Werner von Blomberg

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Werner von Blomberg

Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (September 2, 1878-March 22, 1946) was a leading member of the German Army prior to World War II.

Born in Stargard, Pomerania, Germany, Werner von Blomberg joined the army at a young age and attended Germany's War College in 1904. After graduating from the War College in 1907, von Blomberg entered the General Staff in 1908. Serving with distinction on the Western Front during World War I, Blomberg was awarded the Pour le Mérite. In 1920, Blomberg was appointed Chief of Staff of the Doeberitz Brigade and in 1921 was made Chief of Staff of the Stuttgart Army Area. In 1925, von Blomberg was made Chief of Army Training by General Hans von Seeckt. By 1927, von Blomberg was a major general and Chief of the Troop Office. After arguing with the powerful General Kurt von Schleicher in 1929, however, von Blomberg was removed from his post and made Military Commander in Chief of East Prussia.

In 1933, von Blomberg rose to national prominence when he was appointed Adolf Hitler's Minister of Defense. Von Blomberg became one of Hitler's most devoted followers, and as such was nicknamed "Rubber Lion" by some of his critics in the army who were less than enthusiastic about Hitler. As Minister of Defense, von Blomberg worked feverishly to expand the size and power of the army. In 1933, von Blomberg was made a Colonel General for his services. In 1934, von Blomberg encouraged Hitler to crack down on SA leader Ernst Röhm and his followers, who he believed posed a serious threat to both Hitler and the army. As such, he condoned and participated in the Night of the Long Knives. In the same year, he personally ordered all soldiers in the army to pledge an oath of allegiance to Hitler. In 1935, when the defense ministry became the war ministry, von Blomberg became Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 1936, he became Hitler's first field marshal. Unfortunately for von Blomberg, his position as the most influential man in the army alienated Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, who conspired to oust von Blomberg from power. They struck in 1938, when von Blomberg, then 60, married Eva Gruhn, a 26 year old typist. A police officer discovered that Gruhn had been a prostitute with a criminal record and reported this to the Gestapo and Göring (who, ironically, had served as a best man to von Blomberg at the wedding). Göring then informed Hitler (who also had been a best man at the wedding) of the matter, and Hitler ordered von Blomberg to annul the marriage in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Von Blomberg refused to annul the marriage, and consequently resigned all of his posts in January 1938 when Göring threatened to make his wife's past public knowledge. Von Blomberg and his wife were subsequently exiled for a year to the isle of Capri. Spending World War II in obscurity, von Blomberg was captured by the Allies in 1945, after which time he gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials. Von Blomberg died while in detention at Nuremberg in 1946.


 
German Field Marshals (Generalfeldmarschall) of World War II

Werner von Blomberg | Hermann Göring | Walther von Brauchitsch | Albert Kesselring | Wilhelm Keitel | Günther von Kluge | Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb | Fedor von Bock | Wilhelm List | Erwin von Witzleben | Walther von Reichenau | Erhard Milch | Hugo Sperrle | Gerd von Rundstedt | Erwin Rommel | Georg von Küchler | Erich von Manstein | Friedrich Paulus | Ewald von Kleist | Maximilian von Weichs | Ernst Busch | Wolfram von Richthofen | Walther Model | Ferdinand Schörner | Robert Ritter von Greim

Honorary: Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli

 
German Grand Admirals (Großadmiral) of World War II

Erich Raeder | Karl Dönitz

pl:Werner von Blomberg

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