Professor Carl Kruger, a former mental patient suffering from a Napoleon Complex and the inventor of the "death-ray", lead a militant group of scientists known as the Scarlet Horde in an attempt to rule the world.
When Kruger's dirigible attacked New York killing thousands, the Batman attempted to bring the would be dictator to justice first attacking Kruger in his home and then following him to his base of operations. Kruger was able to capture Batman but the Caped Crusader narrowly avoided execution by switching places with a guard and allowing Kruger to use his death ray on the unconscious guard. After escaping the compound, Batman flew the Batplane at Kruger's dirigible in a suicide run. The two collided and exploded, but Batman was able to parachute away just before the collision. Kruger, in a bi-plane, pursued Batman but the Dark Knight managed to get on the wing of the plane and hit Kruger with a gas pellet. Chocking on the gas Kruger was last seen losing control of the plane and crashing into the water. Reports indicate that the body of Kruger was recovered.
Before the US joined WWII in 1942, comic books could not actively attack or criticize Hitler and the Nazi party. Certain writers, such as Fox, very much wanted to have their heroic characters strike back at the fascist anti-Semite so a lot of super-hero stories prior to 1942 had their heroes punching out Hitler surrogates. Kruger, a fascist with a Napoleon complex who wishes to conquer the world, maybe a covert jab at Adolf Hitler.
In 1982, Batman and Detective Comics writer Gerry Conway brought back various villains from the 1930's such as the Monk and Dr. Death. Conway wrote a 2 part story about a villain with an army of henchman that uses a zeppelin to try and conquer the world, however the villain was named Colonel Blimp rather than Carl Kruger.