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Hendrik Balzazar Klopper
Born (1903-09-25)25 September 1903
Died 30 December 1977(1977-12-30) (aged 74)
Allegiance South Africa
Service/branch South African Army
Years of service 1924-1958
Rank General
Awards Distinguished Service Order

General Hendrik Balzazar Klopper DSO (25 September 1903 – 31 December 1977[1]) was a South African military commander. He joined the South African Army in 1924. During World War II he commanded the 3rd Infantry Brigade[2] in North Africa, for which he was awarded the DSO[3] and then briefly commanded 2nd Infantry Division. As fortress commander, Klopper was forced to surrender Tobruk and its garrison to Axis forces on 21 June 1942. He escaped from captivity in 1943 and was officially exonerated for the Tobruk disaster. He was OC of Northern Command in 1945[4]

He served as Army Chief of Staff from 1951 to 1953, as Inspector-General from 1953 to 1956, and as Commandant-General,[5] i.e. head of the Union Defence Force, from 1956 to 1958.

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Military offices
Preceded by
Christiaan du Toit
Chief of the General Staff of the Union Defence Force
1956 – 1958
Succeeded by
Stephen Melville
Preceded by
Christiaan du Toit
Chief of the South African Army
1951 – 1953
Succeeded by
Pieter Grobbelaar



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