World War II
Born and raised in the small German village of Mannlich, the Iron Major achieved his rank during the early days of World War II. Sent to the Eastern Front in Friedrich Paulus's 6th Army, the Major and his men were attempting to retreat across the frozen Don River when a Russian plane shattered the ice, plunging the Major's closest friend into the frigid waters. Thrusting his right arm into the water, the Major managed to rescue his comrade, but his right hand become hideously frostbitten. He was unable to medically treat his hand and had it amputated. As a symbol to his troops, the Major had his missing hand replaced with a prosthesis made of solid iron. Because of his iron hand, strong will, his rigid moral code and his strict adherence to the rules, his men began to call him the Iron Major.
Deemed by his superiors as no longer fit for duty in the front lines, the Iron Major was made Commandment of Stalag 9, an ancient castle that was serving as a prisoner of war camp. It was there that the Iron Major first met the American soldier who would become his greatest adversary, Sergeant Frank Rock. Rock became the first prisoner to escape Stalag 9, only to be pursued by the Iron Major. An intense battle was fought between them in which the Iron Major was believed to be killed by an exploding land mine. However, the Iron Major survived and eventually crossing paths with Sgt. Rock several more times before the end of the war.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- The Iron Major's first name, Franz, was revealed in Our Army at War #165.
- 16 Appearances of Iron Major (New Earth)
- 3 Images featuring Iron Major (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Iron Major (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Iron Major (New Earth)