Student joined the army in 1911 and entered the German Air Force in 1913. After serving with FFA 17 on the Galician front, he flew Eindekkers on the Western Front before assuming command of AOK 3 in June 1916 and Jasta 9 in October 1916. He was wounded in action on 2 May 1917 and scored 6 victories before leaving Jasta 9 in March 1918.
During World War II, Student attained the rank of Oberstgeneral in the Luftwaffe. As commander of German airborne forces, he planned the attack on Eban Emael in 1940 and the invasion of Crete in 1941. Student was captured by the British in Schleswig-Holstein in April 1945. He was interrogated in London and, in May 1947, he appeared before a British Military Court in Luneberg, charged with several war crimes including "the use . . . of British prisoners of war as a screen for the advance of German troops." 1 Found guilty on three of eight charges, he was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison but obtained an early release from custody in 1948.
1 Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals, The United Nations War Crimes Commission, Wm. S. Hein Publishing, 1997