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Encyclopedia > Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel
September 22, 1882October 16, 1946

Wilhelm Keitel
Nickname "LaKeitel"
Place of birth Helmscherode, Brunswick, German Empire
Place of death Nuremberg, Germany
Allegiance Flag of German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Flag of Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Flag of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Wehrmacht
Rank Generalfeldmarschall
Commands OKW
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (September 22, 1882October 16, 1946) was a German field marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) and a senior military leader during World War II. is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links WKeitel. ... Location of the Duchy of Brunswick within the German Empire Capital Braunschweig Government Monarchy Duke  - 1813-1815 Frederick William  - 1913-1918 Ernest Augustus History  - Restoration 1815  - Abdication 1918 Area  - 1910 3,672 km² Population  - 1910 est. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... “Nürnberg” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Anthem Das Lied der Deutschen Germany during the Weimar period, with the Free State of Prussia (in blue) as the largest state Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1918-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann(first)  - 1933 Kurt von Schleicher (last) Legislature... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... Replica of the marshals baton of Generalfeldmarschall von Richthofen (Third Reich) Generalfeldmarschall ( ) (general field marshal, usually translated simply as field marshal, and sometimes written only as Feldmarschall) was a rank in the armies of several German states, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austrian Empire. ... The command flag for the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1938 - 1941) The command flag for a Generalfeldmarschall as the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1941 - 1945) The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW (Wehrmacht High Command, Armed Forces High Command... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The penultimate expression of the award: the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with golden Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... Replica of the marshals baton of Generalfeldmarschall von Richthofen (Third Reich) Generalfeldmarschall ( ) (general field marshal, usually translated simply as field marshal, and sometimes written only as Feldmarschall) was a rank in the armies of several German states, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austrian Empire. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

Contents

Early life and career

Keitel was born in Helmscherode, Brunswick, German Empire, the son of Carl Keitel, a middle-class landowner, and his wife Apollonia Vissering. After completing his education in Göttingen, he embarked on a military career in 1901, becoming a Fahnenjunker (Cadet Officer), joining the 6th Lower-Saxon Field Artillery Regiment. He married Lisa Fontaine, a wealthy landowner's daughter, in 1909. Together they had six children, one of whom died in infancy. During World War I Keitel served on the Western front with the Field Artillery Regiment No. 46. In September 1914, during the fighting in Flanders, he was seriously wounded in his right forearm by a shell fragment. Location of the Duchy of Brunswick within the German Empire Capital Braunschweig Government Monarchy Duke  - 1813-1815 Frederick William  - 1913-1918 Ernest Augustus History  - Restoration 1815  - Abdication 1918 Area  - 1910 3,672 km² Population  - 1910 est. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Göttingen marketplace with old city hall, Gänseliesel fountain and pedestrian zone Göttingen ( ) is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Flanders (disambiguation). ...


Keitel recovered, and thereafter was posted to the German General Staff in early 1915. After World War I ended, he stayed in the newly created Reichswehr, and played a part in organizing Freikorps frontier guard units on the Polish border. Keitel also served as a divisional general staff officer, and later taught at the Hanover Cavalry School for two years. The German General Staff, (Großer Generalstab, literally, Great General Staff) was an institution whose rise and development gave the German military a decided advantage over its adversaries. ... Year 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday[1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Reichswehr (help· info) (literally National Defense or Imperial Defense) formed the military organization of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when the government rebranded it as the Wehrmacht (Defence Force). ... The designation of Freikorps (German for Free Corps, i. ...


In late 1924, Keitel was transferred to the Ministry of Defence (Reichswehrministerium), serving with the Troop Office (Truppenamt), the post-Versailles disguised General Staff. He was soon promoted to the head of the organizational department, a post he retained after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. In 1935, based on a recommendation by Werner von Fritsch he became Nazi Germany's chief of the newly-created Armed Forces Office (Wehrmachtamt). For the rap album, see 1924 (album). ... This page contains a List of German defence ministers For pre-1919 Prussian Ministers of War, see Prussian Minister of War. ... The Truppenamt or Troop Office was the cover organisation for the German General Staff from 1919 through until 1933 when the General Staff was re-created. ... This article is about the Treaty of Versailles of June 28 1919, which ended World War I. For other uses, see Treaty of Versailles (disambiguation) . The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was a peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ... The German General Staff, (Großer Generalstab, literally, Great General Staff) was an institution whose rise and development gave the German military a decided advantage over its adversaries. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism, or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Machtergreifung is a German word meaning seizure of power. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Werner Freiherr von Fritsch (4 August 1880 in Benrath - 22 September 1939 Praga near Warsaw) was a prominent Wehrmacht officer, member of the German High Command, and the first German general to die in the Second World War. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ...


