World War II Nazi German SS General. He was one of the first members of the SS and Hitler's personal bodyguard, the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. He stayed closely connected with Hitler and his bodyguard, rising to command the 1st SS Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" and ultimately the 6th SS Panzer Army. His final rank was equivalent to that of a US Army four-star General. Sepp Dietrich was of Bavarian peasant birth and lower middle class upbringing, and was often shunned by the old-line Prussian military officers in the German Army. However, he had Hitler's favor, and with a competent staff he performed satisfactorily as a commander. He fought on the Eastern and Western Fronts, winning the prestigious Knights Cross with Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds. Dietrich was no strategic or tactical genius, but he was very popular with his soldiers. Sepp always exhorted his subordinate commanders to "bring my boys back!" As the commander of the Army involved in the "Malmedy Massacre," he was tried as a war criminal in 1946 and served a prison sentence. After his release he went into retirement and was active in Waffen-SS veterans associations. He was revered by his former soldiers to the end: over six thousand people attended his funeral, and his flag-draped coffin was borne by six Knights Cross winners.