Günther Blumentritt Generaal (1892 – 1967)

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Blumentritt, Günther (February 10, 1892 – October 12, 1967) was a German general during World War II. He was instrumental in planning the 1939 German invasion of Poland. He served throughout the war, mostly on the Western Front, and after the war was called as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials, though he never testified.

Born in Munich, Blumentritt served in the German Army in World War I on the Eastern Front in Prussia. Later, during the interwar period he served under Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, along with his friend Erich von Manstein.

In 1939, Blumentritt was a colonel and Chief of Operations under General Gerd von Rundstedt at Army Group South in Silesia, while von Manstein was Rundstedt’s Chief of Staff. Together, Blumentritt and von Manstein developed an operational plan for the German invasion of Poland, designated Fall Weiss (Case White).

In 1940, Blumentritt took part in the invasion of France. The next year, under General Günther von Kluge, he was made Chief of Staff of the Fourth Army and promoted to General.

In 1941, Blumentritt, despite his opposition to the plan, was involved with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. He returned to Germany in 1942 as chief of the Operations Department of OKH. Late in the year he recommended to his superiors that the Germans should withdraw from Stalingrad, but his recommendation was rejected.

During the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, Blumentritt was Chief-of-Staff to von Rundstedt, overall commander of German forces in the west. He was then implicated in the July 1944 conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler; the plot failed, resulting in the arrest of several German Army officers. Blumentritt was removed from his position, but survived the purge because Hitler did not believe him guilty, and in fact awarded him the Knight’s Cross for his services. Shortly thereafter he returned to action as a commander in the XII SS Corps.

After the end of Operation Blackcock Blumentritt was appointed commander of the Twenty-Fifth Army. In March 1945 he briefly assumed command of the 1st Parachute Army and then commanded “Army Group Blumentritt”, an ad-hoc collection of depleted units, up to the end of the war.

Blumentritt’s capture by the British took place on 1 June 1945 in Schleswig-Holstein. He was placed in a British Prisoner-of-war camp by December 1, 1945 and was then moved to a U.S. POW camp where he remained from November 6, 1945 until January 1, 1948. He died on October 12, 1967 in Munich