Walther von Reichenau
Walther von Reichenau (August 16th 1884, January 17th 1942) is a German commander, wire of a Prussian general. He engages in the army in 1902. During the First World War, it is useful on make West. It gains the Croix of iron and becomes captain in 1918.
Von Reichenau is staff officer under the Weimar Republic. Starting from 1931, he is chief of staff to the service of the inspector of the transmissions in the Reichswehr and, later, serves in Eastern Prussia with the general Werner von Blomberg. His/her uncle, burning a Nazi, presents it to Adolf Hitler in 1932 and von Reichenau joint with the Nazi party little time afterwards.
When Hitler seizes the power in January 1933, Blomberg becomes Minister for the war and von Reichenau is placed at the head of the ministerial office, acting as liaison officer between the army and the Nazi party. He plays a leading role by persuading the leaders Nazis, of which Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, to draw aside Ernst Röhm and SA of the capacity so that the army supports the Nazi regime. The " night of the long knives " , in July 1934, is the result of this action.
In 1935, von Reichenau is promoted with the rank of lieutenant-general of army and is named commander with Munich. In 1938, whereas one obliges Blomberg to leave the command of the army, von Reichenau is the first choice of Hitler to replace it, but of old leaders, of which Gerd von Rundstedt and Ludwig Beck, refuses to be useful under its orders, kind Hitler to reconsider its decision. The enthusiasm of von Reichenau for the Nazism disgusts several generals who do not oppose Hitler but which ignores the ideology Nazi.
In September 1939, von Reichenau orders the 10th army during the invasion of the Poland. In 1940, it directs the 6th army during the invasion of the Belgium and of the France and in July, Hitler promotes it field-marshal.
During the invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941, von Reichenau orders once again the 6th army which seizes Kiev and Kharkov. Von Reichenau is a convinced Antisémite and it supports the work of the Einsatzgruppen S which exterminate the Juifs occupied Soviet territories. He encourages his soldiers to make atrocities against the Jews, he their known as " … in the East, the soldier is not only one man who fights according to the code of practice of the war… For this reason, the soldier must fully appreciate the need for less inflicting a punishment with the species than human of the Juiverie… ".
Only some historians, whose Walter Görlitz, sought to defend von Reichenau, by summarizing its " order of Reichenau " from October 1941 like " asking that the troops keep their distance with respect to the civil population russe." Actually, the order includes/understands cruel directives such as killing any Russian civilian who travels without a license and which is far from its village.
For this reason von Reichenau is one of the preferred generals of Hitler. In November 1941, Hitler congédie Walther von Brauchitsch of its post of commander-in-chief and tries once again to name von Reichenau at this station. But the top-ranking executives of the army reject von Reichenau once more, pretexting that it is " too much politique". Hitler then names itself at this station.
In January 1942, von Reichenau is victim of a brain hemorrhage and one sends it by plane in a hospital in Germany. It is often reported that he died at the time of the crash landing of the plane, but Görlitz writes that the plane made only one emergency landing and that von Reichenau died of an heart attack on this occasion.
- William Craig, Enemy At the Spoil (Victoria: Penguin, 2000)
- Walter Görlitz, " Reichenau, " of the editor Correlli Barnett
- Hitler' S Generals (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989), pp. 208-18
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