Franz Eccard of Bentivegni

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Bentivegni with Wilhelm Canaris, Head of Defense, on a field airfield on the Eastern Front, 1941

Franz Eccard von Bentivegni (born July 18, 1896 in Potsdam , † April 4, 1958 in Wiesbaden ) was a German officer , most recently lieutenant general in World War II .


Bentivegni came from an old family of soldiers. His father was a lieutenant colonel in the First World War . Bentivegni joined the 2nd Guards Field Artillery Regiment on July 22, 1915 as a flag junior and was promoted to lieutenant on May 11, 1916 . From July 5 to August 31, 1916 he was assigned to the field artillery school Jüterbog. Subsequently, Bentivegni was deployed with his regiment on the Western Front . He was wounded on April 6, 1918 and spent the following period until April 30, 1918 in the hospital in Namur . After his recovery he was assigned to the replacement battalion.

Bentivegni was after the end of the war from May 16, 1919 initially as adjutant of the III. Department of his main regiment and served briefly in the Reichswehr Artillery Regiment 26. This was followed by a command to a MG course at the infantry school in Wünsdorf and, from September 24, 1920, an assignment as an orderly and court officer with the staff of the Reichswehr artillery -Regiment 15. On January 1, 1921 Bentivegni was transferred to the staff of the III. Division of the 3rd (Prussian) Artillery Regiment to Jüterbog . There he served as adjutant from April 1, 1925 and was promoted to first lieutenant on July 31, 1925 . Two and a half years later he was deployed in the 8th battery of the regiment. From October 1, 1928, Bentivegni completed his assistant training with the staff of the 2nd Division in Stettin . On October 1, 1930, he was assigned to the commandant's office in Berlin, a year later to the Reichswehr Ministry and on November 15, 1932 back to the commandant's office. There he was promoted to captain on December 1, 1932, and one day later had to wear the uniform of the commanding officers on instructions. From September 1, 1933, he served with the staff of the 2nd Division , was transferred to the Artillery Regiment Frankfurt / Oder on July 1, 1935, and from October 15, 1935 he was employed as a battery chief in the 23rd Artillery Regiment. As a major (since April 1, 1936) he was assigned to the General Staff of the IX from July 1, 1936 . Army Corps and was transferred there on October 6, 1936. On April 1, 1938, he became the first general staff officer of the 26th Infantry Division .

On March 1, 1939, Bentivegni changed to the High Command of the Wehrmacht as head of department , where he was entrusted with the management of Department III ( counter-espionage and counter-espionage) within the Abwehr office group. A month later, while being promoted to lieutenant colonel, he was appointed head of the department.

On November 4, 1939, Bentivegni chaired a conference in the Hacketäuer barracks in Cologne-Mülheim , where the use of the Secret Field Police (GFP) in the Poland campaign was analyzed. In his opening speech, he made clear the GFP's mission to monitor the field army with the secret police.

Colonel Bentivegni (since June 1, 1941) was transferred to the Fuehrer's Reserve from September 15, 1943 to May 17, 1944 , temporarily deputizing for the head of his old department and completing a division leader course. From May 18, 1944, he represented Major General Haß as commander of the 170th Infantry Division and took over the leadership of the 81st Infantry Division from July 10th . On August 1, 1944 he was promoted to major general, his troops were subordinate to the 16th Army during this time . Promoted to lieutenant general on 30 January 1945 he came to the surrender in Courland Pocket in Soviet captivity .

Bentivegni was sentenced as a war criminal to 25 years in a labor camp in the USSR and released in 1955 as a so-called non-amnesty in the Federal Republic of Germany.



  • Klaus Geßner: Secret field police. On the function and organization of the secret police executive body of the fascist armed forces. Military publishing house of the GDR, Berlin 1986.
  • Julius Mader : Hitler's spy antagonists testify. A documentary report on the structure, structure and operations of the OKW secret service office abroad / defense with a chronology of its operations from 1933 to 1944. Verlag der Nation, (East) Berlin 1971.
  • Dermot Bradley: The Generals of the Army 1921-1945 Volume 1 Abberger-Bitthorn. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1993, ISBN 3-7648-2423-9 , pp. 309-311.

Individual evidence

  1. Heinz Höhne: Canaris . C. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1984. ISBN 3-570-01608-0 . P. 357
  2. a b c d e Julius Mader: Hitler's spy antagonists testify. P. 208.
  3. a b Reichswehr Ministry (Ed.): Ranking list of the German Reichsheeres. Mittler & Sohn Verlag , Berlin 1930, p. 159.