the force Hickten allegedly allotted him; the other partitions were under command of a lesser general and Hickten himself, who maintained his position as supreme commander of the armed forces. Despite having carried out his instructions to the letter and having tried every trick he knew to gain the advantage, Schäffer was held responsible for the battle’s stagnation by fellow generals, even though practical command of the army rested with Hickten and Schäffer had found his unit’s effectiveness undermined by the third officer. Suspecting the claims were an attempt by officers Schäffer had fallen out with to slander him, Hickten scapegoated three field commanders to reaffirm the marshal’s credibility.
Afterward, Hickten tasked Schäffer with planning and executing the war against the Eastern Union while Frank Horrigan was placed in charge of the westward push. Schäffer proved unnervingly competent, and in a bid to weaken the Third Army British commander Bernard Montgomery devised the Innsbruck Offensive as a diversionary raid to relieve Union forces. While the battle failed to draw Schäffer out, it destroyed the Nazi 8th Mechanized Brigade and humiliated his subordinate Ernust Ekkehard.
Unlike most other members of the exodus, Schäffer did not deliberately seek to escape justice, as he did not consider his actions to conflict with the rules of war. Indeed, Coruscanti citizens in captured territories asserted that compared to other units Schäffer’s command remained “clean”. His departure alongside the other general staff is likely more a result of dumb luck than ulterior motives.
Hickten’s adulation and advancement of Schäffer through the chain of command is viewed by some as perplexing, as Schäffer has a history of openly criticizing both the government and the armed forces. He has expressed doubts in private circles as to the army’s current strategy and the war in Europe as a whole; he has also objected to the Space Nazis’ domestic policy regarding subjugated states and the treatment of non-combatants. He has made a number of enemies within the general staff as a result, although his rank and military expertise more or less safeguard his career.
Relationship with Rudolph Krieger
One month after the invasion of Germany, Rudolph Krieger was captured near Cottbus and taken to Schäffer's headquarters at Küstriner Vorland. The two men appear to have previously met in 1996 during the First Nazi War, although the circumstances remain undisclosed. Schäffer treated Krieger as a confidant, and even provided him with details into Space Nazi usage of the Forced Evolutionary Virus. When Marsha Conrad helped break Krieger out in October, he prevented her from killing Schäffer and engaged him in a mock duel to provide an alibi for their escape.