OKW and World War II

Keitel, signing the ratified surrender terms for the German Army in Berlin, 8/9 May 1945
Keitel, signing the ratified surrender terms for the German Army in Berlin, 8/9 May 1945

In 1937, Keitel received a promotion to general, and in the following year, in the wake of the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair and the replacement of the Ministry of War (Reichskriegsministerium) with the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht), he assumed the position of Chief of the OKW. In 1940, following the conclusion of the French campaign, he was promoted to General Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall), along with a number of Adolf Hitler's other generals. Image File history File links Wilhelm_Keitel_Kapitulation. ... Image File history File links Wilhelm_Keitel_Kapitulation. ... The Blomberg-Fritsch Affair (also known as Blomberg-Fritsch-Krise or Blomberg-Fritsch crisis) were two related scandals in early 1938 that resulted in the subjugation of the German Wehrmacht to Adolf Hitler who had been dissatisfied with these two highest ranking military officials, regarding them as too hesitant towards... This page contains a List of German defence ministers For pre-1919 Prussian Ministers of War, see Prussian Minister of War. ... The command flag for the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1938 - 1941) The command flag for a Generalfeldmarschall as the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1941 - 1945) The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW (Wehrmacht High Command, Armed Forces High Command... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... Replica of the marshals baton of Generalfeldmarschall von Richthofen (Third Reich) Generalfeldmarschall ( ) (general field marshal, usually translated simply as field marshal, and sometimes written only as Feldmarschall) was a rank in the armies of several German states, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austrian Empire. ... Hitler redirects here. ...


During World War II, Keitel proved to be weak and cautious: he advised Hitler against invading France and opposed Operation Barbarossa. Both times he backed down in the face of Hitler and tendered his resignation: the Führer refused to accept it. In 1942 he again stood up to Hitler in defence of the actions of Field Marshal Wilhelm List, whose army was struggling to extricate themselves from inconclusive and bloody fighting in the Caucasus. Keitel's defence of List was his last act of defiance to Hitler, for after that he never again challenged one of Hitler's orders and was referred to by his colleagues as "Lakaitel" ("Lackey-tel" or "Little Lackey") and as the "nodding donkey". He signed numerous orders of dubious legality under the laws of war, the most infamous being the notorious Commissar Order, and unquestionably allowed Heinrich Himmler a free hand with his racial controls and ensuing terror in captured Russian territory. Another was the order to have any of the French pilots fighting for the Normandie-Niemen fighter regiment in the USSR executed instead of their being treated as prisoners of war. Keitel was also instrumental in foiling the attempted coup of the July 20 Plot in 1944, which attempted to assassinate Hitler. Keitel then sat on the following Army Court of Honour that handed many officers, including Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben, over to Roland Freisler's notorious People's Court. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Maresal Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Joseph Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor... Nazi propaganda poster. ... Wilhelm List (Siegmund Wilhelm von List) (May 14, 1880 - August 17, 1971), was a German Field Marshal during World War II. He entered the Army in 1898 and served as a staff officer in the First World War. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... The Commissar Order (German: Kommissarbefehl) was a written order given by Adolf Hitler on 6 June 1941, prior to Operation Barbarossa. ... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and the Nazi hierarchy. ... The Normandie-Niemen squadron (Нормандия-Неман in Russian) is a fighter squadron of the French Air Force. ... A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ... Claus von Stauffenberg The July 20 Plot was an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany, on July 20, 1944. ... A court of honor (or, court of honour) is a semi-official or unofficial tribunal constituted to determine various questions of social protocol, breaches of etiquette, and other allegations of breaches of honor, or entitlement to various honors. ... Job-Wilhelm Georg Erwin von Witzleben (born 4 December 1881 in Breslau; died 8 August 1944 in Berlin, executed) was a German army officer (by 1940 a Generalfeldmarschall) and in the Second World War an Army commander and a resistance fighter in the July 20 Plot. ... Judge Freisler Roland Freisler (October 30, 1893 – February 3, 1945) was a prominent and notorious Nazi German judge. ... The Volksgerichtshof (German for Peoples Court) was a court established by Hitler after the Reichstag fire to handle those accused of political criminal offences, such as treason. ...

Keitel, Official in Color
Keitel, Official in Color

In April and May of 1945, during the Battle for Berlin, Keitel urged various German generals to attack the Soviet forces and relieve Berlin. But, so late in the war, none of the generals urged by Keitel commanded forces capable of saving the German capital—not Gotthard Heinrici's Army Group Vistula, not Felix Steiner's Army Detachment Steiner, not Walther Wenck's 12th Army, nor Theodor Busse's 9th Army. original source: National Archives, 111-SC-206292; copied from http://history. ... original source: National Archives, 111-SC-206292; copied from http://history. ... This article is about the capture of Berlin in 1945. ... Gotthard Heinrici. ... The Army Group Vistula (also known as Army Group Weischel) was formed in 1945 to protect Berlin from the advancing Soviet armies marching from the Vistula river. ... This article or section is missing needed references or citation of sources. ... Army Detachment Steiner (Armeeabteilung Steiner), was a temporary military unit, something more than a corps but less than an army, created on paper by German dictator Adolf Hitler on 21 April 1945 during the Battle of Berlin, and placed under the command of SS Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner. ... Walther Wenck (September 18, 1900 - May 1, 1982) was a General in the German Army during the World War II. He commanded the 12th Army which he ordered to surrender to the United States in order to avoid capture by the Soviets. ... General der Infanterie Theodor Busse (15 December 1897 in Frankfurt † 21 October 1986 in Wallerstein). ...


