Heinrich Brauchitsch

Heinrich Brauchitsch was born in Berlin, Germany, on 4th October, 1881. He joined the German Army in 1900 and by the end of the First World War had reached the rank of major.

Brauchitsch remained in the army and in 1925 took command of an artillery battalion. Promoted to General Major in 1930 he was Inspector of Artillery in 1932. The following year he was given command of the 1st Army Corps at Koenigsberg.

Brauchitsch resented the power of the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) and clashed with Erich Koch, the president of East Prussia. Adolf Hitler valued Brauchitsch and he went to Koenigsberg to sort the dispute out. Hitler continued to promote Brauchitsch and in 1937 became General of the Artillery.

In February, 1938, General Werner von Fitsch was forced to resign and Brauchitsch became Commander in Chief of the German Army. Much to the displeasure of many senior officers, Brauchitsch appeared to allow Adolf Hitler to take personal control of the army. Aware that Ludwig Beck and others were involved in a conspiracy to stop Hitler starting a world war, Brauchitsch did nothing to help.

After the invasion of France Brauchitsch was one of twelve new field marshals created by Hitler. However, his health declined when Operation Barbarossa failed to achieve the surrender of the Soviet Union and in December 1941 he asked Hitler to be relieved of his duties.

Brauchitsch was arrested after the Second World War and testified at the Nuremberg War Trials. Heinrich Brauchitsch died on 18th October, 1948, while in a British military while awaiting to be tried as a war criminal.

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