Brauchitsch, Walther von


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Brauchitsch, Walther von

(väl`tər fən brou`khĭch), 1881–1948, German field marshal. Of a Prussian Junker family, he served in World War I with the general staff and later remained in the military. In Feb., 1938, he became commander in chief of the German army, and in World War II he won swift victories (1939–40) in Poland, the Low Countries, and France and was made field marshal. Reverses in the Soviet Union late in 1941 led to his dismissal. He died while awaiting trial as a war criminal.

Brauchitsch, Walther von

 

Born Oct. 4, 1881, in Berlin; died Oct. 18, 1948, in Hamburg. General and field marshal in the fascist German Army (1940). Born into the family of a military officer.

Brauchitsch served in the army from 1900. He took part in World War I in staff positions and afterward served in the Reichswehr. In 1932 he became inspector general of artillery, from 1933 he commanded the First Military District, and in 1935 he became commander of the I Army Corps. From 1937 he commanded the 4th Army Group. On Feb. 4, 1938, after the dismissal of General W. von Fritsch, Brauchitsch was appointed commander in chief of ground forces. He participated in the development and realization of war plans in the West and against the USSR. After the failure of the offensive against Moscow, he was discharged on Dec. 19, 1941, and placed in the reserves. In 1945 he surrendered and was taken prisoner by British forces. He died in a hospital for prisoners of war.

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