Walter Warlimont

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Walter Warlimont, 1939, as a colonel

Walter Warlimont (born October 3, 1894 in Osnabrück , † October 9, 1976 in Kreuth ) was a German officer and most recently as General of the Artillery the deputy of Colonel General Alfred Jodl in the Wehrmacht Command Staff .


Walter Warlimont was the son of Louis Warlimont (1857-1923) and Anna Rinck (1860-1931). Both parents came from Eupen . His father was a publisher and antiquarian in Osnabrück.

In his second marriage, Walter Warlimont married Anita von Kleydorff (1899–1987), daughter of Franz Egenieff , actually Marian Eberhard Franz Emil von Kleydorff, and the American Paula Busch, a niece of the German-American brewer and multimillionaire Adolphus Busch .


Walter Warlimont on June 28, 1948

Walter Warlimont joined the Lower Saxony Foot Artillery Regiment No. 10 as a flag junior in February 1913 , after having passed his Abitur . After attending war school from 1913 to 1914, he was promoted to lieutenant . During the First World War Warlimont fought as a battery officer, adjutant and battery leader on the Western Front and in Italy.

After the war, Warlimont served in the Maercker Freikorps before he was accepted into the Reichswehr . There he served in the 6th Prussian Artillery Regiment in Minden . After a three-month language holiday in England, Warlimont was transferred to the General Staff as a captain in 1926 . There he served as 2nd adjutant to the chief of the troops office and in the military economics department before he was transferred to the foreign armies department of the Reichswehr Ministry. This activity was followed by a year-long command of the United States Army in 1929 . Warlimont was supposed to find out about economic mobilization there. After his return he was head of the III. Battery in the 1st (Prussian) Artillery Regiment in Allenstein , (East Prussia).

A year later, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War , Warlimont was commanded as Lieutenant Colonel to General Franco as Military Plenipotentiary of the Reich Minister of War.

After his return in 1937 he became commander of the 26th Artillery Regiment in Düsseldorf . During this time he was promoted to colonel . In 1938 Warlimont served as head of department "L" (national defense) in the Wehrmacht leadership office (WFA) and in this function was the permanent representative of the head of the WFA. Between 1934 and 1939 he went on educational trips to Belgium , the Netherlands , France , England and the USA .

After the outbreak of World War II , Warlimont became Deputy Head of the WFA. He held this post until his departure from the Führerreserve . In August 1940 Warlimont was named major general. He was involved in the secret preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union , known by the code name Operation Barbarossa , and in the signing of the commissioner's order , which was contrary to international law and which killed almost 4,000 Soviet political officers and functionaries between June 1941 and June 1942 . He was also involved in the creation of the command order . In 1942 Warlimont was promoted to lieutenant general and in April 1944 to artillery general. He suffered the assassination on 20 July 1944 by Stauffenberg to Adolf Hitler injuries to the arm and (as it later turned out) a concussion. After a visit to the front in France in August 1944, he realized like Rommel that the continuation of the war was hopeless. Jodl, who became aware of this change of opinion, had material collected that should cast doubt on Warlimont's “leadership beliefs”. In September 1944, Hitler withdrew his trust and transferred him to the OKH's Führerreserve .

Until August 1945 he was arrested in the Allied POW camp Camp Ashcan in Bad Mondorf, Luxembourg, and then transferred to Nuremberg .

In 1948 Warlimont was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Nuremberg trial against the Wehrmacht High Command (case XII) - the maximum sentence imposed there, which apart from him was only pronounced in the Hermann Reinecke case . In 1951 the sentence was commuted to 18 years imprisonment, but in June 1954 Warlimont was able to leave the Landsberg war crimes prison .


  • Use of state powers in the waging of total war. In: Military Scientific Review . Volume 3, 1936.
  • At the headquarters of the Wehrmacht 1939–1945. Bonn 1964 (reprinted under the title: In the headquarters of the German Wehrmacht In: Weltbild . Augsburg 1990).


  • Jörg Friedrich : The law of war. The German Army in Russia 1941–1945. The trial of the Wehrmacht High Command. Piper, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-492-12116-0 . (Gives a good insight into the activities and responsibilities of Warlimont in the Russian War).
  • Horst Mühleisen : General of the Artillery Walter Warlimont. In: Gerd R. Ueberschär (ed.): Hitler's military elite. From the beginning of the war to the end of the world war. Volume 2, Primus Verlag, Darmstadt 1998, ISBN 3-89678-089-1 , ISBN 3-534-12678-5 (Scientific Book Society), pp. 270-275.

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. Esther-Julia Howell: Learn from the vanquished ?: The war history cooperation between the US Army and the former Wehrmacht elite 1945-1961 (Studies on Contemporary History, Volume 90), Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-041478-3
  3. Felix Römer: War Crimes. Hitler's compliant troops. In: Spiegel Online . December 12, 2008.
  4. Jeffry M. Diefendorf, Axel Frohn, Hermann-Josef Rupieper: American Policy and the Reconstruction of West Germany, 1945-1955 , Cambridge University Press, 1993, ISBN 9780521431200 , p. 446.