After the suicide deaths of German dictator Adolf Hitler on 30 April and Joseph Goebbels on 1 May, Keitel became a member of the short-lived Flensburg government controlled by German President (Reichspräsident) Karl Dönitz. Hitler redirects here. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Paul Joseph Goebbels (German pronunciation: IPA: ) (October 29, 1897 – May 1, 1945) was a German politician and Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda during the National Socialist regime from 1933 to 1945. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Flensburg government refers to the short-lived administration that attempted to rule Germany in May 1945 following the suicides of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels and the Fall of Berlin. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with President of Germany. ... Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ) (born 16 September 1891; died 24 December 1980) was a German naval leader, who commanded the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the second half of World War II. Dönitz was also President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ...


On May 8, 1945, Dönitz authorized Keitel to sign the second instrument of unconditional surrender in Berlin. On the previous day, Alfred Jodl had signed an instrument of unconditional surrender in Rheims, France. is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Alfred Jodl (May 10, 1890 – October 16, 1946) was a German military commander, attaining the position of Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW) during World War II, acting as deputy to Wilhelm Keitel. ... Reims (English traditionally Rheims) is a city of north-eastern France, 98 miles east-northeast of Paris. ...


Trial and execution

Four days after the surrender, Keitel was arrested. He soon faced the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which charged him with a number of offences: For the 1947 Soviet film about the trials, see Nuremberg Trials (film). ...

The IMT rejected Keitel's defense that he was following orders in conformity to "the leadership principle" (Führerprinzip) and found him guilty on all charges. To underscore the criminal rather than military nature of Keitel's acts, the Allies denied his request to be shot by firing squad. Instead, he was executed by hanging. Keitel's last words were: "I call on God Almighty to have mercy on the German people. More than two million German soldiers went to their death for the fatherland before me. I follow now my sons—all for Germany (Alles für Deutschland)." Due to the drop of the hanging not being long enough to break his neck immediately, Keitel died of strangulation 24 minutes after he was dropped down the hatch.[1] A crime against peace, in international law, consists of illegally starting a war. ... In international law, a war of aggression is generally considered to be any war for which the purpose is not to repel an invasion, or respond to an attack on the territory of a sovereign nation. ... In the context of war, a war crime is a punishable offense under International Law, for violations of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Adolf Hitler made believe he was the incarnation of the Führerprinzip The Führerprinzip, the German name for the leader principle, refers to a system with a hierarchy of leaders that resembles a military structure. ... Hanging is the suspension of a person by a ligature, usually a cord wrapped around the neck, causing death. ...


Miscellaneous facts

  • As a military officer, Keitel was prohibited by law from joining the NSDAP. After Keitel's initial successes on the Russian Front, he was given a "Golden" (Honorary) NSDAP membership badge by Adolf Hitler, who was seeking to link military successes to political successes. In 1944, German laws were changed and military officers were encouraged to seek NSDAP membership. Keitel claimed he did so as a formality at the Nuremberg Trials, but never received formal party membership. Keitel was one of only two people to receive honorary party membership status.
  • When moving to the United States after World War II, some of Keitel's family changed their last name to Keetle so as to not be associated with his crimes. Many of his descendants still go by this last name.
  • Keitel was reproduced as a 1:6th (12 inch) action figure in 2006 by the Dragon in Dream Corporation.

The Nazi swastika The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), better known as the NSDAP or the Nazi Party was a political party that was led to power in Germany by Adolf Hitler in 1933. ... Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... For the 1947 Soviet film about the trials, see Nuremberg Trials (film). ... Dieter Mann (20 June 1941 Berlin) is a German actor. ... Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a 2004 German film depicting the final days of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1945. ...

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wilhelm Keitel

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... War crimes of the Wehrmacht are those carried out by traditional German armed forces during World War II. While the principal perpetrators of the Holocaust amongst German armed forces were the Nazi German political armies (the Waffen-SS and particularly the Einsatzgruppen), the traditional armed forces represented by the Wehrmacht...

Notes

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Wilhelm Keitel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (681 words)
Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (September 22, 1882 – October 16, 1946) was a German Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) and a senior military leader during World War II.
The son of Carl Keitel, a middle-class landowner, he was born in Helmscherode, Brunswick, Germany.
In 1937, Keitel received a promotion to General, and in the following year, in the wake of the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair and the replacement of the Reichskriegsministerium (Reich War Ministry) with the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, a.k.a.
The World at War - Keitel (1251 words)
Wilhelm Keitel was born on the family estate at Helmscherode in Brunswick on 22 September 1883.
Much to his displeasure, Keitel was obliged by the mutinous Marines to display the red flag of revolution on his official car as he tried to arrange the details of his Corps retreat at the end of the war.
It was while Keitel was on leave from the Army that he learned on January 30, 1933 that the aged President of the Republic, Field-Marshal von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler to be Chancellor of the Reich.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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