Leeb, Wilhelm Joseph Frantz Von

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leeb, Wilhelm Joseph Frantz Von

 

Born Sept. 5, 1876, in Landsberg am Lech; died Apr. 29, 1956, in Hohenschwangau. Field marshal of the fascist German Army (1940). Son of an officer.

Leeb entered the army in 1895 and graduated from the Bavarian Military Academy in 1903. He served in World War I (1914–18) and joined the Reichswehr in 1919. He was commander of the troops of a military district from 1930 to 1933 and of the 2nd Army Group (in Kassel) from 1933 to 1938. In February 1938, when the command staff, with which Hitler was dissatisfied (W. von Fritsch and W. von Blomberg) was replaced, Leeb was retired from service, but in July he was appointed commander of the Twelfth Army, which occupied the Sudetenland in the fall of 1938. In 1939–40 he was commander of Army Group C during the aggression against France. Leeb commanded Army Group North at the beginning of the war against the USSR. On Jan. 16, 1942, he was placed in retirement for the failure of the offensive on Leningrad and for his strong disagreements with Hitler (Leeb proposed a retreat from Leningrad in order to shorten the front).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.