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Home Leaders & Commanders German High Command

German High Command

hitlerAdolf Hitler 1889-1945

Dictator of Nazi Germany, Supreme Commander and Commander-in-Chief of German armed forces. His refusal to heed the advice of his Generals was a large factor in the demise of German military fortunes. He committed suicide in his Berlin bunker in April 1945.

goeringHermann Goering 1893-1946

Chief of the Luftwaffe and one of the most powerful men in Germany. Vain, greedy and incompetent at his appointed task, he spent most of the war enriching his personal wealth. Sentenced to death after the Nuremburg Trials, he committed suicide before he could be hanged.

goebbelsJoseph Goebbels 1897-1945

Minister for Propaganda, he had total control of the German press and radio. He was doggedly loyal to his Fuhrer, and was once named by Hitler as his possible successor.

himmlerHeinrich Himmler 1900-1945

Head of the SS, the Waffen SS and Gestapo and Minister of the Interior. By the end of the War, Himmler had become the second most powerful man in Germany. He Committed suicide in 1945 after being captured by the Allies.

brauchitschField Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch 1881-1948

Commander -in-Chief of the German Army from 1938 until he resigned at the end of 1941. His resignation was due to a combination of ill-health, the failure of the German army at Moscow and Hitler's refusal to heed any of his advice. After Brauchitsch's resignation, the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Army was assumed by Hitler himself.

KeitelField Marshal Wilhelm Keitel 1882-1946

Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces (OKW) from 1938 until the end of the War. This meant that his position was as Hitler's chief of staff and his job was to offer advice to Hitler when it was asked for. He was known as a lackey and never questioned Hitler's orders or decisions. At the Nuremburg Trials,Keitel was found guilty of war crimes and hanged.

JodlGeneral Alfried Jodl 1890-1946

Deputy to Keitel and head of the Operations Section of OKW. Jodl is considered to have been the brains behind virtually all of Hitler's campaigns except for the invasion of Russia. As with Keitel at Nuremburg, he was found guilty of War Crimes and hanged.

RaederAdmiral Erich Raeder 1876-1960

Commander in Chief of German Naval Forces until January 1943. Raeder was head of the Navy when Hitler came to power. He built up German Naval strength during the pre-war years. Raeder frequently disagreed with Hitler during the war and was replaced in 1943 by Admiral Doenitz. After the war Raeder was sentenced to ten years in prison for war crimes.

DoenitzAdmiral Karl Doenitz 1891-1980

Commander of the German Navy's U-boats until 1943 then subsequently Commander in Chief of the Navy. Doenitz was respected and trusted by Hitler and became Head of State after Hitler's death in 1945. Following the Nuremburg trials he was sentenced to ten years in prison for war crimes.





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